Firefighting, Legal

Judge Approves New York City Fire Exam

A federal judge has signed off on a new hiring exam for the New York City Fire Department, clearing the way for the city to bring on board the first class of firefighters since a discrimination lawsuit five years ago, reports Reuters.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis approved the use of FDNY Exam 2000, which was taken by more than 41,000 candidates earlier this year.

He called the exam and hiring list of candidates whose scores made them eligible for the job a “product of a city-led, collaborative effort to improve on the city’s past record of non-compliance with Title VII,” a federal statute that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

The ruling effectively ends a hiring freeze that began in 2007, when the U.S. government accused the FDNY of using hiring tests that discriminated against black and Hispanic candidates. In a series of rulings, Garaufis held that between 1999 and 2007, the department’s written examinations had “discriminatory effects” on minority applicants and ordered sweeping reforms of the hiring process.

“We are very pleased that Judge Garaufis has recognized the city’s proposed use of the exam, which was carefully created with the aid of numerous experts and special master Mary Jo White, had no discriminatory impact,” New York City Law Department corporation counsel Michael Cardozo said in a statement.

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