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Fire Law Forum with Legal Experts

This group is dedicated to giving general answers to your legal questions. The forum is hosted by experts in fire service law throughout the nation. Attorneys will respond to issues posted on this site.

Members: 73
Latest Activity: Aug 22

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Comment by Brad Pinsky on October 23, 2009 at 10:46pm
Scotty:

The federal courts have held that the fire service does not have to permit non-capable persons to serve as firefighters so long as the physical limitation is related to serving as a firefighter. So actually, we do discriminate in some positive ways. Not everyone is cut out to be a firefighter.

If your question is whether it is permissible to give a reward to a person who is the "most" physically fit, I do not believe that this is a legal problem. Unless, of course, it violates a collective bargaining agreement.

Discrimination is only discrimination when it results in loss of privileges or rights. Rewards are a different issue, especially in the area of physical fitness.

I believe the courts, if asked, would not find rewards for physical fitness to be discriminatory, so long as everyone were able to participate.
Comment by John A. Van Doren on October 1, 2009 at 5:09am
Perhaps the line is crossed...but whos line? The discrimination may be your perception of the situation of filling an organization with physically capable people to do this blue collar work.

As a non-legal expert, I see this "day off" as a message from your department leadership which obviosly goes well in hand with our "Life Safety Initiatives".

This reward system also reexpains to the others (non-fit/aged) members this is a younger "persons" (I do not see the sexual discrimination in this either-you can either do the job or not) blue collar adventure.
Comment by Scotty Smith on September 30, 2009 at 9:15pm
My question is in regard to physical testing and age discrimination within the Fire Service. I know all Firefighters must be fit and there are all different ways that Departments test their Firefighters. I was wondering if testing results must be weighted for both sex and age. I know fire doesn't discriminate in this area but the "experts' in these fields all have different weighted catagories dependent on age and sex to determine classification of individuals health. If this was just testing for fitness it shouldn't matter but when a reward is given to the top fittest personnel such as a day off haven't we crossed the line into age(or even sex) discrimination?
Comment by Michael Maykrantz on April 30, 2009 at 2:29pm
We have a growing number of part-time personnel to supplement our full time personnel due to the seasonal nature of our resort town. These personnel originally were just employed for the Summer when our population swells. They have now integrated into our workforce often working in the absence of a full time FF when he/she takes leave. Many work full time hours but are classified as a part time employee. They now have surpassed the number of full time FF's by 30%. Our goal is to hire more FF's by converting these "part-timers" to full time. Obviously the current budget restricts that, but we have heard that the City will slowly dissolve the career FF's through attrition and continue to hire more part-time, obviously cheaper, personnel. We are slowly diluting our workforce with less qualified and experienced personnel, and our ability to work overtime is severely hindered due to the part time personnel being used daily. We also run the risk of losing the integrity of a full time department to a part time workforce which is far from an efficient way to run a department. Is there a labor law regarding the number of hours a part time employee can work for an employer before they must be converted to full time status? Any other restrictions that we could impose to reverse this trend? Thanks. MM
Comment by John K. Murphy on April 26, 2009 at 4:03pm
New picture - new and improved
 

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