DOJ Sues Jacksonville for Using Written Tests to Determine Fire Department Promotions

On April 23, following a two-year investigation of employee promotions in the Jacksonville, Florida fire department, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming that its use of written tests are "not job related for the positions in question" and that the tests have "resulted in a disparate impact upon black candidates." According to the DOJ, because African-Americans pass these tests at a lower rate and generally score lower on them, African-Americans have been promoted less often than white employees, and that, in effect, the city is using the tests to disqualify certain people.

Roetzel partner Denise L. Wheeler discussed the suit last week in a radio interview with 970 WFLA on its "AM Tampa Bay" program. Ms. Wheeler said that central to the challenges is test content. "Is the test really appropriate for the skills that you need as a firefighter or supervisor?"

You can listen to Ms. Wheeler's entire interview here: http://www.970wfla.com/player/?mid=22042123.


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