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Maine Human Rights Commission finds that Sanford discriminated against woman on the basis of age

The Maine Human Rights Commission (MHRC) found on May 24, 2010 that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the Town of Sanford discriminated against a Lyman woman, Lynnia Burpee, because of her age. She was 58 years old at the time.

The Town denied Ms. Burpee a position as a dispatcher. Ms. Burpee had over 19 years experience as a dispatcher at the time she applied for the job. She had worked the previous 8 1/2 years for York County as a dispatcher. Ms. Burpee applied for the job with the Town of Sanford because York County discontinued its dispatch service. The other York County dispatchers who lost their jobs with the County also applied for positions with the Town. The Town offered all of the York County dispatchers jobs except Ms. Burpee. These other dispatchers were 31, 32, 38, and 49 years old.

According to the MHRC Investigator, the Town claimed that it did not hire Ms. Burpee because she had a low score on her Oral Board review. However, the Town hired a 32 year old who had a lower score than Ms. Burpee. It also hired a 34 year old applicant who did not even go through the Oral Board process.

The next step in the MHRC process is for the parties to engage in efforts to resolve the case prior to filing a claim in court.