Thursday, December 23, 2010

EEOC Commissioners and General Counsel Confirmed by the Senate

On December 22, 2010, the Senate confirmed the nominations of EEOC Commissioners Chai Feldblum, Victoria Lipnic and Jacqueline Berrien (Chair). EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez was also confirmed. Berrien's and Lopez's term expires in 2014; Feldblum's term expires in 2013. Commissioner Victoria Lipnic's term expires in 2015.

http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/one_item_and_teasers/nom_confc.htm

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Applauds Confirmation of EEOC Commissioners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 22, 2010
Contact: Scott Westbrook Simpson, 202.466.2061, Simpson@civilrights.org
Commissioners Berrien, Feldblum, and Lipnic Earn Bipartisan Support

Wade Henderson and Nancy Zirkin, president and executive vice president for policy of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement regarding the confirmation of the three commissioners to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):
“The Senate’s bipartisan confirmation of the EEOC’s three commissioners is a welcome development. Since their recess appointment in March, Chair Jacqueline Berrien and Commissioners Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic have worked together successfully and skillfully to lead the EEOC.
Under Chair Berrien’s stewardship, the EEOC has significantly reduced the growth in backlogged cases and conducted the largest sustained training effort within the agency in more than a decade. It’s no wonder that their confirmation earned the support of a diverse range of stakeholders, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Society for Human Resource Management and a broad coalition of civil rights organizations.
We are confident that these nominees will continue to draw on their extensive experience and exercise their authority thoughtfully and effectively to provide the kind of leadership necessary to guide the federal government's enforcement of employment discrimination protections and equal employment opportunity programs.”
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Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Nancy Zirkin is the organization's executive vice president for policy. The Leadership Conference is charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org

AAAA Issues Call for Presenters for its 2011 Summit


NEWS
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ANNOUNCES
Access, Equity and Diversity Summit and Annual Meeting 2011 and
CALL FOR PRESENTERS

Washington, December 23, 2010 - The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) is seeking presenters to share their expertise, passion and commitment to promoting diversity and affirmative action with a national audience during our 2011 Summit and Annual Meeting at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey from June 28-30. Our theme for the Summit is EEO and Diversity: “A Strong and Prosperous Nation Secured through a Fair and Inclusive Workplace.” Joining AAAA as a program partner is the New Jersey Affirmative Action Officers’ Council (NJAAOC). We are seeking presentations from professionals, groups, organizations and members with expertise on the challenges facing diversity and affirmative action. We encourage presentations that address our theme as well as emerging issues, trends, analysis and perspectives related to diversity and affirmative action in the workplace. Proposals must be submitted electronically by January 28, 2011 to Matthew J. Camardella camardem@jacksonlewis.com .

READ MORE

For more information about AAAA or the Summit, please contact us at:
AAAA Summit 2011
888 16th Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 355-1399 * (800) 252-8952 * Fax: (202) 355-1399
aaaa2011summit@affirmativeaction.org
www.affirmativeaction.org.
Founded in 1974, the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity. AAAA assists its members to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action to enhance access and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Interviewing Applicants with Disabilities-Part I

HR.BLR.Com
HR and Employment Law News
December 20, 2010

The ability to locate, employ, and retain qualified disabled individuals will become increasingly more critical to contractor’s affirmative action success. As a result, employers’ ability to effectively find and interview disabled applicants is paramount.
According to the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the job interview plays a critical role in the hiring process, allowing employers the opportunity to identify the individual who possesses the best mix of knowledge, skills, and abilities for the position available. We offer this information provided by ODEP that may assist employers in ensuring maximum benefit from an interview when the person being interviewed has a disability.

Full Story: http://hr.blr.com/HR-news/Discrimination/Affirmative-Action/Interviewing-Applicants-with-Disabilities-Part-I/

United, EEOC settle case on disabled workers

SF Gate (San Francisco Chronicle)

San Francisco Chronicle December 21, 2010 04:00 AM

United Airlines, which prohibited reservation agents with disabilities from working reduced schedules in 2003, will drop that policy in a court settlement and pay $600,000 to compensate some of the agents, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Monday.
The EEOC's San Francisco office had accused United of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by revoking the airline's long-standing policy that had allowed disabled reservation agents to work shorter hours.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/20/BU441GT980.DTL#ixzz18qbuULos

EEOC Files Nationwide Hiring Discrimination Lawsuit Against Kaplan Higher Education Corp.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
12-21-10

Company’s Use of Job Applicants’ Credit History Discriminates Because of Race, Federal Agency Charges

CLEVELAND – Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, a nationwide provider of postsecondary education, engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination by refusing to hire a class of black job applicants nationwide, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.
Since at least 2008, Kaplan Higher Education has rejected job applicants based on their credit history. This practice has an unlawful discriminatory impact because of race and is neither job-related nor justified by business necessity, the EEOC charged in its lawsuit.
As a result of these practices, the company has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the lawsuit (Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-02882) filed by the EEOC’s Cleveland Field Office in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. It is a violation of Title VII to use hiring practices that have a discriminatory impact because of race and that are not job-related and justified by business necessity.
The EEOC attempted to reach a voluntary settlement before filing suit. The EEOC seeks injunctive relief in its lawsuit, as well as lost wages and benefits and offers of employment for people who were not hired because of Kaplan Higher Education’s use of job applicants’ credit history.
“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was intended to eliminate practices that serve as arbitrary barriers to employment because of a job applicant’s race,” said Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland, and portions of New Jersey and Ohio. “Employers need to be mindful that any hiring practice be job-related and not screen out groups of people, even if it does so unintentionally.”
Workplace discrimination charge filings with the federal agency nationwide rose to an unprecedented level of 99,922 during fiscal year 2010.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-21-10a.cfm

Monday, December 20, 2010

Woman complains to EEOC; fiance fired

The Washington Post
By Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Eric Thompson thinks his firing was more than coincidence: Three weeks after his fiancee filed a discrimination complaint against their mutual employer, he got a pink slip.
If it had been Miriam Regalado - his fiancee, now wife - who had been fired, she would have been protected by federal laws that keep employers from dismissing workers who allege illegal actions.

Full Story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/07/AR2010120706423.html

Ex-affirmative action officer sues Rowan

Newsday.com

Originally published: December 18, 2010 2:57
PMUpdated: December 18, 2010 2:57 PM
By The Associated Press

GLASSBORO, N.J. - (AP) — A former Rowan University affirmative action officer is suing the school, claiming he was the victim of discrimination.
Richard Williams says he was demoted in 2007 then forced to retire the next year after he testified against the university in a discrimination case eight years ago.
In his suit, Williams, who is black, says he attempted to retract a retirement notice, but was denied.

