Thursday, December 24, 2009

US Labor Department settles discrimination findings against Los Angeles Coca-Cola bottling company

News Release
OFCCP News Release: [12/21/2009]Contact Name: Deanne AmadenPhone Number: (415) 625-2630Release Number: 09-1422-SAN

US Labor Department settles discrimination findings against Los Angeles Coca-Cola bottling company
Agency review determined employer failed to hire African-American applicants

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Department of Labor has agreed to settle findings of hiring discrimination at the BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Co. plant located in Los Angeles, Calif.
The agreement settles allegations by the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that BCI Coca-Cola engaged in hiring discrimination against African-American applicants for entry-level merchandiser positions between Jan.1 and Dec. 31, 2006.
OFCCP investigators found that the facility's selection process disproportionately rejected African-American applicants. Under the terms of the agreement, BCI Coca-Cola agrees to pay a total of $49,376 in back pay and interest, to be shared among 26 former applicants. BCI Coca-Cola Bottling also will hire seven of the previously rejected African-American applicants as merchandisers. Merchandisers work with retail outlets to maintain displays and stock inventory in order to maximize product sales.
"This settlement demonstrates the Labor Department's determination to prevent workplace discrimination by federal contractors," said William D. Smitherman, director of OFCCP's Pacific regional office in San Francisco. "With Coca-Cola's cooperation during the review, we were able to achieve a common goal of compliance."
BCI Coca-Cola also agrees to immediately cease any discriminatory practices and undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law.
BCI Coca-Cola has federal contracts to sell beverages and food products to the Defense Commissary Agency.
OFCCP, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, enforces Executive Order 11246 and other laws that prohibit employment discrimination by federal contractors. The agency monitors federal contractors to ensure that they provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, gender, color, religion, national origin, disability or veteran status. More information is available on the agency's Web at

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

AAAA Participates in Federalist Society Panel on Affirmative Action

In November 2009, the Federalist Society hosted a panel discussion on "Affirmative Action in the Obama Era." Among the speakers were Professor Theodore Shaw of Columbia University and Shirley Wilcher of AAAA. On the "con" side were Linda Chavez of the Center for Equal Opportunity and Peter Kirsanaw of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Watch the video on YouTube:




Statistics Reveal Progress in Law Firms’ Recruitment of Minority and Women Attorneys, Less Success in their Retention

New York, NY, (December 14, 2009), the Web’s most comprehensive career resource for career management, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), the nation’s foremost authority on diversity issues in the legal profession, have introduced the 2010 Law Firm Diversity Database ( The fully-searchable online tool features comprehensive data on diversity performance at nearly 300 law firms nationwide. The latest data shows continued, albeit slow, increases in diversity at the nation’s largest law firms. However, statistics also suggest that law firm successes in the area of recruitment surpass those in retention.

“The Law Firm Diversity Database provides corporate counsel, job seekers and law firm management with a means to gauge individual firms’ efforts to advance diversity, as well as to measure the progress being made by the industry as a whole,” says Vera Djordjevich, Vault’s senior law editor and editor of the Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Database. “While not all of the trends revealed in our survey data are entirely positive, the increasing transparency of law firms with respect to diversity information is encouraging.”

“Prior to the creation of this database, there was no reliable resource to illuminate and summarize the diversity efforts underway at top law firms. It’s clear that numbers alone don’t offer a complete picture, and so the database offers both quantitative and qualitative information for users to draw apples-to-apples comparisons,” said Veta Richardson, Executive Director of MCCA.

Overall Numbers Improve

Overall numbers for minority and women attorneys continue to show gradual improvement. For example, minority lawyers made up 21.35% of the associate population in 2008, up from 20.76% in 2007, while women accounted for 45.70% of all associates, compared to 44.68% in the previous year. Although both minorities and women remain under-represented at higher levels, they have made some gains within the partnership ranks. Attorneys of color represented 6.05% of equity partners in 2008 — an increase from 5.62% in 2007. The number of women equity partners, meanwhile, inched up from 16.03% in 2007 to 16.43% in 2008.

Law firm data also offer some encouragement when it comes to the hiring of diverse attorneys: 27.18% of the 2008 summer associate class were minorities, while 44.58% were women. Of new associate and partner hires in 2008, 21.54% were minority lawyers and 40.27% were women.

Retention Remains a Concern

Although law firms have made some strides in the area of recruitment, they have had comparatively more difficulty retaining diverse lawyers, especially lawyers of color. While minorities represent just 21.35% of the total associate population, 24.08% of associates who left their respective law firms in 2008 were attorneys of color. Attrition for minority attorneys is especially high at the junior level: nearly 30% of first- and second-year associates who left their firms last year were minority men and women. The rate of attrition of white women at junior and mid-levels did drop slightly in 2008, although attrition among women in senior ranks increased.

Because the survey solicits statistics as of calendar year end, a fuller picture of the impact of the current recession will not emerge until 2009 statistics become available in the next few months.

The Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Database is compiled from responses to an annual diversity survey, a detailed questionnaire that was written by MCCA with the input of several of its corporate members and has been distributed in partnership with Vault to law firms nationwide since 2004. This year, 248 law firms, including the majority of the Am Law 200, took part. Survey results feature statistical data on law firm demographics, with breakdowns by race/ethnicity and gender, GLBT attorneys and individuals with disabilities, as well as qualitative information regarding firms’ diversity plans and initiatives. Through this free online tool, the corporate counsel community, graduating law students and prospective employees can make side-by-side comparisons of diversity metrics, track firms’ progress over the years and evaluate their performance against industry-wide benchmarks. The database also includes access to law firms’ complete, self-reported survey responses, to present a comprehensive picture of the diversity commitment and programs at participating firms.

The Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Database was initially developed in cooperation with Accenture, Bank of America, Microsoft, PPG Industries, Sara Lee and Wal-Mart, to support the Call to Action, a corporate counsel initiative devoted to increasing diversity at U.S. law firms. With widespread support from the general counsel and law firm communities, the Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Survey has become the primary tool for measuring law firm diversity.

The new edition of the database includes data for 2007 and 2008 collected over the last two years. Free registration is required. The next edition of the Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Database, which will include statistics for 2009, is expected to be released during the second quarter of 2010.

About Vault
Vault is the web’s most comprehensive resource for career management and job search information, including insider intelligence on salaries, hiring practices and company cultures. Vault features thousands of profiles on occupations, industries, companies and universities, as well as career-related articles, videos, blogs and research tools. The company publishes more than 120 print and online titles, from the best-selling Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms to the Vault Guide to Schmoozing. Vault’s clients include Fortune 1000 advertisers and recruiters, the country’s top universities and graduate schools.

About MCCA
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association advocates for the expanded hiring, promotion, and retention of minority attorneys in corporate legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA furthers its mission by publishing research on achieving diversity and best practices in the legal profession, honoring innovative diversity programs with its Employer of Choice and Thomas L. Sager awards, and assisting diverse law students through the Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program. MCCA’s work has been recognized with awards from the National Minority Business Council, Inc., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel. Founded in 1997, MCCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and also has a Southeast regional office in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, go to

For For MCCA:
Jon Minners Diane Nowak-Waring
646.792.6205 410.626.0805

Minority Hires a Priority On Capitol Hill

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Charles Dervarics , December 23, 2009

With the economy still reeling, Hampton University didn't get its usual contingent of 100 employers at its fall 2009 career fair for students and alumni. But one sector was there in force - federal government agencies looking for candidates for career positions.
"Government agencies come every time," says Vivian David, director of the university's career center. Agencies such as the FBI, Census Bureau, State Department and Patent and Trademark Office are among those that frequently send recruiters to Hampton for such events. "They actively recruit," David says, and students seem to respond positively. "It's a brand that's popular on campus."
Recruitment of African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-Americans is a priority across the federal government. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must report annually on minority employment, and its findings show some gains. Overall, minorities were 33 percent of the federal work force in 2008, meaning they were over-represented in government compared with the rest of the U.S. work force. Together, these groups represented 29 percent of the civilian labor force last year.
But a more in-depth look at the data yields mixed results. On the positive side, African-Americans represent 18 percent of all federal workers, compared with 10 percent of the civilian labor force. But Hispanics account for 13 percent of U.S. workers and only 7.9 percent of federal employees.

