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SPFD, firefighter finally see eye-to-eye on settlement

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A long-running disability discrimination dispute between St. Paul firefighter William Eldridge and the city has finally been settled.

Twice in the past seven years, the St. Paul Fire Department told Eldridge he would be terminated because his bad eyesight prevents him from fighting fires. Twice, Eldridge has fought to keep his job.

Eldridge has a form of macular de­­generation that limits his driving and makes it unsafe for him to respond to fire calls.

Now, under a settlement with the city, he will become the department’s health and wellness coordinator, a position equivalent in rank to a deputy fire chief. In addition, St. Paul will pay Eldridge $528,432, about $300,000 of which will cover attorneys’ fees.

The fire department also agreed to train supervisors concerning reasonable accommodation requests.

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