Monday, November 30, 2009

ICE Announces Another 1,000 I-9 Worksite Audits; USCIS to conduct 25,000 site visits

Bloggers and other websites have begun to report on increasing enforcement activity against illegal immigration and the potential misuse of H1B visas. Here is an excerpt from one of the blogs:

Visa Lawyer Blog
November 22, 2009

Not an easy time to a US employer these days. Between ICE raids and USCIS H1B site visits, the stress level is on the rise. Here is the latest update - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the issuance of Notice of Inspections (NOIs) to 1,000 employers across the country associated with critical infrastructure. This follows an earlier initiative on July 1, 2009 when ICE issued 652 NOIs to businesses nationwide. The notices alert business owners that ICE will be inspecting their hiring records to determine whether or not they are complying with employment eligibility verification laws and regulations. Inspections are one of the most powerful tools the federal government has to enforce employment and immigration laws. This is part of a new initiative illustrating ICE's increased focus on holding employers accountable for their hiring practices and efforts to ensure a legal workforce.
"ICE is focused on finding and penalizing employers who believe they can unfairly get ahead by cultivating illegal workplaces," said ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton. "We are increasing criminal and civil enforcement of immigration-related employment laws and imposing smart, tough employer sanctions to even the playing field for employers who play by the rules."Audits involve a comprehensive review of Form I-9s, which employers are required to complete and retain for each individual hired in the United States. Employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This form requires employers to review and record the individual's identity document(s) and determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the individual.
Protecting employment opportunities for the nation's lawful workforce and targeting employers who knowingly employ an illegal workforce are major ICE priorities, for which ICE employs all available civil and administrative tools, including audits. Audits may result in civil penalties and lay the groundwork for criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly violate the law.

Full Blog Post:

DOL Issues an Employment Law Guide

News Release
OASP News Release: [11/30/2009]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661
Release Number: 09-1467-NAT
US Labor Department releases updated Employment Law Guide
New version incorporates recent changes to federal employment laws

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of an updated version of its popular Employment Law Guide, an online publication that describes the major employment laws administered by the department. The Guide helps the public — workers and employers — understand many of the laws affecting the workplace. For instance, it helps small businesses develop wage, benefit, safety and health, and nondiscrimination policies. It also benefits employees and employee representatives who need information about worker rights and responsibilities under federal employment laws.
"Fair and safe practices in the workplace are a top priority for the Department of Labor, and we want to make it simple for both employers and workers to understand the federal policies that protect them," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Our new Employment Law Guide provides updated and user-friendly information and guidance. We encourage everyone to use it."
Following a topical format and written in plain language, the Employment Law Guide is especially helpful for employers without a dedicated legal or human resources staff. The updated version addresses recent and important changes in employment laws, including the increase in the federal minimum wage and an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act that grants qualified relatives of veterans leave to care for ill or injured uniformed service members or to fulfill obligations that arise when a relative is called to active duty in the military. The Guide also now includes a chapter on child labor regulations in the agriculture industry and one on the Defense Base Act, which provides workers' compensation benefits to civilian employees working outside the United States on U.S. military bases or under certain contracts with the U.S.
The Employment Law Guide is a companion to the department's FirstStep overview advisor, an online system that allows employers to quickly and easily determine which federal employment laws apply to them by answering a few simple questions about relevant variables. Each chapter in the Employment Law Guide corresponds to the laws addressed in the FirstStep advisor, outlining coverage under the law; its basic requirements; employee rights; recordkeeping, reporting, notice and poster requirements; penalties and sanctions for non-compliance; relation to state, local and other federal laws; and contact information for further assistance.
Together, the updated Employment Law Guide and FirstStep overview advisor offer employers the information they need to ensure safe and fair workplace policies and practices. Both are available at or
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OFCCP Jurisdiction Webinar December 3, 2009

The Department of Labor's OFCCP has scheduled another webinar; this one on the question of jurisdiction. The information from the OFCCP site is as follows:

Space is limited.Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Ever wonder how OFCCP determines which companies are considered federal contractors and subcontractors, and what is OFCCP’s legal authority for establishing jurisdiction over a covered federal contractor or subcontractor? On the afternoon of December 3, 2009, please join Gilberto Garcia, Jr., Chief, Branch of Enforcement and Appeals in OFCCP’s National Office, along with Bev Dankowitz - Counsel for Litigation and Regional Coordination, and Karen Torre – Staff Attorney, U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor, Civil Rights and Labor-Management Division, as they present information, along with legal authority, on how OFCCP establishes coverage over federal contractors and subcontractors under Executive Order 11246, as amended; Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA), as amended, 38 U.S.C. 4212. In addition, they will discuss issues pertaining to jurisdiction issues and challenges that have been raised by federal contractors and subcontractors during OFCCP compliance evaluations. Topics to be discussed during this webinar presentation include, but are not limited to the following: - Authority to Conduct Compliance Investigations - Indefinite-quantity, open-ended contracts and other types of federal contracts used to establish coverage - Covered Prime Contractor – definition, evaluating contractor status, and contractor coverage scenarios - Covered Subcontractor - definition, evaluating subcontractor status, and subcontractor coverage scenarios - Issues prevalent with specific industries, such as health care providers, financial institutions, states and local governments - Direct and Indirect Contract Coverage - Single-entity Determinations Please feel free to submit questions for consideration in advance of our Webinar presentation. We look forward to your attendance.


OFCCP Jurisdiction Webinar


Thursday, December 3, 2009


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System RequirementsPC-based attendeesRequired: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendeesRequired: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

OFCCP Issues CSAL Letters to Federal Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor''s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has posted a draft of its revised CSAL letter advising federal contractors that some of their establishments may be scheduled for a compliance evaluation in the coming review cycle. The list from which contractors are selected is derived from the agency's Federal Contractor Selection System, which uses several information sources including the EEO-1 forms, random sampling, external contractor databases, and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 initiatives. For a copy of the draft letter signed by OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu, go to:

EEOC Sues Dunkin’ Donuts For Sexual Harassment

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release
November 27, 2009
Federal Agency Charges Wynantskill Store Manager Grabbed and Verbally Harassed Teenage Employees

RENSSELAER, N.Y. —Several female employees, some of whom were teenagers, were subjected to severe and pervasive sexual harassment at a Wynantskill, N.Y., Dunkin’ Donuts, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in an employment discrimination lawsuit announced today.
The EEOC’s lawsuit filed Wednesday, November 25, 2009, charges that the manager of the Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street in Wynantskill grabbed female employees’ buttocks and breasts, kissed them on the neck, and hugged them against their will. He told them they were “hot” and told them he preferred virgins. He asked about their sex lives and described in explicit detail the sexual acts he wanted to perform on them, the EEOC said. He warned them not to tell anyone about what he said to them. The EEOC alleges company officials failed to take adequate measures to prevent and/or stop the harassment despite complaints.
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed the suit against College View Donuts LLC, doing business as Dunkin’ Donuts, Civil Action No. 1:09-cv-01320-TJM-RFT, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
The suit seeks monetary relief, effective policies and procedures against discrimination, effective training on anti-discrimination laws, and a permanent injunction against discrimination.
“The EEOC brought this action to obtain all appropriate remedies for these victims,” said Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., director of the EEOC’s New York District Office. “Companies need to understand that they must be vigilant about protecting its employees from harassment.”
EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Adela Santos added, “The EEOC takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously, especially when the employees being harassed are teens. For many of these employees, this is their first job and they don’t know how to complain, especially when the harasser is their manager.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at

