Chicago must hire more than 100 black firefighters

May 13, 2011

 

An appeals court has ruled the city of Chicago must hire more than 100 African-American firefighters. The lawsuit stems back to a 1995 firefighters' entrance exam. African-American candidates allege Chicago's test discriminated against them.
 
Joshua Karch is one of the attorneys who represents nearly 6,000 black job applicants in the class action lawsuit.
 
"African-Americans will continue to be under-represented in the fire department, but what we lost as a result of the 1995 test was this more than 100 jobs, and that's what we can back through this lawsuit," he said.
 
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision saying Chicago must hire 111 black candidates who were passed over for the job and must pay millions of dollars in damages to thousands more.
 
Karch says those who aren't hired will share the money from the city.
 
The city's law department views the decision as a partial victory for the city. The court reduced the number from 132 to 111 hires. The city will work with the fire department on how to proceed. The city expects to pay out $30 million in damages.