Full Story: http://www.newsday.com/news/region-state/ex-affirmative-action-officer-sues-rowan-1.2551972

AAAA Announces Date for 2011 Summit and Issues Call for Presenters













AAAA Access, Equity and Diversity Summit 2011


The American Association for Affirmative Action will hold its Access, Equity and Diversity Summit and Annual Meeting on June 28 -30, 2011. The Summit will be held in partnership with the New Jersey Affirmative Action Officers' Council and will take place in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

AAAA is a national, not-for-profit association of professionals working in areas of affirmative action, equal opportunity, human resources and diversity in both the public and private sectors. Our mission is to promote the understanding and advocacy of affirmative action to enhance access and equity in employment, economic, and educational opportunities. For more information about AAAA, please contact us at:
AAAA Summit 2011
888 16th Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 355-1399
aaaa2011summit@affirmativeaction.org

Proposals must be submitted electronically by January 28, 2011 to the following:
Matthew J. Camardella
camardem@jacksonlewis.com

Use of Temporary Workers Also Invites Exposures to Lawsuits

Workforce Management
Attorneys say temporary workers hired through staffing agencies generally are considered to be employed by both the agency and company, even though the agency pays the salary. By Judy Greenwald
Workforce Management Online, March 2010

As the use of temporary workers increases, employers need to guard against the potential liabilities and other pitfalls of bringing in such workers, experts say.
Even though a staffing agency may cut a temporary worker’s check, experts say employers remain obligated to comply with state and federal employment laws, including discrimination statutes. There also are situations in which an employer could be required to provide benefits, experts say.
After several months of declines in the number of temporary help services employees in the U.S. workforce, the figure hit a yearly low in July 2009 at 1.7 million. Since then, the number has risen, hitting an estimated 1.9 million in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS does not track temporary workers or independent contractors hired directly by employers, a much smaller number than temp workers hired through agencies.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/recruiting-staffing/use-temporary-workers-also-invites-exposures-lawsuits/index.php

Holidays can heighten tensions in interfaith offices

denverpost.com
By Cindy Krischer Goodman
McClatchy Newspapers
Posted: 12/20/2010 01:00:00 AM MST

MIAMI — Most years, Karen Ross doesn't mind the Christmas tree at her office or the carols playing in the background while she clacks on her keyboard. But this year, the Miami administrative assistant is spending much more than 40 hours at work.
While Ross is thankful to have a job, she finds herself agitated by spending her early evening listening to Santa songs at the office when she should be home lighting Hanukkah candles with her family.
"It's a little uncomfortable," she said.

Read more: Holidays can heighten tensions in interfaith offices - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_16899576#ixzz18fMXtu9P

Home Instead Senior Care to Pay $150,000 to Settle EEOC Race Bias Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release 12-13-10

Management Officials Engaged in Race-Based Assignments, Agency Charged

BALTIMORE -- Hi Care, Inc., doing business as Home Instead Senior Care, will pay $150,000 and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
In its lawsuit, Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-02692-WMN, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Maryland the EEOC charged that since at least October 2007, Hi Care illegally engaged in a pattern and practice of race-based assignments of its caregiving employees. The EEOC said that Hi Care employed racial coding to identify clients who preferred Caucasian caregivers as “circle dots,” and catered to the racial preferences of its clients at its Arnold and Ellicott City, Md., offices.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to make decisions about job assignments based on an employee’s race. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
In addition to the monetary settlement, Hi Care is enjoined from any further practice which permits its customers or clients to dictate the assignment of caregivers based on the customer’s racial preference. Additionally, Hi Care agrees to monitoring by the EEOC; to annually train all current and newly hired recruiters and human resources personnel; implement a policy prohibiting race-based assignments; and post notices affirming the company’s commitment to maintaining an environment free of race discrimination.
“We believe that by entering into this consent decree, Hi Care is expressing its determination to prevent future race-based assignments and discrimination,” said Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “We brought this lawsuit to remind employers that race-based decision making has no place in the modern workplace.”
According to its website (www.homeinstead.com), Omaha, Neb.-based Home Instead Senior Care is an international leader in non-medical senior care, with more than 800 independently owned and operated franchises throughout the world.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site (www.eeoc.gov).

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-13-10a.cfm

Latest Catalyst Census Shows Women Still Not Scaling the Corporate Ladder in 2010; New Study Indicates Clue to Reversing Trend

Catalyst News Release

NEW YORK (December 13, 2010) – Women’s representation has not grown significantly in corporate boardrooms, executive office suites, or the ranks of companies’ top earners in the last year, according to the 2010 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and the 2010 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners released today. Research shows that actively battling the stagnation of the last several years by advancing talented women could provide businesses with an enormous competitive advantage. Catalyst’s latest global study, Mentoring: Necessary But Insufficient for Advancement, demonstrates that men with mentors are promoted more and compensated at a higher rate, while women with mentors are far less likely to be promoted or paid more as a result of being mentored. Sponsors—mentors who advocate for promotions and high-profile development opportunities—could help narrow the gender leadership gap.
“Corporate America needs to get ‘unstuck’ when it comes to advancing women to leadership,” said Ilene H. Lang, Catalyst President & Chief Executive Officer. “This is our fifth report where the annual change in female leadership remained flat. If this trend line represented a patient's pulse—she'd be dead.”
According to the 2010 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and the 2010 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners:
Women held 15.7% of board seats in 2010—only a 0.5 percentage point gain over the 15.2% they held in 2009.
In both 2009 and 2010, more than 50% of companies had at least two women board directors, yet more than 10% had no women serving on their boards. The percentage of companies with three or more women board directors also remained flat.
In 2010, women held only 14.4% of Executive Officer positions, up from 13.5% in 2009.
In 2010, women Executive Officers held only 7.6% of the top earner positions, as compared with 6.3% in 2009.
In 2009, more than two-thirds of companies had at least one woman Executive Officer; this number did not change in 2010. The same held true for companies with no women Executive Officers.
“Jumpstarting women’s advancement takes commitment fueled by urgency,” said Ms. Lang. “Our research points to a solution that can narrow the gender leadership gap and supercharge the leadership pool—making corporate America more competitive in the process.”
Catalyst research shows that mentoring, i.e., offering career guidance and advice, is not as effective in advancing women as is sponsorship, i.e., advocating for women for specific opportunities. According to Mentoring: Necessary But Insufficient for Advancement, men’s mentors tend to hold more senior positions, which means they have the clout necessary to provide sponsorship. Other findings include:
Men with mentors had starting salaries in their first post-MBA jobs that were, on average, $9,260 higher than the starting salaries of women with mentors.
Men received more promotions than women, and their promotions came with greater salary increases—men received 21% more in compensation per promotion while women’s compensation increased by only 2% per promotion.
High-potential women and men with senior-level mentors—those in a position to provide sponsorship—advanced further and earned more than those with less senior mentors, pointing to the need for career support from people with clout. Sponsorship is not a silver bullet, however. Men with senior-level mentors still had greater salary increases than women with senior-level mentors.
Ernst & Young sponsored the 2010 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and the 2010 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners at the Mentor Circle level.
For Mentoring: Necessary But Insufficient for Advancement, American Express Company sponsored at the President's Circle level, Barclays Capital at the Executive Circle level, and Chevron Corporation, Credit Suisse Group, General Motors Company, The Procter & Gamble Company, and Scotiabank at the Mentor Circle level.

ABOUT CATALYST
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization working globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and more than 400 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women’s advancement with the Catalyst Award.

http://www.catalyst.org/press-release/181/latest-catalyst-census-shows-women-still-not-scaling-the-corporate-ladder-in-2010-new-study-indicates-clue-to-reversing-trend

DOL Discontinues Active Case Management Program Procedures

On December 2, 2010, the DOL/OFCCP issued a directive discontinuing Active Case Management (ACM) procedures. The agency explains that the ACM process, which focused on systemic discrimination cases and closed others involving fewer potential victims, narrowed the enforcement focus of the OFCCP and eroded its enforcement authority.

To see the directive, go to: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/directives/dir292.htm

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Black Segregation in U.S. Drops to Lowest in Century

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Associated Press , December 16, 2010

WASHINGTON – America's neighborhoods took large strides toward racial integration in the last decade as Blacks and Whites chose to live near each other at the highest levels in a century.
Still, segregation in many parts of the U.S. persisted, with Hispanics in particular turning away from Whites.
A broad range of 2009 census data released Tuesday also found a mixed economic picture, with the poverty rate swinging wildly among counties from 4 percent to more than 40 percent as the nation grappled with a housing boom and bust.

