A federal judge denied yesterday three of four requests by Fairfax County to dismiss elements of a recent court decision that said it discriminated against blacks and women in hiring and promotion.
U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. had ruled in the recent retrial of a 1979 discrimination suit filed against the county by the Justice Department that Justice had established "a pattern of practice of disparate treatment of blacks and women" in several job categories.
Bryan ordered the county to stop using job exams that had had an adverse impact on blacks and women, such as the exams for police officer, deputy sheriff, and various clerical posts.
Fairfax submitted a motion for reconsideration in the case, arguing that it should be allowed to use certain employment tests, that Justice made no issue concerning the impact of test on women and that reference to that should be removed from a section of the judgement, and that Justice had not presented a case for discrimination in other job categories.
Bryan denied that the requests, except for striking the reference to females in two paragraphs of his decision. He also denied a request by Fairfax attorney Jack Gould to eliminate the requirement that the county report to the court every six months on its progress in hiring minorities.
Bryan ruled from the bench that he was "not satisfied that these tests are an adequate predictor of performance."
Further court hearings are necessary to determine whether some persons are entitled to recieve some compensation because of past discrimination, and Bryan took Justice's proposal on how to handle that under advisement yesterday.
Under that plan, a special master (perhaps a private attorney or magistrate) would be appointed to consider testimony from each alleged victim, according to Justice attorney Cynthia Drabek. If a person had been discriminated against, Justice wants him or her placed on a preferential hiring list with retroactive back pay and other benefits.
Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman John F. Herrity said the board will consider an appeal in the case perhaps during an executive session on Monday. Herrity also criticized the special master plan presented by Justice attorneys.
"It will result in a combination of imcompetent employment and a ripoff of the tax payers," Herrity said. "Justice seems bent on lowering the quality of services in Fairfax County."