Wednesday, September 29, 2010

EEOC Sues New York University for National Origin and Racial Harassment, Retaliation

U.S. Equal Employment Opporunity Commission
Supervisor Regularly Called African Employee “Monkey” and “Gorilla,” Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK – New York University, the largest private university in the United States and one of New York City’s ten biggest employers, violated federal law by creating a hostile work environment for an African-born employee that included degrading verbal harassment based on national origin and race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, the supervisor of the mailroom in NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library regularly subjected his assistant, who is a native of Ghana, to slurs such as “monkey” and “gorilla,” and made comments such as “go back to your cage,” “go back to the jungle,” and “do you want a banana?” The supervisor also frequently mocked the assistant’s accented English, deriding it as “gibberish,” and expressed hostility toward immigrants generally and Africans specifically.
Although the assistant complained repeatedly to NYU management and human resources personnel, NYU took months to investigate and then took virtually no action to curb the supervisor’s conduct. Even after the assistant alerted NYU that the supervisor had retaliated against him for complaining, such as by fabricating grounds for disciplining him, the university did not stop the harassment.
All of this alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), or national origin, and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation. The EEOC filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (10-CV-7399) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court.
“Forty-five years after national origin and race discrimination were outlawed by federal law, this case shows that too many employees still face ugly epithets and other hostile treatment because of who they are and where they are from,” said Gillian L. Thomas, a trial attorney in the EEOC’s New York District Office. “It is especially shocking that NYU, a prestigious university that touts its commitment to a diverse student body drawn from around the world, would tolerate such egregious conduct. With this suit, the EEOC is sending the message that no employer is above the law.”
Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., director of the EEOC New York District Office, said, “The EEOC is determined to stop harassment based on workers’ national origin and race. This lawsuit aims to fairly compensate the victim for the harassment he suffered and to implement policies that will effectively prevent such discrimination in the future.”
The EEOC is the federal government agency responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in employment. Further information about the EEOC is available at

Still Few Women in Management, Report Says

The New York Times
Published: September 27, 2010

Women made little progress in climbing into management positions in this country even in the boom years before the financial crisis, according to a report to be released on Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.
As of 2007, the latest year for which comprehensive data on managers was available, women accounted for about 40 percent of managers in the United States work force. In 2000, women held 39 percent of management positions. Outside of management, women held 49 percent of the jobs in both years.

Full Story:

For a copy of GAO's "Women in Management: Female Managers' Representation, Characteristics, and Pay," GAO-10-1064T September 28, 2010, go to:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Surge in labor law class action in california state and federal courts during past week as employment-related class actions dominate new class action
Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
Michael Hassen
September 18 2010

As a resource to California class action defense attorneys, we provide weekly, unofficial summaries of the legal categories for new class action lawsuits filed in California state and federal courts in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego, San Mateo, Oakland/Alameda and Orange County areas. We include only those categories that include 10% or more of the class action filings during the relevant timeframe. This report covers the time period from September 10 - 16, 2010, during which time an unusually number of new class actions -- 64 -- were filed in these California state and federal courts.

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'Retardation' Out; 'Intellectual Disability' In

Education Week
By Christina Samuels on September 27, 2010
4:06 PM

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed "Rosa's Law," which would remove the terms "mentally retarded" and "mental retardation" from federal laws, to be replaced with "intellectually disabled/disabilities." From the Disability News blog:
The measure, called "Rosa's Law" in honor of a Maryland girl who has Down syndrome, has already passed the Senate and is expected to be signed into law by President Obama.

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Here is the text of Rosa's law:

Affirmative action in higher education in Brazil

Inside Higher Ed
By Simon Schwartzman
September 27, 2010 11:30 am

As reported by the newspaper Folha de São Paulo[1] a recent study from the State University of Rio de Janeiro found that 70% of public higher education institutions in Brazil have adopted some kind of affirmative action program. Legislation is being discussed in Congress to make these programs mandatory, but the institutions are doing it voluntarily, or according to state legislation.
Public higher education is Brazil is tuition free, and admission can be very competitive for fields like medicine, engineering or law in prestigious universities, but very easy in less demanded fields such as education, geography or social work. Most affirmative action programs give quotas to students coming from public schools, while others give advantages to students considered black. Many combine these two criteria. There are more programs based on school origin than on race. In some institutions, instead of quotas, students considered underprivileged get bonus points in their university entrance examinations. Most programs also add a family income limit.

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Paycheck Fairness Act: A flawed approach to job bias

The Washington Post
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

THERE SHOULD BE no tolerance for gender-based discrimination in the workplace, and the Paycheck Fairness Act contains sensible provisions on the issue, including protections against retaliation for employees who challenge pay schedules. But the proposal, which builds on the existing Equal Pay Act, would allow employees and courts to intrude too far into core business decisions.

Full Editorial:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Affirmative action: 45 years in the making
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Patricia Anderson Pryor
September 24 2010

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Executive Order 11246, the Executive Order that requires employers that do business with the federal government, either directly or as a subcontractor, to undertake various affirmative action efforts. As the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance (“OFCCP”) holds anniversary parties to celebrate this milestone, it is an ideal time for employers to review whether they are a government contractor and, for those that are, to make sure their affirmative action policies and programs are up to date.
Every employer should review whether it has any government contracts or subcontracts. All too often the human resource professional, who should be administering the affirmative action obligations, is the last to know that the employer has entered into a contract with a federal government agency or contractor.
Moreover, in recent years, the OFCCP has expanded the universe of contractors routinely subject to its audits. For example, the OFCCP now takes the position that many healthcare organizations are federal contractors subject to the affirmative action requirements. See Health Care Providers and Other Companies May Unknowingly Be Government Subcontractors. The OFCCP is also increasing the attention it pays to construction contractors, due in part to the stimulus funds that have been spent.

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Click here:
David Cohen, DCI Consulting Group, Inc.AAAA Summit - Current Trends in OFCCP Enforcement of Compensation

Dr. James Johnson (Pictured at right with AAAA President ReNee Dunman) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
AAAA Summit James Johnson Speech "Disruptive Demographics"

For a copy of the Job Accommodation Network's PowerPoint presentation, contact AAAA at:

Arizona voters to decide on affirmative action ban

Posted: 09/26/2010
Associated Press

PHOENIX - Arizona voters will decide in November whether to ban state and local governments from discrimination or preferential treatment based on race, ethnicity and sex. The state constitutional amendment doesn't use the term "affirmative action," but there is no disputing that is what Proposition 107 is aimed at eliminating. Such programs generally give preferences to minorities. The referendum was sent to the Nov. 2 ballot by a vote of the Legislature in 2009 after supporters failed to gather enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot in 2008.

