NEW YORK (Mar. 27)
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith has asked the New York State Civil Service Commission to “immediately rescind unconstitutionally discriminatory restrictions” contained in a Feb. 25 Job announcement for Corrections Counselors and Correction Counselor Trainees.
The announcement specifies that candidates for the positions “must have ethnic identification with the Black or Spanish-speaking communities” and states that “the federal government has made available funds to place 19 Correction Counselors immediately with the proviso that they be members of the Black or Spanish-speaking communities.”
In a letter to Mrs. Ersa H. Poston, president of the Commission, Seymour Graubard, national chairman of the ADL, said that a spokesman for the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration of the US Department of Justice has told the ADL that while his agency had granted funds for the Jobs, neither LEAA nor any other federal agency imposed the “proviso.”
The proviso, therefore, reflects a decision made by the New York State government, Graubard said. He noted that “regardless of who is responsible, such restrictions are a flagrant violation of the state’s obligation to provide equal opportunity in government employment for all citizens” as imposed by both the state and federal Constitutions. “Moreover,” he added, “these restrictions totally ignore the concept of the merit system.”