Supreme Court to Hear Reverse Discrimination Case on Employment Tests

On January 9, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by 17 white and one Hispanic firefighters challenging their employer’s refusal to certify the results of promotional examinations for lieutenant and captain positions because too few racial minorities would be promoted (Ricci v. DeStefano, U.S., No. 07-1428, cert. granted 1/9/09). The case originated when the city of New Haven, Connecticut administered separate exams in 2003 for promotion to lieutenant and captain. The exams resulted in disparate impact on racial minorities, and the city refused to certify the results. A federal district court dismissed the firefighters’ lawsuit challenging the city’s refusal.

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