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Queens Chronicle

City settling FDNY bias case

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:14 am, Thu Mar 27, 2014.

Mayor de Blasio announced on Tuesday that the city will settle a long-running, contentious lawsuit brought over alleged racism in testing for applicants to the Fire Department.

The federal suit was brought against the city by the Vulcan Society, which represents black firefighters, and the U.S. Justice Department in 2007. It alleged that recent exams discriminated against black applicants, and resulted in a judge throwing out the results of those tests and threatening to impose ethnic quotas on FDNY hiring.

As in the federal case made against the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy, de Blasio has a different view than former Mayor Bloomberg, who denied the charge of racism in both cases and fought the suits until leaving office.

Under the settlement, the city will pay $98 million to some minority firefighters who it said were hired later than they might have been and to minority test takers who were not hired at all. It also will recruit black applicants in proportion to their share of the eligible population, plus 3 percent, and take other steps to diversify the department.

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