Illinois Firefighter Settles Age Discrimination Suit

An Illinois firefighter who was removed from his position as a public education officer in 2009, has settled his age discrimination suit.

Firefighter Scott Kody will receive a settlement of $170,000 and in turn will separate from the Schaumburg Fire Department while applying for a disability pension. The settlement was reportedly reached yesterday.

The suit was filed in 2012 in US District Court under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and sought Kody’s reinstatement to the pub-ed position, along with back pay and legal fees. It alleged that Kody had been the pub-ed officer for the department going back to 1984. In 2009 a ranking officer in the department told Kody “that he was ‘getting up in age’ and that he should retire from his position as Public Education Officer.” Shortly thereafter he was removed and “younger, less qualified individuals” were assigned to replace him.

The Village has disputed the suit’s allegations, and conditioned the settlement on it not being an admission of wrongdoing. Assistant Village Manager Paula Hewson reported told the Daily Herald that its legal fees were already in excess of $100,000.

Here is a copy of the original complaint: Kody v Schaumburg

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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