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RODRIGUEZ v. TAYLOR

September 2, 1976

Luis A. Rodriguez , et al., Plaintiffs
v.
Lewis S. Taylor et al., Defendants


VanArtsdalen, D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: VANARTSDALEN

VanARTSDALEN, D.J.:

I.

 Findings of Fact

 1. Luis A. Rodriguez on December 23, 1974, filed an application for employment with the City of Philadelphia for the position of Security Officer I. The application was rejected and Luis A. Rodriguez was not permitted to take the competitive examination that was conducted by the City of Philadelphia for such position, solely because Luis A. Rodriguez was "over maximum age" for being hired.

 2. The City of Philadelphia from 1966 and continuously thereafter has maintained an inflexible requirement and policy that applicants for the position of Security Officer I must be less than 41 years of age, in order to be permitted to take the competitive examination for the position, and to be originally hired by the City of Philadelphia as a Security Officer I. This age restriction was promulgated by the City Personnel Office of the City of Philadelphia in conjunction with City Departments and was approved by the City's Civil Service Commission.

 3. The City of Philadelphia does not require an applicant for the position of Security Officer I to present or obtain any medical certification prior to or as a requisite for filing an application for such employment, or for qualifying to take the competitive examination.

 4. The City of Philadelphia employs approximately 48 security officers; the median age is approximately 39 years, and approximately 15 are over the age of 41 years. Those who have been hired as Security Officer I are not discharged, nor are they required to retire, resign, or accept other job assignments or classifications after becoming 41 years of age. Of those security officers presently employed by the City of Philadelphia who are over 41 years old, the duties and work to which they are assigned are being satisfactorily performed by them and are the same or not significantly different from the duties assigned to those security officers who are under 41 years of age.

 5. All of the work and duties of a Security Officer I, based on the job qualifications and description published by the City of Philadelphia (Exhibit R 11) and from actual past experience, can be safely and satisfactorily performed by a person over the age of 41 years who is in good physical health and of normal physical strength.

 6. Inexpensive tests can be devised which can accurately determine whether a particular individual over the age of 41 years will be able from a physical and mental standpoint to perform satisfactorily all of the duties and tasks which may be assigned to a Security Officer I.

 7. The City of Philadelphia has made no job task analysis and has undertaken no studies to determine the extent and frequency of physical and mental effort and stress required or anticipated in the performance of the duties of a Security Officer I. The City of Philadelphia has made no objective analysis, and has relied upon no statistical or scientific studies to establish its contention that the 41 year maximum age requirement for being initially hired as a Security Officer I is a bona fide occupational qualification, reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the city government.

 8. The duties of Security Officer I primarily involve policing the facilities of the Philadelphia General Hospital and the Water Department.

 9. Luis A. Rodriguez was born on December 12, 1928 (Exhibit P-8). Both at the time of the filing of the application and the time of the trial he was strong physically and in good health. He has had extensive experience in security guard work and duties, and is presently so employed, part-time at the rectory of St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, 5th and Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has taken and completed the training course conducted at the Philadelphia Police Academy in connection with qualifying for and obtaining a Private Patrolman's license pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The said training course is likewise required of Security Officers I. He is also presently an active enlisted soldier in the Pennsylvania National Guard and participates in the regularly scheduled training exercises and summer camp training. He does, however, receive a non-service connected Veterans Administration disability pension for a back condition, but this does not interfere with his ability to perform heavy physical labor. He regularly engages in personal physical exercises such as weight lifting and calisthenics. The present state of his physical strength and capacity for hard physical labor (based on both testimony and personal observation in court) exceeds that of many healthy men who are under 40 years of age.

 10. Although on a statistical average persons who are 40 years of age or over are not as physically strong nor as physically quick in movement and reaction time as persons who are under 40 years of age, there are many persons over 40 years of age who are physically stronger and quicker than many persons under 40 years of age. Most persons, as individuals, reach their maximum physical strength and capabilities at approximately age 25 and thereafter gradually decline. However, the rapidity of decline varies among individuals, as does the maximum physical strength and capabilities, and with proper exercise and practice it is possible for an individual to have strength and physical alertness over the age of 40 superior to that which the individual had at the normal age of maximum capability.

 11. Hiring and/or retaining persons over the age of 41 years as Security Officers I by the City of Philadelphia will in no way endanger such employees, the efficiency of the city government operation, or the public safety, provided proper physical, medical and mental objective standards based on factors other than age are applied. Such standards, based on factors other than age, ...


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