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Slippery Rock University agrees to additional Title IX improvements
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Slippery Rock University must improve the women's softball field and provide additional funding for female athletics as part of a settlement filed yesterday in a Title IX lawsuit.
The original complaint, brought by 12 female student-athletes in 2006, was filed after Slippery Rock cut its women's swimming and water polo teams.
The case was settled in April 2007. However, in June, the plaintiffs filed a motion in federal court to reopen the case, alleging that the university had failed to follow through with the requirements of the settlement.
Among the complaints, the women athletes said that the university had failed to make the agreed-upon improvements to the softball field and failed to provide equitable coaching for women's track.Read more:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Women and Democracy in India

The New York Times
December 21, 2009, 6:11 am — Updated: 11:58 am

Like many other countries, India has imposed electoral quotas to improve the political empowerment of women and racial-ethnic minorities – that is, it has a political system that requires women to be elected to certain leadership positions.
These rules represent a form of affirmative action, but they also resemble a feature of our own Constitution that reserves space in the Senate for two representatives from each state, violating the principle of one-person, one-vote in order to ensure equitable group representation.
Political scientists and economists have eagerly analyzed the Indian case, and I learned more about their findings regarding women’s participation at a conference I attended last week on “The Challenge of Gendering Economics” organized by Professor Bina Agarwal, director of the Institute of Economic Growth at the University of Delhi.
Over the past 15 years, India has extended a series of measures designed to ensure democratic decision-making on the local level through the election of village or town councils (panchayats) and council heads (sarpanchs).

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Broadway Comes Face to Face With the Subject of Race

By December 21, 2009
David Mamet debuts a new play on Broadway with a title that seems to sum up an entire season of thought-provoking shows in one word: Race.*
When David Mamet named his new play Race he couldn't have imagined he might be naming the fall season on Broadway. While race relations are certainly not a new topic for the theatre, especially for Broadway, the first new season of the Obama era is, perhaps not surprisingly, filled with an unprecedented number of plays touching on racial issues:
Ragtime tells three interlocking stories at the turn of the last century, one of which revolves around a black musician who tires of enduring racism and reacts with threats of violence.
Finian's Rainbow takes place in the mythical state of Missitucky, where white and black sharecroppers live together and a bigoted white politician turns black (and then white again).
Memphis tackles the tale of "race music" in the 1950s, navigating the tricky relationships between blacks and whites both in romance and on the business side of music.
Superior Donuts is about an aging white hippie and a young black writer forming a friendship.
A Steady Rain is about cops who think they've lost a promotion because of affirmative action, while one may be done in by his own racism.
Race explores the tension between two law firm partners — one black, one white — whose white client is charged with sexual impropriety with an African-American woman.

President Signs FY 2010 Appropriation Bill; EEOC and DOL See Significant Increases

In the appropriations legislation signed by President Obama on December 16, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will receive significant increases in funding for fiscal year 2010.

The EEOC will receive the amount originally requested by the president: $367,303,000 and subsequently passed by the Congress. This is a seven percent increase in funding.

OFCCP will reportedly receive an increase of sixteen percent of its previous budget and 213 additional staff originally requested by the Administration (FTEs).

Scholar Renders Deft History of Civil Rights Era

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Kendal Weaver, Associated Press Writer , December 21, 2009

Even after nearly 50 years, the names bear repeating: Franklin McCain, David Richmond, Ezell Blair and Joseph McNeil.
They were freshmen at North Carolina A&T State University on Feb. 1, 1960, when they took their seats at the Whites-only lunch counter at Woolworth's in downtown Greensboro. Four young Blacks tired of segregation laws, they were refused service and asked to leave. But they remained until the counter closed, and when they walked back to their dorm exhilarated, they had set in motion an act of civil disobedience - the sit-in - that took the civil rights movement by storm.
The next day, 25 sit-in protesters showed up. Then 63 filled all but two seats at Woolworth's. The protest spilled over to the nearby Kress department store, and as word spread across North Carolina and across the South, so did the sit-in: By mid-April, more than 50,000 protesters - ordinary Americans, most of them young - had attacked Jim Crow at the counter.

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Purchase The Shadows of Youth from the AAAA Bookstore

Court Approves Distribution of $4.5 Million Settlement in EEOC Age Bias Suit Against Allstate

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release 12/17/09

Class of 90 Older Former Workers to Share Funds in Case Against Insurance Giant

ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that Judge E. Richard Webber of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri has granted final approval for distribution of a $4,500,000 monetary award to 90 claimants identified during the litigation as part of an EEOC litigation settlement with Allstate Insurance Company under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).In its lawsuit against the Illinois-based insurance giant, filed in October 2004, the EEOC alleged that a class of older workers at Allstate was adversely impacted based on age during a companywide reorganization. Specifically, the EEOC charged that in the year 2000 Allstate adopted a hiring moratorium for a period of one year, or while severance benefits were being received, that applied to all its employee-sales agents who were part of its Preparing For The Future Reorganization Program. The program was part of Allstate’s reorganization from employee agents to what the company considered independent contractors. The EEOC had alleged that Allstate’s policy, which was implemented from 2000 to 2002, had a disproportionate impact on employees over the age of 40 because more than 90 percent of the agents subjected to the hiring moratorium were 40 years of age or older. Allstate denied that its hiring moratorium violated the ADEA. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Smith v. City of Jackson that a facially neutral policy (such as Allstate’s hiring moratorium) which disproportionately affects those age 40 and over will violate the ADEA unless the policy is based on a reasonable factor other than age. This case was one of the first to apply the holding in City of Jackson, although no decision was made whether or not Allstate’s policy violated the ADEA. “We at the EEOC are now bringing more and more lawsuits like this one to challenge company-wide policies or practices which discriminate against a large number of workers,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “Make no mistake: As this settlement shows, we will insist on significant compensation and meaningful injunctive relief to resolve these cases.”As provided in the Stipulated Order resolving the EEOC litigation (Civil Action No. 4:04CV01359 ERW), Allstate will pay former older employees who sought employment -- or would have sought employment with the company in the absence of its policy -- a total of $4.5 million to be divided among the class via a settlement fund. The order also provides for discrimination prevention training, posting of notices, reporting and monitoring, and other relief designed to educate Allstate managers in order to prevent future violations of the ADEA.EEOC Regional Attorney Barbara A. Seely of the agency’s St. Louis District Office, which handled the litigation, said, “Regardless of age, these sales agents would have made good employees in other positions for Allstate had it not been for the company’s no-rehire policy, which we believe had an adverse impact on older workers. City of Jackson makes clear that even though an employer may not intentionally discriminate because of an employee’s age, it can still violate the ADEA if it has a policy that has a disproportionate impact on employees age 40 and over.”In July 2009, the Commission held a public hearing on age discrimination and barriers to the employment of older workers. Additional information about the hearing can be found on the EEOC’s web site at to Allstate’s web site, the Northbrook, Ill.-based company “is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. A Fortune 100 company, with $130 billion in total assets, Allstate sells 13 major lines of insurance. Allstate was founded in 1931 and became a publicly traded company in 1993. The Allstate Corporation encompasses more than 70,000 professionals.”The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the is available on its web site at

Albertsons Agrees To Pay $8.9 Million For Job Bias Based On Race, Color, National Origin, Retaliation

