Disparate Treatment Essay

1279 words - 5 pages

Disparate treatment is a form of discrimination that is forbidden by laws in which all employers must comply, including fire and emergency services. Disparate treatment in the workplace is applicable to many functions of the workplace including, discipline, promotions, hiring, firing, benefits, layoffs, and testing (Varone, 2012). The claim of disparate treatment arises when a person or group, “is treated differently because of a prohibited classification” (Varone, 2012, p. 439). In the 2010 case, Lewis v. City of Chicago, six plaintiffs accused the city of disparate treatment following testing for open positions within the Chicago Fire Department (Lewis v. City of Chicago, 2010). The case is based on the argument that the Chicago Fire Department firefighter candidate testing, which was conducted in 1995, followed an unfair process of grouping eligible candidates, therefore discriminating against candidates of African-American decent. The case was heard by the Seventh District Court of Appeals and ultimately appeared before the United States Supreme Court, where Justice Scalia delivered the final verdict in favor of the plaintiffs.
The Lewis v. City of Chicago case was filled because the City of Chicago, Illinois, offered a firefighter candidate exam, in which over 26,000 persons applied (Grossman, 2010). The city issued a public announcement following the exam that only candidates which received a minimum score of 89 or above on the test would be considered as well qualified and selected from a lottery pool to continue on in the hiring process for positions with the Chicago Fire Department (Grossman, 2010). Candidates who scored below a 65 were notified that they had failed the exam and would no longer be considered for a position with the fire department. It is unclear of the number of persons who passed and failed the exam, however a third group remained that had scored between 88 to 66 that the city classified as “qualified “ for positions (Grossman, 2010, para. 5). The group that had passed, but was not classified as well qualified, received a letter from the City of Chicago notifying them that they would remain on the hiring list, however “they were also told that they were not likely to be called for "further processing," given the projected hiring needs and the number of applicants who had scored in the higher "well qualified" category. Their names were, however, placed on an "Eligible List" for potential future hiring” (Grossman, 2010, para. 5). The City of Chicago utilized and selected candidates from the well qualified list ten times total, however during the final lottery, applicants were also drawn from the qualified list as the well qualified list that had been exhausted at this point. Six of the applicants, all of whom were of African-American descent filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which issued all six complainants a right to sue letter (Grossman, 2010). The case was heard by courts until...

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