Firefighter Allegedly Denied Promotion Because Of Military Service, Gets $22,000

Claire Gordon
firefighter discrimination military service
firefighter discrimination military service

Jeffrey Rawson has worked as a firefighter for 21 years. But when it came time to pick a new lieutenant at the Pittsfield, Mass., fire department, Rawson didn't get the job. He believes it's because he's a Navy reservist, who served his country for a year in Iraq. The U.S. Department of Justice agreed, and filed a lawsuit on his behalf.

Since 1994, it's been illegal for employers to discriminate against someone who leaves his or her job for a period to serve in the military. Pittsfield Mayor James M. Ruberto denies that any discrimination took place, but last month the city agreed to promote Rawson to lieutenant, reports TheBerkshire Eagle, and shell out $22,000 of taxpayer money in back pay as part of a settlement.