Black NY Firefighters Settle Discrimination Lawsuit

The Vulcan Society of Black Firefighters settled a seven-year lawsuit with New York City, alleging discrimination in the FDNY, for $98 million. 

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A black firefighters group, the Vulcan Society of Black Firefighters, sued New York City, alleging discrimination in the Fire Department of New York, and Tuesday were told that minority fire department applicants will be eligible to receive back pay totaling $98 million, the Associated Press reports.

AP notes that the settlement includes more than $6 million to cover medical payments.

In addition to "broad injunctive relief and back pay," the Vulcan Society's lawyers say, the FDNY will create an executive position for diversity.

The settlement ends the seven-year-old case, which was scheduled to go to trial this month, AP reports.

Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis appointed an independent monitor in the fall of 2011 to oversee the recruitment, testing and hiring of new firefighters for at least 10 years, AP reports.

It was then reported that 10 percent of the 11,200 uniformed firefighters in the city were black or Hispanic. According to AP, more than half of the city's 8 million residents identified with a racial minority group.

In 2012, as a direct response to discrimination allegations, the FDNY launched recruitment campaigns aimed at attracting more female and minority applicants.

An appeals court ruled in May 2013 that the FDNY would be under court supervision for five years to ensure that hiring practices were fair and that they didn't discriminate against blacks and Hispanics.

The FDNY, mayor's office and city law department did not immediately respond to AP's requests for comment.

Read more at the Associated Press.

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