The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund filed several lawsuits on behalf of minority employees alleging that promotional examinations were racially biased, obtaining judgments or settlements that guaranteed their promotion, sometimes ahead of white employees with higher scores.
In one case against the New York City Police Department, “we obtained quota promotions for Latinos and African Americans to the rank of sergeant,” the group said in a May 1992 report…
During her 12 years on its board of directors, the group fought to establish case law that would have allowed New Haven to throw out test results and at least one case seemed to foreshadow that specific dispute.
In a class-action complaint, the group alleged that New York City’s police sergeant’s exam was “discriminatory and not job related,” according to the group’s 1987 report. To settle the litigation, the city agreed to provide “positions of sergeant consistent with the percentage of Hispanic test-takers. As a result almost 100 Hispanics were promoted, over twice the number that would have been promoted without the settlement,” the group reported, adding that they received “backpay and retroactive seniority.”