City of Chicago Settles Reverse Discrimination Lawsuit

March 12, 2009

After years of legal wrangling, 75 white firefighters will share a $6 million settlement reached with the city of Chicago in a reverse discrimination lawsuit filed over a 1986 lieutenants’ exam.

Concerned the exam discriminated against black firefighters, the city “race normed” the test’s results. A jury later found the test was fair, a decision the U.S. Supreme Court upheld on appeal.

City law department spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyle said the $6 million is on the “low end” of what the city might have wound up paying.

Firefighters’ attorney Linda Friedman said a group of 100 other white firefighters previously received tens of millions of dollars and benefits in a separate settlement in the same lawsuit.

Friedman said the 75 firefighters, many of whom have retired, can expect to receive their checks by this fall.

Information from: Chicago Sun-Times,

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