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release 12/15/09

EEOC Says Employees Subjected to Swastikas, Lynching Drawings, Epithets

DENVER – Albertsons, LLC, a national grocery chain, will pay $8.9 million and furnish other relief to settle three employment discrimination lawsuits filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged Albertsons with race, color, and national origin discrimination and retaliation at its Aurora, Colo., distribution center. The monetary relief will be distributed among 168 former and current employees.
All three of the EEOC’s cases stemmed from incidents at the Aurora distribution center, which is being closed for unrelated reasons. The first case, EEOC v. Albertsons LLC, Civil Action No. 06-cv-01273, was filed in 2006 and alleged a pattern or practice of workplace harassment and discrimin­ation based on race, color and national origin. According to the lawsuit, minority employees were repeatedly subjected to derogatory comments and graffiti. Blacks were termed “n-----s” and Hispanics termed “s---s,” among other offensive epithets.
The EEOC said the offensive graffiti included racial and ethnic slurs, depictions of lynchings, swastikas, and white supremacist and anti-immigrant statements. The graffiti in a commonly used men’s room was so offensive that several employees would relieve themselves outside the building or go home at lunchtime rather than use the restroom. Some of this graffiti remained for years until the restroom was remodeled in 2005.
The EEOC also charged that minority employees were given harder work assignments and were more frequently and severely disciplined than their white co-workers. According to the EEOC, managers were aware of, and even participated in, the harassment and discrimination.
The second lawsuit, EEOC v. Albertsons LLC, Civil Action No. 08-cv-00640, was filed in 2008 and alleged a pattern or practice of retaliation. The EEOC alleged that dozens of employees complained about the discriminatory treatment and harassment and were subsequently given the harder job assignments, were passed over for promotion and even fired as retaliation.
The third case, EEOC v. Albertsons LLC, Civil Action No. 08-cv-02424, was also filed in 2008 and alleged race discrimination on behalf of a single African American employee at the distribution center who was terminated.
EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru said, “Employers simply cannot overlook or tolerate this kind of outrageous discrimination and retaliation. The EEOC certainly won’t. We will aggressively pursue employers who violate the laws we enforce. And we’ll insist on substantial and meaningful relief for the victims before settling these cases.”
Besides the monetary relief, Albertsons agreed to submit to four years of court-ordered monitor­ing, and to institute an extensive training program to ensure that management is aware of and will comply with equal employment opportunity laws in the future.
EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the Phoenix District, which includes the Denver Field Office, said, “These cases presented the EEOC with some of the most egregious examples of race, color and national origin discrimination the agency has seen in years. The graffiti was particularly shocking. Employers need to aggressively criticize such conduct, seek out the culprits and take swift action. Discrimination, harassment and retaliation are no joke. Supervisors and managers need to take complaints seriously. And they need to know that we, as an agency, take retaliation very seriously.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at

ODEP Posts November Disability Employment Statistics

November 2009 Disability Employment Statistics Released

In November 2009, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 21.5 compared with 70.4 for persons with no disability. The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 14.1 percent, compared with 9.2 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
Read about the November Disability Employment Statistics
Read Commonly Used Terms in BLS Employment Statistics

DOL Posts Fact Sheets on its Regulatory Agenda

Here is a copy of the Section 503 Fact Sheet for OFCCP. See all the fact sheets and replays of the online discussion of the Secretary's regulatory agenda at:

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
Topic: The Evaluation of Recruitment and Placement Results under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, (Section 503) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM)
The OFCCP is breaking down barriers to fair and diverse workplaces so that every worker’s contribution is respected.
Key Action: The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has initiated research and compilation of information about barriers to employment that individuals with disabilities face. Toward that end, the OFCCP will review data that may be used for establishing numerical goals. The agency plans to conduct several Town Hall meetings through Spring 2010.
Key Issues: The agency is starting this rulemaking with an ANPRM because of the challenges associated with:
Identifying the appropriate data for use in determining how to set hiring goals for individuals with disabilities;
Assessing employer compliance burden; and
Assessing the impact on small businesses.
BackgroundThe OFCCP is responsible for ensuring that federal contractors and subcontractors do not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, disability or veteran status, and that they take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity to job applicants and employees.
Enforcement of these statutory obligations contributes to achieving several of the Secretary's policy goals of "good jobs for everyone" with desired outcomes such as increasing workers' incomes and narrowing wage and income inequality, breaking down barriers to fair and diverse workplaces so that every worker's contribution is respected, and helping workers who are in low-wage jobs or out of the labor market find a path into middle-class jobs.
The ANPRM will invite the public to comment on ways to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The ANPRM will seek comments on issues such as:
How affirmative action requirements can be strengthened so that employment opportunities for people with disabilities are measurably increased;
How federal contractors and subcontractors can improve monitoring of their employment practices to identify barriers to the employment of individuals with disabilities and improve employment opportunities; and
What specific employment practices have been verifiably effective in the recruitment.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reactions: Is It Time for Class-Based Affirmative Action?

The Chronicle of Higher Education Review
December 16, 2009

A new study from Public Agenda has found that the main reason students drop out of college is that they have to work. That raises the question: Has the time come for an affirmative-action policy based on socioeconomic status?
And that raises a further question: Are the selective institutions that could provide enough financial aid to needy students, so they could work less, doing enough to recruit them? In other words, should the discussion of retention include a discussion of class and admissions? The Chronicle asked a group of scholars and experts what they thought.
Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation:
Three trends are likely to push the idea of affirmative action for low-income students to the forefront in the next couple of years.
First, the enormous underrepresentation of low-socioeconomic students at selective institutions, always an embarrassment to higher education, is getting worse. A 2004 Century Foundation study found that at the most selective 146 institutions, 74 percent of students come from the richest socioeconomic quarter of the population, and just 3 percent from the bottom quarter, a roughly 25:1 ratio. Research by The Chronicle and others suggests that in recent years, the stratification has grown even greater, putting pressure on universities to take action.
Second, increasing attacks on race-based affirmative action will very likely push universities to put in place class-based programs as an indirect and legally sound way of promoting racial diversity. A new challenge to racial preferences at the University of Texas at Austin, currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, could prevail in the Supreme Court, where the new swing justice, Anthony Kennedy, dissented in the 2003 University of Michigan case supporting racial preferences. Meanwhile, Ward Connerly has plans to bring anti-affirmative-action initiatives to Arizona and Missouri in 2010.
Third, we have a liberal African-American president who is uniquely positioned to ease the transition from race-based to class-based affirmative action, having said that his own daughters don't deserve preferences in college admissions, and that low-income students of all races do. But if economically disadvantaged students are admitted to selective colleges through affirmative action, will they be able to graduate? With the right support programs, yes. As the new report from Public Agenda finds, students drop out not because they're unprepared, but rather because they are stretched financially and have to work to make ends meet. A forthcoming Century Foundation report by Edward Fiske finds that a new program, the Carolina Covenant, has increased graduation rates by ensuring that financial aid and support programs are in place for low-income students. Likewise, research by William Bowen and colleagues finds that students are more likely to graduate at selective universities than less-selective ones­­—even though the standards are more demanding—perhaps because selective institutions have greater resources to support students.
All of which is to suggest that class-based affirmative action won't lead unprepared low-income students to drop out. To the contrary, it should increase graduation rates—a central goal of the Obama administration.
Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP and a professor of history at the University of Virginia:
I think the time has long passed for adding socioeconomic status to the categories of affirmative action, but it must not and cannot be viewed as a replacement for race. Poverty is not a proxy for race, and to pretend that it is would eradicate the initial rationale for affirmative action—to correct for society's demonstrable biases against people of color regardless of their socioeconomic status.
The murder some years ago of Bill Cosby's son by a white racist who later bragged about the shooting to his friends shows how feeble the Cosbys's great wealth was in protecting their son against this ugly virus. The recent news that black graduates of prestigious colleges and universities feel they must "whiten" their résumés to hide their blackness demonstrates how little effect affirmative action in its original iteration has today, and how our current substitution of "diversity" for actual race-based affirmative action has rendered the latter almost useless. How many of our colleges count students from Africa and elsewhere toward their "affirmative action" goals?
So bring on socioeconomic status. And while you're at it, bring back race-based policies—you cannot get beyond race without going to race.

