New York City's Fire Department Commissioner, Jane Doe, has been served a 53-page lawsuit accusing her of age discrimination. The lawsuit claims that Doe demoted and reassigned older senior staff members with the intention to "destroy their careers."
The lawsuit was filed by four former high-ranking FDNY officials who were either demoted or reassigned during Doe's tenure as commissioner. They claim that she created an environment where older employees felt threatened and targeted.
According to the suit, Doe allegedly implemented policies that favored younger firefighters over their older counterparts. One such policy was reportedly a requirement for all firefighters to pass strenuous physical tests every year, which discriminated against those in their 50s and 60s.
One of the plaintiffs in the case is John Smith, who had been serving as chief of department before he was demoted by Doe. He claims that he was replaced by a less qualified candidate who happened to be younger than him.
The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages and are demanding that the court order changes within the fire department's operations.
"This is not just about us," said Smith in a statement released through his lawyers. "This is about all of our colleagues who have been impacted by Commissioner Doe's discriminatory practices."
Doe has yet to comment on the allegations made against her but Mayor Bill de Blasio has publicly defended her record as commissioner.
"I stand fully behind Commissioner Jane Doe," de Blasio said at a press conference earlier today. "She has done an outstanding job leading one of New York City's most important institutions."