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Lawsuit Alleging Age Discrimination Filed Against Maui Police

December 19, 2013, 12:55 PM HST · Updated December 19, 2:07 PM
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File photo by Wendy Osher.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against the County of Maui, alleging that a qualified candidate was not hired by the Maui Police Department due to his age.

County Corporation Counsel Pat Wong issued a comment in response, saying the allegations are “false” and “without merit.”

The EEOC suit contends that Lars Sandstrom applied for the position of police officer in 2009 and “met all of the minimum qualifications for the position and passed the qualifying written exam.”

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The EEOC further states that Sandstrom had a bachelor’s degree and extensive military and life experience which qualified him for the position.

The lawsuit contends that during the job interview, “assumptions were made about Sandstrom’s abilities given his age of 45 at the time,” including an incident in which he was allegedly told, “I doubt someone your age could handle the stress of training.”

In a prepared statement Wong said, “The County of Maui has a policy against discrimination on the basis of age, which is followed by MPD.  In fact, MPD has hired a number of applicants over the age of 40 as police officers, including applicants older than Lars Sandstrom.

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“The county is confident that it will prevail in this matter, and the EEOC’s allegations will be determined to be without merit,” he said.

The EEOC is a federal agency that is responsible for enforcing laws against employment discrimination.

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