Diversity in Iowa

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 25, 2009

By David Evans
The other day, I was at a meeting of the chief academic officers from institutions affiliated with the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. IAICU serves as the consolidated voice of Iowa's private institutions (almost all of which are active members) in state and national governmental affairs, and as a clearinghouse for information-sharing and other activities that serve the common interests of those institutions.For the last two years, we've been discussing how to increase the diversity of our faculty at IAICU institutions. For many reasons, this is a very tall challenge. Most importantly, Iowa has a reputation for being not very diverse, and therefore perhaps not very welcoming to people who do not have a European-American heritage and ethnicity. In addition, most of the private institutions in Iowa are, like mine, relatively small and teaching-oriented, with all the advantages and disadvantages that status entails in terms of faculty recruitment.For IAICU institutions, then, there are a couple of major challenges. On the overall reputation of Iowa, there's not a tremendous amount 30 or so small private colleges can do, though we certainly can try harder to show the positive realities of Iowa life for all kinds of people. Iowa is, in fact, rapidly diversifying, aided by a low cost of living and, believe it or not, relatively favorable business and employment conditions. The development of substantially more attractive cities also helps: Des Moines, for instance, has in the past 20 years enjoyed a tremendous renaissance, as had Cedar Rapids prior to last year's floods. Iowa City has always been a terrific university town. Buena Vista University's own home, Storm Lake, is quickly heading towards minority-white status, which is making us an interesting laboratory for a diversifying Iowa, as described in Richard Longworth's recent book, Caught in the Middle (Bloomsbury USA, 2008).

Full Story:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

From Footnote to Fame in Civil Rights History

The New York Times
November 26, 2009

On that supercharged day in 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Ala., she rode her way into history books, credited with helping to ignite the civil rights movement.
But there was another woman, named Claudette Colvin, who refused to be treated like a substandard citizen on one of those Montgomery buses — and she did it nine months before Mrs. Parks. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his political debut fighting her arrest. Moreover, she was the star witness in the legal case that eventually forced bus desegregation.
Yet instead of being celebrated, Ms. Colvin has lived unheralded in the Bronx for decades, initially cast off by black leaders who feared she was not the right face for their battle, according to a new book that has plucked her from obscurity.
Last week Phillip Hoose won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The honor sent the little-selling title shooting up 500 spots on’s sales list and immediately thrust Ms. Colvin, 70, back into the cultural conversation.

Full Story:
Buy "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" at the AAAA Bookstore

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Haven firefighters in discrimination case get promotions
November 25, 2009 2:05 p.m. EST

(CNN) -- The city of New Haven, Connecticut, will promote 14 firefighters who were involved in a workplace discrimination case that worked its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The firefighters were among the New Haven 20 -- one Hispanic and 19 white firefighters -- who fought the city after it threw out the results of a 2003 firefighter promotion exam that left too few minorities qualified for promotions.
A U.S. District Court issued a judgment finding the city violated the civil rights of a group of the white firefighters when it threw out the exams in 2004, according to Jessica Mayorga, city spokeswoman. The Tuesday decision follows a court action by seven black New Haven firefighters seeking to delay the promotions.
"Yesterday, the court entered an order that provides the City of New Haven with the legal sanction necessary to move forward and promote the fourteen plaintiffs in the Ricci case entitled to promotions," the city said in a statement. "As a result, we intend to do so as soon as practicable."
The firefighters will be promoted to either lieutenant or captain.

Full Story:

State universities seek more-diverse campuses
Wednesday, 11.25.09

Ten years ago in November 1999, then-Gov. Jeb Bush issued his ``One Florida'' initiative to eliminate affirmative action in state contracting and in admissions at the state universities.
His decision was a direct response to an anti-affirmative action campaign being led in Florida by Ward Connerly, former University of California regent and national spokesman for the effort to eliminate affirmative action.
Although in general sympathy with Connerly's campaign, Bush worried that Connerly's constitutional proposal would sharply divide Floridians, create substantial problems for his leadership and disrupt his efforts to woo African-American and Hispanic voters to the Republican Party -- votes he hoped would secure his brother the presidency in 2000.
The governor had reason to fear the effect of a constitutional amendment or court ruling. In California, Proposition 209 prohibited public institutions from discriminating on the basis of race, sex or ethnicity and gave educational leaders very little flexibility in addressing diversity issues in undergraduate admissions.
Similarly, a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that affirmative action was unconstitutional (Hopwood v. Texas) narrowly limited the ability of public colleges and universities in Texas to use race as a condition of admission. These two decisions significantly set back racial and ethnic diversity at major universities in both California and Texas.
To avoid a similar outcome in Florida, Bush proposed a ``Talented 20'' program as part of his One Florida order, which guaranteed university admission to the top 20 percent of students from each public high school. The Talented 20 program was modeled after the ``Ten Percent Plan'' in Texas and was calculated to mitigate the effects of One Florida on ethnic and racial diversity in state universities.

Full Story:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New unit with teeth needed to address gender pay equity (Australia)
By Kate Southam, CareerOne editor
November 24, 2009 12:55pm

A new pay equity unit should be set up to punish employers who pay men and women differently for doing the same job, according to a report tabled in Federal Parliament last night.
The Making it Fair report is the result of 17 months of work by the House Employment and Workplace Relations Committee chaired by Labor MP Sharryn Jackson.Speaking today, Ms Jackson said it has been 40 years since equal pay was legislated by the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and more than 20 years since the Affirmative Agency was set up later replaced by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.“And yet the gender pay gap has been growing since 1992 for a range of reasons including far fewer women in the top income bracket and a growth in women taking on part-time work,” she said. The committee found women in Australia are being paid up to 17 per cent less than men and that sectors dominated by female workers such as child care and aged care were characterised by low salaries and that had to change.

Full Story:,27753,26393825-462,00.html

National Law Journal's 2009 Diversity Report

Business World Index

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C., an intellectual property law firm in Washington, D.C., has been recognized for having the highest percentage of minority partners among Washington-area law offices with at least 25 partners in the 2009 Legal Times 150 published in the October 19, 2009 issue of The National Law Journal. Twenty-five percent of the firm's 28 directors identify as minorities - the next highest ranked firm had seventeen percent minority partners. Additionally, SKGF was ranked #18 in total lawyer racial diversity. "We are very pleased with our diversity," said firm Managing Director Michael B. Ray. "We place a premium on lawyers who also have advanced degrees in various technical and scientific fields, which naturally means that we work with a significantly smaller recruitment pool than firms with multiple practice areas. Moreover, this pool tends to be less diverse, because certain minority groups tend to be underrepresented in engineering and the sciences. To fully appreciate the scope of this issue, consider that, of our 127 timekeeping professionals, we have a large number of Ph.D.'s and Master's degrees." Each year, the Legal Times/The National Law Journal surveys all Washington, D.C. metro area law offices in order to compile its Legal Times 150 rankings.

Lawsuits Target Testing for Legal Drugs

Workforce Management
October 2009

An automotive parts distributor is the target of lawsuits over its drug-testing policy, including one filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that workers’ rights were violated when they were tested for legally prescribed drugs. By Jeff Casale

An automotive parts distributor is the target of lawsuits over its drug-testing policy, including one filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that workers’ rights were violated when they were tested for legally prescribed drugs.
The EEOC filed a complaint last month in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against Rochester Hills, Michigan-based Dura Automotive Systems, which tested all of its production employees for certain legally prescribed drugs in addition to illegal, controlled substances in 2007.
The EEOC contends that Dura violated “various provisions” of the Americans with Disabilities Act by testing for legally prescribed drugs without having just cause. According to the complaint on behalf of employees of Dura’s Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, plant, the employer “tested without reasonable suspicion that such medications were affecting the employees in performance of their jobs.”
Further, the lawsuit states that Dura practiced “unlawful” employment practices, including suspending employees in excess of 30 days if they tested positive for certain legally prescribed medications. Dura also required that employees disclose medical conditions for which they had to take the drugs and required workers to forgo taking their medications as a condition of returning to work, according to the suit.
If workers failed at their job duties without the benefit of their prescribed medications, they were fired, the suit alleges.

