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Austin firefighters, city agree on resolution to change hiring process

After the firefighters’ union in Austin seemed to have won an impasse with the city over new terms for a hiring process and cadet training standards, a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney issued a letter threatening that the resolution may send the DOJ back to court. Subsequently, the union issued an amended resolution, KXAN reported on February 5.

The DOJ cited concerns about the delay of priority hiring of minorities in the letter to the union. After the amended resolution was passed by Austin City Council members, the council urged the city staff to hire an outside agency to test cadets within the timeline outlined in the DOJ Consent Decree, but only after the Austin Firefighters’ Association and the city reach a new employment deal.

The city of Austin and the firefighter’s association had yet to establish a new employment deal since the old agreement’s terms lapsed in 2009. According to the resolution, Austin’s capacity for diversity and fair treatment in the fire department depends on ongoing, collective bargaining.

If an employer has willfully or unintentionally violated your rights as employees and you live in the Austin area, seek the legal assistance of our attorneys at the The Melton Law Firm, who may advocate for your rights, by dialing (512) 330-0017 today.

Federal judge approves discrimination decree in Austin

Federal Judge Lee Yeakel recently resolved discrimination investigations beginning in April 2013 by signing a decree between the City of Austin in Texas and the Department of Justice concerning the state fire department’s hiring procedures, KXAN reported on November 7.

Results from the investigation prompted Yeakel to agree that discrimination was present in the hiring process and beyond. The decree requires the Austin department to hire 30 minority applicants who pass newly revised examinations. Those who are chosen will additionally receive $780,000 each in back pay.

On the other hand, the local firefighters’ union objected to the decree, claiming that empirical proof of intentional bias on the city’s part had not been present nor proven. It was also claimed that the exams were fair and non-discriminatory. Regardless, the decree will be put into effect.

The attorneys at the The Melton Law Firm know that, unfortunately, discrimination in hiring practices and employment is not uncommon. However, there are legal methods of recourse. Call our offices in Austin at (512) 330-0017 today to learn about your legal options.

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