Employment Discrimination

The case study describes an exam that New Haven, Connecticut, firefighters took in order to advance to the captain or lieutenant ranks. The stakes were high because these exams were uncommon in the city and would decide who would be given consideration for promotion over the following two years. According to the evidence, there was a significant disparity between the number of white, black, and Hispanic candidates who passed the test and were chosen for promotion to lieutenant and captain levels for both the lieutenant and captain positions. These results raised some questions on whether the outcomes of the tests were fair or there were cases of discrimination (Sondike & Rutgers University, 2011).

The city decided to toss the exam results as some firefighters threatened a discrimination lawsuit if the city decided to make the promotions by the test results. Even though other firefighters disagreed with this, claiming that the trial results were fair, the city still decided to toss of the results for the sake of the firefighters protesting. The disagreements were later taken to court where the petitioners would express their dissatisfaction and wait on the ruling of the U.S Supreme court.


The court concluded that the city’s decision to toss the results was not right if the law was to be properly followed. The city’s decision was based on Title VII of the civil rights acts which disallows discrimination against race, national origin, gender, color, and religion, and it applies to employers with 15 or more employees (Griffin, Bayl-Smith & Barbour, 2017). However, according to the court, there wasn’t enough evidence that the results were discriminative for the city to come up with conclusions to toss of the test results. There was no indication that the tests were flawed just because they were not job-related or because other equally valid tests that were less discriminatory were available to the city.

Such tests carried out by the city are expected to produce legitimate results and those who took part expect reasonable expectation. In our case study, some of the firefighters invested a lot of time and money in preparing for the tests. Hence, the firefighters saw their efforts validated by the city in its decision to reject the results in sole reliance upon race-based statistics. The court, therefore, concluded that the town’s decision to discard the test results was impermissible under the Title VII of the civil rights act (Smith, Craver & Turner, 2016).


Since the court is expected to follow the law comprehensively, it must try to make its decisions following the law (Zimmer & Sullivan, 2017). In the case study, the court is carefully interpreting the law under Title VII of the civil right law to make a valid and fair decision. Even though the city’s claim is correct under the law, the conclusions under which the decision to petition the test results is incorrect, according to the court (Player & Sperino, 2017). The court is, therefore, trying to balance the city’s decision to toss the results claiming that there were discrimination and the fact that decision to throw the results was not permissible. As expressed earlier in this paper, the court ruled out that the city’s decision to discard the results did not have enough evidence. Therefore this is what the court is trying to balance in interpreting the law.


Griffin, B., Bayl-Smith, P., & Barbour, J. (2017). Age discrimination and older workers. Ageism: Stereotyping and prejudice against older persons.

Zimmer, M. J., & Sullivan, C. A. (2017). Cases and materials on employment discrimination. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Player, M. A., & Sperino, S. F. (2017). Federal law of employment discrimination in a nutshell.

Smith, A., Craver, C. B., & Turner, R. (2016). Employment discrimination law: Cases and materials.

Sondike, G. A., & Rutgers University. (2011). Incremental change and transformational governance: A case study of the promotion testing process for firefighters in the city of New Haven in the context of Ricci V. DeStefano (2009).

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