NEW YORK (CN) – New York City must reverse years of discrimination against minority Fire Department applicants and compensate those who weren’t offered jobs in the department after failing a biased entrance exam, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis with the Eastern District of New York also said the city must pay those minority applicants who took the entrance exams. He also wants the city to create new exams.
Garaufis said about 7,400 minority applicants who took the tests should get to ask the city for compensation. Nearly 300 applicants who passed the test but were still not hired as firefighters also should get priority hiring status and retroactive seniority, he said.
“Achieving these basic aims will require ongoing oversight, attention to myriad details and resolution of disputes among the parties,” Garaufis wrote in his 57page order.
The memorandum comes a week after Garaufis ruled that the city intentionally discriminated against black applicants by using an entrance exam it knew put them at a disadvantage. Several firefighters sued over the exams, claiming they favored white candidates.