Further Fallout From Ricci V. Destafano?

On January 6, 2010, the Chicago Sun-Times (http://www.policeone.com/patrol-issues/articles/1986463-Chicago-police-may-scrap-entrance-exam/) reported that the City of Chicago is considering scrapping its entry exam. This article, written by Fran Spillman and Frank Main suggests that this action would “bolster minority hiring, save millions on test preparation and avert costly legal battles that have dogged the exam process for decades, City Hall sources said.” A similar article was written by Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg on January 8 (https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1N1-12D1E8D468E89090.html). However, on January 14, Police Superintendent Jody P. Weiss (https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1N1-12D3CA44F5CE6A00.html.)
told the Sun-Times that discussions relating to the exam are not about race, but rather, about establishing uniform procedures that would apply to armed forces personnel as well as local applicants. Weiss claimed that the City put out bids for online exams and came up empty. Is that a pretext? Stay tuned.

 

In a case decided on January 13, 2010, District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garufis ruled that the City of New York was guilty of pattern or practice of racial discrimination by administering an entry-level exam for firefighters that was previously struck down by the judge in a July 2009 ruling on ground that it produced adverse impact on blacks and Hispanices, and that “the City has failed to raise a triable issue on this defense” (see 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2506). In the January 13 ruling, Judge Garufis ruled “Today, the court holds that New York City's use of these examinations constitutes a pattern and practice of intentional discrimination against blacks, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and State and City Human Rights Laws.” This ruling is a first. Adverse impact claims do not require evidence of a motive to discriminate. This ruling implies that intentional use of an exam that has, in effect, been struck down, constitutes a motive to discriminate. The City of New York intends to appeal, but will have to wait until the judge decides on the remedies. A summary of the rulings is provided by the New York times at the following link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/nyregion/14fire.html

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