Chicago to pay millions in discrimination of firefighter hiring

August 17, 2011

The city of Chicago is being ordered to hire more black firefighters and pay millions of dollars to thousands of other job applicants. The legal battle stems back to a 16-year-old firefighters entrance exam that black candidates say discriminated against them.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the fire department is putting a program in place to correct the problem.

"The $30 million, that's a responsibility we're going to have as a city to deal with and I acknowledge that. The commissioner knows it and we have to deal with it. So that's the past. The future is about making sure people feel they got a shot at becoming a fireman because we want the best quality in our fire department. That's our goal as a city," he said.

The $30 million settlement will be split among 6,000 applicants who passed the 1995 entrance exam. But only 111 other applicants will be given jobs with the department. Under the order, new hires are expected to enter a fire training program by the end of March.