FDNY Medic Alleges Age Discrimination

A veteran FDNY medic who was passed over for promotion to rescue medic due to his age, is suing for age discrimination.

Edwin Tweedy, 64, claims an FDNY doctor, Dr. Dario Gonzalez, disqualified him from further consideration for the promotion on account of his age. He filed suit last week in US District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Tweedy is not your typical medic. From the complaint:

  • Plaintiff is a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.
  • Kings Point is one of the five federal academies and the only one that requires a US Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer License to graduate in addition to a BS and a commission in the US Navy.
  • Plaintiff also has a Master of Science Degree in Transportation Management/International Trade from SUNY Maritime College.
  • As the merchant marine is a private industry commercial profit driven enterprise, merchant ships have small crews/minimal manning standards. This requires a great deal of training and flexibility. Kings Point emphasizes practical seamanship skills. Kings Point requires its midshipman to spend a full year at sea on commercial merchant vessels to graduate.
  • Plaintiff spent most of his career in the shipping and energy industries and has commercial and practical knowledge of the various petroleum terminals, power plant dock and storage facilities, barge/tug operations, dry bulk and container operations.
  • Plaintiff was very familiar with New York Harbor and the other North American ports/terminals.
  • Plaintiff created and taught courses for commercial and practical aspects of the shipping industry at the University of Houston, Kings Point, various industry seminars and as a consultant to shipping and commercial chartering personnel.
  • Following the tragedy of September 11, 2001, in order to publicly serve the City of New York and its people, Plaintiff resigned from his prior occupation, applied to the FDNY, and was hired as a Paramedic.

Tweedy claims that he met all the requirements for promotion to rescue medic, including all prerequisite course work, experience and passing a competitive physical agility test. As stated in the complaint: 

  • Plaintiff’s education, training, and experience qualified Plaintiff for the position of Rescue Medic.
  • Plaintiff was confirmed to take the December 22, 2016 test at 1600 hours, which Plaintiff passed satisfactorily.
  • Having passed or met all the criteria in Section 2 of EMS Order No. 60, Plaintiff was scheduled for an interview on January 10, 2017 at Haz-Tac Battalion on Randall’s Island.
  • On the day before Plaintiff’s scheduled interview, Defendant, Dr. Dario Gonzalez arbitrarily disqualified Plaintiff for the position and cancelled Plaintiff’s interview.
  • If not for the arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory decision of Dr. Dario Gonzalez, based upon his age, Plaintiff should have received an appointment for admission to the Rescue Paramedic Basic Program, and should have been hired for the position.
  • The FDNY and Dr. Gonzalez, pursuant to their discriminatory customs, practices and policies, hired one or more individuals under 40 years of age, even though Plaintiff was more qualified than the younger Paramedics that were hired instead of Plaintiff.
  • Plaintiff resigned from the FDNY in February of 2018 because Plaintiff was denied promotion and was discriminated against because of his age.
  • After making complaints and filing an EEOC complaints regarding defendants’ age discrimination, defendants retaliated against the defendant by again denying him the position of Rescue Paramedic.
  • Plaintiff would not have resigned had it not been for the discriminatory and retaliatory actions of Defendants.

The complaint alleges a single count of age discrimination under the ADEA.

Here is a copy of the complaint: Tweedy v FDNY

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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