Full Story:

Sex Stereotyping Claim of Working Mother

Workforce Management Online
May 2009

Employers are cautioned that job decisions that are based on assumptions that a woman, because she is a woman, will neglect her job responsibilities because of childcare responsibilities can be evidence of sex discrimination.
By James E. Hall, Mark T. Kobata and Marty Denis

Laurie Chadwick, a working mother of an 11-year-old son and 6-year-old triplets, worked in the Maine office of health insurer WellPoint Inc. as a recovery specialist II. In 2006, Chadwick applied for promotion to "recovery specialist lead’’ or "team lead,’’ a management position, but was passed over for that promotion.
Chadwick sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Maine Human Rights Act. Chadwick’s Title VII claim was based on three comments relating to her family responsibilities, including comments made by her supervisor that "you have a lot on your plate’’ and "if [the three interviewers] were in your position, they would feel overwhelmed.’’
WellPoint defended its denial of the promotion on the basis that mothers with young children neglect the duties of their job due to child care obligations.
The district court dismissed Chadwick’s claims on summary judgment, finding that sex bias could not be shown in the promotion because Chadwick’s supervisor did not expressly state "that Chadwick’s sex was the basis for her assumption that Chadwick would not be able to handle the demands of work and home.’’

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Va. Military Institute faces sexism accusations

Associated Press
By SUE LINDSEY (AP) – 1 day ago

LEXINGTON, Va. — Virginia Military Institute is defending itself against a lengthy investigation into accusations that the school's policies are sexist and hostile toward female cadets, a dozen years after women won the right to enroll.
The federal Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has an ongoing investigation of a sex discrimination complaint at the small, state-supported school that so far has taken nearly a year and a half — three times longer than usual.
Defenders say VMI has worked hard to recruit women and make them comfortable since the U.S. Supreme Court ordered co-education in 1997, but women remain a small minority. Of the 1,500 cadets on the Shenandoah Valley campus this fall, 126 are women.
"The language and terminology that is used and considered acceptable by VMI in the barracks reflects a climate and culture that is derogatory and discriminatory toward the women that are required as cadets to live in the barracks," according to the Education Department's June 2008 complaint.

Full Story:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Changing workplace culture on the waterfront stalled by lack of women workers

The Vancouver Sun
By Kim Pemberton, Vancouver Sun
November 22, 2009

VANCOUVER - Attempts to deal with complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination against female workers appear to be stalled, the head of the BC Maritime Employers Association has indicated.
BCMEA president and CEO Andy Smith said a management proposal to deal with the problems can’t proceed until a union demand to clear up a backlog of job applicants is dealt with.
But since only 132 of the nearly 2,000 applicants are women and jobs on the waterfront are scarce, it would be a long time before any real gender equity would be achieved at the port. Only 4.7 per cent of Vancouver longshore workers are women now, and only some of them are union members.
“This is an issue of under-representation,” Smith said in an interview. “We won’t get the culture changed with the tiny fragment of women working on the waterfront.”
Smith also said that the union — the International Longshore Warehouse Union Canada — wants the benefits of existing longshore workers to be improved before proceeding with affirmative action.

Full Story:

Rights Groups Urge Congress to Fix Broken Civil Rights Commission
November 19, 2009 - Posted by Lara Awad

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has become harmfully politicized and has strayed from its mission to protect the civil rights of Americans. That was the message that the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the ACLU, and a coalition other civil and human rights groups presented at a November 18 congressional briefing.
The groups called for reforms that would broaden the commission's mandate so that it can better investigate and address civil rights issues and work to strengthen U.S. commitments on human rights. In particular, they are seeking a change in the way that members are appointed to the commission to ensure that commissioners remain independent. Currently, members are appointed by Congress and the president and are not required to undergo a confirmation process.

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EEOC Issues Statement on Genetic Information Discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has posted a statement on the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) on its website. Title II of the Act took effect November 21, 2009. The following is an excerpt. See the entire statement at:

Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment, takes effect on November 21, 2009.
Under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts acquisition of genetic information by employers and other entities covered by Title II, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.
The EEOC enforces Title II of GINA (dealing with genetic discrimination in employment). The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury have responsibility for issuing regulations for Title I of GINA, which addresses the use of genetic information in health insurance.
Definition of “Genetic Information”
Genetic information includes information about an individual’s genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual’s family members, as well as information about any disease, disorder, or condition of an individual’s family members (i.e. an individual’s family medical history). Family medical history is included in the definition of genetic information because it is often used to determine whether someone has an increased risk of getting a disease, disorder, or condition in the future.
Discrimination Because of Genetic Information
The law forbids discrimination on the basis of genetic information when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, or any other term or condition of employment. An employer may never use genetic information to make an employment decision because genetic information doesn’t tell the employer anything about someone’s current ability to work.
Harassment Because of Genetic Information
Under GINA, it is also illegal to harass a person because of his or her genetic information. Harassment can include, for example, making offensive or derogatory remarks about an applicant or employee’s genetic information, or about the genetic information of a relative of the applicant or employee. Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee, such as a client or customer.

OFCCP PowerPoint Presentation on Federal Construction Contractor Compliance and ARRA Available

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has posted the November 19, 2009 webinar PowerPoint Presentation for construction contractors receiving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding on its website. To access the presentation go to:

Another webinar session for construction contractors is scheduled for December 9, 2009.

American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Webinar for New Federal Supply & Service Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is hosting a webinar for new federal supply and service (non-construction) contractors receiving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds on December 17, 2009. See more information below:

Space is limited.Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Please join the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) – as it presents information on the equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action (AA) provisions of Federal contracts involving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds. If your company provides goods or services to a Federal agency, or provides goods or services to another company that supplies a Federal agency, you may be a "federal contractor or subcontractor." This webinar will cover supply and service contractor obligations and what you need to know and do to be in compliance. This webinar is approximately 1.5 hours long that includes 30 minutes of Q&A opportunities. We invite you to e-mail us your questions in advance of the webinar.


American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Webinar for New Federal Supply & Service Contractors


Thursday, December 17, 2009


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System RequirementsPC-based attendeesRequired: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendeesRequired: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

University merger plan draws fire
November 21, 2009

Governor willing to listen to other ideas, his spokesman says
Kathleen Baydala

Declining revenue will result in changes to Mississippi higher education, according to the governor and state education officials. But supporters of the state's three public, historically black universities say an unfair share of the burden is being heaped upon them.
Several hundred students, alumni and supporters of Alcorn State, Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State universities gathered at the Capitol steps in Jackson on Friday afternoon to protest the proposed merger of the three schools. Clusters of purple and gold, kelly green and white and royal blue and white chanted, "No! No! No!"
"The governor's plan is absolutely racist," said Charles Chiplin, advisor of JSU's NAACP chapter. "We resent the notion of our three black schools being asked to merge when cuts aren't affecting the major white universities."
"We have given 247 years of free labor for this country, 110 to 115 of the worst kind of discrimination and now you want to put all of our schools under one roof. Not until hell freezes over," said Mississippi Valley State alumnus and state Sen. David Jordan, D-Greenwood.

Full Story:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Ban on Genetic Discrimination

The New York Times
November 22, 2009

It is rare when antidiscrimination law is extended to a whole new group of people, but that happened on Saturday, when a federal ban on discriminating on the basis of genetic background took effect. The new law is an important step in protecting people who have inherited a predisposition to disease. It removes a significant obstacle to genetic testing, which can help prevent and treat serious illnesses.
Genetic testing can warn people that they have a disposition for diseases like cancer, and it can help doctors adapt courses of treatment to particular patients.
As advances have been made in genetic testing, however, employers and insurance companies have used it to penalize people. There have been reports of people being denied jobs or being fired because a parent had Huntington’s disease, or the worker had a BRCA1 gene that predisposed her to breast and ovarian cancer. People with family histories of certain diseases have had difficulty in buying health insurance.
A woman whose two children carried a gene for a liver deficiency was denied health insurance in 2003 even though, as carriers of the gene, they would not develop the problem themselves. In a survey, 63 percent of respondents said they would not submit to genetic testing if employers or health insurers could see the results.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ushers in a new era. The law prohibits employers from asking for genetic tests or taking into account an employee’s genetic background in hiring, firing or promotions. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic background in group and individual health insurance plans.