Full Story: http://diverseeducation.com/article/14541/

Monday, December 13, 2010

OFCCP Issues Latest Round of Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters

Jackson Lewis LLP
12.13.2010


Jackson Lewis has learned that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has begun issuing its latest round of Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs) to federal contractors with establishments slated for multiple compliance audits during the OFCCP’s current fiscal year (October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011). CSALs give federal contractors with more than one establishment advance notice of the locations slated for Agency compliance audits.

Full Story: http://www.jacksonlewis.com/resources.php?NewsID=3493

Documentation is key to surviving OFCCP audit

Lexology
Bond Schoeneck & King
Larry Malfitano
USA
December 2 2010

Documentation of employment activities and workplace investigations is critical for all employers. Federal contractors subject to affirmative action compliance audits by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) must be particularly diligent. The existence or absence of appropriate documentation during an OFCCP compliance audit often dictates the length and ultimate result of the audit.
Some of the records that are essential to the successful completion of an affirmative action audit are:
proof of listing all non-executive vacancies with the local office of the Department of Labor;
copies of outreach letters/e-mails to organizations showing efforts to attract qualified minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans;
applicant tracking data, identifying race, gender, position applied for, and disposition of all “applicants;”
identification by race and gender of hires, promotions, transfers, demotions, and terminations;
annual adverse impact analyses of personnel activities, including applicant/hires, promotions, transfers, demotions, and terminations;
annual analysis of compensation for potential disparities due to race and/or gender; and
copies of EEO-1 and VETS-100 filings for the prior three years.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=8868809e-5c55-404e-9e5f-e301b0a8ac85&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2010-12-10&utm_term=

Paycheck Fairness Act stalls in the Senate

Lexology
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Donald F. Bayer
USA
December 3 2010

One of the first pieces of legislation signed by President Obama after his inauguration was theLilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (Ledbetter). The purpose of Ledbetter was to make iteasier for a plaintiff to bring suit on a wage discrimination claim by making it less likely that thestatute of limitations would bar a claim. Additional proposed legislation designed to facilitatewage discrimination claims was set forth in the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act of 2009.When Ledbetter passed, the Paycheck Fairness Act (the Act) was still in committee. OnNovember 17, 2010, the Senate failed to obtain the 60 votes necessary to close debate on theAct, meaning it could not be brought up for a vote. It now appears the Act will not be passedinto law in the foreseeable future given the upcoming change in the composition of the Senateas a result of the midterm elections.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e8d8b8cb-813d-4548-8cb6-6204f75db8c3&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2010-12-10&utm_term=

The EEOC scrutinizes "no fault" termination policies

Lexology.com
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Anne C. Emert
USA
December 3 2010

The EEOC has recently taken a strong position against “no fault” termination policies whichrequire the automatic termination of an employee who cannot return to work after theexpiration of a fixed medical leave period. In a couple recent lawsuits, the EEOC has arguedthe failure to provide additional leave upon the expiration of the leave allowed under anemployer’s “no fault” termination policy is a violation ofthe Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) because providing additional unpaid leave is a form of reasonable accommodation.For example, the EEOC instituted a class action against Sears alleging its leave policy violatedthe ADA because it called for termination if the employee was unable to return to work afterexhausting workers’ compensation leave. The lawsuit ended in a settlement with Searsagreeing to pay $6.2 million to resolve the claim—the largest ADA settlement agreement inhistory—and to amend its policy to notify injured employees at least 45 days before theirleaves are to expire that they can request accommodations to allow their return to work.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=1bd9999c-5c02-47ec-82e0-de83da31e4ac&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2010-12-13&utm_term=

Civil Rights Commission Report Finds That HBCUs Do a Better Job of Graduating Black STEM Majors

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Joyce Jones , December 13, 2010

Since their inception, historically Black colleges and universities have served as a lifeline to higher learning for African-Americans. Indeed, they were established to provide higher education opportunities for Blacks who were excluded from mainstream universities. A report released by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights last week, titled “The Educational Effectiveness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” finds that these institutions continue to play a pivotal role in helping Blacks gain academic equality.

Full Story: http://diverseeducation.com/article/14518/

Tougher Line on Sexual Harassment

Inside Higher Ed

December 10, 2010
Two Midwestern colleges will have to dramatically rework their policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment, under agreements that ended U.S. Education Department inquiries into their compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The agreements by Eastern Michigan University and Notre Dame College in Ohio could have a broad impact, as other institutions are likely to take notice.
The investigations were part of what some perceive as a crackdown of sorts on Title IX compliance by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Though the office has investigated other institutions, these two cases – which ended early when the colleges signed voluntary resolution agreements – require particularly extensive action on the part of the colleges.

Full Story: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/12/10/titleix

Oxford’s Research-Based Affirmative Action

The Chronicle of Higher Education
December 10, 2010, 2:58 pm
By Richard Kahlenberg
A large-scale British study, released last week, gives new empirical support for the drive to provide affirmative action to “strivers,” less advantaged students who, despite obstacles, perform fairly well academically. The research finds that students who attended regular “comprehensive” (public) secondary schools did better in college than those who scored at the same level on standardized admissions exams and attended “independent” (private) or “grammar” (selective public) schools.
Pointing to the study last week, Oxford University’s dean of undergraduate admissions, Mike Nicholson, created waves when he declared that students who do well at poor performing secondary schools “may have more potential” than those from more-advantaged schools, and that universities should consider the context in which students compile an academic record. In the United States, universities have claimed for years that admissions officers consider socioeconomic obstacles a student has overcome, though evidence suggests that on average, at the most selective 146 institutions, they do not.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/oxford%e2%80%99s-research-based-affirmative-action/28094?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Education Dept. Tells 2 Colleges to Revamp Sexual-Harassment Policies

The Chronicle of Higher Education
December 10, 2010

By Elyse Ashburn
Eastern Michigan University, which paid the largest fine ever imposed for violating laws on campus-crime reporting, also must revamp its sexual-harassment policies under an agreement reached with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
The department's investigation of whether the university was in compliance with Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits sex discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funds, stems from the rape and murder of a female student on the university's campus in 2006.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/article/Education-Dept-Tells-2/125704/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

No more leg up

The Salt Lake Tribune
Published Dec 12, 2010 11:50
PMUpdated Dec 12, 2010 11:50PM

Amendments to the Utah Constitution should be rare and sorely needed. But some lawmakers want an amendment to end affirmative action policies that have helped minimize the effects of discrimination on minority citizens and women for decades. The effort is not only unnecessary but misdirected and ill-conceived.

Full Editorial: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/50818827-82/women-action-affirmative-minority.html.csp

Federal judge upholds Calif affirmative action ban

mercurynews.com
By TERENCE CHEA Associated Press
Posted: 12/08/2010 04:35:34 PM PST
Updated: 12/08/2010 04:35:35 PM PST

SAN FRANCISCO—A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit challenging California's voter-approved ban on affirmative action in public university admissions.
U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Conti on Wednesday ruled against the challenge to Proposition 209, which banned the consideration of race and ethnicity in public education, employment and contracting.

