Paul Egan Detroit Free Press Published 6:18 AM EST Nov 20, 2018 A Wayne County judge has certified a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 600 black applicants who wanted to work as state police or conservation officers but failed the required Michigan civil service exam. The lawsuit alleges that two different civil service exams the state has used since 2014 — one of which remains in use today — violate the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and discriminate against black applicants, who have a higher failure rate than white applicants do. “The Michigan Civil Service Commission engaged in a pattern and practice of race discrimination in its hiring process through testing that had a disparate adverse impact on African-Americans,” the suit alleges. “This illegal policy … was furthered by command officers’/officials’ failure to monitor the adverse impacts of the employment policies in place.” The suit doesn’t allege the state intentionally discriminated — just that the exam produced racially disparate results in ways that weren’t necessary to determine which test writers could best do the job. The suit alleges there are alternative tests that could screen applicants just as effectively without producing discriminatory results. The commission — a bipartisan panel whose four members… Read full this story
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