Full Story:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Paralyzed Davis woman passes bar exam after fight to take it

The Sacramento Bee
Published Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009

Sara Granda, the woman paralyzed from the neck down who was able to take the state bar examination only after the governor and the State Supreme Court intervened, passed the bar today.
"Sara has overcome so much in her life and today I congratulate her for once again persevering and passing the California Bar Exam," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a prepared statement. "Her hard work, dedication and outlook on life" are an inspiration and prove that "opportunity lies in every obstacle," he said.
"She is a fighter and today I join Sara, her family and friends and all Californians as we celebrate her tremendous achievement," he said.
Granda, 29, can breathe only with a respirator, the result of a car crash when she was 17. Since the accident, she has earned three college degrees, including one in May from the UC Davis School of Law.
Confusion over her registration fee led to the State Bar of California's determination that she was ineligible for the exam because it had no application when the June 15 deadline passed.
Schwarzenegger, wrote a letter to the members of the Supreme Court, urging them to grant Granda's petition to be allowed to take the exam.

Full Story:

Friday, November 20, 2009

AAAA on Facebook and Twitter!

AAAA has joined the ranks of Social Networking websites and has created a page on Facebook. Become a fan and follow our newest events and pursuits. Share your suggestions about webinars, policy, classroom training, news and more!

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Ku Klux Klan plans rally at Ole Miss to stand for Rebel fight song

Commercial Appeal
Memphis, TN
'It's freedom of speech,' KKK leader maintains
By Phil West
Posted November 20, 2009 at 12:03 a.m.

OXFORD, Miss. -- The Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan plan a rally before Saturday's LSU-Ole Miss football game to protest Chancellor Dan Jones' decision to bar the school band from playing "From Dixie with Love," a medley that some fans finish by shouting, "The South shall rise again."
Jones ordered the band on Nov. 17 to stop playing the medley that blends "Dixie," the Confederate Army's fight song, with the Union Army's "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
The band has played the song during Ole Miss football games for about 20 years.
Jones said the chant supports "those outside our community who would advocate a revival of segregation."
Jones' decision has stirred up the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which plans a 10 a.m. rally in front of the Fulton Chapel before the 2:30 p.m. start of the game.
"This is not a white or black issue at all. It's freedom of speech.

Full Story:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2,000 students owe university place to affirmative action (Israel)
By Ofri Ilani

Some 2,000 students were admitted to sought-after programs in Israeli universities based on affirmative action initiatives, according to figures presented yesterday at a conference organized by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. One researcher told conference participants, however, that the scope of such programs remains too limited and that more applicants could be applying to them than currently are. The affirmative action policy, which has been implemented at Israel's universities for several years now, was intended to help academically motivated students from peripheral areas and lower-income families receive a quality higher education.
A study conducted by Sigal Alon of Tel Aviv University's Department of Sociology found that students accepted through affirmative action programs perform nearly as well as those accepted through traditional means.

Full Story:

Title IX Includes Maternal Discrimination

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 19, 2009

By Mary Ann Mason
Barack Obama, in the month before his election, promised an audience of members of the Association for Women in Science and the Society of Women Engineers that he would do more to enforce Title IX, which prevents sexual discrimination in educational programs and activities receiving federal funds. He also vowed to significantly increase the number of women in science and technology.
On the 37th anniversary of Title IX, the Obama administration recommitted to women's advancement in the sciences when Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Valerie Jarrett, a White House senior adviser, issued a statement that said the law was integral "to encourage women to pursue their aspirations in fields in which they have been historically underrepresented, such as science and technology."
President Obama should be aware that Title IX does not just cover blatant gender discrimination—such as a bias that women are not as competent as men in science or math. It also protects women against sex discrimination on the basis of marital, parental, or family status, and on the basis of pregnancy. Those provisions come into play over the issue of retaining female scientists in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the STEM fields.

Full Story:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Swim club accused of bias files for bankruptcy
By Vanessa Juarez, CNN
November 18, 2009 1:16 p.m. EST

(CNN) -- The Pennsylvania swim club accused of discriminating against minority children over the summer has filed for bankruptcy, according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The club filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Tuesday, an assistant to the court's clerk said.
The filing could affect potential settlements stemming from the June incident in which the Philadelphia-area Valley Swim Club canceled a contract for swimming privileges for about 65 children -- most of them minorities -- from the Creative Steps day care after their first visit.
Some black and Hispanic children said white club members made racist comments to them during that visit, asking why black children were there and raising concerns that "they might steal from us."

Full Story:

Black power has arrived _ with some new challenges

Associated Press
November 18, 2009

WASHINGTON — Ten months after Democrats took over the Capitol and the first African-American president moved into the White House, black lawmakers are in control of some of the most powerful positions in Congress — and face new challenges to using their long-sought influence.
There have been some victories — guaranteeing that stimulus money reaches some of the poorest parts of the country, expanding hate crimes legislation and moving to close health care disparities.
But "in some ways, our strategies haven't caught up with our own power," said Benjamin Todd Jealous, chief executive of the NAACP.
"The civil rights community is used to passing big omnibus legislative acts," he said. "We're not so accustomed to having the power to slice and dice that into 20 pieces and attach that to various other appropriations bills."
For generations, civil rights were inseparable from black politicians. That era ended with President Barack Obama, who has declined to engage in traditional black advocacy.
So any new efforts to help blacks who remain disproportionately unemployed, incarcerated, unhealthy and undereducated will most likely come from the 42 members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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UCF Report: College Football Far Behind Other Sports in Diversity

University of Central Florida
By UCF Staff
Nov. 17, 2009

Leadership positions at Football Bowl Subdivision universities are overwhelmingly held by white men, despite the fact that more than half of the student-athletes are African-American, according to a University of Central Florida study released today.
Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at UCF, penned the “The Buck Stops Here: Assessing Diversity among Campus and Conference Leaders for Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Schools in the 2009-10 Academic Year.” The report examines the lack of diversity in key leadership roles in college football.
Lapchick reviewed the race and gender of conference commissioners and campus leaders, including college and university presidents, athletics directors and faculty athletics representatives, for all 120 FBS institutions. The study also includes head football coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators, assistant coaches and football student-athletes. Finally, the faculty as a whole is examined.
Lapchick notes in the study, “Women and people of color who seek leadership positions in American higher education and in college sport face enormous odds. The leadership in the power structure in college sport remains overwhelming white.”
In the 2009 season, there are seven African-American coaches, one Latino coach and one Asian coach in the FBS, for a total of nine coaches of color. There were eight coaches of color in 2008.
However, “even with the record number of head coaches of color, college football is still far behind other college and professional sports," Lapchick said. “While the percentages are slightly better in some categories, the general picture is still one of white men running college sport. Overall, the numbers simply do not reflect the diversity of our student-athletes.”

To read the full report, click here.

