NY Federal Court Ruling Finds Bias in FDNY, Orders Changes

A Federal Judge in Brooklyn has ordered sweeping changes to be made at the New York City Fire Department, ordering that the City hire more black and Latino firefighters, and giving numerous employees back pay. The ruling, issued by Judge Garafuis of the Eastern District of New York, found that the hiring examination used from the early 90’s until recently have had a disparate impact on black and Latino applicants vying for jobs in the FDNY.

In finding for the group of firefighters, Judge Garafuis has instructed the FDNY to overhaul the way in which it screens and hires applicants, and has ordered the city to pay out fines to current minority FDNY employees. The ruling also calls for retroactive promotions for a number of employees who had been subjected to the discriminatory tests.

The ruling also implied that the City must reevaluate its standards for testing firefighters for hiring and promotion, and to ensure that all future tests do not adversely impact minority groups seeking employment.