Full Story: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_16809678?nclick_check=1

Supreme Court to Decide Wal-Mart Class-Action Lawsuit

Workforce Management
December 7, 2010

The Supreme Court agreed Dec. 6 to decide whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. must face what could be the largest workplace class-action lawsuit ever certified.The case—Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Betty Dukes et al.—involves charges that Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart paid female employees less than men in comparable positions despite higher performance ratings and seniority. The six female employees who brought the lawsuit, initially filed in 2001, also allege that women received fewer and waited longer for promotions to in-store management positions than men.The lawsuit seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, lost pay and punitive damages.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/section/news/article/supreme-court-decide-wal-mart-class-action-lawsuit.php

Former And Current Owners Of The Sahara Hotel To Pay $100,000 To Settle EEOC National Origin Harassment & Retaliation Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
12-7-10

Slurs and Graffiti Plagued an Egyptian Worker, Who Was Suspended for Complaining, Federal Agency Charged

LAS VEGAS – The former and current owners of the Sahara Hotel & Casino, a popular establishment on the Las Vegas strip, will pay a total of $100,000 and furnish other relief to settle a national origin harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC originally filed suit against the former and current owners of Sahara in July 2009 in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada (EEOC v. Gordon Gaming dba Sahara Hotel and Casino, Stockbridge / SBE Holdings dba Sahara Hotel and Casino, Civil Action Case No. 2:09-cv-01356-PMP-RJJ) , alleging that the harassment and retaliation violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the EEOC, the Sahara 's supervisors and coworkers continuously belittled and harassed Ezzat Elias, whose job entailed maintaining and delivering food to the hotel buffet, because of his Egyptian heritage. The alleged harassers openly and continually subjected Elias to derogatory comments, such as “Go back to Egypt,” “f-----g Egyptian,” and often referred to him as “Bin Laden.” Elias also endured graffiti in the men’s locker room and elsewhere, targeting him with phrases such as “sand n----r” and “the Taliban must die.”
Despite Elias’s repeated complaints of such harassment, the EEOC found that the Sahara’s management failed to take effective measures to stop it. Instead, the EEOC said, supervisors retaliated against Elias shortly after his initial complaint by increasing his workload, subjecting him to closer scrutiny, formally disciplining and ultimately suspending him.
The parties entered into a three-year consent decree which requires the Sahara’s former and current owners to collectively pay $85,000 in monetary relief to Elias. The hotel’s current owner will also pay an additional $15,000 to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC), the state entity charged with enforcing Nevada’s anti-discrimination laws, for the purposes of education and outreach to the public on anti-discrimination issues. Aside from the monetary relief, the current owner also agreed to appoint an equal employment opportunity (EEO) consultant and will review and revise its policies, training, and procedures to ensure they effectively address workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
“Under federal law, employees of all national origins are protected from this type of harassment,” said Anna Park, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office. “We commend the current owners of the Sahara Hotel & Casino for working with the EEOC to change the hostile work environment uncovered in this case.”
Lucy Orta, local director of the EEOC’s Las Vegas Local Office, added, “Retaliation is illegal and is one of the fastest-growing types of complaints received by the EEOC. Workers need to know that they have the right to report discrimination and harassment in the workplace without the fear of actions taken against them.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-7-2010b.cfm

Fleming’s Pays $248,750 To Three Men In EEOC Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
12-7-10

Upscale Chain Settles After Litigation Revealed Head Chef Fondled Male Employees

PHOENIX —Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, at DC Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz., will pay nearly a quarter million dollars and furnish other relief to settle a same-sex sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC’s suit (CV-07683-PHX-SMM), which was brought in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in Phoenix, charged that male employees who worked at Fleming’s in Scottsdale, a fine dining steak house, were sexually abused by the head chef, Tod Rawson. The evidence gathered during the EEOC’s investigation revealed that, among other things, Rawson frequently pinched or squeezed his subordinates’ private parts, flicked their genitals with his bare hands, and groped them from behind. Rawson even used kitchen utensils from the restaurant to touch his victims’ genitals through their clothing, the EEOC said. Evidence uncovered during the lawsuit also revealed that several managers at Fleming’s knew what was happening well before formal charges were filed but did nothing to stop it. After several internal complaints, a formal EEOC charge was filed.
“The key lesson we want people to take from this case: employers must protect their employees from sexual harassment,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “This means doing a meaningful internal investigation designed to find the truth and not designed to merely cover tracks. Also, employers must immediately stop further sexual harassment from occurring. Here, not only did Fleming’s not fire the harasser, they let him continue the harassment for more than a year and a half before allowing him to resign. When employers prove incapable of addressing these toxic situations, the EEOC is ready to right these wrongs.”
Rayford Irvin, District Director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, added, “We want the public to know that sexual harassment isn’t just about misconduct between men and women. It includes sexually abusive behavior between people of the same sex also. Regardless of your gender or anyone else’s, you don’t have to tolerate sexual harassment.”
The EEOC Phoenix District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, with offices in Albuquerque and Denver.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-7-2010a.cfm

Employers gain access to database to recruit workers with disabilities

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Disability Employment Policy
News Release
ODEP News Release: [12/07/2010]
Contact Name: Clarisse Young or Bennett Gamble
Phone Number: (202) 693-5051 or x4667
Release Number: 10-1705-NAT
Employers gain access to database to recruit workers with disabilities
Resource made available by US Labor Department

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, today made available the 2011 Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities database. This resource is intended to assist federal and private-sector employers in identifying workers with disabilities.
The more than 2,200 candidates in this year's database represent all academic backgrounds and are working toward, or recently earned, associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and law degrees. Students have been interviewed by recruiters from various federal agencies. Some seek summer employment, while others are looking for regular, full-time positions.
"This database is filled with talented students who are highly motivated to prove their skills in the workplace," said ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez.
To take advantage of the new database, federal officials can visit http://www.wrp.gov to register and search independently for candidates who meet their hiring needs. They also can track the status of candidates they are interested in interviewing, including whether they already have been hired.
Private-sector employers can search the program's database through ODEP's National Employer Assistance and Resource Network by making a toll-free telephone call to 866-327-6669 or filling out a request form at http://www.earnworks.com.
More than 20 federal agencies regularly utilize the Workforce Recruitment Program as a recruiting tool, and it has provided employment opportunities for more than 5,500 students since 1995. The program supports President Obama's executive order titled "Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities."

http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/odep/ODEP20101705.htm

Monday, December 6, 2010

AAAA Launches "EEO TIPS"



The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) will add a new component to its member services: "EEO TIPS." EEO TIPs will feature brief guidance about the affirmative action and equal employment opportunity laws and compliance policies that Affirmative Action/EEO and Diversity practitioners should know as they pursue their tasks. The Tips will be disseminated on a weekly basis. This is a AAAA members-only service.


EEO Tips will be developed by AAAA members who are leading practitioners in the field. Among the EEO Tipsters are: Julia Mendez Fuentes, PHR, CELS, Director, Workforce Compliance and Diversity Solutions, Peopleclick Authoria; lawyers from Jackson Lewis LLP; Glenn Barlett, Glenn Barlett Consulting Services, LLC; and ReNee S. Dunman, Assistant Vice-President, Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity, Old Dominion University.


AAAA does not provide legal advice and recommends that users consult with competent EEO counsel before taking action in a matter related to the information provided.


Court to look at huge sex bias suit vs. Wal-Mart

The Washington Post
The Associated Press
Monday, December 6, 2010

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court will consider throwing out a massive lawsuit that claims Wal-Mart pays women less than men and promotes women less frequently.
The justices stepped into a case Monday that could involve 500,000 to 1.5 million women who work or once worked at the world's largest private employer. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. calls it the largest employment class action in history.

