CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - In a statement released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the Cleveland Field Office charges that since 2009 the city “discriminated against black, Hispanic and female applicants in hiring and promotion in violation of Title VII.”
The commission’s report said the city had a “pattern or practice of failing or refusing to hire and promote black, Hispanic and female applicants through the use of discriminatory hiring tests and procedures.”
The commission’s report notes the city has denied the allegations.
The EEOC concluded Cleveland used a process from 2010 through 2014 for hiring entry-level firefighters that had a significant adverse impact on candidates who are female, Hispanic and black.
The report stated the physical agility test had a “significant adverse impact” on female candidates, and the practices used in the hiring process were not necessarily consistent with “business necessity.”
During the 2010-2014 promotion cycles the EEOC claimed the process was discriminatory against blacks.
The conclusion of the EEOC found that entry-level hires for the Cleveland Fire Department was discriminatory, and that the process showed a pattern of discrimination.
During the investigation the EEOC discovered that only some of the firehouses had female restrooms and locker rooms. This is a violation of Title VII.
The EEOC concluded it was the fire department’s responsibility to voluntarily fix the unlawful employment practices that were discovered during the investigation.
If the fire department fails to fix the current shortfalls, the EEOC reserves the right to pursue court enforcement.