'Affirmative Action for the Future'

Inside Higher Ed
November 18, 2009

While the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the consideration of race and ethnicity in college admissions, the future of affirmative action is far from certain. Some states have barred it and critics continue to look for ways to challenge it. In his new book, Affirmative Action for the Future (Cornell University Press), James P. Sterba offers a defense of affirmative action. Sterba is a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and his analysis mixes philosophical and legal arguments. Via e-mail, he responded to questions about his book.
Q: How do you define affirmative action?
A: Affirmative action is a policy of favoring qualified women, minority, or economically disadvantaged candidates over qualified men, nonminority or economically advantaged candidates respectively with the immediate goals of outreach, remedying discrimination, or achieving diversity, and the ultimate goals of attaining a colorblind (racially just), a gender-free (sexually just) and equal opportunity (economically just) society.
Q: How vulnerable is affirmative action in higher education today?
A: The constitutionality of affirmative action in higher education has been endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bakke (1978) and then 25 years later even more firmly by a much more conservative U.S. Supreme Court in Grutter (2003). So affirmative action in higher education is not vulnerable at all from the courts. It has, however, been shown to be vulnerable to deceptively designed referendums as in California (Proposition 209) and Michigan (Proposition 2). When people in California were asked whether they would still favor Proposition 209 if it outlawed all affirmative action programs for women and minorities, support for 209 dropped to 30 percent while those opposed rose to 56 percent. But deceptively designed Proposition 209 was the referendum that legally banned affirmative action programs for women and minorities in California!
Q: Why do you distinguish in the book between "outreach," "remedial" and "diversity" affirmative action?
A: Outreach affirmative action has the goal of searching out qualified women, minority or economically disadvantaged candidates who would otherwise not know about or apply for the available positions, but then hire or accept only those who are actually the most qualified.
Remedial affirmative action attempts to remedy discrimination. Here, there are two possibilities. First, a remedial affirmative action program can be designed simply to put an end to an existing discriminatory practice, and create, possibly for the first time in a particular setting, a truly nondiscriminatory playing field. Second, a remedial affirmative action program can attempt to compensate for past discrimination and the effects of that discrimination.
Diversity affirmative action has the goal of diversity, where the pursuit of diversity is, in turn, justified either in terms of certain educational benefits it provides, or in terms of its ability to legitimately create a more effective workforce in such areas as policing or community relations, or in terms of achieving equal opportunity. Here it might even be said that the affirmative action candidates are, in fact, the most the most qualified candidates overall, since the less diverse candidates would not be as qualified.

Full Story:

Purchase this book from the AAAA Bookstore,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Proposal 2 challenge continues
Last Updated: November 17. 2009 10:52AM
Laura Berman

Three years after Michigan voters approved Proposal 2, the constitutional amendment that ended the use of affirmative action in college admissions, lawyers are set to argue in a federal appeals court that the new law is unconstitutional.
And while you might not want to bet big on the challengers -- they lost an opening round in U.S. District Court -- their case is intriguing.
The ACLU is representing 18 students and faculty members at the University of Michigan in its lawsuit against the state of Michigan, saying that Proposal 2 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The new law makes any effort to reinstate affirmative action laws difficult -- creating an undue burden on minorities who would benefit from such laws, they argue.
What's clear, and unsurprising, is that Proposal 2 has cut into African-American enrollment at state universities, especially at the University of Michigan, the state's most selective school. While the law hasn't had an impact on gender or some minorities, Native American and African American admissions are down at U-M and some other state universities.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Court to consider Mich. affirmative action ban

Dayton Daily News
The Associated Press
2:06 PM Monday, November 16, 2009
LANSING, Mich. — A federal appeals court is set to consider a lawsuit challenging Michigan's ban against racial preferences in public university admissions and government hiring.
Nineteen University of Michigan students, faculty and applicants say the 2006 anti-affirmative action ballot measure approved by voters is unconstitutional.
Critics say the constitutional amendment has created an unfair process where universities give weight to geographical diversity and legacy status but not racial identity.
Allowing race to be a factor in admissions could change only with a statewide voter initiative rather than a vote of the university's governing board.
Supporters say the law reflects the will of the people.

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New Report Finds Greater Diversity in U.S. Union Membership
November 10, 2009 - Posted by Ron Bigler

The popular image of a typical union member in the United States has been of a middle-age White man working in a factory. While that may have been true a quarter century ago, it is far from accurate today, as a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) finds.
Almost half of unionized workers (45 percent) in 2008 were women, up from 35 percent in 1983, according to "The Changing Face of Labor 1983 - 2008." The report, which analyzes demographic trends in the union workforce over the last 25 years, predicts that, based on current trends, women will be the majority of union members before 2020.
The report also found that:
Latinos (12 percent) are the fastest growing ethnic group in the labor movement, up from just 5.8 percent in 1983.
Asians (4.6 percent) have nearly doubled as a percentage of the union workforce since 1989 (2.5 percent).
The share of Black workers in the unionized workforce has held fairly steady at 13 percent since 1983, while there has been a large decline in the representation of White workers in the same period.

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Assistant Attorney General Perez Testifies on the Need for ENDA
November 11, 2009 - Posted by Adam Lange

Enacting legislation that would prevent employers from discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a top priority for the Obama administration, according to Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general, Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
"We cannot in good conscience stand by and watch unjustifiable discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals occur in the workplace without redress," Perez told members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions at a hearing last week on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). "We have come too far in our struggle for 'equal justice under the law' to remain silent or stoic."
As head of the Civil Rights Division, Perez oversees the enforcement of federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, religion, and national origin, including the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act.

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UC Merced professor to receive Spendlove award

Merced Sun-Star
Monday, Nov. 16, 2009

UC Merced said Faye J. Crosby, a social psychologist and expert on affirmative action, is the recipient of this year's Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and Tolerance. The university will give the prize to Crosby during her public lecture on Nov. 20.
A UC Santa Cruz professor since 1997, Crosby investigates the foundation of people's reactions to affirmative action. Her most recent books include "Affirmative Action Is Dead: Long Live Affirmative Action" and "Sex Discrimination in the Workplace."
A Merced native, Sherrie Spendlove established the award in honor of her parents, Clifford and Alice Spendlove, to recognize individuals who exemplify the delivery of social justice, diplomacy and tolerance in local and global society.

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AAAA Hosts Webinar on Linking Inclusion to Incentive Pay

AAAA Professional Development and Training Institute
2009 Webinar Series
Linking Inclusion to Incentive Pay
Thursday, December 10, 2009 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm (Eastern Time)
WebEx Conferencing WebinarRoom entrance begins at 1:45p.m. EST
Presenter: Jerome Offord, Jr.

Registration Link:

Linking Inclusion to Incentive Pay
In the economic and technological climate of today, where companies and institutions are facing demands of various stakeholders, the potential loss of employees and an aging workforce, the need to recruit, engage and reward high performing staff continues. Incentive plans have been used by organizations to motivate, recruit, and retain high performing staff. Historically, incentive plans were limited to executives and/or senior management. Over time, organizations benefited from high performing employees by seeing increased profit margins. Over the past decade, as the global markets have challenged U.S. based organizations to think and expand globally, organizations have either added or enhanced their incentive plans to include some form of diversity. The diversity component, which varies according to the company’s mission, can center on the recruitment and retention of diverse staff or focus on increasing staff’s core competencies in the area of diversity and inclusion.

The Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC), a worldwide library services organization headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, is a leader in information technologies and innovative online services. With office locations around the globe, OCLC employees are dedicated to offering premier services and software to help libraries cut costs while keeping pace with the demands of our information-driven society.

This webinar will focus on OCLC’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion by offering incentive pay along with other strategies. Participants will discuss:

Historical Overview – Why an Incentive for Inclusion
Components of the Inclusion Scorecard
Program Management and Support from Senior Leaders
Day-to-Day Program Management
Tools Used for Buy-In
Challenges to Managing an Incentive based program
Success Stories

About the Presenter
Our presenter, Jerome Offord, Jr., is the Diversity Officer and Corporate Inclusion Manager for the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC). As the Diversity Officer and Corporate Inclusion Manager, Mr. Offord is responsible for implementing OCLC’s global diversity and inclusion efforts, which include both an internal and external focus. Mr. Offord is responsible for managing the OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship program, OCLC Inclusion Initiative Internship Program, the organization’s global diversity training, the Inclusion Scorecard for Managers and Senior Leaders, and is chair of the OCLC President’s Inclusion Council. He is responsible for managing a $2.3 million dollar budget. Mr. Offord, who is a member of AAAA, will be joined by Tammi Spayde, Vice President for Corporate Human Resource, OCLC.This program is eligible for 1.5 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

Title IX suit targets KU men’s athletics
By Andy Hyland
November 15, 2009
Complaint focuses on level of competition for under-represented gender

A former Kansas University swimmer and member of the 1980 Olympic team has filed a Title IX complaint against the university, alleging that the school does not offer adequate competition for men.
The federal education department’s Office of Civil Rights will investigate the claim filed by Ron Neugent, who is now a dentist in Wichita.
He said he filed the complaint on Sept. 25, alleging that KU fails the three-pronged test required for Title IX compliance.
Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletic director, said he wouldn’t address any of the specific allegations raised in the complaint, but said that the athletics corporation hires a Title IX consultant who has raised no issues relating to compliance.
“We are very, very comfortable with where we are with regards to Title IX and our opportunities that we give to our student-athletes,” Marchiony said.
He said that Kansas Athletics would be meeting with officials from the Office of Civil Rights in the coming weeks.

