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San Francisco officers propose age discrimination class action

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A group of police officers recently filed suit against the city and county of San Francisco, claiming the police department has repeatedly promoted and given raises to younger employees instead of to more experienced, older officers.

More than 30 officers filed the suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco seeking class-action status to resolve their age discrimination claims. In their complaint, the officers, all older than 40, claim the “city has engaged in an intentional and continuing police-departmentwide pattern or practice of discrimination against older officers.”

Furthermore, the officers alleged that the “system, and these policies and practices, have had an adverse impact on older police officers and are not, and cannot be, justified by business necessity.”

The suit was sparked by the end of a settlement deal, in effect since 1979, that followed an earlier lawsuit. That settlement required officers to pass a test to become assistant inspectors. When the deal expired in 2006, the officers claim, the police department intentionally set a policy and practice of promoting younger, less qualified officers.

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