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January 28, 2021

Courthouse News Service

Upholding the first set of awards to Black and Latino teachers who were given a racially biased literacy test, the Second Circuit found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in calculating individual damages. The damages stem from U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood’s ruling in 2012 that found the city’s use of a literacy test for giving prospective teachers caused qualified Black and Latino applicants to lose jobs, wages, benefits and seniority status.

The Second Circuit sided with the teachers, affirming the awards for a group of 347, out of a total of more than 4,500, slated to receive the first payments. The awards going out to just this first group total more than $170 million in back pay and other relief, plus pension liability.

Partner Joshua Sohn, who is representing the teachers, noted during oral arguments that 357 plaintiffs were not awarded back pay, out of 1,738 judgments entered so far. Of the plaintiffs awarded back pay, 46% did not receive the full pay accrual through the date of judgment.

Read the complete article on the Courthouse News Service website.


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