1. #1
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    Default Boston Ordered to Hire White Firefighters

    Tuesday, August 26, 2003

    Boston Ordered to Hire White Firefighters


    The Associated Press


    BOSTON- Four white men passed over for firefighting jobs in favor of minority candidates who scored lower on civil service tests must be hired as soon as possible, a federal judge has ruled.

    The men had sued the Boston Fire Department for discrimination. They must also be awarded back pay and seniority they would have earned since October 2000, the date they were denied employment, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns ordered Monday.

    A fifth plaintiff who was hired last October also will get a pay raise under the ruling.

    "I think hopefully we're just going back to normal, the way it was meant to be, so that now they are just hiring the best person, regardless of race or color," said Harold Lichten, the attorney for all five men.

    The city is exploring its options, officials said.

    "The city has just received this decision," said Seth Gitell, a spokesman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "The city's lawyers are reviewing it and considering its implications for future hiring."

    The judge's decision applies only to the men who sued and was not intended to establish a precedent for other white applicants who were passed over in October 2000. Joseph Quinn already has been hired; the other plaintiffs were Sean O'Brien; Robert Dillon; Joseph Sullivan, and C. Roger Kendrick Jr.

    An NAACP lawyer questioned the decision.

    "If a return to normal means a return to the way the Boston Fire Department conducted its hiring prior to the mid-1970s, it will be a disaster for any applicants of color in this city," Toni Wolfman said.

    The judge at first rejected the civil rights suit filed in April 2001, the first to challenge the department's affirmative action hiring policy since 1989, when it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    But the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Stearns, ruling in March that the city has achieved its goal of racial parity among entry-level firefighters, and no longer needed to abide by a nearly 30-year-old court order that departments across the state have used as a model to correct racial imbalance.

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    I am not a racist man. I'm not even sexist. Whoever wants to do this job should be able to.

    I am not, however, in favor of different hiring pratices for different people. Everyone should get the same test, be put on the same list, and be hired in the same order.

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    Does this mean discrimination is wrong?
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

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    The firefighters that brought suit for "reverse discrimination" consistently topped the list, but were bypassed because they were not members of a minority group.

    Dr. Martin Luther King once said...
    I have a dream that one day, a person will judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character...
    The job should go those who score well on the exam and pass the CPAT, regardless of race or gender, not by racial or gender quotas set by a court. After all, the judges aren't the ones going into burning buildings with you while everyone else is running out!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Last edited by E40FDNYL35; 08-26-2003 at 03:28 PM.
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    I agree with that one, i think the person with the best scores on ALL tests is the BEST qualified candidate...
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    Here is a story in the St Pete Times about hiring for diverity.









    Fire Department diversity gets priority
    Two black candidates are offered jobs. They, along with two other candidates, still must pass background checks.
    By SHANNON TAN
    St. Petersburg Times
    published August 21, 2003

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    LARGO - The city Fire Department has offered jobs to two African-Americans under a revamped hiring process aimed at increasing diversity.

    Currently, the department has three black and three Hispanic firefighters and paramedics. There are 119 employees.

    After a fire lieutenant was dismissed last year for using a racial slur, officials looked at ways to increase the number of minorities within the department.

    "Some of the applicants were scoring lower on the aptitude test but doing better in the oral interviews," said City Manager Steven Stanton.

    So this year, the agency chose the top 30 applicants from the written test and the top 30 from the interview portion.

    The result: 52 potential firefighters out of 104 applicants. Four blacks, 2 Asians and four Hispanics were among the initial group who applied for the positions.

    "It gave us a very diverse pool of personnel," said the deputy fire chief, Jeff Bullock.

    Two black men, one white female and one white male were offered jobs last month. They will still have to take a polygraph test, undergo extensive background checks and pass a physical examination.

    "We didn't have to make any special exceptions; we didn't lower the criteria," said Stanton. "We took the very best applicants and also generated a diversity benefit as well."

    The Fire Department pays for firefighter EMTs to go through paramedic training, so applicants aren't required to be paramedics.

    "If we didn't have enough paramedics, we would have only one minority eligible for hire, a Hispanic male," Bullock said.

    The city also reimburses the tuition for city employees who undergo fire and EMT training. Diversifying the city's work force is not an easy job in a city that is more than 92 percent white.

    Other incidents of discrimination have put the city in an unfavorable light.

    The city has settled two lawsuits filed by a former firefighter and a job applicant who claimed they were discriminated against by the Fire Department. Also, a Fair Housing study found bias against minorities renting apartments in Largo.

    Stanton has asked the Fire Department to develop outreach programs in neighboring Ridgecrest, which is nearly 81 percent black.

    "We do have a substantial minority population right down the road," said Stanton. He hopes that after children find out what it's like to be a firefighter, they will want to be one, too.

    - Shannon Tan can be reached at shtan@sptimes.com or 445-4174.

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    First off, please excuse my spelling on the previous post. My typing skills go down the later in the day it is. I am going to paste a post I had posted earlier in another thread.





    Ok... here is another question then. If you are a higher qualified applicant than those that were hired, is there any action that you can take? I find it very disturbing that higher qualified individuals are passed over because they are not the right race or sex. I want the most qualified individual to get the job. If the 4 people that were the highest qualifed were all hispanic, then so be it, the city then has the best person that applied in the job. The Firefighters of Largo should be upset that their administration is more concerned with diversity than having the best qualified employees. I know that when I goto work, I want to be working with the best people possible, not the best that they could get to meet a quota. My life is in the hands of my fellow co-workers, I do not care what color those hands are.

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    Well I tried that in the city you work for. I was even an inturn with FDNY when I took the test. Did not get the job but I did get one across the river!
    Last edited by KyleWickman; 08-27-2003 at 10:37 AM.
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    All I have to say is...it's about time! Captain Gonzo hit it with the quote of MLK.

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    Bottom line... only the best should be allowed to serve. If anyone is hired for any reason other then being the best at the time of testing it's wrong ...period!

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    Bottom line... only the best should be allowed to serve. If anyone is hired for any reason other then being the best at the time of testing it's wrong ...period!
    That's right...and that includes special treatment because your dad/brother/cousin/uncle is already on the force, or your grandmother is dating the Assistant Chief.

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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    That's right...and that includes special treatment because your dad/brother/cousin/uncle is already on the force, or your grandmother is dating the Assistant Chief.
    Boston is civil service... so one has to take an and pass the entrance exam, pass the CPAT, psychological testing and a medical order to get hired. The only "special treatment" one gets is a few additional points on the entrance exam they are a veteran or if they had a immediate family member die in the line of duty... then they go to the top of the list by civil service rules and regulations.

    There are many sons of firefighters who scored high, passed the CPAT, med and pyche exams only to be passed over because they were "the wrong color"...and that is just plain wrongimundo!

    Another point of reference in relation to race... I have a friend who is African American and serves on a FD in the Boston suburbs. He left the race section blank on his exam application. The personnel department of the community that hired him didn't know he was black until he walked in for the interview. When he was asked why he didn't fill out the race question, he stated "I want the job on my merits, not my color"..and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the way it should be!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 08-27-2003 at 11:40 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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