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Victoria Lipnic Nominated to EEOC

The White House website indicates that on November 3, 2009 the President nominated Victoria Lipnic, former Assistant Secretary for the Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, to serve as a commissioner to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Ms. Lipnic is currently of counsel to the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw. The following is her firm biography:

Victoria A. Lipnic

Practice Areas
Labor & Employment; Workplace Counseling & Solutions

The Honorable Victoria A. Lipnic is of counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Ms. Lipnic was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards from 2002 until 2009, where she oversaw the Employment Standards Administration (ESA). ESA is the largest agency in the Department of Labor and enforces some of the most comprehensive labor and employment laws that impact more than 135 million workers in 7.3 million workplaces. The agency includes the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (affirmative action for federal contractors), the Office of Labor Management Standards (which oversees union financial disclosures and union officer elections), and the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. Each of these four major program areas has a network of regional, district, and field offices throughout the country. As Assistant Secretary, the senior leadership of each agency reported directly to her.
Ms. Lipnic led the teams who successfully revised the Part 541 overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act regulations, the first-ever compensation guidance and regulations from OFCCP, and the first revisions to the union financial disclosure regulations in 40 years. Also, under her leadership, the Wage and Hour Division made it a priority to systematically respond to wage and hour opinion letter requests, issuing more than 300 opinion letters during her tenure. She worked closely with the Solicitor of Labor’s office on numerous projects including a number of seminal FLSA issues that went before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Wage and Hour Division’s settlement of the largest FLSA case in its history with a private sector employer.
In addition to her work with the Department of Labor, Ms. Lipnic’s experience in Washington, D.C. includes service as Workforce Policy Counsel to the Republican members of the Education and Labor Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. She has a vast array of contacts in the executive branch and on Capitol Hill and, having led so many high-profile projects, she also has extensive experience with the national media. Ms. Lipnic has testified before Congress many times and is a frequent speaker before trade associations, business groups, and human resource associations. In June 2009, she testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on proposed “paid sick leave” legislation. Before her work for Congress, Ms. Lipnic acted as in-house counsel for labor and employment matters to the U.S. Postal Service for six years. During that time, the Postal Service was the largest employer in the country and she provided counseling and handled litigation on matters involving the organization’s employees at corporate headquarters and plants and facilities around the country. She also served as a special assistant for business liaison to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the Honorable Malcolm Baldrige.
J.D., George Mason University School of Law (1991)
B.A., Allegheny College (1982)
Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Regal Entertainment Group to Pay $175,000 for Sex Harassment of Man by Female Co-Worker

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release

EEOC Said Manager Also Retaliated Against Victim and Supervisors Who Tried to Help

LOS ANGELES – Regal Entertainment Group, a national movie theater chain, will pay $175,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that the company subjected a male employee to sexual harassment by a female co-worker and then retaliated against him for complaining about the unlawful conduct – along with two supervisors who tried to help.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that a male employee at a Regal theater in Marina del Rey, Calif., a section of Los Angeles, was subjected to a sexually hostile workplace by a female co-worker who repeatedly grabbed his crotch. When the male victim and his direct supervisor complained to the theater’s then-general manager, she failed to take adequate steps to stop or prevent the harassment. Instead, the EEOC said, she retaliated against the harassed employee and two other supervisory employees (male and female), who are part of the EEOC’s suit. The retaliation included unwarranted discipline, unfairly lower performance evaluations and/or stricter scrutiny of performance.
Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit against Regal in 2006 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (U.S. EEOC v. Regal Entertainment Group, Inc., CV06-04145-ABC [CWx]) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
According to EEOC data, the percentage of men filing sexual harassment charges with the federal agency and state/local government agencies nationwide has increased over the past decade from 12 to 16 percent of all charges involving sexual harassment.
In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree settling the case requires Regal Entertainment Group to: provide annual anti-discrimination training to its employees; closely track any future discrimination complaints to conform to its obligations under Title VII; and provide annual reports to the EEOC regarding its employment practices.
Regional Attorney Anna Park of the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office said, “Employers need to reinforce the proper responses to complaints of sexual harassment and take a hard line against retaliation. In this case, the sexual harassment claim was absolutely valid, but even in cases where discrimination allegation lacks merit, the EEOC will still hold companies liable for any subsequent retaliation against the person who complained or other individuals who supported the claim.”
The EEOC’s Los Angeles District Director Olophius Perry added, “The remedial relief contained in this settlement serves as a model for the entertainment industry in terms of voluntary compliance with federal discrimination laws. We are pleased that Regal is now taking the steps necessary to provide a discrimination-free workplace for all employees going forward.”
According to its web site,, Knoxville, Tenn.-based “Regal Entertainment Group operates the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuit in the United States, consisting of 6,773 screens in 549 theatres in 39 states and the District of Columbia.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

Cheesecake Factory Settles EEOC Suit in Case of Severe Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Restaurant Chain Will Pay $345,000 to Six Male Employees Who Agency Alleged Were Repeatedly Sexually Assaulted

PHOENIX – Cheesecake Factory, Inc., a nationwide restaurant chain that touts itself as a place to create “lasting memories with family and friends,” will pay $345,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that six male employees were subjected to repeated sexual harassment at the company’s Chandler Mall location.
In its lawsuit (EEOC v. Cheesecake Factory, Inc., CV 08-1207-PHX-NVW), the EEOC charged that Cheesecake knew about and tolerated repeated sexual assaults against six male employees by a group of male kitchen staffers. The company denied the allegations. However, according to the agency, the evidence overwhelmingly showed that the men suffered sexually abusive behavior, including abusers directly touching victims’ genitals, making sexually charged remarks, grinding their genitals against them, and forcing victims into repeated episodes of simulated rape. Managers witnessed employees dragging their victims kicking and screaming into the refrigerator, the EEOC charged.
Complaints to virtually every manager at the restaurant were made, but they never put a stop to it. Victims felt helpless, the agency said, and one finally had to call the police.
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, said, “The evidence was clear, and everyone knew about it. Behind the lavish d├ęcor that the company boasts on its web site was a horribly dysfunctional workplace where male workers lived in fear.”
The two-year consent decree settling the suit, in addition to the monetary relief for the six victims, calls for the company to specifically train its employees and managers about sexual harassment and institute an ombudsman to field and address sexual harassment complaints by employees, among other injunctive measures. Failure by the company to fulfill its duties under the decree may mean court intervention and possibly sanctions.
Guy Knoller, one the EEOC trial attorneys who prosecuted this case, pointed out that the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office is prosecuting a similar case against Fleming’s Prime Steak House.
Acting District Director Rayford Irvin of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office said, “I am glad that such a severe case of same-sex sexual harassment has been resolved and that we can steer the Cheesecake Factory in the right direction toward creating a safe work environment free of sexual harassment for all employees. I’d like to commend the superb investigative and litigation efforts made by the EEOC team in Phoenix.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

DOL Reorganizes the Employment Standards Administration

Department of Labor Notice: New Structure Strengthens Employment Standard

On Nov. 8 Secretary Solis made an important step forward in reinvigorating the Department by restructuring the four Employment Standards Administration (ESA) component programs – the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs and the Office of Labor Management Standards – as stand-alone agencies reporting directly to her office. The reorganization will improve efficiency by streamlining operations, increasing accountability, heightening enforcement of worker protection laws and benefit payment programs, and enhancing responsiveness to the public.

