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City settles for $1.6M after being accused of not hiring blacks

Every qualified applicant deserves a fair shot at getting a position. The hiring decision should be made based upon the person's qualifications for the job, not upon their protected status. When job seekers in Florida notice that a company is not hiring minorities, they may accuse the company of discrimination.

A police force in another state is being accused of not hiring black people. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, since 2001, only 23 out of the 530 officers who were hired were African American. The amount of black officers who were hired dropped to as low as only 13 percent.

The director of the ACLU stated that the black men who were not hired were told that the it was due to small infractions -- such as smoking marijuana-- that had happened years prior. The white applicants who had similar infractions were given the jobs to which they applied. Based on court documents, the lead plaintiff did not have a good work history. He also had driving infractions and three warrants against him; therefore, he was not hired.

The city solicitor stated that the city was not discriminating against the plaintiffs by not hiring them, but the city has agreed to settle the case instead of dragging it out, which would cost more money in the long run. The case was settled for $1.6 million that would be spread out among the 360 black applicants who were not hired from 208 through 2014. The five lead plaintiffs in this case will receive considerably more money than the others involved. Florida applicants who believe that a hiring decision was made about them based on factors protected by the law may choose to pursue legal recourse.

Source: pittsburgh.cbslocal.com, "City, ACLU Reach $1.6M Settlement In Police Officer Hiring Discrimination Lawsuit", Christine D'Antonio, May 7, 2015

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