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Twelve White Males Sue the SF Police Department for Discrimination

Twelve while male police officers (and one white female lesbian officer), have accused the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) of race and sex discrimination. According to the lawsuit, these police officers received higher grades on the civil service promotional exam but minority and female candidates with lower scores were given promotions ahead of them.
In 1973, after a racial discrimination lawsuit by an association of black officers, a consent decree was implemented by the SFPD that altered how promotions were determined. A “banding” procedure was created to increase the number of women and minorities considered for promotion. Rather than just offering a promotion to the highest scorer on the test, the “banding” system allowed for all of the candidates scoring within a particular range of scores to be considered equally for promotion by means of four criteria: good conduct; job performance; education, training and experience; and the department’s affirmative action goals.
The male police officers claim that: “a female 22 positions down the list, who in rank order would not have received a promotion based on merit, received a first-round promotion. In fact, four of the 12 females promoted would not have received jobs had not a gender-oriented promotional process been utilized.” Similar allegations were made with respect to three black sergeants who had lower scores but received promotions. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that white officers comprised 63.5% of the total candidate pool but accounted for only 46% of the candidates selected for promotion in total compared to the 100% success rate of the black officers.
SFPD has asserted that its job selection processes are lawful and merit-based. “It’s designed to provide qualified individuals with the chance for advancement while ensuring fair treatment without regard to race, gender, religion, age or other status.”