I have only followed this story a little bit and it was given more publicity once Sonia Sotomayor was plucked for the high court.
The Supreme Court has ruled that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.
Basically, New Haven threw out a promotional test because they FEARED litigation over no African-American firefighters and only two Hispanic Firefighters were eligible for promotion once testing was completed. WHAT? For fear?
Is that what we have stooped to?
In the end, it bit New Haven in the ASS. Frank Ricci, the lead plaintiff, should be commended for standing up for what is right! I will drink to that…off duty. Too many firefighters/EMT’s fail to stand up for themselves for fear of retaliation. I have seen it in my department and heard of it everywhere else. This should prove fruitful for those who are scared to do the right thing.
“Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer’s reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every promotional process is fair and equitable. Most employers have their own way of twisting the process to get the guys they want.
I figure the easiest way is to come up with a fair testing process including practical, written, oral, and scenario based testing depending on the rank being tested; test and score fairly; then simply promote right down the list.
Here’s to you Frank…if we meet up in the future I will buy the first round!