Chicago Fire Department Ordered To Hire Blacks Who Alleged Discrimination

May 13, 2011

The Chicago Fire Department was told by a federal appeals court today that it must hire 111 African-Americans who successfully argued that they were discriminated against in 1995.

And, the Chicago Sun-Times writes, the court ordered that "tens of millions of dollars" in damages be paid to 6,000 other blacks.

At issue, as we wrote a year ago, was the way the city handled a firefighters' entrance exam. The plaintiffs argued, the Sun-Times reports, that the test did not adequately measure the applicants' abilities and that the scoring system made it far more likely that white applicants would be hired.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the plaintiffs' had not waited too long to bring their suit and sent the case back down to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Today, that court handed down its decision. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit