Legal Issue Analysis

Legal Issue Analysis Legal Analysis Diversity Issue. New York Times reported on January 13, that a Federal Judge ruled that the New York City Fire Department intentionally has been discriminating against black applicants. They have been doing this by continuing to use an exam that they were warned against using some time ago for the very same issue. This paper will discuss what happened and why it was considered illegal.
This was not the first time they made the mistake of continuing to use this exam or it might have gone easier for them. This time the Judge tells them that this cannot be considered benign neglect. "It was a part of a pattern, practice and policy of intentional discrimination against black applicants that has deep historical antecedents and uniquely disabling effects" (Garaufes, 2009). Black and other minority firefighters are severely underrepresented in the New York City Fire Departments. The past heritage of the police department in New York has been Irish and there has been a lot of pride attached to that. Statistics show that in 2007 there were 303 black firefighters in New York City and blacks represent 25.6% of the population.
Legal experts in the article state that is one of the few times in recent memory when a city has been charged with purposeful discrimination of a large group of people. Elsie Boddie who is the attorney for the United States Justice Department states that it is one of the few full fledged discrimination suits against a city for a long time. She feels this is just the beginning for this one though because the City was told to stop using the test in 1999 and again in 2002 because it was discriminatory and they continued anyway. The suit was brought initially by three people who took the test and the Valcan Society which is a fraternal organization of back city firefighters. The fire department says they will appeal.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces all of these laws. EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all Federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices and policies ( This is the Law that must be enforced in this case. The decision by the judge as to what the penalties will be are not yet know. They could be as bad as to provide back wages for all of those that applied and were not hired under these circumstances or something less, it is hard to know. Either way, it will assure that the EEOC will be keeping a closer compliance eye on the city.
This writer was actually shocked by this article as it is just occurred and it is difficult to believe that in this day and age that this type of discrimination still occurs, especially in what can be construed as a purposeful manner. This writer does not believe that the job presently done would allow this to happen. However, it seems that many times it is easy to walk around with blinders on and not realize that it is happening. The New York City Fire Department is famous. Everyone who has ever seen a Macy’s parade knows of them. No one would ever think they would purposely discriminate either.
In conclusion, it is obvious from this case that intentional discrimination still occurs even in a time when it has become obvious that diversity is good for business, as well as happiness. The evidence in this case is overwhelming but it surely makes us all understand that there are plenty of cases that we do not easily see and makes us more aware of the need to be conscious of that fact.
Lyles, T., &amp. Schmidt, M. (2010) New York City Fire Department Charged. New York City
Times. Pg. 2.