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EEOC Sues DHL for Segregating Employees by Race

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Delivery Giant Unlawfully Assigned Drivers to Assignments and Neighborhoods Based on Race, Federal Agency Charged

CHICAGO - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today filed a race discrimination lawsuit against DHL Express, Inc. on behalf of a class of African-American employees who were given different job assignments because of their race. The EEOC received more than 20 charges of discrimination against DHL alleging that the shipping and delivery giant discriminated against black workers.
The EEOC's administrative investigation was conducted under the supervision of Chicago District Director John Rowe, who said that the EEOC's investigation found that DHL assigned black drivers to predominately black neighborhoods and white drivers to predominately white neighborhoods. “While this may not have been obvious to employees at first, over time, a pattern of segregation emerged,” said Rowe.
The EEOC's administrative investigation also found that DHL assigned more difficult and dangerous work to black employees than white employees. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
John Hendrickson, the EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago, added, “Any employer who gives different work assignments to employees simply because of the color of their skin, sends a message to all of its employees that it is by no means colorblind. The concept of 'separate but equal' has long since been rejected. It has absolutely no place on the job. Everyone should understand that federal law -- Title VII -- expressly forbids the segregation of employees. In this case, as with all of our other cases, the EEOC is looking to ensure that all employees can work in an environment free of discrimination."
The case, captioned EEOC v. DHL Express (USA), Inc., was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on September 24, 2010 and has been designated Civil Action No. 10 C 6139. The government's litigation effort will be led by EEOC Trial Attorney Aaron DeCamp and Supervisory Trial Attorney Diane Smason.
DHL is part of Bonn, Germany-based Deutsche Post DHL, which, according to company information, generated revenue of more than $62 billion (currently about 46 billion Euros) in 2009, and calls itself "the global market leader in the logistics industry."
The EEOC's 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 EEOC is available on the agency's web site at

ODEP Releases Three New Briefs on Disability Employment

The US Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy has posted three new issue briefs on disability employment issues:

The Earned Income Tax Credit: Capitalizing on Tax Incentives
Effective Integration of Technology and Instructor-Led Training to Promote Soft Skills Mastery
Teaching Soft Skills Through Workplace Simulations in Classroom Settings

According to the Department, the three new briefs: "ODEP Briefs are designed to succinctly increase awareness of ideas, services, and products that enhance employment opportunities for all workers, including workers with disabilities."

For this and more information, go to the ODEP website:

August 2010 Disability Employment Statistics Released

US Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy
August 2010 Disability Employment Statistics Released

In August 2010, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 22.0. By comparison, the percentage of persons with no disability in the labor force was 70.2.
The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 15.6 percent, compared with 9.3 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
Read about the August Disability Employment Statistics
Retrieve Historical Disability Employment Data
Read Commonly Used Terms in BLS Employment Statistics

US Labor Department sues Tyson Fresh Meats for systemic discrimination against women

News Release
OFCCP News Release: [09/15/2010]
Contact Name: Jesse Lawder
Michael Volpe
Phone Number: (202) 693-4659 or x3984
Release Number: 10-1232-NAT
Complaint seeks to recover back wages owed to more than 750 rejected applicants, offer employment to more than 100 affected women

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has filed an administrative complaint against Tyson Fresh Meats, the world's largest supplier of premium beef and pork and a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc. The complaint alleges that Tyson systematically rejected female job applicants at its plant in Joslin, Ill.
"The Labor Department is firmly committed to ensuring that federal contractors give all individuals a fair and equal chance at employment," said Patricia A. Shiu, director of the department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. "Taxpayer dollars must never be used to discriminate. In our efforts to uncover workplace discrimination, OFCCP will utilize a host of remedies, including debarment, to protect workers, promote diversity and enforce the law."
OFCCP's investigation revealed that Tyson utilized a hiring process and selection procedures that discriminated against women seeking entry-level positions. Executive Order 11246, under which this lawsuit was brought, prohibits federal contractors such as Tyson from discriminating on the basis of gender when making their hiring decisions and empowers OFCCP to monitor their compliance with the law.
The complaint requests that all of Tyson's federal contracts be canceled; it be debarred from future government contracts until it has remedied the violations; and it provide complete relief, including lost wages, interest and other benefits of employment, to affected individuals. OFCCP believes that more than 750 women are owed back wages and more than 100 women should be given the option of working for the company.
This filing follows recent litigation by OFCCP involving another Tyson Foods Inc. subsidiary, TNT Crust, located in Green Bay, Wis. A Department of Labor administrative law judge found that TNT Crust systematically discriminated against Latino applicants in its entry-level position hiring.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP's legal authority exists under 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 very reasonable standard that they not discriminate in their employment practices 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

OFCCP Re-designs its Web Page

The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has a newly re-designed web page. The new page includes the "Director's Corner" with messages from Director Patricia A. Shiu, Director Shiu's biography, information about OFCCP's mission and other information. At the bottom of the page, the agency also includes a link to the latest statistical data including Availability Statistics by geographic area and construction goals for women and minorities. The OFCCP Director's message follows:

Director's Corner
Welcome to the new online home of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Forty-five years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an Executive Order that set a standard for equal opportunity and fundamental fairness in the way our government does business. Out of that order, OFCCP was born.
OFCCP is one of the leading civil rights agencies in the federal government, dedicated to protecting American workers from discrimination in the work force. Our job is to make sure that taxpayer dollars are never used to discriminate and that those who do business with the federal government-contractors and subcontractors-live up to the very reasonable standard that they must not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.
To put it simply, we are responsible for leveling the playing field so that the reach for good jobs is truly within the grasp of everyone.
As we mark 45 years of protecting workers, promoting diversity and enforcing the law, we are proud to unveil a new look for our website, one that will provide you with better information about what we do, greater access to the resources we offer and increased transparency on how we are ensuring that establishments who have the privilege of doing business with the government are meeting their obligations to open doors of opportunity for those who seek work and those who are at work.
We hope you will browse these pages, learn about our activities and stay in touch with us. When President Johnson signed that Executive Order 45 years ago, he did so with great courage. President Obama, Secretary Solis and the men and women of OFCCP honor that act of courage every day by working to turn the promise of equal opportunity into the reality of good jobs for everyone.
~ Patricia A. Shiu

To see the Director's Corner, go to:
To visit the website's home page, go to:

Muslim Group Reports Jump in Workplace Bias Complaints

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Sep 24, 2008 11:40 ET
CAIR: Reports of Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes and Violence Decrease in 2007
News Release

