Employment, Labor and Benefits Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Rules for White Firefighters in Title VII Disparate Treatment Suit


On June 29, 2009, in Ricci et al. v. DeStefano et al., the United States Supreme Court found in favor of white firefighters and against the City of New Haven, Connecticut (the City), holding that the City engaged in intentional discrimination when it refused to certify the results of a civil service exam. The results of that exam evidenced a statistical disparity in favor of Caucasian test takers, and the City feared that it would be sued if it accepted the racially skewed results. The Supreme Court’s decision highlights a dilemma for employers which, like the City, are sometimes faced with difficult, no-win situations.

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