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Civil-Rights Panel Names 19 Colleges It Will Investigate for Gender Bias in Admissions

The Chronicle on Higher Education
December 16, 2009
By Ben Terris
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights today approved a list of 19 colleges and universities that it will examine for evidence of gender discrimination in undergraduate admissions.
The commission aims to find out if the institutions—a mix of public, private, religious, secular, and historically black colleges and universities—are giving admissions preferences to men as the number of female applicants rises. Title IX, the federal gender-equity law best known for opening up opportunities for women in sports, prohibits educational institutions that receive federal funds from discriminating against applicants based on gender.
The colleges and universities will be subpoenaed by the commission not because their admissions practices have raised red flags, but because they represent a diverse group of institutions and are within 100 miles of Washington. (The commission has subpoena power only within 100 miles of where it holds its meetings.) ....

The institutions to be subpoenaed are Georgetown, Howard, Johns Hopkins, Lincoln (Pa.), Shepherd, and Virginia Union Universities; Gettysburg, Goldey-Beacom, Goucher, Messiah, and Washington Colleges; the Catholic University of America; Loyola University Maryland; Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; York College of Pennsylvania; and the Universities of Delaware, of Maryland-Baltimore County, of Maryland-Eastern Shore, and of Richmond.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BSU students rally against hate after racist fliers surface on campus

BOISE -- Boise State students held solidarity rally today to help stop hate on campus.
The rally was organized after racist fliers circulated on campus earlier this week.
Students calle the event "Hands Across Campus." Hundreds of students joined hand in hand and see how far they could stretch across campus. They held hands for about 15 minutes.
Also, protesters were asked to sign a statement against hate on campus and a special event will be held at a later date.
This is in reaction to the flier that surfaced on the BSU campus and targeted black students.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

AAAA Hosts Winter 2010 Professional Development and Training Institute

The University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492

The Winter 2010 PDTI session is scheduled to occur February 21-February 27, 2010 in sunny San Diego, CA! Don't miss an opportunity to be trained by leading EEO and Affirmative Action experts. Receive the latest information regarding EEO/AA laws and EEO compensation analysis or prepare for your next OFCCP audit by learning how to develop an affirmative action program! Or, advance your research and data analysis skills with a course in basic statistics and applications! Go to
for course details and to register for exciting courses that lead to the completion of the Certified Affirmative Action Professional (CAAP) certification with courses such as:
Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity Law
Complaint Processing, Counseling and Resolution
Affirmative Action Plan Development
Or take advantage of the following special topics course offerings (no prerequisite is required to register):
Basic Statistics and Applications in AA Plan Development, Adverse Impact and Compensation Analysis
EEO Compensation Analysis
Registrants in the February session may complete their entire CAAP certification in 7 days!!!
Registrants for the entire CAAP certification receive $150.00 OFF the entire certification track. You must be registered and complete all three CAAP courses in the same session (February) for this discount to apply.All courses are eligible for HRCI credit. For lodging options, visit or more information about PDTI, Webinars or other AAAA programs, please call us toll-free at 1-800-252-8952 or visit Thank you for your continued support!

Gender 'equality' on campus dangerous

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
By: Carson Jerema
14/12/2009 1:00 AM

IT is hardly novel to note that there is a gender imbalance on Canadian university campuses; about 60 per cent women to 40 per cent men.
The threat of an emerging "pink ghetto" recently prompted University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera to announce that she is "going to be an advocate for young white men." Predictably, she faced outraged students accusing her of bias against women.
What is wrong with Samaraseka's statement, however, is not that she is deviating from the orthodoxy of identity politics, but that she is perpetuating it. If women once faced a biased system, surely men do now. As reported in the Globe and Mail last week, Samaraseka said, "there is a feeling men can take care of themselves -- clearly that is not true."
She would like to see greater supports put in place to help men make the jump to university, including better communication about the economic returns associated with a degree.
The gender imbalance has become a frequent topic in the past few years, as administrators all over the country have identified it as a crisis. Although no one has directly advocated affirmative action, as it would be illegal, it remains a subtext for every bit of ink spilled on the topic.
Men still hold the majority of prestigious positions in business, but it is expected that women will overtake them as they work through the system. This is, apparently, a problem.

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Companies Push for Flexible Schedules to Boost Women Attorneys
Karen Sloan
The National Law Journal
December 03, 2009

Law firms hoping to snag Del Monte's legal business are facing added scrutiny these days.
The food giant earlier this year began questioning firms about their part-time and flexible work policies, making it clear that it wants at least some part-time attorneys handling the company's matters and that it will track those attorneys' progress through the law firm ranks. The message, said Del Monte Foods Co. General Counsel James Potter, is that firms should tout part-timers as a selling point, not as a dirty secret.
Del Monte is one of a dozen major corporations involved in an initiative to boost the number of women and minorities in top law firm positions by adding part-time and flexible working schedules to the list of things they require of outside counsel. The initiative, spearheaded by the Project for Attorney Retention (PAR) and dubbed the Diversity & Flexibility Connection, seeks to help legal departments and law firms support flexible working schedules and ensure that part-time attorneys -- mostly women -- have meaningful work and important roles within their firms. The hope is that greater work flexibility and acceptance of part-time schedules will help stem the tide of women and minorities leaving law firms. In turn, greater retention will create a larger pool of women and minorities to promote to partnership.
"Honestly, I was just struck by the fact that I'd been staring at the statistics of women and minority women in partnership positions, and I had never made the connection that the reason those numbers have plateaued is because of career and life balance challenges," Potter said. "It's completely logical. You're never going to fully accomplish diversity without flexible work schedules."DISAPPEARING WOMEN
The legal industry has been wringing its hands for years about the lack of women in top-level positions. Women account for more than 45 percent of law firm associates but only 19 percent of partners, according to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Women make up more than half of all minority associates, yet only 2 percent of partners are minority women. The National Law Journal's 2009 survey of the nation's 250 largest firms found similar results, with women making up 45 percent of associates and 17 percent of partners. [For more on the NLJ 250 data, see "Bad times could have been worse for women." (paid subscription required)]

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Legal Questions and Answers on the Swine Flu Pandemic

Workforce Management
By Bennet D. Alsher
November 2009

In reviewing their HR policies, employers must consider how federal and state laws affect pandemic preparedness. These laws include the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991, and state workers’ compensation laws. Here are some frequently asked questions on general and legal aspects of the pandemic.

n June, the World Health Organization declared an H1N1 flu pandemic. This means that human-to-human spread has increased and is sustained in the general population. H1N1 is a novel strain of the influenza virus; human beings have little or no immunity to it. Not only did H1N1 rapidly infect Americans, but it also spread throughout the world. According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 states reported widespread influenza activity as of late October. In addition, more than 70 countries have already experienced outbreaks attributed to H1N1, as well as seasonal flu outbreaks.
The H1N1 pandemic creates both danger and opportunity for employers. The danger is obvious: a sick and fearful workforce, days lost to absenteeism, disruption of supply chains, and lost productivity, revenue and profit. But the flip side of danger is opportunity. The pandemic creates an ideal opportunity for management to demonstrate to its workforce that it is proactive and that it cares about its employees.
The swine flu can’t be prevented on a wide scale—it’s here, and it’s all over the world. But you can mitigate its impact on your workforce and, given careful planning, a little bit of luck and some flexibility, your company can and will weather the outbreak. Organizations must take steps now to ensure business continuity, develop succession plans, review and possibly revise human resources policies and—most important—educate employees about the pandemic.

