Nat'l Ass'n for the Advancement of Colored People v. N. Hudson Reg'l Fire & Rescue, No. 10-3965 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The municipalities that make up the fire protection district had populations that were 69.6% Hispanic, 22.9% white, and 3.4% African-American. In 2008, the district employed 302 firefighters: 240 whites, 58 Hispanics, and two African-Americans. When this litigation began, the district sought to fill 35 to 40 new firefighter positions. Six Hispanic applicants earned passing scores on the firefighter exam and satisfied a residency requirement. Based on their scores they ranked 21, 25, 26, 45, 49, and 70 on the residents-only list. They would rank much lower if non-residents were included on the same list. The NAACP successfully sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming that the residency requirement was invalid as having a disparate impact on African-American applicants. The fire district and the Hispanic applicants appealed. The Third Circuit affirmed, rejecting the district's claims of concerns about impact on Hispanic applicants.