New York City Presses For Diversity Within Its Fire Department

November 29, 2022

New York City will recruit more firefighters from underrepresented groups, press for diversity and promote anti-discriminatory practices within the Fire Department (FDNY) under bills signed into law Monday by Mayor Eric Adams (D).

The laws require that the FDNY implement a plan to hire more women and nonwhite firefighters and upgrade firehouses to accommodate women’s privacy. It also requires that the FDNY provide ongoing diversity training. 

The department also must submit an annual report on complaints filed with its Equal Employment Opportunity division, as well as another annual report focused on the demographic composition of firehouses around the city.

“New York City’s diversity is our strength, and these five bills will help build a more inclusive FDNY that is reflective of the millions of New Yorkers we serve,” said Mayor Adams.

The FDNY’s struggles with race and inclusion go back decades. In 2014, the city agreed to pay $98 billion in back pay and benefits to settle a 2007 discrimination suit brought by an organization representing Black firefighters.

The new diversity laws all went into effect immediately upon the Mayor’s signing.

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