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City Allowed to Hire More Than 300 Firefighters

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Members of the FDNY Members of the FDNY (Al_HikesAZ/flickr)

New York City will be able to hire more than 300 firefighters who took an entrance exam deemed discriminatory by a federal judge last month. Judge Nicholas Garaufis says his new ruling is designed to balance the city's public safety needs with concerns over fair hiring practices by the Fire Department. Garaufis has given the city until Friday to accept one of his hiring plans.

Darius Charney, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, represents the Vulcan Society, the group that originally brought the discrimination suit against the city. He says at this point, it's a matter of choosing "the least imperfect solution."

"It's really a tough position for the court to be in, it's a tough position for the city to be in, but I think the city, unfortunately, put itself in that position by using a bad test," Charney said. He said he favors two proposals, known as "applicant flow," that would require the city to hire applicants proportional to the racial demographics of the entire applicant pool.

"They would not only ensure that African-American and Latino applicants are fairly represented in the next class, but they also would, I think, have the least disruption on current candidates who were expecting to get hired because they were at the top of the eligibility list," Charney said.

In a statement, Georgia Pestana, chief of New York City Law Department's Labor & Employment Division, said the city is "reviewing the Vulcan decision thoroughly."

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Comments [1]

christopher fenyo

OK. So here's my question. Now that it's 2010 and we're going for quotas. Who is black? Who is hispanic? The world is much more mixed than 1970. Someone who is half black, half white, grew up in Staten Island, well educated at a good Catholic school...they're getting it over a white kid from Broad Channel who went to Beach Channel High? Because of their color? This isn't progress. The whole thing is a joke, you will agree, if you actually read some of the questions from the so-called discriminatory tests. Check them out at the NYTimes website. I'm a firefighter in NYC. This issue is ludicrous. I don't care who I work with as long as they can do the job. Getting the job in this fashion is shameful. And I'm afraid these folks coming on under these circumstances will be worse for it, as they come on under this cloud. See it for yourself. Read the questions yourself.

Sep. 15 2010 12:30 PM

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