FDNY LawsuitAssociate Dean Sheila Foster on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, January 14, 2010
WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show quoted Fordham Law's Sheila Foster in its January 14, 2010, coverage of a federal judge's ruling that the New York City Fire Department intentionally discriminated against black applicants by continuing to use a written exam.
Foster, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Albert A. Walsh Professor of Law, explained, "These laws exist to make sure that there’s equal opportunity, and what that means is that there shouldn’t be these false barriers set up. If the test, in fact—and the court has found this and has taken expert evidence—is not related significantly to what is required to do the job, that means that there’s some built in advantages that some candidates have that others won’t. We’ve seen the effect of that, and that is to exclude whole groups from this opportunity.
"So I would say that the question is how do we test for qualifications in a way that does not create these sort of false negatives, that doesn’t exclude a whole group of people. That is what is at issue in this case, and that is hopefully what we are going to see going forward—a fair test."