Settlement Reported in Jacksonville Race Discrimination Suits

News4 in Jacksonville, Florida is reporting that the city has reached a tentative settlement of three promotion-based race discrimination lawsuits involving its fire department. The three suits were brought by the US Department of Justice and the EEOC. The suits allege disparate impact discrimination in the department’s promotional process between 2004 and 2011.

Disparate impact discrimination occurs when neutral appearing criteria have a greater impact on minority candidates than on white males, resulting in a statistical difference. News4 is reporting the tentative settlement would “create up to 40 promotion positions and would award $4.9 million that would be split up among the plaintiffs.”

The settlement still needs to be approved by the city and Jacksonville Firefighters, IAFF Local 122, but reportedly has been approved by US District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan. I searched the court record of the three cases but was unable to locate Judge Corrigan’s decision. It will be posted here if it can be located.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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