Hiring requirements – such as English only rules, passing a test
or living in a certain area- may be consideredracial discrimination depending on the circumstances. In a recent case, the 3rd Circuit Court
of Appeals determined that a Regional Fire and Rescue squad that had a
rule stating that only residents could be hired as firefighters was racially
discriminatory. Although the rule on its face was not discriminatory,
when put it place it had a disparate impact on African American applicants.
NAACP v. North Hudson Reg’l Fire & Rescue the fire department had a rule that only residents of North Hudson could
be hired as firefighters. The NAACP challenged this rule, arguing that
the impact of the residency requirement was to effectively exclude African
Americans. The population of North Hudson is 69.6% Hispanic, 22.9% non-Hispanic
and 3.4% African American. However, the makeup of the firefighters was
disproportionate to the population with 240 white non-Hispanics, 58 Hispanics
and only 2 African Americans. If the labor market were to include the
tri-county region, rather than just the limited area, significantly more
African Americans would be eligible and qualified for employment.
Under Title VII, practices that have the unintentional effect of discriminating
based on race are prohibited. Here, using a residents-only caused a disparate
impact and North Hudson failed to take any steps to remedy the adverse
effects. Further, no business necessity existed to maintain the residency
requirement. As a result, the court determined that the NAACP could maintain
its action for race discrimination against North Hudson Fire & Rescue.
Many times an action that may appear to be neutral actually has the effect
of causing employment discrimination.
If you believe you have suffered employment discrimination due to an employment
action such a term or condition, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable
employment discrimination attorney.
For more information, contact the experienced
Atlanta employment discrimination attorneys at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.