Jury Awards Two Camden Firefighters $596k for Discrimination

Two Hispanic firefighters from Camden have been awarded $596,000 by a New Jersey jury for discrimination.

Firefighters Andres Nieves, 48, and Samuel Munoz, 34, claim they were subjected to a hostile work environment and they were unfairly passed over for promotion to captain in 2009 because they are Hispanic.

Back in 2009 Nieves and Munoz were next up on the promotion list when it expired. There were vacancies at the time but the promotions were not made until a new list was established.

Among the other allegations according to Philly.com, Munoz claims at fires he was unfairly required to spend too much time on the nozzle without a break. [Did I really say that with a straight face…]

Last Thursday, a state court jury awarded Nieves $390,000 in damages and Munoz's $206,000. The awards were intended to compensate the firefighters for lost wages, compensation for retaliation, and damages for having to work in a hostile environment.

More on the story.


About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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