In a written decision Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis found that an entry exam used by the mostly white department was unfair to black and Hispanic applicants. He ordered the city to explain why it wanted to hire new firefighters based on an "invalid test."
Attorneys for the city said they were disappointed by the ruling. They warned it would force the city to pay millions in overtimes to make up for understaffing.
The ruling follows earlier setbacks for the city in the civil rights case. The same judge found that the FDNY had deliberately discriminated against minorities and ordered it to revamp its hiring practices.