Providing volunteer with benefits deemed sufficient to trigger the Title VII protections available to employees and applicants
Pietras v Farmingville Fire District, 180 F.3d 468
Victoria Pietras failed the performance test required by the Farmingville Fire District. She sued, claiming the district’s test violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
A federal district court judge agreed, holding that Farmingville’s physical agility test [PAT], which all probationary volunteer firefighters were required to pass in order to become full-fledged volunteer firefighters, had a disparate impact on women.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling.
According to the decision, as a probationary volunteer, Pietras was entitled to numerous firefighter benefits under state law and the by-laws of the department. These included: (1) a retirement pension, (2) life insurance, (3) death benefits, (4) disability insurance, and (5) some medical benefits.
Although not a paid employee, providing these benefits was deemed sufficient to trigger the Title VII protections available to employees and applicants for employment.
The district court directed Pietras’ reinstatement as a probationary firefighter and said Farmingville could “develop and administer a non-discriminatory PAT as a precondition to Pietras [and presumably all other applicants for volunteer firefighter] becoming a full-fledged volunteer member.” .
Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor members of the staff are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to seek such advice from a competent professional.