The Justice Department is filing a lawsuit against the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) for alleged racial discrimination in its application process.
The complaint alleges that the RIDOC uses written and video examinations to screen and select applicants for their entry-level correction officer positions. Further, the complaint alleges that the RIDOC uses those examinations as part of a multi-step process to screen out African-American and Hispanic applicants, leading to an unjustified disparate impact against applicants.
The Department of Justice says that the RIDOC's use of the examinations violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because it is not "job-related or consistent with business necessity."
In light of its findings, the Department of Justice is seeking a court order requiring the RIDOC to stop using the written and video examinations and to develop selections procedures compliant with Title VII. They also seek to require the RIDOC to provide relief including offers of hire, back pay and retroactive seniority to any African-Americans and Hispanics who have been affected.