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 24, 2008) - A report released today by a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group shows an increase in American Muslim complaints of workplace bias in 2007.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) report, called "Without Fear of Discrimination," outlines 2,652 incidents and experiences of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment in 2007. That is the highest number of civil rights cases ever recorded in the Washington-based group's report -- the only annual study of its kind. (Note: The higher number of cases is due in part to inclusion of a new category of cases related to mailed, faxed and e-mailed hate messages. Without the inclusion of those cases, the total number of cases dipped slightly over the previous year.)
According to the study, discrimination in the workplace against those already employed increased by 18 percent, with 384 cases reported in 2006 and 452 cases reported in 2007. There was also a 34 percent increase in reports of discrimination against those seeking employment. Cases involving denial of religious accommodation in the workplace jumped eight percent.
Since its founding in 1994, one of the main categories of CAIR's work has been employment discrimination and religious accommodation issues in the workplace. One of the most recent cases CAIR is dealing with involves religious accommodation for Muslim workers at JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plants in Colorado and Nebraska. Another recent case involved allegations of a new "English-only" policy for Somali Muslim workers at a Macy's department store in Minnesota.
SEE: Muslim Group Tries Mediation in Lunch Break Spat
SEE ALSO: Macy's Case Highlights Confusion Over English-Only Rules (NPR)
CAIR offers a booklet called "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices" to help corporate managers gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims in the workplace.
SEE: An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
Reports of passenger profiling jumped from 32 in 2006 to 141 in 2007, a 340 percent increase.
Some categories in the CAIR report showed a decrease in the number of cases. Incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes went down by 19 percent in this year's report. Incidents at schools or involving the police also decreased 31 percent and 42 percent respectively.
Marked decreases in cases involving due process issues (45 percent), physical violence (24 percent), denials of service or access (48 percent), and verbal harassment (35 percent) were also recorded.
Nine states and the District of Columbia accounted for almost 80 percent of all civil rights complaints to CAIR in 2007. The states include: California, Illinois, Florida, New York, Virginia, New Jersey, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
Consistent with previous years, an individual's ethnicity, associations, religion, or "Muslim name" remained the primary factors that triggered discrimination. These factors are believed to have triggered 86 percent of the total cases reported to CAIR last year.
CAIR said the decrease in reports of hate crimes and reports of discrimination by police and in schools during 2007 allows "a note of cautious optimism." The report also concluded: "Some government agencies appear to be benefiting from an emphasis on cultural proficiency for employees who may deal with Muslims."
Recommendations based on this year's data included asking elected representatives, public officials and candidates for elected office to "clearly condemn anti-Islam bias in our society" and urging American Muslim groups to "continue to maintain regular contacts with law enforcement agencies at the national, state and local levels." The report also urged the passage of legislation banning racial, religious or ethnic profiling.
To view the entire report, go to:
"The year's report is a somewhat positive indication that the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society is being rejected by ordinary Americans of all faiths," said CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor, the report's author.
Saylor said this year's report includes a special section on "Anti-Muslim Remarks and Acts on the Presidential Campaign Trail." Last week, CAIR filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) over the distribution of some 28 million anti-Muslim DVDs in presidential election swing states.
SEE: Muslim Group Seeks Probe of 'Radical Islam' DVD (AP)
CAIR began documenting anti-Muslim incidents following the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
The council is America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, with 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT:CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Need In-House Training and Seminars? Contact AAAA Speakers' Bureau


The American Association for Affirmative Action's (AAAA) Speakers' Bureau is available for your in-house training needs. Our trainers are experts in equal employment opportunity law, complaint processing and resolutions and affirmative action law and policy. We can also speak at your seminars and programs on such issues as Sexual Harassment prevention, Title IX and Title VI, Managing an OFCCP or OCR Audit, and Web Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities.

Visit our website at: for a description of our services, the speakers' profiles and pre-order questionnaire. You may also call the AAAA National Office at 202-349-9855 or email us at:

New England’s hidden history

The Boston Globe
September 26, 2010
More than we like to think, the North was built on slavery.
By Francie Latour

In the year 1755, a black slave named Mark Codman plotted to kill his abusive master. A God-fearing man, Codman had resolved to use poison, reasoning that if he could kill without shedding blood, it would be no sin. Arsenic in hand, he and two female slaves poisoned the tea and porridge of John Codman repeatedly. The plan worked — but like so many stories of slave rebellion, this one ended in brutal death for the slaves as well. After a trial by jury, Mark Codman was hanged, tarred, and then suspended in a metal gibbet on the main road to town, where his body remained for more than 20 years.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

5 Things the Director Of OFCCP Wants You To Know
July 1, 2010

What would Patricia Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) like contractors to know about OFCCP’s strategic plan for 2010 through 2016?

Director Shiu “sat down” with contractors in a live Web chat this Spring to talk about OFCCP’s strategic plan and here are the top five things she mentioned:
#1—OFCCP wants to hear from you. Director Shiu stressed that “the purpose of [the agency’s Web chats] is for OFCCP to listen to your ideas and comments about our strategic plan, goals, and outcomes before they are finalized.”
The director highlighted the novel nature of the agency’s open approach, saying “If you are thinking, ‘OFCCP has never asked for my opinion about its strategic plan, goals, and outcomes before,’ you are correct. No prior OFCCP strategic plan has ever benefited from the level of outreach and information gathering that this plan will.”
#2—OFCCP is working toward More consistency among regions.

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Senate panel OKs Liu, Chen nominations - again

San Francisco Chronicle
September 24, 2010 10:33 AM

(09-24) 10:33 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- The Senate Judiciary Committee approved President Obama's nominations of Goodwin Liu and Edward Chen for federal judgeships in San Francisco on party-line votes Thursday and sent them to the Senate floor for what may be their last chance to win confirmation.

Read more:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Colorblind views detrimental to affirmative action debate

The Miscellany News
By Ocasio Willson
Guest Columnist
Published: Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Updated: Thursday, September 23, 2010 18:09

After reading "Socioeconomic diversity, lacking on college campuses, must be supported" (09.08.10) by Joshua Rosen '13 in The Miscellany News, which discusses socioeconomic affirmative action, I felt compelled to bring a new understanding of race-based affirmative action to this debate. This is intended for proponents and opponents alike who subscribe to Rosen's view on colorblindness and view affirmative action as racial preferences or quotas.
While Rosen says he is not a proponent of race-based affirmative action, he thinks the best version of affirmative action should be based on socioeconomic background. He argues, "since, in colleges, the ‘underrepresentation of low-income students is even greater' than that of racial minorities, it would be better, in the interest of greater equality, for socioeconomic affirmative action, which does not discriminate based on race." Rosen goes a step further and condemns affirmative action, through his quoting of Justice Lewis Powell's opinion in the Supreme Court case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), as "aiding victims at the expense of the innocent."

