Thomas R. Kobin successfully appealed a preliminary injunction barring the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR) from having a residency requirement for the hiring of firefighters. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sued NHRFR, claiming that the residency requirement violated Title VII, the federal civil rights law that bars employment discrimination. Although the NACCP has enjoyed tremendous success in similar lawsuits against other public entities, Tom used novel legal and factual arguments to convince the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to remand the case to the United States District Court with instructions to determine the impact of the residency requirement in light of the recent landmark United States Supreme Court ruling in Ricci v. DeStefano. Ricci, a case involving promotions in the New Haven, Conn. Fire Department, required the Supreme Court to resolve the competing disparate impact and disparate treatment provisions of Title VII. Steven L. Menaker and Maria P. Vallejo assisted Tom on the Brief.
Pictured above, during an April 29th press conference, Weehawken Mayor and NHRFR Board Chairman Richard Turner, announcing the lifting of the hiring ban on the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue. In attendance were, from right to left, were NHRFR Fire Chief Brion McEldowney, and co-directors Jeff Welz and Michael DeOrio and Thomas Kobin.