State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission

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Civil Service Commission | 2011 Police Sergeant Consent Decree

Governor Phil Murphy • Lt.Governor Sheila Oliver

United States v. State of New Jersey and New Jersey Civil Service Commission

In January 2010, the United States Department of Justice (the "DOJ") brought a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (the "State") to challenge the written exam given by the State to select candidates for promotion to police sergeant in jurisdictions participating in the State's civil service system. The DOJ alleged, among other things, that the State's use of a police sergeant written examination and certification of candidates in descending rank order have resulted in a disparate impact upon African-American and Hispanic candidates for promotion to police sergeant, in violation of Title VII. The State denies that it has violated Title VII. Nevertheless, the State has agreed to resolve this lawsuit by entering into a settlement agreement referred to as a Consent Decree.

On November 22, 2011, the Court provisionally approved and entered a Second Amended Consent Decree ("Decree"), which includes the following terms:

  • In consultation with the DOJ, the State will develop a new police sergeant examination and scoring process for selecting candidates for police sergeants in local jurisdictions.
  • The State will provide $1,000,000 of monetary relief as back pay to be distributed among African-American and Hispanic claimants from certain jurisdictions who were determined to have been adversely affected by the State's uses of the written exam.
  • Priority will be given to minority candidates in thirteen specific jurisdictions for priority promotions. These candidates will receive priority over all other candidates, except for those candidates on any reemployment lists, until 68 priority promotions have been made.

This website provides information about the Decree, including links to the attachments to the Decree and to relevant forms. This website also explains how to apply both for monetary relief and for a priority promotion.

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