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Worries Over a 2-to-1 Ratio

Inside Higher Ed
September 24, 2010

The gender gap among college undergraduates is nothing new. But at the College of Charleston, the gap is looking like more of a chasm.
With a gender ratio of about two to one – approximately 34 percent of students are male and 66 percent are female – the college is an outlier. But that ratio is not too far out of the ordinary for Charleston, say officials, who aren't fretting too much over the gap.
“I think we would like to see more male presence, but on the flip side of that, we are very strong academically,” said Donald C. Burkard, associate vice president for admissions and enrollment planning at Charleston. “Percentages don’t always tell the story.”

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Celebrating OFCCP’s 45th Anniversary

U.S. Department of Labor
September 23, 2010 Articles

As We Celebrate OFCCP's 45th Anniversary, a Pioneer Reminisces About The Early Days of Women in Construction
In a June 1965 commencement address at Washington, DC’s Howard University, President Lyndon Johnson shared his strong belief in civil rights and nondiscriminatory practices when he said:
“Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates. This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.”
Read Johnson's Speech
View Johnson's Speech
On September 24, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Executive Order 11246, granting supervision of federal contract compliance to the Secretary of Labor, and creating the department’s first Office of Federal Contract Compliance. The EO ordered federal departments and agencies to impose non-discrimination and affirmative action rules in all federal contracts and federally- assisted construction projects. Later, on October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter consolidated all affirmative action enforcement actions into DOL by signing into law Executive Order 12086.
Read Johnson's Executive Order
Read Carter's Executive Order

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Legacy of Bias

Inside Higher Ed
September 22, 2010

When college officials talk about the extra help they provide to applicants who are alumni children (and it’s rare to get them to talk about the topic outside of alumni circles), they tend to say a few things: that the preferences are modest, just an extra “tip” for some well-qualified applicants; that alumni children likely would have had a much greater chance than others of being admitted even without the preference; and that such modest boosts are a small price to pay for the spirit of community and philanthropy created by multigenerational ties to a college.
What if none of that is true?
What if the alumni preferences are significant? What if significant numbers of these alumni children wouldn’t have gotten in anyway? And what if -- contrary to conventional wisdom -- alumni preferences have no impact on alumni giving? Those what-ifs are all true, according to a book being published and released today by the Century Foundation (and distributed by the Brookings Institution Press). The book is a collection of research articles by scholars, journalists and lawyers arguing that much of what colleges have said over the years about alumni admissions preferences isn’t true -- and that they amount to the book’s title: Affirmative Action for the Rich.

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Justice Scalia's Originalist Sins

The Huffington Post
Posted: September 22, 2010 02:41 PM
David Gans

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is famous for being a stickler about the words of the Constitution, often castigating his colleagues for failing, in his opinion, to honor what the Constitution's text actually provides. But Justice Scalia tends to apply this approach selectively, or not at all, when it comes to the Fourteenth Amendment. Earlier this year, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, he backed away from the text of the Privileges or Immunities Clause, refusing to honor the words of the Fourteenth Amendment that explicitly safeguard substantive fundamental rights. Indeed, before the argument in McDonald, Justice Scalia went so far as to call the Privileges or Immunities Clause, "flotsam," constitutional trash; so much for honoring the Constitution's text. Then, when the Court decided the case, Justice Scalia agreed that the Fourteenth Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms, but relied for that conclusion on substantive due process - the doctrine he loves to hate in other contexts - rather than follow the Fourteenth Amendment's text. Now, Justice Scalia argues we should also disregard the text of the Fourteenth Amendment's broad guarantee of the equal protection of the laws.

Earlier this week, in a widely-reported speech at the University of Hastings Law School, Justice Scalia argued that the Fourteenth Amendment does not proscribe sex discrimination by the states.

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This Week in Black History: Executive Order 11246

The Washington Informer
This Week in Black History - Week of Sept. 24 - Sept. 30
Written by Robert Taylor

September 24, 1965 - President Lyndon Johnson issues what is generally considered the nation’s first affirmative action order - Executive Order #11246. It required companies receiving federal construction contracts to ensure equality in the hiring of minorities. Despite a disastrous war in Vietnam, which would eventually force his resignation, the Southern-born Johnson generally supported a host of legislative and executive efforts beneficial to Blacks.

The Legacy Racket: The Problem With College Admission Preferences For Children Of Alumni

The Century Foundation
Richard D. Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation, 9/22/2010

The use of race-based affirmative action in higher education has given rise to hundreds of books and law review articles, numerous court decisions, and several state initiatives to ban the practice. By contrast, surprisingly little has been said or written or done to challenge a larger, longstanding “affirmative action” program that tends to benefit wealthy whites: legacy preferences for children of alumni.1 Like racial preferences, preferences for legacies can be criticized for being based on ancestry rather than individual merit, yet they offer none of the countervailing benefits of affirmative action, such as remedying past discrimination or promoting educational diversity. Download the Issue Brief.

Denied Job Because of Sikh Identity, Beard and Turban, North Carolina Man Sues Convienence Store Chain

Public Justice

A North Carolina man who practices the Sikh faith was denied a job because of his religion and race – a violation of federal and state civil rights laws – according to a federal lawsuit filed Sept. 21 by Public Justice and its co-counsel, Winslow Wetsch, PLLC, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. The complaint alleges that Durham-based M.M. Fowler, Inc., which owns and operates the Family Fare Convenience Store chain, denied employment to Surjit Singh Saund because he is a Sikh and wears a turban and beard, as required by the Sikh religion.

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UF professor fired after comments about women
An investigation said he behaved inappropriately toward students.
By Nathan CrabbeStaff writer
Published: Monday, September 20, 2010 at 6:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 20, 2010 at 6:09 p.m.

The University of Florida has fired a professor for saying during a lesson about sexual harassment that Latin American women dress more provocatively than U.S. women.

Timothy Taylor, a professor of food and resource economics, was sent a letter of termination Friday. An accompanying investigation found that he behaved inappropriately toward female students and made a mockery of the sexual harassment lesson, with one witness claiming he made an inappropriate comment about how Latin American women dress.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Class action discrimination claims - some recent costly experiences for private and public sector employers
Bond Schoeneck & King
Robert LaBerge
September 9 2010

Several news stories over the past few weeks illustrate the potential expense and embarrassment public and private sector employers can experience from a class action employment discrimination lawsuit. In the private sector, class action discrimination claims have been pursued with increased frequency over the past five years. These lawsuits have proven to be costly for both large and smaller employers. For example, theRochester Democrat and Chronicle reported on August 10, 2009, that Elmer W. Davis Company, a commercial roofing contractor in Upstate New York, entered into a consent decree under which it agreed to pay $1,000,000 to resolve a class action race discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. reports that the million dollar payout was the largest EEOC settlement ever in the Rochester area.