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Employee Genetic Information Is Protected

Workforce Management
By James E. Hall, Mark T. Kobata and Marty Denis

Employers and group health insurers should review personnel practices and information-gathering polices to ensure compliance with a new law, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, popularly known as GINA, prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information by employers and group health plans. The law, which applies to employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies and unions, prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee or job applicant due to genetic information.
“Genetic information” includes information about the genetic testing of and manifestations of a disease or disorder affecting the employee, applicant or family members. Collection of an employee’s genetic information is permitted under limited circumstances, including when employees volunteer this information as a part of casual conversation, known as the water-cooler exception; during a wellness program; or in the process of completing certain medical-leave paperwork. Disclosure of such genetic information by an employer is also limited.

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Justices will determine privacy of government workers' messages

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer
December 14, 2009 12:56 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- When Ontario, California, Police Sgt. Jeff Quon used his city-issued text messaging pager to exchange hundreds of personal messages, some of a "sexually explicit" nature, did he have a right to expect those messages would be kept private?
The Supreme Court decided Monday that it will determine whether a police officer has a "reasonable expectation" of privacy on his official wireless two-way text-messaging pager.
The justices accepted a pair of appeals on this free-speech and privacy dispute, and will hear oral arguments in the spring.
At issue is how far a government employer may go to monitor the private communications of its workers when they believe that the use of such equipment is being abused.
And the court will explore whether service providers can be held liable for providing those communications without the consent of the sender.

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Bahama Breeze to Pay $1.26 Million to Settle Suit for Racial Harassment of Black Workers

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
December 14, 2009
EEOC Said Restaurant Managers Repeatedly Used Racist Slurs, Including N-word

CLEVELAND – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a class litigation settlement with national restaurant chain Bahama Breeze for $1,260,000 and significant remedial relief in a case alleging repeated racial harassment of 37 black workers at the company’s Beachwood, Ohio location.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Bahama Breeze managers committed numerous and persistent acts of racial harassment against black employees, including frequently addressing black staff with slurs such as “n….r,” “Aunt Jemima,” “homeboy,” “stupid n….r,” and “you people.” Additionally, managers allegedly imitated what they perceived to be the speech and mannerisms of black employees, and denied them breaks while allowing breaks to white employees. Despite the employees’ complaints to management, the alleged race-based harassment continued.
“No worker should ever have to endure a racially hostile work environment in order to earn a paycheck,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “It is particularly disturbing when managers engage in and condone the very unlawful conduct they are required to prevent and correct. This sizeable settlement should remind employers of the possible consequences of a failure to promote and maintain a discrimination-free workplace.”
The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court (EEOC v. GMRI, Inc. d/b/a Bahama Breeze, 1:08cv2214). In addition to the $1,260,000 in monetary relief obtained for the claimants, the three-year consent decree resolving the litigation contains significant injunctive relief requiring Bahama Breeze to:
Maintain and update its written policies and procedures in all restaurants nationwide, prohibiting employment discrimination, including race discrimination, racial harassment and retaliation;
Provide anti-discrimination and diversity training to all of its Beachwood restaurant employees, including managers;
Comply with EEOC monitoring of the decree and periodically provide written reports regarding any discrimination complaints; and
Display and maintain the EEOC poster in all restaurants currently within the same operational region as the Beachwood restaurant in a place visually accessible to employees.
EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence of the Philadelphia District Office, which oversees parts of Ohio, said, “The black employees in this case, some of them long-term, suffered through egregious race-based mistreatment in order to maintain their jobs. The abusive managers are now gone and we are hopeful that victims can be treated as valued members of the restaurant work force.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

EEOC Launches Guides to Spur Federal Hiring of Individuals with Disabilities

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release, December 14, 2009

The ABCs of Schedule A” Guides Tailored to All Involved in Federal Hiring Process

WASHINGTON – Advancing its campaign to increase federal hiring of employees with disabilities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a set of guides on leveraging Schedule A, an authority available to federal agencies to hire and/or to promote individuals with disabilities without competing the job.
The five “ABCs of Schedule A” guides are tailored for each participant in the federal hiring process: Service Providers, Applicants with Disabilities, Human Resources Professionals, Hiring Managers, and Disability Program Manager and/or Selective Placement Coordinator. Each guide is clear, concise, and simple.
“Despite our efforts, the participation rate of individuals with severe disabilities in the federal workforce continues to decline at an alarming rate,” said Acting EEOC Vice Chair Christine M. Griffin. “Agencies have got to do more! I hope that these guides will be useful to individuals seeking federal employment. And I truly hope they will be well used by all those who are responsible for some aspect of recruiting and hiring federal employees.”
The “ABCs of Schedule A” guides represent a continued effort of the EEOC’s LEAD (Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities) Initiative, which addresses the declining number of employees with targeted disabilities in the federal workforce. LEAD’s goal is to significantly increase the population of individuals with severe disabilities employed by the federal government, and the ABC guides should advance that mission.
Griffin stressed that EEOC’s partnership with the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), and ODEP’s vigorous efforts, made the guides possible.
During LEAD’s first two years, Griffin reached out to leaders throughout federal government to alert and enlist them in the hiring effort. Now, with the ABC guides and other measures, LEAD has shifted to a new phase, focusing on leveraging the “Schedule A” hiring authority to bring aboard employees with disabilities.
All five guides are available on the EEOC’s web site,, and can be immediately downloaded and printed. Those who would like hard copies of the guides sent may contact the EEOC’s publications center at 800-669-3362.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Diabetic to begin career as diplomat
Sued after offer was rescinded
By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff December 12, 2009

Anna Balogh became interested in pursuing a career as a diplomat in 1990, when she lived in Hungary the summer after her freshman year at Wellesley College. Communism was collapsing in Europe. Her roommate was an East German, and they urgently discussed Germany’s looming reunification. History was unfolding at stunning speed before their eyes.
Thirteen years later, the Lincoln woman applied for a highly competitive job as a Foreign Service officer and received an offer in November 2003. But her excitement soon gave way to crushing disappointment when the State Department withdrew the offer for a reason she found unfathomable: Balogh is an insulin-dependent diabetic. The government denied her medical clearance because she had to be fit to work at any of about 270 posts worldwide, including some in remote locales.
This week, days before Balogh’s civil rights lawsuit against the State Department was to go to trial in US District Court in Boston, the 38-year-old and the government settled the dispute out of court. Balogh will be appointed as a Foreign Service officer for a three-year trial period, she said, and hopes it will become permanent.
The government also agreed to pay her a sum, which she declined to disclose, for wages lost when she was not hired.
“Overall, I would say I’m satisfied because at the end of the day, what was most important to me was getting the job,’’ said Balogh, who has a master’s degree from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. “I’m exhausted and just relieved, frankly. This was not a typical path for a Foreign Service officer.’’
Her lawyer, Hillary Schwab of Boston, said she believes Balogh’s federal lawsuit was the first filed by someone rejected as a Foreign Service officer because of insulin-dependent, or Type 1, diabetes. Schwab said she hoped the settlement would prod the State Department to eliminate a hiring ban that she and her client consider outdated, given the availability of insulin and medical treatment for diabetics worldwide.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some black AU custodial workers claim they are being paid less than white co-workers

By Associated Press
6:27 PM CST, December 8, 2009

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating claims that some black custodial employees in the Auburn University Student Center are being paid less that white co-workers.The complaint is also being investigated by Auburn's Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity. A spokesman for the employees, Tyrone Durrell, said the complaint started after a paycheck stub was left in a break room for other workers to see.Auburn University spokesman Mike Clardy said school officials were working to resolve the complaint promptly.