Full Story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/06/AR2010120602733.html?wpisrc=nl_natlalert

Register for AAAA Webinar on Faculty Recruitment and Retention




Scheduled Thursday, December 9, 2010: Recruiting and Retaining Faculty of Color: Strategies, Roadblocks, and Incentives

Thursday, December 09, 2010 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Genesys Conferencing WebinarRoom entrance begins at 1:45p.m. ESTPresenter: Dr. Marybeth Gasman Webinar

Recruiting and Retaining Faculty of Color: Strategies, Roadblocks, and Incentives This webinar will focus on research-based strategies for recruiting and retaining faculty of color. Participants -- from search committee chairs to department chairs to deans to provosts to EEO officers -- will learn ways to successfully bolster their faculty diversity in meaningful, sincere ways. These strategies are focused on creating empowering environments for faculty of color and improving the overall institutional culture and quality.


Marybeth Gasman is an associate professor of higher education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an historian and her work focuses on African American higher education, including historically Black colleges and universities, African American leadership, Black philanthropy, and the post-War period in higher education. She is the author of ten books, including Envisioning Black Colleges: A History of the United Negro College Fund (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) and Understanding Minority Serving Institutions (SUNY Press, 2008). In 2006, Dr. Gasman received the Association for the Study of Higher Education's Early Career Award. She is also the recipient of a University of Pennsylvania Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Gasman was recently named a Penn Fellow by the president and provost of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to courses on the history of American higher education, Dr. Gasman teaches a course on Diversity in Higher Education. She also works with faculty members who want to learn more about discussing racial issues in the classroom. She recently completed a study on the recruitment and retention of faculty of color at historically White institutions. Her research on Black colleges has been cited in The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, National Public Radio, U.S. News and World Report, and CNN.

This program has been approved for 1.0 (General ) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

Diversity Remains Fleeting on Colleges' Governing Boards, Surveys Find

The Chronicle on Higher Education
November 29, 2010
By Paul Fain

College trustees remain overwhelmingly white, male, and over 50, according to the results of two surveys released today by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
The two surveys, which yielded responses from 195 public and 507 private institutions, also looked at a wide range of board policies and practices, such as meeting frequency, and members' term length and annual giving rates. Reports on the surveys are available for purchase on the association's Web site.
Women and minorities gained little ground in the six years since the association's last survey. Whites account for 74.3 percent of the trustee spots at public institutions and 87.5 percent at private institutions, compared with 77.7 percent and 88.1 percent, respectively, in 2004.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/article/Diversity-Remains-Fleeting-on/125566/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Wayne State U. Cancels Diversity Award Named for Reporter

The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Ticker
December 4, 2010, 11:25 am

Wayne State University will no longer offer the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media Award because of recent comments made by the journalist, the Detroit Free Press reports. Ms. Thomas, a Wayne State alumna, said during a speech in Dearborn that “Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question. They put their money where their mouth is.”

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/wayne-state-u-cancels-diversity-award-named-for-reporter/28910?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Concerns on Anti-Bullying Legislation

Inside Higher Ed
Quick Takes
November 24, 2010

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is raising concerns about legislation proposed in Congress and passed by legislators (but awaiting the governor's signature) in New Jersey that would require colleges to have policies to bar cyber-bullying, among other forms of harassment. The federal and state proposals are named for Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who killed himself after images of his encounter with a man were allegedly broadcast. See Full Story: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/11/24/qt#244315

FIRE Statement:

'Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act' Threatens Free Speech on Campus
November 23, 2010
PHILADELPHIA, November 23, 2010—An "anti-bullying" bill introduced in Congress last week gravely threatens free speech on America's college campuses. Despite the bill's admirable intention of preventing future tragedies, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has determined that the bill is at odds with the Supreme Court's carefully crafted definition of harassment and would require colleges to violate the First Amendment.
"Tyler Clementi was subjected to an unconscionable violation of privacy, but that conduct was already criminal and prohibited by every college in America," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "For decades, colleges have used vague, broad harassment codes to silence even the most innocuous speech on campus. The proposed law requires universities to police even more student speech under a hopelessly vague standard that will be a disaster for open debate and discourse on campus. And all this in response to student behavior that was already illegal."

See Full Statement: http://www.thefire.org/article/12501.html

OFCCP Changes Approach to Pay Enforcement

Compensation.blr.com
December 03, 2010

Patricia Shiu, Director the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), recently announced major changes at the agency’s approach to compensation monitoring and pursuing the White House Pay Equity Initiative. Specifically, Shiu announced that OFCCP will rescind its 2006 Guidance on Wage Discrimination and will issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit contractor’s ideas and views about the new wage data collection instrument.

Full Story: http://compensation.blr.com/Compensation-news/Compensation/Compensation-Administration/OFCCP-Changes-in-Pay-Enforcement/

Nash Finch Denies Gender Bias in Hiring and Remains Committed to Equal Employment Opportunities

Benzinga.com
Posted on 12/03/10 at 3:52pm by Benzinga Staff

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Nash Finch Company (NASDAQ: NAFC), has been notified that the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) filed an administrative complaint against the Company challenging the hiring of order selectors at the Lumberton, NC Distribution Center between April and December 2006. OFCCP's claims arise not from any complaint of discrimination from anyone seeking a job with Nash Finch but as the result of OFCCP's investigation into hiring practices at the Lumberton Distribution Center during a routine compliance review.
“We were disappointed to see that OFCCP issued a press release which in our view inaccurately portrays the hiring practices of Nash Finch Company.

Read more: http://www.benzinga.com/press-releases/10/12/b667391/nash-finch-denies-gender-bias-in-hiring-and-remains-committed-to-equal-#ixzz17L6OUWkx

Scrub, Inc. To Pay $3 Million To Settle EEOC Racial Discrimination Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
11-9-10

Chicago Janitorial Services Company Failed to Recruit and Hire African Americans, Federal Agency Charged

CHICAGO – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced this morning that a federal magistrate judge in Chicago has today entered a $3 million consent decree ending litigation by the EEOC against a janitorial services company, Scrub, Inc. of Chicago.
The EEOC’s lawsuit, which was filed June 19, 2009, charged that Scrub had failed to recruit African-American applicants and failed to hire black applicants for entry-level janitorial positions. Scrub is a privately held company which holds contracts to provide janitorial services at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
The EEOC brought its lawsuit after its administrative investigation revealed that substantial numbers of African-Americans were applying to Scrub, but being denied the opportunity to work because of racial discrimination. The investigation revealed that Scrub relied on a subjective decision-making process without clear objective criteria for hiring employees.
In addition to providing for the distribution of $3 million in monetary relief to victims of discrimination, the consent decree requires significant injunctive relief. The decree prohibits the company from discriminating in the future and mandates the hiring of certain claimants who still want jobs at Scrub. The EEOC said that approximately 550 African-American applicants may receive relief under the decree.
“Stopping race discrimination in hiring is one of the basic objectives the EEOC was created to address 45 years ago,” said EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez. “Unfortunately, there is a continuing need for law enforcement work in this area. The consent decree in Scrub makes a very important contribution to that work, by providing job opportunities to qualified applicants who were denied them in the past, and requiring that the company take steps to reform its hiring practices in the future.”
John Rowe, director of the EEOC Chicago District Office, said, “We are pleased that this case was able to be resolved with Scrub. The consent decree will ensure that the federal laws against discrimination are followed and that all future applicants, regardless of their race or national origin, will be given the consideration that they deserve.”
The decree has additional measures to prevent discrimination including that Scrub revise its hiring policy, use its best efforts to reach certain hiring goals of African-Americans, train its human resource staff on the law prohibiting race discrimination, and hire an outside monitor to review its compliance with the decree. Scrub is also required to increase its recruitment efforts in the African-American community.
John Hendrickson, regional attorney for the Chicago District Office, said, “The EEOC continues to vigorously protect the rights of the American worker to be free from discrimination. These rights extend to applicants for open positions. Especially in these tough economic times, companies must ensure that applicants are considered based on their merit and not their race or national origin.”
The consent decree was entered this morning by Magistrate Judge Susan Cox of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. The EEOC’s lawsuit, EEOC v. Scrub, Inc., N.D. Illinois No 09-Cv-4228, was filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after the agency exhausted its efforts to voluntarily conciliate the matter with the company.
In addition to Hendrickson, EEOC is represented by Supervisory Trial Attorney Diane Smason and Trial Attorneys Laurie Elkin, Ann Henry and Brandi Davis. The EEOC Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-9-10c.cfm