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Release: First-Ever National Report Chronicles the LGBT Experience at U.S. Colleges & Universities

Submitted by Campus Pride on Mon, 09/13/2010 - 5:50pm

The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People reveals “chilly” campus climate toward LGBT people, high rates of harassment and lack of safety, inclusiveness in policies, programs and practices across the country

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, Campus Pride, a national non-profit working to create safer, more LGBT-inclusive colleges, announced the release of a landmark research study. The most comprehensive national research of its kind to date, The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People documents the experiences of nearly 6,000 students, faculty, staff and administrators who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) at colleges and universities across the United States. The results point to significant harassment of LGBT students and a lack of safety and inclusiveness that exists on campuses across the country.
“National research has consistently shown that LGBT youth in kindergarten through high school encounter alarming rates of harassment, discrimination and bullying. There has never been a comprehensive national study to document what happens when these youth go to college – until now, “ said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride’s executive director.
Written by Campus Pride’s Q Research Institute for Higher Education (Sue Rankin, Ph.D., Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld, Ed.D., Genevieve N. Weber, Ph.D., LMHC and Somjen Frazer, MS, Ed.), and with a foreword by George Kuh, Ph.D., The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People is a clarion call to action for college and university administrators, educators, student leaders and elected officials.
Some key findings:• Lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBQ) respondents experienced significantly greater harassment and discrimination than their heterosexual allies, and those who identified as transmasculine, transfeminine, and gender non-conforming (GNC) experienced significantly higher rates of harassment than men and women
• LGBQ students were more likely than heterosexual students to have seriously considered leaving their institution as a result of harassment and discrimination.
• LGBQ Respondents of Color were more likely than their LGBQ White counterparts to indicate race as the basis for harassment, and were significantly less likely than LGBQ White respondents to feel very comfortable or comfortable in their classes (60%, 65%, respectively).
• Respondents who identified as transmasculine, transfeminine, and gender non-conforming have more negative perceptions of campus climate when compared with those who identify within the gender binary.
Dr. Susan Rankin, an Associate Professor of Education at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the report said: “Unequivocally, The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People demonstrates that LGBTQQ students, faculty and staff experience a ‘chilly’ campus climate of harassment and far less than welcoming campus communities. This comprehensive report provides substantive research and the necessary recommendations to assist administrators, educators, advocates, activists, student leaders and elected officials in making university and college campuses safer and more accepting for all of its community members.”
Windmeyer added, “Now is the time to act. It is shocking that it is 2010 and less than eight percent of accredited colleges and universities in the country have LGBT inclusive policies. Colleges and universities have the responsibility to create safe learning environments for everyone, regardless of sexual identity or gender identity.”
Report findings and recommendations will be presented in a National Webinar Release on Sept. 21, and a National Congressional Policy Briefing, hosted by Campus Pride, Campus Progress and the Congressional LGBT Caucus, on Sept. 23 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. More details will be announced in the coming days.
For more information about the webinar or the policy briefing, please contact Campus Pride at (704) 277-6710 or, or visit
# # #
Campus Pride is the leading national nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) for student leaders and campus organizations working to create safer, more LGBT-friendly colleges and universities. It exists to give "voice and action" in building future LGBT and ally leaders. DONATE TODAY online at
Campus Pride coalition partners include: ACPA-College Student Educators International, Campuspeak, Campus Progress, Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, Gamma Mu Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Human Rights Campaign, Matthew Shepard Foundation, NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, National Youth Advocacy Coalition and Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold, LLP.

Class of First-Time Freshmen Not a White Majority This Fall Semester at The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin News
September 14, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — For the first time in the history of The University of Texas at Austin, fewer than half of the fall semester's first-time freshmen are white students, according to a preliminary analysis.
The report, provided by Kristi Fisher, associate vice provost and director of the Office of Information Management and Analysis, shows the number of first-time freshmen who identified their ethnicity/race as "white" on admissions information total 47.6 percent. The university's overall total white student population, including graduate, Pharmacy Doctorate and law students, is 52.1 percent.

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Revised Regulations on ADA

Inside Higher Ed
September 16, 2010

The Justice Department on Wednesday published revised regulations on certain aspects of the Americans With Disabilities Act, dealing with some issues that relate to higher education. More detail is provided on the obligations to make sure that their athletic stadiums are sufficiently accessible to people with physical disabilities, for example, an issue on which some universities and advocates for those with disabilities have clashed in the past. Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council on Education, said she had not yet studied the revisions -- which are lengthy and complicated -- in detail, but that it appeared that the department had responded to concerns expressed by colleges about some parts of earlier drafts of the regulations. One example is in another part of the regulations -- concerning service animals.

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The Rise of Diversity in Campus Culture

The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 19, 2010, 02:00 PM ET
By Mark Bauerlein

One of the extraordinary phenomena in campus culture in the last two decades is the rise of "diversity" as a concept, condition, banner, and ambition. How is it that "diversity" went from being a routine term with no particular cachet into the notion/term of the moment. It appears everywhere from my son's kindergarten classroom wall ("CELEBRATE DIVERSITY") to high-level administrative office doors at universities everywhere.
Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy has an explanation in The American Prospect in an essay entitled "The Enduring Relevance of Affirmative Action." Kennedy begins by recounting the numerous challenges to and the rising unpopularity of affirmative action in the 1980s and 90s, then asserts that the tide has shifted. People who don't profit directly by affirmative action practices aren't so angry about race-based practices any more, Kennedy writes, and for one reason major reason: "The amorphous and malleable idea of 'diversity.'" While few private businesses wanted to defend "reverse racism," Kennedy says, he recalls "the 2003 University of Michigan affirmative-action cases when 65 major companies, including American Express, Coca Cola, and Microsoft, asserted that maintaining racial diversity in institutions of higher education is vital to their efforts to hire and maintain a diverse workforce."

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What Search Committees See Across the Table

The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 19, 2010
By Audrey Williams June

Caroline Sotello Turner's career as a professor spans 23 years at three institutions. At all the job interviews she's had over the years, she wanted assurance that her future colleagues were truly interested in diversity. Sometimes she has had to uncover signs of that commitment on her own.
"I would get asked a lot of questions about why I'm interested in coming, but I'm evaluating their campus, too," says Ms. Turner, a Latina newly hired as a professor in the doctoral program in...

