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AUGUST 05 - AUGUST 13, 2014

Kristen Grandinetti: Oops She Did it Again Councilwoman Wants 'Young' or 'Middle Aged' Person for Job Opening

By Anna M. Howard

August 05, 2014

Council members Kristen Grandinetti and Charles Walker tell the media they prefer to hire young people at city hall.

Councilwoman Kristen Grandinetti, fresh off an apparent demonstration of age discrimination regarding her firing of former council secretary Kevin J. Ormsby, has once again demonstrated her preference for young people in the city hall workplace.

Last week she told the Niagara Gazette (Agu. 3) she was unhappy with the delay in filling a vacant business development position at city hall. "There's no way you're going to convince me that there's not a young, hungry or middle age, hungry, local person to fill this job," she was quoted as saying.

In late January of this year, as she voted to put 24-year-old Ryan Undercoffer into the council secretary position, after firing Ormsby, 61, she told the media that she preferred the "young fresh face" that Undercoffer represented.

Councilman Charles Walker added that he preferred Undercoffer "because he is young, qualified and expressed interest in the position."

Last week the Niagara Falls Reporter detailed how the New York State Division of Human Rights recently ruled in Ormsby's favor in his age discrimination complaint by writing that "After investigation, the Division has determined that it has jurisdiction in this matter (Ormsby's age discrimination complaint) and that probable cause exists to believe that the Respondents (City and City Council) have engaged in or are engaging in the unlawful discriminatory practice complained of."

Despite Grandinetti's desire for a young or middle-aged person to fill the business development position, State and Federal law require that when a job is open, the only considerations legally allowed are the qualifications and ability of the person to do the job and not the applicant's gender, race, ethnicity, or age.

The councilwoman, whose Facebook postings and campaign literature is replete with references to women's abortion and sexuality rights, legally can no more call for "young person" or "middle age" person than she can call for a white or black, male or female, or heterosexual or gay person.

Age discrimination is as earnestly guarded against as are other forms of discrimination in the USA.

Coming on the heels of Ormsby's age discrimination lawsuit against the city and her earlier remarks regarding Ormsby's age, Grandinetti has now publicly tied the filling of the business development job to age.

If an older applicant is refused the job, they may have a claim against the city.

The city's EEOC director, Ruby Pulliam, was hired three years ago to guide the city in these matters. Corporation Counsel Craig Johnson is supposed to advise city employees on matters of age, race or gender discrimination.

They might now advise Grandinetti, who complained that the job wasn't being filled fast enough for her tastes, that she has set the filling of this job up for failure based on her remarks.





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