FDNY EMS class-action discrimination suit moves forward

The Chief


Members of the FDNY’s emergency medical services bureau and their unions have been given the green light to pursue a class-action lawsuit against New York City and the fire department over claims of discriminatory employment practices, unequal treatment and both race and gender-based bias. 

In a decision released on Monday, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres rejected the city’s arguments that the claim should be dismissed because EMS workers’ and firefighters’ tasks and responsibilities are dissimilar. Torres also found that contrary to the city’s arguments, the workers submitted their complaint in a timely manner and met the bar to pursue a class-action claim. 

The suit by members of Local 2507, which represents uniformed EMTs, paramedics and fire inspectors, alleges that the city and the FDNY have discriminated against EMS first responders by not paying them according to their responsibilities relative to those of firefighters, who are paid significantly better. 

At the time the suit was filed, Oren Barzilay, the president of District Council 37 Local 2507, said the suit was a “historic moment for New York City’s Emergency Medical Service members.”  

Barzilay declined to comment on Monday’s decision, citing the ongoing nature of the litigation. Leadership of the other EMS union, DC 37 Local 3621, declined to comment for the same reason. 

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