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SU Officer Appointment - Wicomico

SU Officer Appointment - Wicomico
WMDT 47 News (ABC)
by - WMDT Staff

SALISBURY, Md. - Linda Morales, Salisbury University's interim chief diversity officer, has been appointed co-chair of the Washington Regional Task Force Against Campus Prejudice. Comprised of administrators and faculty from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the group explores strategies to address issues related to equity and diversity on college campuses and surrounding communities. ...

Morales earned her B.S. in Communication/Media and M.A. in English from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She has served on the advisory board for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, and is a member of the American Association for Affirmative Action....

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AAAA Files Comments on Labor Department Disability Rules

AAAA Files Comments with the US Department of Labor

On September 21, 2010 the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) filed comments in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The OFCCP is seeking input into its plans to enhance the nondiscrimination and affirmative action protections of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In its ANPRM, the OFCCP asked members of the public to respond to a series of questions ranging from current practices to promote outreach and recruitment of individuals with disabilities to a proposal to require affirmative action goals based on the Executive Order 11246 regulatory model.

In the comments, AAAA expressed its appreciation to the Department of Labor for the opportunity to comment on the ANPRM and noted that since 1974, the mission of the association has been two-fold: to provide professional development opportunities for its membership and to advocate for equal opportunity through affirmative action. Many of the AAAA membership consists of colleges and universities and many are federal contractors. Thus, the association was justified in submitting comments.

In essence, the AAAA commended the Department for "pushing the envelope" on disability employment opportunities, but recommended that much more data gathering was necessary before requiring affirmative action goals for persons with disabilities. This is particularly true in the area of higher education, which would require information regarding the terminal degrees of persons with disabilities who seek faculty positions. Currently, those data are scarce. The association recommended that the Department also enhance the enforcement of current regulations regarding recruitment and outreach. If OFCCP revives the Equal Opportunity Survey, it may also wish to consider adding questions related to disability issues.

For a copy of the Association's comments please click here:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chapman University Sued For Race Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Black Professor Was Denied Tenure, Then Discharged Because of Race, EEOC Charges

SAN DIEGO – Chapman University, a private university in Orange, Calif., violated federal law when it denied tenure to and then discharged a black professor due to her race, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
The university hired the professor in 2001 as an assistant professor of marketing for the George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics (ASBE). Despite strong recommendations in her favor by professional peers both inside and outside of Chapman University, a review committee denied the professor’s application for tenure and promotion to the position of associate professor in October 2006. Chapman’s board of trustees ultimately denied her tenure appeal and effectively discharged her in June 2008. The EEOC contends that non-black professors were promoted despite the alleged victim’s superior record in teaching, scholarship and/or service to the university and her profession. At the time of her application for tenure, the alleged victim was the sole black faculty member in a department of approximately 30.
The EEOC filed its suit against Chapman University in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division (EEOC v. Chapman University and the Board of Trustees of Chapman University, Case No. SACV10-1419-CJC ( RNBx)), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. According to the EEOC, the alleged acts of discrimination violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, back pay and front pay on behalf of the alleged victim, along with injunctive relief intended to prevent future race discrimination at the university.
“Although this country has made great strides in addressing race discrimination, racial barriers still persist,” said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office. “Denying upward mobility to qualified minorities while promoting less qualified non-minorities exacerbates the glass ceiling that continues to ail the American workplace.”
Marla Stern, local director of the EEOC’s San Diego Local Office, said, “Situations like this, with apparent favoritism for less qualified non-blacks over well-qualified African-Americans, are not only unfair to the direct victims, they are counter-productive to the organization and help perpetuate injustice in our country. The EEOC will continue to fight such damaging discrimination.”
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a private, non-profit university with programs in seven schools and colleges, and an enrollment of approximately 6,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at

Delhi Mental Health Rehab Center to Pay $25,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
CPT Fired Man for Supporting Women Fighting Harassment, Federal Agency Charged

SAN FRANCISCO — A Central Valley mental health rehabilitation center has agreed to provide $25,000 and other relief to settle a federal lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Delhi, Calif.-based California Psychiatric Transitions, Inc. (CPT) fired a male employee in retaliation for helping his female co-workers to oppose sexual harassment at the center.
This is the second lawsuit brought by the EEOC against the center. The first, which alleged sexual harassment, settled last year for $145,000 on behalf of nine female employees.
The EEOC filed its initial lawsuit against CPT in 2006, asserting that a supervisor subjected women employees to a constant barrage of crude sexual comments and unwelcome physical touching. The supervisor’s harassment lasted for nearly five years total, and included boasts about his sexual prowess and activities, frequent remarks about women’s breasts, and derogatory epithets for women.
The second suit asserted that CPT fired Audel Mendoza, who was the boyfriend (and now husband) of one of the women who had complained about the harassment. This occurred just days after an EEOC investigator contacted the center to arrange an on-site inspection of the facility and interviews of witnesses.
Under the most recent settlement, CPT has agreed to pay Mendoza $25,000. In addition, the new consent decree requires the center to, among other things, refrain from future retaliation against its employees or former employees, to purge Mendoza’s personnel file of any reference to either lawsuit, and to provide a neutral reference for him.
Retaliation against an employee -- for opposing discrimination, assisting others in filing charges, or participating in an EEOC investigations or subsequent lawsuit as a witness -- violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as California laws. The EEOC filed this suit (EEOC v. California Psychiatric Transitions, Inc., 1:08-CV-01478-SKO) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, after a neutral investigation conducted by EEOC Investigator Malinda Tuazon found misconduct had occurred, and after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
"After charges of sexual harassment were filed, CPT fired Mr. Mendoza but continued to employ the alleged harasser,” said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo. “We believe that CPT fired Mr. Mendoza because it did not want him to be in a position to testify about any ongoing harassment against female employees still working at the facility. This is plainly illegal, and the EEOC took appropriate action with a successful result.”
EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado added, “It is crucial that employees are able to stand up against harassment or discrimination without fear that the employer will punish them for speaking out. The EEOC will vigorously defend those employees against retaliation by their employer.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination and retaliation. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at


OFCCP Blog Spot
September 7, 2010

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Center for Corporate Equality (CCE) has released its expert Technical Advisory Report on Adverse Impact Analysis.OverviewAlthough determining whether selection, promotion, and termination decisions result in adverse impact is an important topic for organizations, there is little guidance about the proper way in which these analyses should be conducted. This lack of guidance is problematic in that it is not unusual for professionals in the same organization to disagree about how these analyses should be conducted, and it is certainly not unusual for plaintiffs and defendants to disagree. To help determine if there are "best practices" in conducting adverse impact analyses, the Center for Corporate Equality (CCE) created a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of 70 of the nation's top experts in adverse impact analyses.

