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Fire department settles race discrimination suit

Whenever someone decides to become a firefighter, there is a great deal of testing and training that takes place. It was recently discovered that one major metropolitan fire department used practices that were found to promote race discrimination. Anyone in Colorado who feels the hiring process is unfair due to discrimination may be interested in the case.

The original lawsuit was filed in 2007. An organization of black firefighters claimed the exam that determines who would be hired essentially blocked minorities from gaining jobs. The ongoing litigation ultimately led to a settlement in the case. The terms were agreed to after monitoring of hiring practices revealed evidence of discrimination by the FDNY.

The settlement awarded $98 million in payouts. It is unclear exactly how the settlement will be divided up. The settlement is compensation for both benefits lost and back pay for both black and Hispanic applicants who took the exam between 1999 and 2002. The mayor of New York, where the case was pending, has said he will create a position to further enhance diversity and inclusion and that person will work directly with the fire commissioner.

Cases of race discrimination involving hiring practices can be complicated, especially when many people are involved. However, anyone in Colorado or another state who feels race discrimination or any kind of discrimination has played a role in why they didn't get a job may benefit by inquiring as to their rights. A discrimination suit, if successful, can help applicants get a job they are fully qualified for or get back pay if they were wrongfully fired from the job.

Source: Reuters, New York City settles racial discrimination suit against fire department, Daniel Wiessner, March 18, 2014

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