National Partnership for Women & Families

Women's Leader Urges Supreme Court to Protect Equal Opportunity In the Workplace for Women & Minorities in Ricci v. DeStefano

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — March 25, 2009 —
"American women have a tremendous amount at stake in an upcoming Supreme Court case that could cripple civil rights laws that women have long relied on to open doors in the workplace.

In Frank Ricci v. John DeStefano, the justices will weigh whether the City of New Haven, Connecticut violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it sought to ensure equal opportunity for all workers at its fire department by refusing to use a promotion examination that had a discriminatory effect on African Americans and Hispanics. The ruling could have major implications for women, who have long benefited from equal opportunity protections that help us gain entry to good-paying jobs in firefighting and other traditionally male jobs in the public and private sectors.

The National Partnership for Women & Families has joined with leading women's law experts and women's rights organizations in filing an amicus curiae brief in this case. We are strongly urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold rulings by district and appellate courts that affirmed actions taken by New Haven city officials to voluntarily comply with civil rights protections. A reversal would undermine the ability of employers across the country to ensure equal opportunity by taking common sense actions to avoid unfair practices in the workplace."

Contact

Cindy Romero (202) 986-2600 cromero@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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