The New Haven Firefighters
Affirmative Action has not received this kind of attention in a long time. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Santomayor ruled on a case in New Haven CT where there was a claim that the testing used for promotion within the New Haven fire department discriminated against minorities.
This is not a law course so the legal details are not interesting here. We want to look at the managerial implications of this morally charged situation. So let’s leave aside the issues of judicial activism and hermeneutics (interpretation) as a creative activity.
From a managerial perspective I want to know:
Did the City of New Haven act reasonably in rejecting the test results based on the lack of minority representation?
Be clear about the implications for a diverse workforce, or even the need. Should the city be seeking a demographic to their employees that matches that of the general population to begin with? Consider if this is a legitimate goal in making out your argument about this particular situation.
For some media reaction you can read:
For an excellent legal overview you can read from findlaw.com
For the actual opinion from the court: