A federal judge has called for lawyers to serve as “special masters” to decide how to allocate money for minority job applicants who were unfairly denied jobs with the Fire Department of the City of New York. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit on behalf of minorities who complained they were not hired because of their race.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled the settlement should go forward, essentially agreeing with the DOJ’s assertion that the applicants were not hired because of the “City’s discriminatory practices.”
The fire department, which employs more than 11,000 people, is overwhelmingly white. A court order is in place requiring the fire department to boost minority hiring.
Some observers estimate that the settlement must exceed $65 million in order to satisfy all the claims against the department.