Akal Security Pays $1.62 Million To Settle EEOC Class Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE 12-1-10

Federal Security Contractor Forced Pregnant Women From Their Jobs, Agency Charged

KANSAS CITY – Akal Security, Inc., the largest provider of contract security services to the federal government, will pay $1.62 million to a class of 26 female security guards, settling a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC, in 2004 New Mexico-based Akal began a nationwide pattern and practice of forcing its pregnant employees, working as contract security guards on U.S. Army bases, to take leave and discharging them because of pregnancy. The women worked at Fort Riley, Hood, Stewart, Campbell, Lewis, Anniston, Sunny Point and Blue Grass Army Depot. Akal also subjected the women to less favorable terms and conditions of employment because of pregnancy, including preventing them from completing their annual physical agility and firearms tests or forcing them to take such tests before their certifications had expired. Akal also retaliated against an employee who complained about the discrimination by filing baseless criminal charges against her, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits gender discrimination in employment, including pregnancy discrimination. The EEOC filed suit against Akal in 2008 in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ( U.S. EEOC v. Akal Security, Inc., Case No. 08-1274-JTM-KMH) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. Eleven of the class members were also individually represented by Forrest Rhodes and Don Berner of Foulston Siefkin, LLP, Wichita, Kan. According to its website, www.akalsecurity.com, Akal is one of the largest contract security companies in the United States and operates in 40 states and 20 countries.
“This is a very important settlement that will help protect an entire class of women from discrimination on account of pregnancy,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “This agreement reinforces the EEOC’s commitment to securing fair and equal treatment for all women in the work place.”
In addition to the monetary relief, the two-year consent decree settling the suit requires Akal to:
Report to the EEOC about any employees who are required to take a leave of absence while pregnant, are terminated while pregnant, or make a complaint of pregnancy discrimination;
Report to the EEOC about any physical agility test it intends to implement to screen or requalify employees and whether pregnant employees are permitted to take the test;
Issue a message from its CEO to all employees along with a well-defined, comprehensive anti-discrimination policy; and
Provide annual compliance training to managers and supervisors on the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
“Akal operated its business without regard to federal law,” said Barbara Seely, regional
attorney for the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office, whose jurisdiction includes Kansas. “Employees who become pregnant and can continue to perform their jobs should not be pushed out of traditionally male jobs just because they don’t fit the employer’s image. We are confident Akal now understands the price of allowing this type of illegal stereotyping to drive employment decisions, and that it will ensure pregnant employees are treated fairly going forward.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-1-10.cfm

Disabilities Protections Expanded

Workforce Management
By James E. Hall, Mark T. Kobata and Marty Denis
Workforce Management, November 2010, p. 11

Because of the ADA Amendments Act's more expansive definition of a 'disability,' employers should be aware that workers with cancer or other diseases that are inactive or in remission may still be considered disabled, in which case reasonable accommodations must be considered.

Sam Hoffman, a service technician for Advanced Healthcare, was diagnosed with stage 3 renal cancer and had his left kidney removed.
More than a year later, Advanced Healthcare told all of its service technicians, including Hoffman, they would have to start working 65 to 70 hours a week, instead of the previous 40 hours.
Although his cancer was in remission, Hoffman gave the company a doctor’s note limiting him to a 40-hour schedule. Advanced Healthcare agreed to a 40-hour schedule but told him he would have to work out of the company’s Fort Wayne, Indiana, office rather than his Angola, Indiana, home. Hoffman, citing two to three hours of commute time that would be added to his day, refused and never returned to work.
Hoffman sued the company under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, claiming the company failed to accommodate his disability and fired him because he was disabled or regarded as disabled.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/legal/disabilities-protections-expanded/index.php

Cutting the Gordian Knot: Requirements for Electronic I-9 Storage

Workforce Management
By Eileen M.G. Scofield and Kyle R. Woods
July 2010
Commentary: Public Law 108-390 amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow electronic signature and electronic storage of I-9 forms, but the regulations implementing it have created a web of confusion.

In 2004, Congress passed Public Law 108-390, a short piece of legislation—less than half a page in length—amending the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to allow electronic signature and electronic storage of I-9 forms, which employers use to verify an employee’s identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment. At the time, the amendment was viewed as a progressive step toward taking advantage of modern technology and processes. Many believed it would simplify the I-9 verification process.
Unfortunately, while Congress opted for brevity and simplicity in the amendment, the regulatory agencies opted for complexity, issuing regulations to implement the statute that are lengthy, cumbersome, difficult to understand and at times contradictory. To complicate matters even further, auditors are also unfamiliar with the regulations and may demand documents that the employer is not strictly required to store or produce.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/legal/cutting-gordian-knot-requirements-electronic-i-9/index.php

Campaign for Disability Employment Launches New Outreach Tools

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Disability Employment Policy

Free PSA discussion guides and posters promote the message that at work, it's what people CAN do that matters
The Campaign for Disability Employment, a collaborative of leading disability and business organizations funded by ODEP, recently unveiled a series of new products designed to promote the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities and dispel negative stereotypes about disability and employment.
The new products include posters and discussion guides to accompany the Campaign's flagship and highly successful "I Can" public service announcement (PSA). ...

The discussion guides and posters, as well as other Campaign outreach tools, can be ordered free of charge through the Outreach Toolkit on the Campaign's website, located at www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org.

Full Story: http://www.dol.gov/odep/

November 2010 Disability Employment Statistics Released

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Disability Employment Policies


In November 2010, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 21.5. By comparison, the percentage of persons with no disability in the labor force was 69.8.
The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 14.5 percent, compared with 9.1 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
Read about the November Disability Employment Statistics
Retrieve Historical Disability Employment Data
Read Commonly Used Terms in BLS Employment Statistics

http://www.dol.gov/odep/

Thursday, December 2, 2010

US Labor Department sues nation's 2nd largest wholesale food distributor for discriminating against women

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Press Release
OFCCP News Release: [12/02/2010]
Contact Name: Michael D’Aquino or Michael Wald
Phone Number: (404) 562-2076 or x 2078
Release Number: 10-1644-ATL

