On June 30, 1999, the EEOC filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act against the City of Sheffield, the Civil Service Board of the City of Sheffield, and the Civil Service Board members in their official and ...
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On June 30, 1999, the EEOC filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act against the City of Sheffield, the Civil Service Board of the City of Sheffield, and the Civil Service Board members in their official and individual capacities. The EEOC's complaint alleged that defendants discriminated against three firefighters over the age of 40 when they promoted a younger employee with less seniority to the position of assistant fire chief.
On March 20, 2000, this case was consolidated with a related complaint filed by a firefighter against the same defendants, Love v. City of Sheffield, 99-CV-2995. On September 19, 2000, the defendants moved to dismiss the EEOC's complaint on the basis of governmental immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. On February 6, 2001, the District Court (Judge Sharon L. Blackburn) denied the motion to dismiss, holding that the Civil Service Board, while created by state legislation, was not an arm or agent of the state and therefore not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity.
On August 31, 2001, defendants moved for summary judgment in two separate motions, claiming that they were not the plaintiffs' employers, that the claims were time-barred, that the plaintiffs were not qualified for the position, and that plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies before filing suit. In an opinion dated September 30, 2002, the District Court denied both motions.
For reasons that the docket does not make clear, nothing much happened for the next two years. The parties finally settled in 2005, and on April 5, 2005, the District Court entered a consent decree. The agreement awarded monetary damages to the plaintiffs in the amount of $15,000, inclusive of all attorney's fees and costs. Defendants stipulated that they would not utilize age as a factor in promotion decisions, except as permitted by law. Further, two of the plaintiffs, one retroactively and posthumously, were promoted to captain.Tifani Sadek - 10/09/2013