TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced Wednesday the county has reached a settlement agreement to resolve claims by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging unintentional hiring discrimination by the Baltimore County Police Department in the years prior to Olszewski taking office.

In August 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against Baltimore County and the Baltimore County Police Department under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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The lawsuit alleged that the department engaged in a pattern or practice of unintentional employment discrimination against African-American applicants for entry-level police officer and cadet positions between 2009 and 2016 by making hiring decisions based on the results of hiring examinations that were not job-related and that disproportionately excluded African-American applicants.

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As part of the settlement agreement, the United States acknowledged that the practices in question were established prior to the current administration and that the Olszewski administration is committed to resolving the issues alleged in the complaint.

Under the settlement agreement, Baltimore County will refrain from further use of the allegedly unlawful written examinations, make 20 priority hires and provide back pay.

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The settlement has been submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland for approval.

CBS Baltimore Staff