Veteran with PTSD sues Paterson over firefighter job rejection | Paterson Times

Veteran with PTSD sues Paterson over firefighter job rejection


A U.S. Marine veteran rejected for a firefighter job for failing to clear a psychological evaluation has filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination.

Brett D’Alessandro of Verona alleges the city violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination for failing to offer him a job. He came in third place on the list of eligible candidates after taking the New Jersey Civil Service Commission firefighter examination, according to his complaint filed on Dec. 11.

D’Alessandro had to undergo a fitness for duty evaluation at the Institute for Forensic Psychology before he could be appointed, municipal officials told him. He was examined on Jul. 12, 2017, according to the lawsuit.

Deputy fire chief Kevin Hancock told him “that he was determined to be psychologically unfit for the position as firefighter” and his name would be removed from the eligible list of candidates. The lawsuit suggests D’Alessandro could not clear the evaluation due to his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis.

D’Alessandro was diagnosed with the disorder in connection with his military service. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Afghanistan, says the lawsuit. Despite his PTSD, a military medical board determined his condition does not bar him from performing his military duties.  He provided the board’s assessment to the Institute for Forensic Psychology.

“Stereotyping of veterans with PTSD as unable to perform the essential functions of the job as Firefighter is precisely what the NJLAD is designed to prohibit,” says the lawsuit.

D’Alessandro was never provided a copy of the evaluation that determined he was not fit for duty, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit names the city, several municipal officials, and the Institute for Forensic Psychology.

D’Alessandro is seeking unspecified amounts in damages and injunctive relief for the city’s alleged “discrimination and retaliation.”

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  • peejay1954

    Good for Brett. This hero veteran deserves a job with or without PTSD. He would probably be better as an employee for the city than 90% of the worthless bums on the city payroll now. I hope he can get a couple of million and need not to work at all. Besides, with all the nepotism, in which you can't get a job there unless you know or are related to someone fat chance for anyone without an "in" to get hired.

    • ibby omar

      Wanna remind you he signed up to defend his country not was forced .Also you make it seem veterans don’t get enough they get a lot of perks when they return a lot . He probably isn’t fit… He can get a job anywhere. they have their own court for these guys when they commit crimes . Veterans take advantage of most situations .

      • Miss jamaica

        Here is lawsuit that will cost city tax payers a lot of money. You cannot decriminate against
        There are many Paterson young men that taken this same test and never got call in.
        But someone in that Dept knows someone that they will put in that position
        For a city that get so much from the state on New Jersey I wonder if the state is looking into these.

        If he is not fit be transparent with all necessary documents .

  • Fixer

    Hancock is a Creep!!

    • Unc


  • iG @fonerin5

    More lawsuits again. i bought a house in the wrong town.. bankruptcy coming soon.

  • John C

    Hello, it says he’s from Vernon which right there disqualifies him.

    Oh wait, I forgot! All the fireman that get hired over the years have phony residencies and all live in the outside towns like Wayne, Totowa, Woodland Park.

    They are just sucking Paterson dry.