This will be the next wingnut OOTD: City must hire 111 bypassed black firefighter candidates, court rules
Plaintiffs’ attorney Joshua Karsh said the decision means Chicago must hire 111 African-American firefighters and adjust their pensions as if they had been on the job since 1995. Six-thousand others will share “tens of millions of dollars” in damages, Karsh said.
“We won last June 9-to-0, which is unusual in a civil rights case,” Karsh said. “We then had the city raise a dispute on what the Supreme Court’s opinion means. The Seventh Circuit agreed with us that hiring must now take place.
“The city gave a test back in 1995 that did not measure the abillity to be a firefighter. It made it more than six times more likely that white applicants would be hired rather than African-Americans with no job-related justification. Nothing about getting a high score on that test predicted anything about whether you’d be a superior firefighter.”
When results from the 1995 entrance exam were disappointing for minorities, the city established a cutoff score of 89 and hired randomly from the top 1,800 “well-qualified” candidates.
In 2005, a federal judge ruled that the city’s decision had the effect of perpetuating the predominantly white status quo, since 78 percent of those ‘’well-qualified’’ candidates were white.
Although the city has no choice but to start hiring black firefighters, outgoing Corporation Counsel Mara Georges called Friday’s ruling a “partial win” for the city because it will reduce the amount of damages the city must pay to roughly $30 million.