On the heels of a major discrimination lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice against the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department and Jacksonville Firefighters, IAFF Local 122, the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has filed separate discrimination suit against IAFF Local 122. The second suit was filed yesterday, April 30, 2012 in the same court as the previous case that was filed on April 23, 2012.
Both suits allege that written examinations used for promotional purposes within the department have a disparate impact on black candidates, and are “not job related and consistent with business necessity”. The second suit alleges that the union has “advocated for, acquiesced in, and in fact negotiated in favor of a promotional process that has had an adverse impact on black candidates”. The suit also contends that “the union has advocated for and negotiated in favor of the discriminatory promotional process each time a collective bargaining agreement was negotiated between 2004 and the present.”
I’ll throw this question out to the legal eagles out there: Isn’t the US DOJ and the US EEOC one party… the United States of America? Can one party maintain two separate lawsuits against the same entity over the exact same issue?
And perhaps the bigger question: what point is the EEOC trying to make? The DOJ lawsuit makes the point that the US government believes the union is partially responsible for the discrimination… but it appears that is not enough for the EEOC.