View Full Version : Affirmative Action for Frank Ricci

Ian McColgin
07-14-2009, 08:45 AM
As a result of the Sotomayer hearings, we now learn that the plaintiff in the New Haven firefighters' promotion case used (legitimately) a claim of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act to get his job in the first place. He is dyslectic.

His dyslexia played into his motivation to sue on "reverse discrimination" because he'd spent a great deal of time and money to position himself to pass the test.

This is a very sad situation. One can feel for Ricci's bitterness at what he sees as hugely wasted effort. Nonetheless he should understand that one can't use the law when it benefits one's self at the expense of others and then claim that the law can't be used when it benefits another at one's own expense.

We don't have a way of knowing if Ricci was lured into initiating the suit by people wanting to gut the law. We do know that the suit was well resoursed by those groups. I frankly find it breathtakingly cynical on their parts that they'd knowingly put Ricci in the position of being painfully exposed like this.

David W Pratt
07-14-2009, 03:11 PM
I have a very good friend with one leg who detests the perversions of the original intent of the ADA. I must say, I agree with him.
Anyone who has tried to sheet in a genoa, one size too large for conditions is laboring under a disability.

L.W. Baxter
07-14-2009, 05:08 PM
Accomodating a person with dyslexia or other disabilities is nothing like giving preference in hiring based on race or ethnicity.

07-14-2009, 05:19 PM
Aren't dyslexics given all the same tests as everyone else, only oral? No discrimination there, only reasonable accommodation.

Ian McColgin
07-15-2009, 05:36 AM
The test may well have been fair. The law required, before this activist decision, that when a test produced such disparate results it should either be prooven a true objective test or it can be scrapped to try again. New Haven elected the latter mostly for cost reasons. The consultants who made the test are actually pretty good and really life would be better if the test had itself been more fully tested. We have lots of folk turning the cautious and correct statement that the test was not prooved discriminatory (also not prooved not discriminatory) into the utter falsehood that we know the test was objective. We actually don't know that and now never will.

The reasonable accomodation for a dyslectic should, of course, be job related. A person who swaps "on" and "off" could have job performance problems.

Adjusting tests to eliminate cultural and racial biases is exactly the same - it's the attempt to make a test that accuratly predicts job performance equally well for people of diverse races and sexes. Eliminating racism, sexism and "disabilitism" require different strategies for different occupations and different times but they are all issues of "reasonable accomodation."