Connecticut Firefigher Sues over Promotion Test

October 19, 2009

A black New Haven, Connecticut firefighter has filed a federal lawsuit against the city over a promotion exam that was the subject of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June.

Firefighter Michael Briscoe alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday in New Haven federal court that the city wrongly gives more weight to the test’s written part than the oral section, and that scoring method has a disparate effect on African-Americans.

Briscoe says he received the top score on the oral part of a 2003 test for lieutenant, but he wouldn’t have been promoted under the city’s scoring method. He’s seeking the promotion and backpay.

A message was left for a city spokeswoman Thursday.

The Supreme Court ruled in June that city officials were wrong to scrap the 2003 test results because too few minorities would have been promoted.

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