Sioux City firefighter files age discrimination lawsuit

Brian Thiele was 48 years old and had served in the fire department for 27 years when the fire department he worked for elected a 37 year old instead of him as the new fire marshal. Thiele filed suit alleging that he had “superior education, experience and qualifications” and that a review board had ranked him as the top candidate among those eligible for the position but instead the position was given to a younger candidate. He is alleging that Sioux City Fire Chief, Tom Everett, discriminated against him when he named the younger person as the city fire marshal because that person, Thiele said Everett told him, “fit the department’s 10-year plan for the position.”

Thiele says he met with, the Fire Chief, Everett, about the promotional process and was given several examples of how older employees “did not step up and produce for the fire department” and how younger employees were taking leadership roles.

The lawsuit said that Everett told Thiele that though the younger candidate did not have the desired post high school degree, he was young enough to pursue the additional education. This convinced Thiele that the younger candidate who was not as qualified for the position, as he was, was given the promotion based on the fact that he was younger.

While Thiele remains with the fire department, he is seeking compensatory damages for benefits he said he should have received had it not been for the alleged discrimination and for emotional distress due to being passed up for a position, he had superior qualifications than all other candidates.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 is in place to protect employees who are over the age of 40 from being discriminated against in the workplace. If you believe you are a victim of age discrimination and are considering a lawsuit, contact The Harman Firm.