Lawsuit Gives Women New Chance at Becoming Firefighters

Saturday, May 4, 2013  |  Updated 3:27 PM CDT
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Fire Blazes at Chicago Restaurant

Up to 140 aspiring women firefighters who were denied jobs with the Chicago Fire Department seven years ago will have a chance to reapply to be a firefighter on Monday after they reached an agreement in a federal class-action lawsuit.

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Fire Blazes at Chicago Restaurant

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Up to 140 aspiring women firefighters who were denied jobs with the Chicago Fire Department seven years ago will have a chance to reapply to be a firefighter on Monday after they reached an agreement in a federal class-action lawsuit.

The class action lawsuit alleged that the “physical abilities test” used for more than 10 years to determine candidate’s fitness levels, unfairly failed the vast majority of women.

The denied women will now able to report to the Chicago Fire Academy Monday morning to be reconsidered for the positions they were originally rejected from. The city agreed to use the Candidate Physical Abilities Test, used by several municipalities across Chicago suburbs, for future physical aptitude tests.

“This is an amazing opportunity for women who were passed over for positions as firefighters because of the old test,” Marni Willenson, one of the attorneys on the suit, said in a statement. “We are confident that women in Chicago will show that they are fully capable of performing the job of firefighter.”

The department will begin processing applications at 9 a.m. Monday at the Chicago Fire Department Academy South.

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