FDNY Discrimination Lawsuit Proceeds

6/20/2013, 11:03 a.m.
Black firefighters win big, judge signs off on new entrance exam

A three-judge panel court of appeals ruled on Tuesday that plantiffs' in the case against the FDNY could proceed with an intentional discrimination lawsuit against the FDNY for hiring practices, but under a different judge. The appeals court also shorten the length of time Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled the FDNY needed independent monitoring of hiring practices from 10 to 5 years. Paul Washington of the Vulcan Society said, "We have been struggling for 40 years to end persistent discrimination in all parts of the FDNY. This ruling vindicates our efforts. The FDNY must finally open its doors to Black firefighters, so they can serve the city without constantly having to fight for equal treatment."

The longstanding lawsuit against the city stems from two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filings on behalf of the Vulcan Society, a fraternal organization of Black firefighters, in 2002 and 2005. In 2007, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the city for its discriminatory hiring practices that resulted in an independent monitor to oversee the hiring practices of the department.