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Calif. police officers sue for age bias

By Bob Egelko
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — Thirty-four veteran San Francisco police officers accused their department in a lawsuit Monday of passing them over for promotion to inspector because of their ages.

The officers, who have been on a waiting list since they passed an inspector's exam in 1998, were stymied by "unchecked age bias that pervades the culture of the department," their lawyers said in papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Instead of promoting longtime officers to a position that offers more responsibilities and higher pay, plaintiffs' lawyers said, the Police Department began to assign some of its sergeants last year to inspectors' jobs at its investigations bureau. The sergeants are younger and less qualified and have never taken an inspector's exam, the suit said.

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