Seven applicants who failed the FDNY written exams that a federal judge tossed out as discriminatory are not entitled to damages because their grade was less than 25.
The Vulcan Society of black firefighters, the city and U.S. Justice Department lawyers all agree that a score of 25 is too abysmally low to merit compensation.
“Such a candidate would not have succeeded due to his or her lack of effort and therefore should not be eligible for relief,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliot Schachner wrote in papers filed Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Only seven black and Hispanic applicants out of 7,100 who took the tests scored less than 25 on the exams, according to court papers. Of nonminority applicants, 20 scored less than 25.
The U.S. Justice Department filed suit against the city in 2007 alleging the written exams in 1999 and 2002 discriminated against minorities.
Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis later ruled that minority candidates who were not hired and those whose hiring was delayed as a result of the test scores may be entitled to damages.
Except for the dumbest 0.1% (i.e., 7 out of 7,100) who took the test.
My recollection is that this was a multiple choice test with four answers for each questions. I don't know if 25 means 25%, but if so, that means the only minority applicants not eligible to share in the booty were those who did worse than random guessing.
But, what about firefighting applicants who were unable to finish their exam because they accidentally set their test booklets on fire? Surely, they deserve to share in the loot from the fight against racism, too?