The Austin Fire Department’s six-month hiring freeze is not tapering off despite a new hiring proposal. The hiatus was put in place after a ruling was made in September regarding the complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding allegations that the city’s fire department cadet hiring process is discriminatory against African-American and Hispanic people. The freeze is mainly in place so that the city council and the Department of Justice can reach an agreement regarding the settlement to give to the said victims of discrimination.
If the settlement process is rushed, Austin Firefighters Association President Bob Nicks said that the result might not be agreeable to the association, which could result in federal action and a further “three to five years with no hires.”
According to a city spokesperson, an Austin city ordinance requires that 240 firefighters must be employed by the city 24/7.
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