Rejected firefighter applicants sue Anchorage

Posted: Sunday, June 02, 2002

ANCHORAGE - Nine applicants rejected by the Anchorage Fire Department have filed suit, claiming they were improperly denied jobs because the municipality used a psychological screener who posed invasive questions that had nothing to do with firefighter qualifications.

The plaintiffs allege they were rejected based on a 900-question behavior and psychological test plus an oral exam administered by a California contractor. The interviews by Law Enforcement Psychological Services illegally probed into the recruits' sex lives, religious and political beliefs, they contend.

The complaint, filed earlier this month in Anchorage Superior Court, states eight of the plaintiffs have experience at volunteer or forestry fire departments. The ninth has a firefighter certification. All applied to the department last year.

The applicants successfully passed tests demonstrating their firefighting knowledge and physical agility, according to their complaint. They received conditional job offers from the department but were later denied jobs because of the psychological tests, the complaint says.

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