justice_department.jpegJACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A Justice Department lawsuit against Jacksonville alleges a pattern of employment discrimination against black people in the city's fire and rescue department.


The suit filed Monday accuses the city of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It challenges written examinations for promotion to lieutenant, captain, district chief and engineer.

A spokesman for the city did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The complaint says black employees pass the exams at a significantly lower rate than white employees. It also contends those black employees who do pass the test are rarely promoted because their scores are lower than those of white workers.

The suit alleges the exam violates a requirement that tests be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.''

It seeks promotions and back pay for black workers affected by the exams.