Complaint seeks back wages and job offers for more than 80 job applicants

LUMBERTON, N.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs today filed an administrative complaint against Nash Finch Co. for systematically discriminating against more than 80 qualified women who applied for order selector positions at the company's Lumberton facility. Nash Finch is the second-largest publicly traded wholesale food distributor in the United States and is based in Minneapolis, Minn. The company contracts with the federal government to provide goods and services to more than 200 military bases in the U.S. and overseas.Over the past decade, OFCCP settled discrimination cases with Nash Finch facilities in Norfolk, Va., St. Cloud, Minn., and Omaha, Neb. In those cases, OFCCP uncovered serious violations of the law with regard to recordkeeping and hiring discrimination, and found the company's policies and procedures created an uneven playing field for women, minorities and veterans seeking employment with the company.
"It is unacceptable that a company which profits from lucrative federal contracts would repeatedly violate the law in this manner," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "Nash Finch has demonstrated an unfortunate pattern and practice of hiring discrimination, and the American taxpayers should not have to bankroll this company's bad behavior anymore."
Order selectors at the Lumberton facility pull warehouse stock to fill customer orders. Under Executive Order 11246, federal contractors cannot discriminate in employment practices based on gender. However, data collected from Nash Finch during a six-month period showed striking hiring discrepancies. The company hired approximately 6 percent of qualified female applicants versus 26 percent of male applicants. In 2007 and 2008, there were no women in any order selector positions at the Lumberton distribution center.
The Labor Department's administrative complaint seeks remedies for the rejected applicants, including lost wages, benefits and interest for more than 80 affected class members, as well as job offers and retroactive seniority for at least 11 of the original applicants. Moreover, OFCCP is petitioning the Labor Department's administrative law judge to cancel all of Nash Finch's existing federal contracts and debar the company from entering into any future contracts until the violations are resolved and the company corrects its discriminatory employment practices.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP's legal authority exists under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws hold those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251. Additional information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp.
Solis v. Nash Finch Co. Case Number: 2011-OFC-00004

http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20101644.htm

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rosa Parks' Other (Radical) Side

The Root
By: Mary C. Curtis Posted: September 21, 2010 at 10:43 AM

The flesh-and-blood Rosa Parks was a lot more interesting than the one we read about in history books. A new book details how she was a warrior for justice for black women who were brutally raped by white men in the segregated South.

Rosa Parks was a demure seamstress who defied a Montgomery, Ala., bus driver's order to give up her seat to a white man because -- on that particular day -- she was tired. Her spontaneous act sparked a 1955 bus boycott that launched the civil rights movement.
Sound familiar? It should. It's the tale told in history books. It's also just a tiny sliver of the truth. The flesh-and-blood Rosa Parks is a lot more interesting. "It's sad, I think," author Danielle L. McGuire told me. "We tend to like our heroes simple and meek."
"If we had a larger sense of who she was, a radical activist and warrior for human rights," instead of a powerless individual struck by chance, said McGuire, it would show the work and the time she put in over many years.

Full Story: http://www.theroot.com/views/rosa-parks-other-radical-side

Justus Eisfeld, Transsexual Graduate, To Get New Dutch Diploma

The Huffington Post
11/30/10 12:27 PM AP

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A transsexual former student has won a battle to be granted a replacement graduation diploma with his new name and gender printed on it, the University of Amsterdam said Tuesday.
Justus Eisfeld will get a new diploma after Education Minister Marja van Bijsterveldt said a law barring universities from issuing replacement diplomas was "interpreted too strictly," university spokesman Paul Helbing said, adding the university is "very happy" to be able to issue the replacement diploma.

Full Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/30/justus-eisfeld-transsexua_n_789779.html

Monday, November 29, 2010

AAAA Online Training Opportunities




AAAA Online Training Opportunities!

Register for These Upcoming Webinars


Recruiting and Retaining Faculty of Color: Strategies, Roadblocks, and Incentives


NOTE NEW DATE: SCHEDULED TO OCCUR
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2010 AT 2:00 PM
The eighth installment of the 2010 Webinar Series is scheduled for Thursday, December 9, 2010 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT. During this sixty-minute presentation, Dr. Marybeth Gasman, an associate professor of higher education at the University of the Pennsylvania, will discuss research-based strategies for recruiting and retaining faculty of color. Participants -- from search committee chairs to department chairs to deans to provosts to EEO officers -- will learn ways to successfully bolster their faculty diversity in meaningful, sincere ways. For more details and to register, go to:http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=56xqbicab&et=1103995457368&s=0&e=001-xJxSqjV6lLDolNA5tx9PBacE_lE8NA282UZ9YXz1I_uk6WOff0KR4WC9sprMAnGQ7x2u4CXSf139SiMcw_irlIh5fA7GF6Okn6CdKcF335NVVZy61a8obXenkftjNJmjiCvhopAMdpxkSbCKP5jVce4-7dXFKEo


Documentation Avoids Discrimination


SCHEDULED TO OCCUR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2010
The ninth installment of the 2010 Webinar Series scheduled for Thursday, December 16, 2010 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT. During this sixty-minute primer on EEO record-keeping requirements for compliance officers and HR professionals, Jo Bennett, AAAA PDTI Chair, will cover what your organization is required to do, what it's allowed to do, and what it's prohibited from doing. For more details and to register, go to:http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=56xqbicab&et=1103995457368&s=0&e=001-xJxSqjV6lLDolNA5tx9PBacE_lE8NA282UZ9YXz1I_uk6WOff0KR4WC9sprMAnGQ7x2u4CXSf139SiMcw_irlIh5fA7GF6Okn6CdKcF337G79ldqCO9Dgy2nC-Lkkc2eAO4bW-6dsG-tHI0RKFlRrHxhroAtwSV

The JAN Experience: A Practical View of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)

SCHEDULED TO OCCUR THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2011
During the first installment of the 2011 Webinar Series, Linda Batiste, JD and Beth Loy, PhD of Job Accommodation Network will discuss practical aspects you need to know when implementing the ADAAA in your workplace. Participants will work through JAN's accommodation process in light of the ADAAA, hear JAN consultants discuss situations and solutions, and leave the session with the tools needed to effectively work through workplace challenges.
For more details and to register, go to:http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=56xqbicab&et=1103995457368&s=0&e=001-xJxSqjV6lLDolNA5tx9PBacE_lE8NA282UZ9YXz1I_uk6WOff0KR4WC9sprMAnGQ7x2u4CXSf139SiMcw_irlIh5fA7GF6Okn6CdKcF334hM1Ll43GlC0YFhgVOzsn4sTQLVh5-P7_iZdl3yCXjkw==


The registration fee covers one license (one computer/telephone number) for unlimited participants. Invite your colleagues and students to join the discussion.




Thank you for your continued support!
Coming in Februry 2011 - AAAA Webinar on GINA!

HIV-positive gay couple’s claim against Naples restaurant part of lawsuit trend

naplesnews.com
By AISLING SWIFT
Naples Daily News
Posted November 26, 2010 at 6:42 p.m.

NAPLES — A gay Naples couple has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Ridgway Bar & Grill, alleging they were fired because they were HIV positive.
The litigation by John Timothy Robertson, 29, and his partner, Steven Ray “Forrest” Chaplin, 36, comes as the government is pushing for enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and to educate employers about HIV to reduce its stigma.
On Monday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a $10,000 settlement in a case against Callaro’s Prime Steak & Seafood in Palm Beach County, which tried to force an employee to get an HIV test because her relative was HIV-positive, then changed and reduced her work hours so much she was forced to quit.