Note that the URL for OFCCP has changed:

NOTICE: Change in All OFCCP URL Addresses Effective November 9, 2009, all OFCCP URL addresses have been changed and no longer include “esa/” in them. All URL addresses that previously ended in “” now end in “” Please remove “esa/” from any OFCCP links you may have bookmarked, and delete “esa/” from all OFCCP URL addresses when locating OFCCP documents.

Deputy secretary of labor testifies before Senate subcommittee on paid sick leave for workers and families

News Release
OPA News Release: [11/10/2009]
Contact Name: Gloria Della or Clarisse Young
Phone Number: (202) 693-8664 or x4676
Release Number: 09-1389-NAT

Announces Obama Administration endorsement of Healthy Families Act

WASHINGTON — Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris today testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families regarding workplace flexibility and paid leave in the context of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. Harris expressed the administration's strong support for the Healthy Families Act as a way to provide workplace flexibilities and increased economic security.
"It's common sense and good business sense — workers should be able to stay home if they are ill," said Harris. "The Healthy Families Act offers a great opportunity to level the playing field for workers and gives them the ability to stay home if they are sick without fear of losing their jobs or being forced to work sick."
Nearly 40 percent of private sector workers do not receive paid sick leave, according to a recent survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In his testimony, Harris noted that our current system forces many sick workers to go to work and many working parents to send sick children to school. He said such a system poses a threat to public health, the nation's economic future and a social system that depends heavily on people caring for themselves and their family members.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis added: "The Department of Labor is committed to making 'good jobs for everyone' a reality. A critical part of achieving that vision is workplace flexibilities that ensure workers and their families are healthy and safe. The Healthy Families Act is a strong step toward that end."
The full text of today's testimony is available on the Labor Department's Web site at

American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Webinar for Federal and Federally-Assisted Construction Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced two upcoming webinars on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. See the information below:

Webinar for Federal and Federally-Assisted Construction Contractors

Please join the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) – as it presents information on the equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action (AA) provisions of Federal contracts involving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds. Construction federal contractors are required to take specific affirmative action steps – 16 to be exact. In this webinar, Federal and federally-assisted construction contractors and subcontractors will learn about these 16 steps and what to expect during a compliance evaluation. This webinar is approximately 1.5 hours long that includes 30 minutes of Q&A opportunities. We invite you to e-mail us your questions in advance of the webinar.

Register for a session now by clicking a date below:

Thu, Nov 19, 2009 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST

Go to: for more information.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2 Universities, Citing Concerns of Blind, Hold Off on Kindle

Inside Higher Ed
Quick Takes
November 11, 2009

The National Federation of the Blind will announce today that Syracuse University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison are holding off on expansions of Kindle offerings for students until the reading device is more accessible to the visually impaired, the Associated Press announced. "These universities are saying, 'Our policy is nondiscrimination, so we're not going to adopt a technology we know for sure discriminates against blind students,'" said a spokesman for the federation.

Full Story:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Affirmative action for dudes

The Daily Illini
Opinions Blog
Jordan Harp Opinions blogger and columnist Contact me
November 9th, 2009 - 10:04 PM

If there is ever an example of a foot in mouth moment for progressive policies, it became evident last week.
Last week, the Chronicle on Higher Education reported that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights had begun examining whether colleges were discriminating against women in admissions decisions. The investigation, “FY 2010 Project on Sex Discrimination in Higher Education Admissions,” aims to determine if co-ed institutions are giving undue preference to male applicants in order to avoid having a gender imbalance on their campuses.
The irony here would be painful were it not so amusing. Affirmative action has enjoyed near universal support among feminist groups, in part because of their belief that preferences help women in getting admitted to college. Four years ago Michigan feminist organizations were unanimous in their opposition to the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which would have eliminated admissions preferences on the basis of race or sex. But now the policy that they so vehemently support is hurting those that they claim to represent.
Anyone who has been to high school knows that when it comes to academics, boys do in fact drool a bit. Valedictorians today are overwhelmingly female. High school dropout rates nationwide are much higher for men than they are for women. And for those who do graduate, women are more likely to go to college and get accepted to college, and then once they actually get to college, women are more likely to graduate.
This has led to some demographic problems at some universities. The article in the Chronicle mentions the University of Rochester. Although admissions percentages were relatively equal for men and women there in the last cycle, just three years ago the acceptance rate for men was 54 percent, while for women it was just 41 percent, both from higher numbers of and stronger female applicants.

Full Blog Post:

Harkin Promises Approval of Sexual Orientation Discrimination Legislation in 2010

Workforce Management
November 6, 2009

A pivotal senator on employment issues predicted congressional approval in 2010 of legislation that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Although health care is dominating this year’s legislative calendar, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa and chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, promised an Obama administration official at a hearing Thursday, November 5, that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would get to President Barack Obama’s desk.
“We’re going to move this bill next year,” Harkin said to Tom Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights. “I’ll see you at the bill signing.”
The measure would prohibit basing hiring, firing, promotion and compensation decisions on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Supporters assert that a federal bill is required because only 29 states have laws protecting gays and lesbians at a business operation.

Full Story:

Defense Bill Extends Military Families’ FMLA Coverage

Workforce Management
November 2, 2009

President Barack Obama has signed into law a Defense Department spending bill that further expands Family and Medical Leave Act coverage for families of employees in the military.
The measure, H.R. 2647, builds on a 2008 law that gave new FMLA rights to military families.
Under the new law, signed by Obama on Wednesday, October 27, employees will be allowed to take up to 12 weeks of leave when a spouse, child or parent on active military duty is deployed to a foreign country. The 2008 law did not explicitly give FMLA leave rights in that situation.
In addition, the law allows employees to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of a child, spouse, parent or next of kin who was discharged from the military and whose military service aggravated a medical condition that existed prior to the service.
While the new law “makes changes around the edges” of the 2008 law and will affect a small number of employees, those changes will be very important to those individuals, said Matt Morris, a legal consultant with Hewitt Associates Inc.
Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

Monday, November 9, 2009

Black caucus seeks info on Boeing's hiring practices

The State
Business - Breaking Business
Monday, Nov. 09, 2009
By Yvonne Wenger - The (Charleston) Post and Courier

South Carolina's Legislative Black Caucus wants to make sure that minorities have a fair and equal shot at the new jobs Boeing Co. is bringing to the Lowcountry, according to letter obtained by The Post and Courier Monday.
Sen. Robert Ford, a Charleston Democrat and chairman of the caucus' Civil Rights and Affirmative Action Committee, wrote Boeing's president Jim McNerney Oct. 30 to ask for information about the company's hiring practices.
Ford, who is running for governor, represents Senate District 42, where Boeing's newly announced Dreamliner production line will be located. He included in the letter the racial makeup of his district and the greater Charleston area, which is 55 percent and 40 percent African-American, respectively, according to Ford. The overall black population statewide is 31 percent, Ford said.