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TAC Adverse Impact Report:

2010 Working Mother 100 Best Companies

Working Mother Magazine
Edited By Jennifer Owens

Family-friendly benefits and programs that help keep working moms' careers on track have mored forward in the 25 years since the launch of Working Mother's first Best Companies list. Now Working Mother 100 Best Companies offer programs that help all employees with their struggles to gain some work-life balance. Here's what we have found.

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'The new unemployables': Workers over 50

The New York Times
Educated, experienced, but facing record unemployment for their age group
Stuart Isett for The New York Times
Patricia Reid, 57, lost her job at Boeing four years ago and has struggled to find a new position.
updated 9/20/2010 4:24:33 AM ET

VASHON ISLAND, Wash. — Patricia Reid is not in her 70s, an age when many Americans continue to work. She is not even in her 60s. She is just 57.
But four years after losing her job she cannot, in her darkest moments, escape a nagging thought: she may never work again.
College educated, with a degree in business administration, she is experienced, having worked for two decades as an internal auditor and analyst at Boeing before losing that job.

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Goldman Bias Suit Offers Wall Street an Opening: Jacki Zehner

By Jacki Zehner -
Sep 16, 2010 9:00 PM ET

Does gender discrimination exist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.?
That is the question this week after three women filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the firm. The 72- page complaint chronicles their experiences while at Goldman. As a former Goldman partner, I am upset by their accounts.
I joined Goldman in 1988 as an analyst in the mortgage securities department and two years later became a trader on the mortgage desk. By 1996 I was managing the fixed-rate trading desk, and was made a partner. I was the youngest woman and first female trader to hold that position.
I believe I was promoted because of both my profitability and my commitment to teamwork. It also helped that I was a woman. Although I had to deal with my share of bad-boy behavior, from both clients and Goldman men, whenever it crossed the line I always had a person to talk to about it. No issue was left unresolved. Further, I felt my performance evaluations were well-executed and fair.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Study Finds Big Racial Gap in Suspensions of Middle School Students

UCLA Civil Rights Project
Email/News Release

For immediate release:
Contact: Booth Gunter (334) 956-8354
Daniel Losen (781) 861-1222
Russell Skiba (812) 327-6628

New Study Finds Big Racial Gap in Suspensions of Middle School Students

Middle schools across the country are suspending children with alarming frequency, particularly in some large urban school districts, where numerous schools suspend a third or more of their black male students in a given year, according to a new study by education researchers Daniel J. Losen and Russell Skiba, Indiana University and published today by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The study found that African-American children are suspended far more frequently than white children in general, with especially high racial differences in middle school, causing them to miss valuable class time during a crucial period in their academic and social development.

In a national sample of more than 9,000 middle schools, 28.3 percent of black males, on average, were suspended at least once during a school year, nearly three times the 10 percent rate for white males. Black females were suspended more than four times as often as white females (18 percent vs. 4 percent).

For all students in the schools examined, the suspension rate was 11.2 percent. Hispanic males faced a 16.3 percent risk of suspension.

In 18 urban districts examined more closely, the average suspension rate for all students was 22.2 percent, double the average for all districts. The study found that 175 middle schools in these districts suspended more than one third of their black male students. Of those, 84 suspended more than half the black males enrolled. Schools with high rates of suspension were also found for other racial groups.

The report – Suspended Education: Urban Middle Schools in Crisis – can be read at

Losen is a senior education law and policy associate at the Civil Rights Project at the University of California Los Angeles. Skiba is director of the Equity Project at Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy.

“It’s clear from these findings that zero-tolerance policies are pushing too many children out of school at a critical point in their education and are having a disproportionate impact on students of color,” said Marion Chartoff, a senior SPLC staff attorney specializing in education issues.

The study adds to a growing body of research questioning the fairness and effectiveness of zero-tolerance polices, which often mandate suspensions for specified offenses.

“As the number of suspensions for kids of all races and all grades has risen dramatically, the gap between suspension rates for blacks and whites has more than tripled – from about 3 percentage points in the 1970s to over 10 percentage points today,” Losen said. “The incredibly high frequency of suspension use in urban middle schools, and the large numbers of youth of color who miss school as a result, is rarely discussed in debates about what we must do to improve our schools.”

The researchers focused on middle schools because studies suggest that suspensions in those grades may have significant, long-term repercussions for students and because few previous studies have separated middle school data from that for all grades, masking the extraordinarily high frequency of suspension in middle schools.

Using 2006 data from the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) Office for Civil Rights – the most recent data available – the study examined suspensions in approximately 9,220 middle schools in every state in the country. This data was used to calculate the percentage of a given racial or ethnic group suspended at least once during a school year.

Most of the 18 urban districts studied had several schools that suspended more than 50 percent of a given racial/gender group. In the Palm Beach County, Fla., school district, for example, the suspension rate for black males was 53 percent. The Milwaukee, Wis., school district had a suspension rate of 52 percent for black females.

“The study shows very high rates of discipline for black students in some of our large urban districts,” Skiba said. “The important policy question this raises is whether we as a society are comfortable with putting this many students out of school, especially since we know about the negative effects of being out of school.”

An earlier study of all out-of-school suspensions in one state found only 5 percent were issued for disciplinary incidents typically considered serious or dangerous, such as possession of weapons or drugs. The remaining 95 percent were either categorized as “disruptive behavior” or “other.”

The study released today also notes there is, in general, no evidence that racial disparities in school discipline are the result of higher rates of disruption among black students.

The study recommends that policymakers pay much closer attention to school suspensions at the school and district level and use this information as part of school and district evaluations. Further, the U.S. Department of Education should identify and address unlawful discrimination, and federal law should require an increase in the collection and reporting of school suspension and related discipline data, especially data that looks at both race and gender. This data could help identify schools with high suspension rates for review, as well as determine the need to provide technical assistance on effective alternatives to suspension for schools in crisis.

-- Laurie RussmanCoordinator/Coordinadora The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos CivilesUCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies(ph) 310-267-5562(fax) 310-206-6293www.civilrightsproject.ucla.eduVisit the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles on Facebook today!

