In what some employment law attorneys are calling one of the most important employment law cases of the decade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 29 in favor of white New Haven, Conn., firefighters who charged the city discriminated against them when it refused to promote them after they passed a test that few black co-workers did.
In a 5-4 ruling, the court said New Haven shouldn’t have thrown out the promotion test results just because it feared the test would have a disparate impact on black firefighters.
The court said that before an employer throws out the results of a pre-hire exam because it fears a discrimination lawsuit, it must have a “strong basis in evidence” to believe that the test is discriminatory under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The case, Ricci v. DeStefano (No. 07–1428) drew wide attention because Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor was part of a 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals pa...(register to read more)
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