New York City has added "nurse" to a list of over 375 "physically taxing" city jobs
. Until 2012, city employees with those jobs could retire at 50 with a full pension. Nurses hired as far back as 1965 could qualify for settlements.
For decades, some New York City workers in "physically taxing" jobs were eligible to retire at age 50, after 25 years of service, and start collecting full pensions.
More than 380 job titles - from window cleaner to plumber to exterminator - qualified for the "physically taxing" designation before the city ended the program for new employees in 2012. The New York State Nurses Association felt that nurses deserved to be on the list of mostly male-dominated professions, created for city employees in strenuous jobs who might not be able to work until the usual retirement age, which ranges from 55 to 62. So starting in 2004, the group asked the city to include nurses at city hospitals. The city refused three times.
On Wednesday, the city finally acknowledged its mistake. The office of the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York announced a $20.8 million settlement, subject to court approval, in which the city will compensate nurses denied the benefit. Roughly 1,665 nurses hired by the city from 1965 to 2012 will receive $1,000 to $99,000, according to the settlement.