Chiseled Fit 30 Year Old Man Too Old to Be A FDNY Firefighter?

Do you see this buff, fit, calendar ready personal trainer in the photo above?

Apparently, he is too old to be a firefighter in the city of New York as he celebrated his 30th birthday this past April.
The New York Fire Department allegedly barred Rob Becerra from taking the current New York Fire Department entrance exam due to the city’s “archaic” rules excluding those who are over 29. This form of age discrimination is outdated and no longer applicable to modern standards. This was the first entrance exam open to the public in five years, the last exam was in 2012. So, Becerra could not have taken the exam at any time in recent years.
Becerra explained the injustice, “At 30 years old, I’m in the best physical shape of my life… [but] according to the FDNY, I’m ready for the AARP.”
“It’s disheartening when they tell you ‘you’re too old,’ ” Becerra said. “I know a couple guys who are 25, and, with all due respect, they’re in nowhere near as good physical shape as I am, yet they have the opportunity. It’s not about age — it’s whether you can do the job.”
Among fire departments nationwide, the New York Fire Department is one of the most age-restrictive. For instance, in Chicago the maximum age is 37, Houston is 36, and Boston is 32. Moreover, the cities of Philadelphia, Miami and Los Angeles have no age caps.
The New York Fire Department can make exceptions; Military vets can have the age limit raised by one year for each year they served. Moreover, the New York Fire Department has been cornered into hiring previously passed-over black and Hispanics in their 30s and early 40s after paying $98 million to settle a federal race-discrimination lawsuit in 2014.
“Talk about age discrimination. You’re telling me I can’t do the job — I’m too old? An outrage at the least, especially for all the people in my age bracket — 30 to 35,” Becerra wrote on Facebook.
Becerra, 5-foot-11 and a lean 170 pounds. “I work out five days a week. I can bench 315 pounds. I can run a mile in under six minutes,” he said. Becerra’s own girlfriend can vouch for his strength, according to her, Becerra comes to her rescue when she’s walking too far in heels, “Sometimes he’ll pick me up, and carry me for blocks,” a task which would be analogous the type of work firefighters must do daily.
Perhaps, even if his lawsuit does not go as planned, he may still have some hope. In 2016, a New York City Councilman Andy King (D-Bronx) introduced a bill to raise the maximum age to join the New York Fire Department from 28 to 36. King stated regarding the current cap that it “might have worked in 1950, but people are living longer today and keeping themselves healthier… If a person isn’t in shape, we aren’t hiring them anyway.”

If you feel you have been the victim of workplace discrimination or sexual harassment in New York City, Miami, New Jersey or Philadelphia or if your employment rights have been violated, call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to review your claims and prepare a solid case to recover the damages and justice you deserved.

About Derek Smith

Attorney Derek T. Smith is an experienced sexual harassment & discrimination law litigator who has particular experience in the areas of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, civil rights litigation, employment law and civil litigation.

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