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City of Toledo Seeking Settlement to Age Discrimination Suit

— August 11, 2020

The city of Toledo recently agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Alan Rose over allegations of age discrimination.

The Toledo Law Department is seeking approval to a $67,000 settlement payout to bring an end to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Alan Rose, a former city employee who claims he was unfairly treated based on his age. The Toledo city council is set to make a decision soon. But what happened, exactly? What prompted Rose to file the suit in the first place?

Image of the EEOC seal
Seal of the EEOC; image courtesy of U.S. Government via Wikimedia Commons,

For starters, Rose began working for the city of Toledo back in 1990 in the sewer maintenance department. According to the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio in July 2018, Rose retired from his position as a water control room operator in December 2016. At the time, he was 62-years-old.

When the case was first filed, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined that no incident of age discrimination had occurred, according to Terry Green, senior attorney with the city law department. However, as the case progressed through the court system, “city attorneys determined that the settlement, which includes Mr. Rose being rehired by the city, was the best course of action for Toledo.

The alleged discrimination began around March 25, 2017, when the city began the hiring process for three positions, including Rose’s “former position of water control room operator, according to the complaint.” Rose ended up applying for his old position, as well as a “different position with the city related to wastewater treatment.” The suit argued that the “contract between the city and Mr. Rose’s union entitled Mr. Rose to preferential hiring status.”

Eventually, he was offered the wastewater job, “but was told to wait a couple of weeks for the water control room operator job, his old position.” During that time, the “wastewater job was rescinded and he never heard anything more about the other job.” To make matters worse, Rose learned that, in late 2017 and early 2018, “the city hired two significantly younger individuals who had no previous work history with the City of Toledo as water control room operators,” according to the suit. When Rose’s suit was filed, “one of the water control room positions was still open.”

According to Green, some of the $67,000 settlement payout will cover back pay for Rose “dated to when the job was available and his attorney fees.” Additionally, Rose will be “rehired in his former position, and the city makes no admission to violating state or federal laws.” Furthermore, the settlement includes “corrections to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” Green said. However, details of those corrections remain unknown.


City seeks to settle age discrimination lawsuit with $67,000 payout, rehiring

Toledo Equal Employment Opportunity Laws

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