As New Haven had violated the firefighter plaintiffsĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ civil rights, discriminating against them based on their race and exposing them to disparate treatment. The 18 firefighters who had passed the test were not promoted based on their race. This according to me is a violation of civil rights. So I strongly agree with the decision of the supreme court. and! The thing New Haven could have done when it learned about the testĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s disparate impact was that they could have abided by the law and should not have denied them a promotion based on their race and rather promoted them completely based on the test result. They should have not discriminated against the employees based on their race and promotions should be on a merit basis only.
Dealing with Unexpected Test Results
Save your time - order a paper!
Get your paper written from scratch within the tight deadline. Our service is a reliable solution to all your troubles. Place an order on any task and we will take care of it. You wonâ€™t have to worry about the quality and deadlinesOrder Paper Now
In 2003, the New Haven Connecticut Fire Department had 15 open management positions, 7 for Captain, and 8 for Lieutenant. As for many civil service jobs, a Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Rule of ThreeĂ˘â‚¬Âť is used in hiring: the fire department chooses from the three highest-scorers on a civil service test. After the test was finished, none of the departmentĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s black firefighters scored high enough on the test to be considered for the open positions. Fearful of a disparate treatment or disparate impact lawsuit, the City invalidated the test results, and did not promote anyone.
The city was still presented with a civil lawsuit, as 18 firefighters who had passed the test complained that their civil rights had been violated because New Haven had denied them a promotion based on their race. Of the plaintiff firefighters, 17 were white, and 1 was Hispanic. After the trial court ruled in favor of New Haven, the firefighters appealed their case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009.
The question posed to the Supreme court was whether an employer may intentionally discriminate against employees of one race to lessen the unintentional disparate impact a policy or practice has on another race of employees. In a 5-4 split decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff firefighters. The Court clarified in its written ruling that by disregarding the test results, New Haven had violated the firefighter plaintiffsĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ civil rights, discriminating against them based on their race and exposing them to disparate treatment. Essentially, avoiding liability under disparate impact does not excuse disparate treatment. The only way New Haven could have had a strong basis for invalidating the test results would have been to show that the test was not, in fact, job related and consistent with business necessity.
1. Do you agree with the Supreme CourtĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s decision? Why or why not?
2. What else do you think New Haven could have done when it learned about the testĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s disparate impact?