Firefighting, Legal

Chicago Settles Firefighter Discrimination Suit

The city of Chicago is set to pay nearly $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by women who claimed they were denied jobs as firefighters because the department’s physical fitness test discriminated against female applicants, reports The Associated Press.

The 138 women sued after passing a written exam but failing the physical test. The lawsuit claimed the exam tested pure physical strength, not whether a candidate was capable of doing the job.

The city has since begun using a different fitness exam developed by the International Association of Firefighters. Marni Willenson, an attorney for the women, says the new test more closely simulates firefighting.

The City Council’s Finance Committee approved a $1.98 million settlement on Friday. The money will be split among 50 women who are now older than the department’s age limit of 38. Some of the other women are now going through the process of being hired.

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