Feds Seeking Discriminated-Against FDNY Applicants
On Monday, advertisements ran in several of the city’s daily newspapers seeking “Blacks and Hispanics who applied for New York City firefighter jobs between 1999 and 2006 [who] may be eligible for money, a firefighter job, and seniority to remedy hiring discrimination.”
According to the advertisement, placed by the Department of Justice, the court has ordered the city “to pay up to $128 million in back pay damages to black and
Hispanic victims of the city’s discrimination.”
The ad says that the federal Department of Justice is collecting information from all black and Hispanic applicants who took one of two written exams between 1999 and 2006 in order to decide who is eligible for the money and other awards.
Claim forms must be submitted by June 18, the advertisement says.
Claim forms are available on the Internet at www.justice.gov/fdnycase.
Justice Nicholas Garaufis ruled earlier this year that the city’s tab to pay minorities affected by discrimination in the city’s firefighter entrance exams could be more than $128 million.
In his decision, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis said hearings will be held to determine how much each individual claimant will receive, which could lower the total amount the city will have to pay.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, however, blasted Garaufis and his ruling
.“The bottom line is that we don’t agree with his decision at all and it’s only the first step in the process,” Bloomberg said. You can rest assured that we will appeal [the judge’s ruling].”
Garaufis fired back, saying that he will move forward with the awards even if the city challenges his ruling.
Garaufis ruled previously that the Fire Department of New York discriminated against minorities in its entrance exam, saying black and Hispanic applicants had disproportionately failed the written examinations and those who passed were placed disproportionately lower down the hiring lists than whites.
The judge appointed an independent monitor in October to keep an eye on the department’s effort to improve diversity in recruiting firefighters.
In January, the city filed a brief asking an appeals court to remove the judge, saying he had abandoned his neutral role and had become an advocate for the Vulcam’s Society.