On August 3, 2012, two African-American men filed this class action lawsuit, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs sued the City of Pittsburgh, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 42 U.S.C. ...
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On August 3, 2012, two African-American men filed this class action lawsuit, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs sued the City of Pittsburgh, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 42 U.S.C. § 2000, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, as applied by 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 951. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that the city's hiring process for police officers led to a low number of African-American hires because of discriminatory treatment with respect to African-American applicant, including a screening process that harmed qualified African-American applicants by giving preferential treatment to those with family and friends already on the police force and using other subjective criteria.
The plaintiffs were all African-Americans who applied for positions as entry-level police officers but did not receive such positions during the application process. The plaintiffs claimed that the hiring practices by the city had lead to a statistically significant lack of African-American police officers.
In August 2013, the parties executed a Stay of Litigation Agreement that included the parties bringing in Dr. Leaetta Hough as an expert to review the hiring practices by the police force. The parties met with Dr. Hough, on March 31, 2014, to discuss her recommendations to revise and improve the hiring system that was having an adverse impact on African-American applicants.
On June 29, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a joint motion for settlement that included some of the suggestions from Dr. Hough's report to diversify the police department and make payments to those who have been harmed by the application process from 2008 to 2014. The city agreed to pay $985,000 in damages and up to $600,000 in attorneys' fees. In addition, the settlement also sets up a structure to review and improve the city's selection process to increase the participation of qualified African-Americans. Daniel Fryer - 10/03/2015