Summary of Case
The United States of America sued Baltimore County, Maryland alleging employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). The lawsuit alleges that the Baltimore County Police Department’s (“BCPD”) use of written examinations to select entry-level police officers and police cadets since January 1, 2013 discriminated against African American applicants on the basis of race. The United States did not allege that the County intentionally discriminated against African American applicants.
The United States and Baltimore County have voluntarily entered into a Settlement Agreement to resolve this lawsuit. On May 24, 2021, the Court entered the Settlement Agreement as a final order.
As part of the settlement, Baltimore County agreed to provide money (sometimes called “back pay”) and priority hiring relief to individuals who would have otherwise been eligible for employment as an entry-level police officer or police cadet if the County did not use the written examinations the United States challenges. More information about the relief awards is available here. Baltimore County will also stop using the challenged written exams and will develop and use an exam that meets the required legal standards.
Potentially eligible individuals were sent instructions regarding how to apply for relief awards on June 23, 2021. The deadline to apply for relief awards was August 9, 2021, and applications for relief awards are no longer being accepted.
The Court held a Fairness Hearing on June 17, 2022, and shortly thereafter approved the Final Individual Relief Awards.
On July 7, 2022, individuals eligible to receive an award on the Final Individual Relief Awards list were sent a Notice of Individual Relief Award and Acceptance of Relief and Release of Claims Form, as well as any applicable tax withholding forms (“Acceptance of Relief Documents”). The deadline to return those documents to the Claims Administrator was August 5, 2022, and those documents are no longer being accepted.
On October 28, 2022 and December 14, 2022, checks were sent via First-Class U.S. Mail (with delivery tracking service) to individuals eligible for Back Pay Relief.
On April 5, 2023, individuals eligible for priority hiring consideration were sent a notice via mail and email (if available) inviting them to re-apply for the police officer position and to schedule a time to take the new written test that has been developed under the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The notice from the County contains the dates that the new test is being administered over the next six months, beginning in May 2023. Individuals eligible for priority hiring consideration may be disqualified from the priority hire process if they do not take the new written test by October 5, 2023. If you are eligible for priority hire consideration and have not yet received notice, please contact the United States Department of Justice one of the following ways:
- Toll-free telephone number: 1-800-556-1950 Option 2
- E-mail: BaltimoreCountyPD.Settlement@usdoj.gov
Upcoming Important Dates
July 7, 2022
Acceptance of Relief Documents Were Sent to Individuals Eligible to Receive an Award on the Final Individual Relief Awards list
August 5, 2022
Deadline to Submit Acceptance of Relief Documents
September 2, 2022
Deadline to Submit Corrections to Acceptance of Relief Documents
October 28, 2022 and December 14, 2022
Checks Were Sent Via First-Class U.S. Mail (with delivery tracking service) to Individuals Eligible for Back Pay Relief
April 5, 2023
Individuals Eligible for Priority Hiring Consideration Were Sent Invitations via Email and Mail to Re-apply for the Police Officer Position and Take the New Written Exam
October 5, 2023
Individuals Eligible for Priority Hiring Consideration May be Disqualified from Hire if They Do Not Take the New Written Exam on or Before This Date
Please do not call the Court or the Court Clerk’s Office to ask any questions about the case, because the Court will be unable to assist you. If you have additional questions, please contact us.