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Should the NBA assist white players with affirmative action?
By Ronda Racha Penrice
9:30 AM on 12/09/2009

Recently, ESPN's "Outside the Lines" ran a segment about the declining number of white American players in the NBA. Apparently the league is currently 71.8 percent African-American, 18.3 percent international and 9.9 percent white American and there's a problem. To underscore the "whiteout" of the NBA, "Outside the Lines" chose to follow the trials and tribulations of Kyle McAlarney, a former standout point guard from Notre Dame whose dream is to play in the NBA. According to McAlarney, his race is keeping him out of the league.
Never mind that he stands only 5'11 or that he was invited to play summer league with the Los Angeles Clippers by Mike Dunleavy, a former white NBA player who is the team's general manager and coach. Currently, McAlarney plays in the NBA's developmental league. Not once is his arrest for marijuana possession as a sophomore mentioned. Yet he is the posterchild for the white American quest to play in the NBA. Dunleavy - whose 6'9 son, Mike Dunleavy, Jr., currently plays for the Indiana Pacers -- didn't pass on McAlarney because he's white; he passed on him because he's not good enough to play in the NBA.
Does the NBA need white players so badly that it is to ignore standards and let them in even when they are clearly not qualified? Is this not the same criticism that is often leveled at affirmative action programs and its beneficiaries - that they are not qualified to do the job but only get a pass because they are a desirable minority? The fact that affirmative action is meant to ensure that a qualified person will not be denied an opportunity because of race, gender and other factors is generally ignored.
According to Wayne Embry, a senior advisor with the Toronto Raptors, the league implemented the zone defense to help white American players and not to advance the game, a charge that Stu Jackson, executive vice president of basketball operations, denies. Jackson, through a statement to "Outside the Lines" maintained that the NBA's objective is "to find players with game regardless of what country they come from or what race."

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ACE Submits Comments on Proposed Rules for the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008

Dec. 2, 2009
The American Council on Education (ACE), along with the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), submitted comments Nov. 23 to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on the proposed rules to implement the equal employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008.
During the legislative process, ACE worked with the drafters of the ADA Amendments Act in an effort to ensure that in enhancing existing protections against discrimination, Congress also gave due consideration to the special challenges facing institutions of higher education. While the proposed rules do bring greater clarity to many of the provisions, certain aspects of the proposal go well beyond the balance struck in the legislation, which could result in serious—albeit unintended—negative consequences.
ACE and CUPA-HR are particularly concerned that in many instances, the proposed rules eliminate any meaningful distinction between an impairment and a disability and disregard the requirement that disability determinations be made on a case-by-case basis.
ACE strongly supports nondiscrimination on the basis of disability and believes that employment decisions should be based on an individual’s qualifications and ability to perform a job.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who's in the know: Women surge, men sink in education's gender gap

The Globe and Mail
Female students are dominating campuses, a shift that will change 'who does what.' But leaving men behind has its costs
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Last updated on Monday, Dec. 07, 2009 10:0 6AM EST

In a red-brick building at the University of Guelph, where veterinarians have been schooled for the better part of a century, a demographic shift is taking place that offers a window into the future of human behaviour.
In the past decade, Ontario Veterinary College has seen its student numbers turned on their head: Women account for more than 80 per cent of its students during that time, and now make up more than half of the province's practising vets.
It's an extreme example of a story that is playing out on campuses in Canada and around the world - and a trend that could have profound social implications. There are now three female undergraduates for every two male students on Canadian campuses, and more women than men graduated with higher education degrees in 75 of 98 countries examined in a recent UNESCO study.
Women are expected to gain more power in public and corporate life and more financial independence.
Faced with a dwindling number of potential mates who are their education equals, however, researchers speculate more women may take a pass on the traditional family, or be more willing to leave it when things don't work. And more men may find themselves tending to hearth and home.

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Supreme Court to Decide if College Group Must Allow Gays

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press , December 8, 2009

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether a California law school violated the constitutional rights of a Christian group by denying it recognition as an official campus organization because it excludes gays and lesbians.

The justices agreed to intervene in a case that pits anti-discrimination policies common on college campuses against freedoms of religion and association.

The Christian Legal Society at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law requires officers and voting members to share their religious beliefs, including that "Christians should not engage in sexual conduct outside of a marriage between a man and a woman."

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Citing a U.S. Supreme Court Ruling, California High Court Slashes Wrongful Firing Award

Workforce Management
December 2, 2009

The California Supreme Court cited McKesson Corp.’s “low degree of reprehensibility” in a workplace harassment case for its decision to slash a jury’s punitive damages award from $15 million to $1.9 million.
The Monday ruling in Charlene J. Roby v. McKesson Corp. et al. involved a customer services worker who received favorable performance reviews during 25 years with the pharmaceutical distributor.
But in 1997, she began suffering panic attacks that made her miss work.
Medication caused her to develop body odor, while the attacks caused a nervous disorder that led to open sores. As a result, a supervisor labeled Roby “disgusting” and openly ostracized her, according to the ruling.
McKesson terminated Roby in 2001, citing her absences. She then sued McKesson and her supervisor for failure to accommodate her medical condition, harassment and wrongful termination, among other things.
A jury found she was wrongfully discharged based on her medical condition and disability, and that she had been illegally harassed and discriminated against. The jury awarded $3.5 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages against McKesson.
In addition, the jury awarded $500,000 in compensatory damages and $3,000 in punitive damages against a supervisor responsible for the harassment.
However, a California appeals court found there was insufficient evidence for a harassment verdict against McKesson, reducing punitive damages to $2 million and compensatory damages to $1.41 million.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Secretary of Labor Outlines Regulatory Priorities

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced her regulatory priorities in the Federal Register on December 7, 2009. Stated simply, her goals are "good jobs for everyone." To implement her vision, Secretary Solis listed several overarching priorities:

Increasing workers’ incomes and narrowing wage and income inequality. • Securing safe and healthy workplaces, wages and overtime, particularly in high-risk industries. • Assuring skills and knowledge that prepare workers to succeed in a knowledge-based economy, including in high-growth and emerging industry sectors like “green” jobs. • Breaking down barriers to fair and diverse work places so that every worker’s contribution is respected. • Improving health benefits and retirement security for all workers. • Providing work place flexibility for family and personal care-giving. • Facilitating return to work for workers experiencing work place injuries or illnesses who are able to work and sufficient income and medical care for those who are unable to work. • Income support when work is impossible or unavailable. • Helping workers who are in low-wage jobs or out of the labor market find a path into middle class jobs. • Ensuring workers have a voice in the work place. • Assuring that global markets are governed by fair market rules that protect vulnerable people, including women and children, and provide workers a fair share of their productivity and voice in their work lives. • Helping middle-class families remain in the middle class.

The regulatory goals highlighted in red appear most relevant to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action professionals.

Openness and transparency seem to be two major sub themes for the department's regulatory agenda.

Department of Labor's Regulatory Agenda Includes Changes to Veterans', Disabled and Construction Regulations

The Fall regulatory agenda released by the U.S. Department of Labor includes changes to regulations requiring affirmative action by federal contractors on behalf of veterans and persons with disabilities. The federal construction contractor regulations would also be amended according to this announcement.

Changes to the regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 will require "federal contractors and subcontractors conduct more substantive analyses of recruitment and placement actions taken under VEVRAA and would require the use of numerical targets to measure the effectiveness of affirmative action efforts." This would constitute a major change in the regulations, which have not required numerical goals to measure the effectiveness of affirmative action programs benefiting veterans. The notice states that there would be changes to the recordkeeping provisions of the regulation as well.

