New Haven (CT) Firefighter’s Racial Bias Suit Tossed

A lawsuit alleging racial bias in promotions at the New Haven (CT) Fire Department has been tossed out by a U.S. district judge.

The suit was over the same 2003 Civil Service lieutenant exam that spurred the high-profile Ricci v. DeStefano lawsuit that went to the U.S. Supreme Court, the New Haven Register reported (

Firefighter Michael Briscoe, who is black, said he was unfairly passed over for promotion. He was a top scorer on the oral portion of the exam, but scored 59 on the written portion, which was worth 60 percent of the overall score. He argued the test was racially biased after he placed 24th out of the 77 firefighters that took the exam.

In his Monday decision, Senior United States District Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. found that the test didn’t discriminate based on race.

For further details, go to

For more on discrimination and diversity in the fire service, consider Lessons Learned from the FDIC Diversity Panel, Yelling “Fire” in a Crowded Theater, A Matter of National Security , and Less Diversity Is Needed in the Fire Service.

No posts to display