DES MOINES, Iowa — Friday the Iowa Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit claiming discrimination against African – Americans trying to land a job with the state but it’s still prompted the state to make changes in how it hires employees.
“Throughout the litigation we worked hard to defend the case the plaintiffs brought and prevailed. We’ve also been working internally with the agencies, with DAS, with the governor’s office to continue to improve the states hiring system,” says Solicitor General, Jeff Thompson.
The class – action lawsuit, filed in 2007, involves more than 5,000 plaintiffs, all whom are African – American alleging they received fewer interviews and jobs from state agencies than whites. Although, Supreme Court justices found some of the practices discriminating against African – American “disturbing”, the state found the plaintiffs could not prove their allegations but promised they would work on improving the states hiring system. The plaintiff, Tom Newkirk, says he hasn’t seen the improvement.
“The state of Iowa has done zero to change how they do business with regard to discrimination.”
He says the agency wide problem now falls the shoulders of Attorney General, Tom Miller to give answers on how the system is supposed to work.
“These clients don`t want a new lawsuit they want the state to stop doing what they’re doing. That`s what they`ve wanted.”