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Secretary Napolitano Discusses the Role of Women in Government and Society with Students in Abu Dhabi

Department of Homeland Security
Release Date: November 9, 2009
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano joined students at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed University on Sunday to discuss the importance of equal opportunities in education and the value of public service for women across the world.
“The advancement and equality of women around the globe benefits the security and development of every society,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The United States is committed to working with its international partners to help ensure that all women have opportunities in education, public service and the global economy.”
In her remarks, Secretary Napolitano highlighted President Obama’s commitment to promoting education for women in all nations and commended the efforts of the United Arab Emirates to expand educational opportunities for all of their citizens.
Zayed University serves approximately 3,000 female students at campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in an innovative, diverse environment focused on supporting economic and social advancement in the United Arab Emirates through teaching, learning, research and outreach.
Secretary Napolitano also recounted her career prior to becoming the first female U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security—a career of firsts: Santa Clara University’s first female valedictorian; the first woman to serve as Attorney General of Arizona; and the first woman to chair the National Governors Association.
On March 11, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the White House Council on Women and Girls—comprised of 24 members of the President’s executive office and Cabinet, including Secretary Napolitano—to ensure agencies across the federal government consider how their policies and programs impact women and families.
While in Abu Dhabi, Secretary Napolitano also met with top Emerati officials to discuss cooperative efforts to detect and deter threats of terrorism and international crime. She discussed the Obama administration’s continued outreach to the Arab and Muslim world and echoed her remarks about equal opportunity in education and public service.
Last week, Secretary Napolitano met with her international counterparts in Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom and Belgium to discuss information sharing and privacy protection; collaborative efforts to secure cyber networks worldwide; and coordination to combat transnational criminal activity and the global threat of terrorism.
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OFCCP Compliance Assistance Seminars Scheduled Nov. 10, 2009 - April 5, 2010

The U.S. Department of Labor has scheduled compliance assistance seminars from November 10, 2009 in Philadelphia, PA through April 5, 2010 in Los Angeles.

Go to for more information. Here is the list of seminars posted as of November 9, 2009:

Nov 10, 2009
OFCCP - AAP Development & Preparing for a Desk Audit Training for federal supply and service (non-construction) contractors needing assistance with Affirmative Action Program (AAP) requirements.

Nov 10, 2009
OFCCP-Compliance Assistance Seminar, Boston, MA The OFCCP Boston District Office will conduct a compliance assistance seminar for federal government supply and service contractors and subcontractors on AAP preparation; maintenance of personnel activity data; and compensation.

Nov 12, 2009
OFCCP -AAP Development & Preparing for a Desk Audit Training for federal supply and service (nonconstruction) contractors needing assistance with Affirmative Action Program (AAP) requirements.

Nov 13, 2009
OFCCP - Workforce Awareness Group Seminar The Workforce Awareness Group (WAG) and OFCCP will host a seminar for federal contractors focusing on Veterans Assistance and Employment Programs.
Fort Eustis

Nov 16, 2009
OFCCP Compliance in the ARRA Era The OFCCP Southeast Regional Office will conduct a compliance assistance seminar on EEO obligations for federal and federally assisted contracts and potential contracting opportunities, including informing participants about upcoming ARRA funding opportunities and assisting contractors in breaking down barriers to fair and diverse work places by increasing participation of minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities. (If accommodation is needed, please inform us when you R.S.V.P.)

Nov 16, 2009
OFCCP -Agency Update at New England Industry LiaisionGroup Meeting The OFCCP Boston District Office will provide an agency update at the quarterly meeting of the New England Industry Liaision Group Meeting.

Nov 17, 2009
OFCCP- Compliance Assistance Seminars, Springfield MA The OFCCP Hartford District Office will conduct two seminars; one for federal supply & service contractors and the other for federal and federally-assisted construction contractors who are members of the affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Nov 17, 2009
OFCCP - AAP Development & Preparing for a Desk Audit Training for federal supply and service (non-construction) contractors needing assistance with Affirmative Action Program (AAP) requirements.

Nov 18, 2009
OFCCP Construction Workshop OFCCP Hawaii Area Office will be conducting a workshop for construction contractors, entitled “How to Comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Provisions of Federal Contracts”

Nov 19, 2009
OFCCP - Construction Compliance Assistance Training for federal construction contractors on equal employment opportunity (EEO) requirements and implementing the 16 affirmative action steps.

Nov 20, 2009
OFCCP - Compliance Assistance Seminar for Supply and Service Contractors Training for federal supply and service (nonconstruction) contractors needing assistance with Affirmative Action Programs (AAP) requirements.

Dec 2, 2009
OFCCP- Compliance Assistance Seminars, Hartford, CT The OFCCP Hartford District Office will conduct two seminars one for federal supply & service contractors;and the other for federal and federally-assisted construction contractors.

Dec 2, 2009
OFCCP - Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) Workshop Review the fundamentals for developing an AAP.

Dec 2, 2009
OFCCP - AAP Development & Preparing for a Desk Audit Training for federal supply and service (non-construction) contractors needing assistance with Affirmative Action Program (AAP) requirements.

Dec 4, 2009
OFCCP - Compliance Assistance Seminar for Construction Contractors Training for federal construction contractors on equal employment opportunity (EEO) requirements and implementing the 16 affirmative action steps.

Dec 8, 2009
OFCCP - AAP Development & Preparing for a Desk Audit Training for federal supply and service (non-construction) contractors needing assistance with Affirmative Action Program (AAP) requirements.

Dec 8, 2009
OFCCP Compliance Seminar OFCCP Los Angeles District Office will present "OFCCP Audit Survival Guide for Beginners" for Supply and Service contractors.
Los Angeles

Dec 10, 2009
OFCCP- Compliance Assistance Seminar for Construction Contractors focusing on ARRA Training for federal construction contractors on equal employment opportunity (EEO) requirements and implementing the 16 affirmative action steps. Focus will be on contracts under the Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Philadelphia, PA

Dec 10, 2009
OFCCP - AAP Development & Preparing for a Desk Audit Training for federal supply and service (nonconstruction) contractors needing assistance with Affirmative Action Program (AAP) requirements.

Dec 11, 2009
OFCCP - ADA and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Seminar The Richmond District Office will conduct a seminar for Federal contractors regarding their obligations under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Dec 17, 2009
OFCCP - Construction Compliance Assistance Training for federal construction contractors on equal employment opportunity (EEO) requirements and implementing the 16 affirmative action steps.

Dec 17, 2009
OFCCP - Compliance Assistance Seminar for Construction Contractors with focus on ARRA Contracts Training for federal construction contractors on equal employment opportunity (EEO) requirements and implementing the 16 affirmative action steps. Focus will be on contracts under the Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

Feb 4, 2010
OFCCP Compliance Seminar OFCCP Los Angeles District Office will present "OFCCP Audit Survival Guide for Beginners" for Supply and Service contractors.
Los Angeles

Mar 2, 2010
OFCCP-Compliance Assistance Seminars- Danbury, Connecticut The Hartford District Office will conduct two seminars; one for federal supply and service contractors; and the other for federal and federally-assisted construction contractors who are members of the Greater Danbury, Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.

Mar 9, 2010
OFCCP-Compliance Assistance Seminar, Hartford, Connecticut The Hartford District Office will conduct a seminar for federal supply and service contractors on AAP preparation including maintenance of personnel activity data; and compensation.

Apr 8, 2010
OFCCP Compliance Seminar OFCCP Los Angeles District Office will present "OFCCP Audit Survival Guide for Beginners" for Supply and Service contractors.
Los Angeles

Apr 14, 2010
OFCCP-Compliance Assistance Seminars, Burlington, Vermont The OFCCP Hartford District Office will conduct compliance assistance seminars for federal supply and service contractors; and federal and federally assisted construction contractors.

Apr 20, 2010
OFCCP- Compliance Assistance Seminar -Albany, NY The OFCCP Hartford District Office will conduct a seminar for federal and federally assisted construction contractors.

Jun 10, 2010
OFCCP Compliance Seminar OFCCP Los Angeles District Office will present "OFCCP Audit Survival Guide for Beginners" for Supply and Service contractors.
Los Angeles

Aug 5, 2010
OFCCP Compliance Seminar OFCCP Los Angeles District Office will present "OFCCP Audit Survival Guide for Beginners" for Supply and Service contractors.
Los Angeles