U.S. v. City of New Jersey (Police Sergeant)

U.S. v. City of New Jersey (Police Sergeant)

This case involves employment discrimination against African-American and Hispanic candidates for promotion to police sergeant in local jurisdictions throughout the State of New Jersey. In January 2010, the United States brought a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (the “State”) to challenge the written exam given by the State to choose candidates for promotion to police sergeant in jurisdictions participating in the State’s civil service system. The United States and the State have resolved this lawsuit by entering into a settlement agreement, referred to as a Consent Decree, which reflects the parties’ shared goal of ensuring that promotion to police sergeant is based on merit and that the new police sergeant selection procedure does not unnecessarily exclude qualified candidates, including African-American and Hispanic candidates.

On November 22, 2011, the Court provisionally approved and entered a Consent Decree (“decree”), which includes the following terms:

  • The State will develop a new promotion process for selecting candidates for police sergeants in jurisdictions participating in the State’s civil service system. The new process will ensure that promotions to police sergeant are based on merit and that the State does not unnecessarily exclude qualified candidates for these promotions.
  • The State will provide $1,000,000 in monetary relief as back pay to be distributed among African-American and Hispanic Claimants from certain jurisdictions who were harmed by the practices challenged by the United States.
  • The State will certify Claimants in certain jurisdictions for priority promotions. These Claimants will be identified from among those who are qualified and who would have been promoted but for the State’s uses of the challenged exam. These candidates will receive priority over all other candidates, except for those candidates on any reemployment lists, until 68 priority promotions have been made.

This website provides information about the decree, including links to attachments to the decree and to relevant forms. This website also explains how to apply both for monetary relief and for a priority promotion if you believe you may have been harmed by the State’s uses of the challenged exam. For additional information on what types of relief are available under the decree and who is eligible to apply for relief, please click the “Explanation of Relief” tab in the left column.