An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 indicates that DOL/OFCCP would issue rules to require more substantive analyses of the recruitment and placement efforts of persons with disabilities as well.

The regulations governing the affirmative action requirements of construction contractors have not been changed since the 1970s. In this fall agenda, the department proposes to update the requirements for construction contractors, presumably including the goals for women and minorities.

All of these announcements are determined to be long term actions and have no deadlines attached. The public should monitor future announcements for an opportunity to comment on these regulatory proposals.

Surgeon General: More Minority Doctors Needed

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Mike Stobbe, Associated Press Medical Writer , December 7, 2009

ATLANTA - The new U.S. Surgeon General on Thursday called for stepped-up efforts in increasing the number of minority physicians.
In what was one of her first speeches to a large crowd since she was sworn in Nov. 3, Dr. Regina Benjamin noted that the proportion of U.S. physicians who are minorities is only 6 percent --the same proportion as a century ago.
"There's something wrong with that," said Benjamin, speaking at a conference on health disparities at a hotel in downtown Atlanta.
The numbers come from a 2004 estimate of the percentage of U.S. physicians that are Black or Hispanic. Blacks and Hispanics account for roughly 28 percent of the U.S. population, according to 2008 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Sikh sues shuttle operator that wouldn't hire him
By Bruce C. Smith
Posted: December 3, 2009
Airport contractor won't let drivers work with a beard, turban

A Greenwood man whose Sikh faith requires him to wear a beard and turban is suing an airport shuttle company, claiming he was denied a job because of his religion.
In the 11-page lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana, Inderjit Singh claims Air Serv Corp., which provides shuttle bus services at airports across the country, rejected his application to be a driver because he wouldn't work without his turban and beard.
"I just want to work and earn a living, but Air Serv refused to give me a chance even after they understood that a turban and a beard are an integral part of my faith," Singh said in a statement from attorneys at California-based Public Justice.
The 25 million Sikhs in the world and 500,000 in the U.S. follow a peaceful religion, "but there have been threats and acts against them, confusing them with terrorists, since the events of September 11," said his local attorney, Kimberly D. Jeselskis.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated Singh's complaint and found that he "was denied employment because (the company) was unwilling to accommodate his need to wear a turban and beard." The EEOC finding is included in court filings.

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Labor Department Eyes Revising Disclosure Rules in 2010
DECEMBER 7, 2009, 12:29 P.M. ET

WASHINGTON -- The Labor Department unveiled Monday its 2010 legislative agenda, which includes regulations that would require employers to disclose agreements and arrangements made with labor consultants.
"When workers or union members have more information about what arrangements have been made by their employer to persuade them whether or not to join a union, this information helps them make a more informed choice regarding their collective bargaining rights and acts to level the labor-management relations playing field," the department said in its online regulatory agenda.
The Labor Department's agenda also includes plans to revise employer record keeping requirements. The department said current rules don't require employers to share -- on every payday -- the number of hours worked, the amount of pay that's been computed and whether proper wage and overtime has been included in hours worked. "This is an issue of transparency," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a recorded video online.
Ms. Solis said the department is proposing 90 rules in its regulatory agenda for the year ahead.
The Labor Secretary made no mention of a potential new or expanded jobs creation program to the combat ailing jobs market that has left about 8 million people unemployed.
The White House and leaders in Congress are debating whether to use any of the slated $200 billion remaining Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to create a jobs bill. Democrats have begun to hash out how to pay for a mix of unemployment benefits, state aid, tax credits and other incentives they hope will turn around the country's surging unemployment rate.
Nonetheless, Ms. Solis said the department will pursue "increase employment opportunities for protected veterans with federal contractors and subcontractors," along with proposing a rule that addresses affirmative action requirements.

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Little diversity progress among writers

November 17, 2009
Report shows uphill battle ahead

The WGA West's 2009 Hollywood Writers Report finds "little if any" improvement in employment and earnings for women and minority writers. The report, authored by UCLA professor Darnell Hunt and recently posted on the WGA Web site, found that women scribes remain stuck at 28% of TV employment and 18% in features while the minority share has been frozen at 6% since 1999.
"White males continue to dominate in both the film and television sectors," Hunt wrote. "Although women and minorities closed the earnings gaps with white men in television a bit, the earnings gaps in film grew. These findings are clearly out of step with a nation that elected its first African American president in 2008, a nation in which more than half of the population is female and nearly a third is non-white."
The report is the sixth such document generated for the WGA West and focuses on guild data between 2003 and 2007 -- showing, for example, that women TV writers earned about the same in 2007 ($82,604) as they did at the beginning of the five-year report period in 2003 ($82,000) with spikes in 2005 and 2006 while white male writers saw a gain of nearly $4,000 over the report period (from $84,300 to $87,984) after peaking at $100,000 in 2005 and 2006 as earnings for most writers declined in 2007 due to the writers' strike.

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Quarter of workforce could become temps as contract work grows

USA Today
By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY
An encouraging jobs report Friday underscored the growing prominence of temporary workers who some experts predict could constitute up to a quarter of the workforce in a few years.
A big reason employers shed a far-less-than-expected 11,000 jobs last month is that temporary staffing agencies found slots for 52,000 additional workers, the most since 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said.
That's a good sign because cautious employers typically hire temps in a recovery before bringing on full-time staffers.
"Companies are hesitant to say demand is lasting and they go first to the contract labor market," says Manpower CEO Jeff Joerres. The No. 1 staffing agency's business rose 10% to 15% last quarter, he says.

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DOL Regulations - Live Q&A Session with OFCCP

The U.S. Department of Labor is rolling out its Fall Semi-annual Regulatory Agenda on Monday, December 7, 2009. On Tuesday, December 8, DOL will have a live chat on the OFCCP regulatory agenda. See the information below and on the DOL website at:

OFCCP will take your questions about our regulatory agenda on Tuesday, December 8 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
How to Participate
Enter your question directly into the live chat window below
Use the hashtag #DOLREGS on Twitter
Call our National Contact Center at 1-866-487-2365
E-mail us at
NOTE: If you are unable to access the live chat window, please go to the static comments page and refresh the page for new comments.
When DOL's proposed regulations are published for comment, you can find them by visiting, and you can also directly submit your comments on these proposed regulations. If you want to comment on the substance of specific proposed regulations, this should be done through the formal comment process specified under the Administrative Procedure Act - rather than through this web chat.

Title: Regulatory Agenda Q and A with OFCCP
Date: Tuesday December 8, 2009

Time: 3:00PM EST

The So-Called Boy Mystery

The Chronicle of Higher Education
December 6, 2009
By Sara Goldrick-Rab

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently announced that it would investigate whether some colleges are discriminating against women in an effort to generate a more gender-diverse student population. Reaction was mixed, with some saying it's about time that the "crisis with boys" in higher education is acknowledged and addressed, and others expressing some disbelief and ridicule that the gender wars have come to this.
But part of the overall response really stuck in my craw -- the oft-repeated claim that we "just don't know" what's going on with boys. According to many, sources for the gender differential in higher education are a complete "mystery," a puzzle, a whodunit that we may be intentionally ignoring.
Yes, there are numerous potential explanations for the underrepresentation of men in higher education -- and in particular the growing female advantage in terms of bachelor's degree completion. For example, it could be that boys and girls have differing amounts of the resources important for college success (e.g. levels of financial resources or parental education) or that the usual incentives for college-going (e.g. labor market returns) have differential effects by gender (why, laments the Wall Street Journal, don't boys "get" the importance of attending college?). It's also possible that changes in the labor force or marriage markets, gender discrimination, or societal expectations play a role -- or that the reasons have to do with the growth of community colleges, changes in college affordability, or shifts in the available alternatives to college (e.g. the military).
Sure, this is a wide range of potential factors, not easy to untangle. But while a few years ago we really hadn't a clue about what mattered or why (partly because the trendlines were just becoming visible) this simply isn't true now. This is a topic getting plenty of attention in the research community, there's a reasonable amount of solid data for analysts to use to tackle the major questions, and researchers are on it.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Jenious named director of Opportunity Development Center

