NY state hired me based off of my resume, being a highly decorated, and trained fire professional. Then then told me, yesterday, that they had to terminate my position until I completed extra classes because they don't consider volunteer fire experience and paid fire experience the same. All state and federal labor board rules apply to both sides, all OSHA and NFPA regulations apply to both sides and the training is the same, in fact I can show that I have more certifications than some of my paid counterparts in the city I volunteer in. They stated that the only difference was that I did no receive a pay check. Is this discrimination and how do i move forward fighting this.
Talk to your union. Also consult an attorney about filing what is called an Article 78 in State court. An Article 78 is an appeal of government action that is not logical.
How long have you been working for the state in this position? Before you were hired did the state publish written criteria for the position you were hired for? Were there discussions about this subject during the pre-employment interviews for the position? Perhaps if the criteria did not make clear that fire fighter experience had to be as a compensated employee and not as a volunteer, then maybe you have a justified basis to complain. Possibly, too, that statements were made to you in the interview process that would be useful in making a complaint. Good luck.
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Speak to your union. This does not strike me as discrimination but you may still be able to fight it.
This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction.
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