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All first responders, like all Americans, are entitled to be judged based on job performance rather than irrelevant factors such as race or gender in employment decisions ranging from discipline to promotions. When employers fail to defend adverse employment decisions on the basis of job performance and professional competence, discrimination claims brought by those who were passed over for a promotion or disproportionately disciplined for instances of misconduct can result in substantial legal liability.
As public safety leaders and elected officials look for ways to increase the diversity of their agencies—from the composition of the rank-and-file to the make-up of the command staff—it is vital to recognize that every individual is entitled to an equal opportunity in considering personnel decisions that impact their careers. A failure to recognize those individual rights in name of diversity can lead to what is often described as “reverse discrimination,” meaning the unlawful discrimination against White and/or male employees in an effort to address historical inequalities in public safety employment.
In this webinar, Attorney Matt Dolan will discuss the challenges associated with balancing legitimate efforts to increase diversity in public safety agencies along with the protection of every individual’s rights to equal treatment, regardless of their demographic traits.