City Council approves six-figure settlement for age discrimination complaint


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

The Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center. In the lawsuit, Curt Cuempel, who was 70 years old when he was laid off, alleged that his dismissal was due to ageism.

Alex Harrison and Ilana Arougheti

City Council approved a $101,232 settlement Monday to end a State of Illinois human rights lawsuit for alleged age discrimination against a former employee.

The suit stems from a complaint by Evanston Police Department’s former Assistant Communications Coordinator Curt Kuempel. He first joined EPD as a police officer in 1974 and served as a police commander from 2001 to 2006.

Kuempel and many other city employees were laid off in April 2020 as the city made budget cuts at the start of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Kuempel’s last day as a city employee was April 9, 2020, at which time he was 70 years old. 

He filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights in September 2020, alleging the layoff was due to age discrimination.

City staffers became aware that the state intended to file a lawsuit against the city on Kuempel’s behalf in July. This inspired the city’s legal department to begin negotiating an out-of-court settlement, according to a memo by Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings.

The settlement was presented publicly before City Council on Monday under a stipulation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. It passed unanimously on the consent agenda, with no further discussion from councilmembers.


Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @alexhairysun

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @ilana_arougheti

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