Story From New York Post by Rich Calder
Needing a hearing aid is no longer an automatic NYPD mandate for early retirement.
The de Blasio administration on Tuesday agreed to settle an equal-employment lawsuit in Manhattan federal court that claimed it is “discriminatory” for the NYPD to enforce a six-year-old blanket policy prohibiting hearing-impaired cops who need the devices from keeping their jobs.
Under the agreement, officers who use hearing aids will have a chance to meet the NYPD’s hearing standards while wearing hearing aids and be able to keep their jobs if they do.
The decision is expected to affect hundreds of current and former cops – including officers who hid their hearing loss out of feat they’d be forced to retire.
“The settlement provides an opportunity for me to return to the profession and the Department I so dearly love,” said Daniel Carione, a veteran ex-cop who was forced to retire early due to hearing loss suffered on duty.
“But much more importantly, it opens wide the door of opportunity to millions of hearing-disabled Americans,” added Carione, the lead plaintiff in the 2011 suit.
“Most notable are our returning war veterans, a great many of [whom] have received combat-induced hearing loss requiring the use of hearing aids. Many of these brave men and women are deserving of the opportunity to demonstrate they are willing, able, and otherwise capable of performing the essential duties of police officer with the use of hearing aids.”