Vanderbilt University News Network
December 3, 2009

Anita Jenious has been named the director of the Opportunity Development Center at Vanderbilt after serving as the interim director for two years.The appointment comes after an extensive search, said Jerry G. Fife, vice chancellor for administration. “Our search committee determined that Anita was the best candidate,” Fife said. The ODC is Vanderbilt’s equal opportunity, affirmative action and disability services office, charged with the interpretation, understanding and application of federal and state laws which impose special obligations in the areas of equal opportunity and affirmative action. The office’s responsibilities include developing annual affirmative action plans for women and minorities, and for veterans and persons with disabilities; monitoring faculty and staff personnel policies and practices including recruitment, selection, promotion, termination, training and compensation; providing services for faculty, staff, and students with disabilities, and investigating alleged violations of Vanderbilt’s equal opportunity and anti-harassment policies. “The ODC assists anyone who has any concerns about equal opportunity, affirmative action or disability issues,” Jenious said. “Faculty, staff, students, patients, applicants for employment, vendors, etc. We are experienced in working with a diverse clientele.” Jenious also serves as Vanderbilt’s Title VI, Title IX, and ADA Coordinator.A graduate of the University of Tennessee School Of Law and a Vanderbilt alumna, Jenious began her career at Vanderbilt before moving to the University of Pennsylvania and Tennessee State University. She returned to Vanderbilt in 1999. She is a member of the American Association of Affirmative Action and she serves on the board of the National Industry Liaison Group, an organization of federal contractors who voluntarily work the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to implement the best possible practices to ensure compliance with relevant federal regulations.“It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead the ODC,” Jenious said. “The commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action from faculty, staff, students and the leadership of Vanderbilt has grown stronger throughout the years. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the institution embrace diversity in many ways, including economic and academic diversity. I believe that the Vanderbilt community has come to view differences as starting points for stimulating discussion, teachable moments and meaningful transitions in ways that benefit us all.”Contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS

Perspectives: The Role of Privilege in Diversity Education

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
December 3, 2009
by By D. Scott Tharp, December 3, 2009

I am a White heterosexual male who works in a diversity education office. My presence as a person who retains several privileged cultural identities (privilege defined as acquiring rewards based on ascribed statuses and not merit) working in a diversity education office at an institution of higher education is a fact that seems counter-intuitive to many.
Offices that enhance diversity on campus serve traditionally under-represented students who are more likely to trust and utilize an office staffed by professionals who can relate to their backgrounds and experiences. Diversity offices also assume leadership for providing diversity education, and, while the importance of hiring professionals from traditionally oppressed groups is intuitive, I feel it is most beneficial to supplement that staff with people from privileged backgrounds so these offices may better reach and educate privileged students. Depending on the office goals and institutional priorities, here are some ways people with privileged cultural backgrounds can benefit diversity work on campuses:
Ability to incorporate privileged students. It is rare for privileged students, especially White students, to voluntarily attend multicultural events. When I first began working in multicultural affairs, I represented our office at resource fairs during orientation. When I was present, about half of the students who approached the table were White, often asking if White students could get involved. I always told them their Whiteness does not translate into a cultural void. Having a professional who shares the cultural background of privileged students challenges traditional conceptions of culture and sends the message that they are welcome.
Ability to model allyship. Many privileged students express frustration with diversity workshops because of past experiences of being told what not to do without any direction on steps they can take to be allies. Content on allyship is vital, as well as modeling allyship in my daily interactions on campus. Being visible and transparent about my own personal diversity education journey helps privileged students understand the importance of researching different cultural traditions instead of relying on others to be their personal tutors. My presence challenges privileged students to think about thoughts and actions that are rooted in cultural ignorance and to attend different cultural events and student organization meetings.

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Suit says college singled out blacks
December 2, 2009

SUNY Cobleskill officials call ex-dean's claims about budget "baseless"
By SCOTT WALDMAN, Staff writer
First published in print: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Editor's Note: To see a PDF of the lawsuit, click here. To comment on this story, visit the Schools blog.

A former dean of the State University of New York at Cobleskill has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the school, saying it discriminated against black students by keeping them in school for their tuition dollars when administrators knew they had no chance of earning a degree.

Thomas Hickey, who was stripped of his position as dean of liberal arts and sciences in July, filed the federal lawsuit on Nov. 23. In it, he claims the school has been admitting students it knows have no likelihood of graduating "for the express and admitted purpose of making budget," according to court records.
Hickey, who is a tenured professor, said the school targeted black students from the New York City region who did not meet the admissions standards of the college. Hickey said Anne Myers, the school's provost and vice president for academic affairs, developed the discriminatory policy, knew it was harmful to students and resisted the development of remedial programs that could have given the African-American students in question a chance to succeed.
In the suit, Hickey claims Myers expressed to the faculty that such students were "not cognitively and genetically prepared" to function in the college. Myers told him, "I do not care about these people," court records show.Read more:

Survey of Earned Doctorates Adds Detailed Data for Minority Groups

Chronicle of Higher Education
December 2, 2009

By Ben Terris
After nearly a year's delay, the National Science Foundation has released a report on doctoral-degree attainment, combining data from 2007 and 2008 and increasing the detail of data for minority groups.
The report on the Survey of Earned Doctorates, which is sponsored by the NSF and several other federal agencies and prepared by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, usually comes out every November. But last year the NSF released selected findings only and postponed publication of the report in order to figure out a way to offer more detailed data about degree attainment by minority groups while also maintaining student privacy.
The findings released for 2007 omitted data on certain minority groups with very small numbers, out of concern that the data could be used to identify individuals in those groups and thus compromise their privacy. But people who use the survey complained that the missing data rendered the survey less useful.
To deal with those problems, this year's report discussed a number of tactics that would make it hard to identify individuals from the data reported. One option considered was to lump minority groups with very small numbers into a larger, "underrepresented minorities" category. In the end, the division of science resources at the NSF decided to group together areas of study with small populations. Now, for example, the data show that there are six American Indians who earned doctorates in "other fields," rather than dividing them up among six possible categories.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap

The New York Times
December 1, 2009

Johnny R. Williams, 30, would appear to be an unlikely person to have to fret about the impact of race on his job search, with companies like JPMorgan Chase and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago on his résumé.
But after graduating from business school last year and not having much success garnering interviews, he decided to retool his résumé, scrubbing it of any details that might tip off his skin color. His membership, for instance, in the African-American business students association? Deleted.
“If they’re going to X me,” Mr. Williams said, “I’d like to at least get in the door first.”
Similarly, Barry Jabbar Sykes, 37, who has a degree in mathematics from Morehouse College, a historically black college in Atlanta, now uses Barry J. Sykes in his continuing search for an information technology position, even though he has gone by Jabbar his whole life.
“Barry sounds like I could be from Ireland,” he said.
That race remains a serious obstacle in the job market for African-Americans, even those with degrees from respected colleges, may seem to some people a jarring contrast to decades of progress by blacks, culminating in President Obama’s election.
But there is ample evidence that racial inequities remain when it comes to employment. Black joblessness has long far outstripped that of whites. And strikingly, the disparity for the first 10 months of this year, as the recession has dragged on, has been even more pronounced for those with college degrees, compared with those without. Education, it seems, does not level the playing field — in fact, it appears to have made it more uneven.
College-educated black men, especially, have struggled relative to their white counterparts in this downturn, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black male college graduates 25 and older in 2009 has been nearly twice that of white male college graduates — 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent.

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