DOJ Sues Jacksonville Over Discrimination of Black Firefighters
The U.S. Justcie Department announced Monday that it has filed suit against Jacksonville over alleged employment discrimination against black firefighters.
According to the suit, written tests used by the department to decide promotions are discriminatory because black firefighters generally have “significantly lower” scores on the tests than white employees, but the tests are not good indicators of an employee’s ability to hold the ranks of lieutenant, captain, district chief or engineer.
“At best, these tests measure only a slice of what is necessary to be a supervisor, but they stand in the way of qualified African-Americans advancing in the fire department,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said in a news release.
The department wants a federal court to block the tests, force the city to come up with new promotion procedures and give promotions and back pay to black firefighters hurt by the tests.