Full Story: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/nov/26/hiv-positive-gay-couples-claim-against-naples-rest/

US Department of Labor sues Meyer Tool Inc. for systemic discrimination against African-Americans

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
News Release
OFCCP News Release: [11/23/2010]
Contact Name: Rhonda Burke or Scott Allen
Phone Number: (312) 353-6976
Release Number: 10-1605-CHI

Complaint seeks remedies for affected machinist applicants

CINCINNATI - The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has filed an administrative complaint against Meyer Tool Inc., a federal contractor that manufactures engine parts for the aerospace industry. The suit alleges that Meyer Tool systematically rejected African-American job applicants who sought entry-level machinist positions at its plant in Cincinnati.
The complaint was filed today with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges in Washington, D.C., after OFCCP was unable to secure a fair resolution from Meyer Tool during conciliation efforts with the company.
This defendant has a contractual obligation to provide equal employment opportunity," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "The company failed to meet that obligation. So we will enforce the law and hold Meyer Tool accountable to the fair and reasonable standard that it not discriminate against any group of workers.
The company's discriminatory practices and recordkeeping violations were discovered by OFCCP during a scheduled review to determine the company's compliance with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race when making hiring decisions. OFCCP's investigation revealed that Meyer Tool failed to implement an internal audit and reporting system to ensure nondiscriminatory policies were carried out as required by law; retain employment applications for the required two-year period; implement an applicant tracking system to determine selection disparities; and develop action-oriented programs to address the adverse impact against African-Americans in the machinist job group.
The complaint seeks a court order requiring Meyer Tool Inc. to hire at least 14 African-American applicants from the affected class list and to provide them with lost wages and retroactive seniority. Should the company fail to provide such relief and remedy its violations, OFCCP believes Meyer Tool should face cancellation of its existing government contracts and debarment from entering into future ones.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP's legal authority exists under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For more information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251. Additional information is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp.
Solis v. Meyer Tool Inc.Case Number: 2011-OFC-3

http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/OFCCPNews/LatestNews.htm#news1

EEOC Dramatically Slows Growth of Private Sector Charge Inventory

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
11-23-10

Despite Receiving Record Number Of Charges, Backlog Up Less Than One Percent

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that the agency is making progress in rebuilding its capacity to enforce the civil rights laws protecting the nation’s workers. Over the past two years, the EEOC has begun to replenish its depleted ranks and dedicate significant resources to training employees, the largest sustained training effort the agency has conducted in at least a decade.
As a result, the federal agency ended Fiscal Year 2010 with 86,338 pending charges—an increase of only 570 charges, or less than one percent. Between fiscal years 2008 and 2009, the EEOC’s pending inventory increased 15.9 percent.
“The EEOC is on the path toward rebuilding and on track to make further progress in the upcoming fiscal year to more efficiently and effectively enforce the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien.
The EEOC received a record 99,922 charges in FY 2010, which ended Sept. 30, —the highest number of charges in the agency’s 45-year history. EEOC staff also delivered historic relief for victims of workplace discrimination. The agency secured more than $319 million in monetary benefits for individuals—the highest level of relief obtained through administrative enforcement in the Commission’s history. Among other agency achievements:
The mediation program ended the year with a record 9,370 resolutions, 10 percent more than FY 2009 levels, and more than $142 million in monetary benefits;
The EEOC also expanded its reach to underserved communities by providing educational training, and public outreach events to approximately 250,000 persons;
The agency continued its concerted effort to build a strong national systemic enforcement program. At the end of the fiscal year, 465 systemic investigations, involving more than 2,000 charges, were being undertaken;
The EEOC resolved a total of 7,213 requests for hearings in the Federal Sector, securing more than $63 million in relief for parties who requested hearings. The agency also timely resolved more than 66 percent of Federal Sector appeals.
The EEOC’s FY 2010 annual Performance and Accountability Report is posted on the agency’s web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/2010par.cfm. Comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for FY 2010 will be available in early 2011.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-23-10.cfm

National Waste Removal Firm Admits Discrimination, Settles With EEOC For $95,000

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
11-24-10

IESI Concedes It Fired Employee for Dyslexia in Violation of ADA

NEW ORLEANS – IESI LA Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IESI Corpora­tion, a national waste removal firm, will pay $95,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit filed in June 2009 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The court-approved settlement resolves the charge of a former truck driver, Ronald Harper, who worked for IESI at its facility in Shreveport, La. In its suit, the EEOC charged that IESI violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) when it fired Harper because of his disability, dyslexia, even though Harper was able to perform the essential functions of his job.
According to the EEOC’s suit, on the morning of August 12, 2005, Harper told his new supervisor that he is dyslexic. Approximately four hours later, the supervisor fired Harper, stating that he did not want to take the chance of Harper’s dyslexia causing him to see things “swirly” and have an accident.
After contending for five years that Harper did not have a disability and that he was not fired because of a disability, IESI admitted shortly before the scheduled trial date that Harper does have a disability within the meaning of the ADA, that he was at all relevant times qualified to do his job, and that IESI did dismiss him because of his disability and in violation of federal law. IESI further conceded that the supervisor who fired Harper had failed to engage in the interactive process regarding reasonable accommodation required by federal law. These admissions were filed into the court record.
“It is illegal to fire an employee because of a disability if he can perform the essential functions of his job, and that rule is not limited to physical disabilities,” said EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez. “Unfounded fears, myths, or stereotypes about disabilities cannot be the basis for any personnel action, and it is critical that employers make sure their supervisory and human resources personnel have a thorough understanding of their obligations under the ADA.”
Under the court-ordered consent decree settling the suit, which was entered November 23, 2010 by Judge Elizabeth Foote (EEOC v. IESI LA Corporation, Case No. 5:09-cv-00980 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division), the company will provide annual ADA training to all human resources personnel and managers of IESI and its subsidiaries nationwide. IESI will report to the EEOC for two and a half years on all complaints of disability discrimination and all requests for reasonable accommodations of a disability. The decree also permits the EEOC to inspect IESI’s facilities to ensure compliance with federal law, which requires employers to post notices to employees of their rights to equal employment opportunities. The nationwide training and reporting will benefit IESI’s approximately 2,700 employees, as well as applicants who seek employment with the company.
“I am grateful to the EEOC for seeking justice on my behalf,” Harper commented after the settlement was reached. “I felt really good about the work I was doing and the compliments co-workers and other supervisors gave me on my performance. Then the company fired me out of the blue, just because I am dyslexic. Nobody had ever spoken to me like that in my life. For the first time in five years, I have my confidence back. I am also glad that the EEOC will be able to monitor the company to make sure that what happened to me does not happen to someone else with a disability.”
Gregory Juge, the EEOC’s senior trial attorney in its New Orleans Field Office, commented, “This is a classic case of an employer firing a worker with a disability because of its own misconceptions. Employees with disabilities such as dyslexia are every bit as protected under the ADA as those with more obvious, visible impairments such as blindness or being in a wheelchair.”
The EEOC was represented in the case by trial attorneys Juge and Tanya L. Goldman.
IESI, which was acquired by BFI Canada in 2005, is part of the third largest non-hazardous solid waste management company in North America, according to the company’s website.
The EEOC enforces federal law prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-24-10.cfm

Commission Seeks Public Comment on Credit Report Alternative

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

During the Commission meeting on Employer Use of Credit History as a Screening Tool, held on October 20, 2010, an alternative to credit reports was suggested for employers to use in making hiring decisions.
Rather than obtain credit history on an applicant, the suggestion was made for an employer to pose the following three questions to an applicant's prior employers as a standard reference check:

1) Did the employee perform adequately?
2) Did you have any concerns about the employee's integrity or reliability? and
3) Would you re-hire this employee?

The Commission is seeking public comment on whether employers who provide honest answers to these questions would be subjecting themselves to legal liability, and why or why not.

All comments will be made available to the Commissioners, the Office of General Counsel, and the Office of Legal Counsel, and will also be available for inspection in the EEOC Library. Comments should be submitted by December 3, 2010, and can be mailed to Commission Meeting, EEOC Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C.20507, or e-mailed to Commissionmeetingcomments@eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/10-20-10/public_comment.cfm