Veteran files lawsuit against city of Burbank claiming age, sex discrimination

A 48-year-old military veteran is suing the city of Burbank claiming age and sex discrimination after he was passed over last year for a job as a dispatcher with the city, records show.

Last year, Toluca Lake resident Michael Naylor applied, interviewed and tested for a communications officer position with the city, according to his lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Last July, he was told by city officials in an email that he had “passed all phases of the selection process and that he was ranked No. 1 of all applicants for the position,” according to his lawsuit.

The following month, however, he was called in for a “supplemental interview,” after which he was reportedly informed that he was bumped from No. 1 to No. 3 out of four applicants who had been interviewed, the lawsuit stated.

At that point, he was “informed that he would not be continuing in the hiring process.”

In the lawsuit, Naylor claimed that he was subjected to a supplemental interview after already ranking No. 1 “for the purpose of denying (him) employment and in order to hire a younger, less qualified worker.”

Naylor — a veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1984 to 2000 before he was injured and discharged, according to his attorney — argued in the lawsuit that he qualified for veteran’s preference points, which give veterans an edge when applying to civil-service jobs.

“In terms of radio discipline, in terms of assessing a situation, I’m not quite sure you’re going to find anyone more qualified or better trained than this man,” said Naylor’s attorney Leonard Tavera, arguing that all but one of the city’s dispatchers are women. “Apparently, he was not a good fit for the Burbank (police department.)”

Naylor is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

Burbank City Atty. Amy Albano said Monday the city is going to “vigorously defend” the lawsuit.

Naylor is one of several others who sued the city for age discrimination in the past year.

A 50-year-old black woman, who has been working as a city clerical worker for more than a decade, sued the city in March alleging race and age discrimination after she applied for — and did not get — three jobs since 2008 that she argued were each subsequently filled by a “Caucasian woman in her 20s.” A hearing is slated for August.

Last fall, a 50-year-old Burbank man filed a lawsuit claiming age and race discrimination after he was not hired for several city jobs for which he said he was qualified. The case remains pending.

Additionally, former city employee Dale Wagner sued the city last September alleging age discrimination and retaliation, but the case was dismissed in May.


Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.


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