NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — The City of New York has agreed to a $20.8 million settlement to resolve charges that it discriminated against city-employed RNs and midwives for not recognizing their jobs as "physically taxing" as it relates to retirement age and full pension options.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York filed the complaint against the city in federal district court alleging the city failed to recognize the work of predominately female RNs and midwives as "physically taxing" to allow for early retirement with full pensions while predominately male jobs were labeled to allow for early retirement.
The city's policy, established in 1968, allows certain employees with jobs designated as "physically taxing" and 25 years of service to have the option of retiring at age 50 with full pensions, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The city, however, only recognizes the jobs performed mostly by men such as Emergency Medical Specialists, exterminators, motor vehicle dispatchers, window cleaners, foremen and plumbers as "physically taxing," the DOJ said.
Pending court approval, the city will pay nurses and midwives hired between Sept.15, 1965 through March 31, 2012 and who would have been eligible to retire at an earlier age between $1,000 to $99,000 each. In addition, the city will pay attorney's fees and an additional $100,000 to the four nurses who initiated the complaint, according to the DOJ.