Women Lead in Doctoral Degrees

Council of Graduate Schools

Contact: Stuart Heiser
September 14, 2010 (202) 223-3791 /

Graduate Enrollment Continues Strong Growth in 2009
Increases higher for men, reversing long-term trend

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is reporting today that enrollment of new students at U.S. graduate schools grew 5.5% from 2008 to 2009, compared to 4.5% the previous year. Total enrollment grew 4.7% in 2009 after gaining 3.0% in 2008.CGS’s annual comprehensive report on trends in graduate education shows that growth in both first-time and total graduate enrollment in 2009 was higher for men than for women, reversing a long-term trend. First-time enrollment of men increased 6.7%, compared to 4.7% for women. In contrast, over the past 10 years first-time enrollment of women grew by an annual average of 5.2%, compared to 4.2% for men.For the first time since 2004, the enrollment of new international graduate students declined in 2009, by 1.7%, compared to 6.0% growth for U.S. students. From 1999 to 2009, the average annual growth in first-time enrollment was 4.9% for U.S. students and 3.3% for international students.“The strong growth in first-time graduate enrollment is an indication of the continued high value of graduate education,” said CGS President Debra W. Stewart. “In particular, the 6.0% gain in first-time U.S. enrollment reflects the increasing necessity of a graduate degree to successfully compete in a 21st-century knowledge-based economy,” she added.

Another reversal of a long-term trend occurred among doctoral degrees. While women have long earned the majority of master’s degrees awarded in the U.S., the 2008-09 academic year was the first year ever that women earned the majority (50.4%) of doctorates as well. The one-year increase in doctorates was substantially stronger for women than for men, 6.3% vs. 1.0%.The report also shows that enrollment trends differed by ethnicity as well as by gender and citizenship. First-time enrollment growth for U.S. minority groups ranged from 6.2% for American Indian/Alaskan Natives to 9.3% for Asian/Pacific Islanders, compared to 5.3% for White, non-Hispanic students.The report presents statistics on graduate applications and enrollment for fall 2009, degrees conferred in 2008-09, and trend data for one-, five- and ten-year periods. Data are disaggregated for a number of student demographic and institutional characteristics.

Full News Release:

Affirmative Action for the Rich? Legacy Preferences in College Admissions

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
You are invited to a Century Foundation Luncheon Forum:

What: "Affirmative Action for the Rich? Legacy Preferences in College Admissions"

When: Wednesday, September 22, 2010
12:00 pm - 2:00pm

Where: The National Press Club
529 Fourteenth Street, NW at F
Washington D.C.

Who: John Brittain, Professor, University of the District of Columbia Law School and former Chief Counsel, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights.
Chad Coffman, President, Winnemac Consulting.
Michael Dannenberg, Senior Policy Advisor and Counselor to the Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education.
Steve Shadowen, Partner, Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin.
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President Emeritus and University Professor of Public Service, The George Washington University.
Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation (moderator).


A great deal of attention has been paid to racial affirmative action programs in higher education. The merits and legality of such programs have been debated in academic circles, political campaigns, media commentary and the Supreme Court. However, relatively little public or legal scrutiny has been devoted to college admissions preferences for the children of alumni. How widespread are legacy preferences? Do they help colleges fundraise, as institutions of higher education claim? Do they hurt or help students of color? Are legacy preferences legally and politically vulnerable? Education policy experts from the academic, legal, civil rights, government and media arenas will discuss these and other questions raised in a forthcoming book from The Century Foundation, Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions, edited by Century Foundation senior fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg. Copies of the book will be available.

SOURCE The Century Foundation

IBM Takes Special Place in Working Mother's List
By WeNews staff
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Working Mother Magazine's annual listing of good employers for mothers, which honors 100 companies, is celebrating its 25th year. This year four of the top-10 companies were accounting and auditing firms. IBM received a double honor.

(WOMENSENEWS)--Four of the top-10 companies on Working Mother Magazine's annual listing of good employers for mothers were accounting and auditing firms: Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The other top-10 winners were University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, WellStar Health System, Bank of America, Discovery Communications, General Mills and IBM Corporation.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Women successful in male-dominated fields

The Utah Statesman
Girl Power
Published: Monday, September 13, 2010
Updated: Monday, September 13, 2010 11:09

A young boy was severely injured and rushed to the hospital by his father. After the initial examination, the doctor returned to the room and said, “I can not operate on this child. I am his parent.” Who was the child’s doctor?
Ann Austin, the director of the Center for Women and Gender Studies and professor of child development, said this story would have “stumped” most people a couple of decades ago. Though times and policies have changed, stereotypes still appear to define some fields. Women still fill 92 percent of nursing positions, 83 percent of receptionist positions and 81 percent of elementary and junior high teachers, according to the website for the U.S. Department of Labor. The website also stated that women earn 20 percent less than men on average.
For the past 20 or 30 years, regulations have been created to help equalize the workplace. One such policy is affirmative action. The policy was incorporated into an executive order in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and has been revised several times. The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) states on their website that affirmative action refers to “positive steps aimed at increasing the inclusion of historically excluded groups in employment, education and business.”

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ODEP Releases August Disability Employment Statistics

US Department of Labor
Office of Disability Employment Policy

August 2010 Disability Employment Statistics Released

In August 2010, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 22.0. By comparison, the percentage of persons with no disability in the labor force was 70.2.
The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 15.6 percent, compared with 9.3 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
Read about the August Disability Employment Statistics
Retrieve Historical Disability Employment Data
Read Commonly Used Terms in BLS Employment Statistics

US Labor Secretary comments on data on labor force participation for persons with disabilities

News Release
ODEP News Release: [08/25/2010]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667 or x5051
Release Number: 10-1204-NAT

US Labor Secretary comments on data on labor force participation for persons with disabilities: ‘We will make sure that people who want to work can work’

WASHINGTON — Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released, for the first time, a detailed comprehensive overview on the employment of Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics, 2009. Armed with this new data, researchers, disability advocates, and policy makers can better project labor force participation for working-aged persons with disabilities.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis stated, "I am pleased that the data released today will help better tailor policies and workforce development strategies, leveraging the talents and skills of this important segment of our population. According to recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, just one in five people with disabilities were in the labor force and the unemployment rate for those with disabilities remains much higher than the national average. We will use this new information to help increase service capacity and accessibility to workforce development systems including the one-stop-career centers and ensure that people with disabilities have access to employment support, transportation, housing, and other support services. We will make sure that people who want to work can work."
In 2009, the employment-population ratio — the proportion of the population that is employed — was 19.2 percent for persons with a disability. Among those with no disability, the ratio was much higher (64.5 percent). For all age groups, persons with a disability were much less likely to be employed than those with no disability. The latest unemployment rate of persons with a disability is 14.5 percent. These statistics were obtained from the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey that provides statistics on employment and unemployment in the United States.
To read the BLS report issued today and the current CPS go to

Eclipse Advantage Sued by EEOC for Racially Hostile Work Environment and Retaliation

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Black Employee Subjected to Racial Slurs, Demotion and Subsequent Termination, Federal Agency Charges

CLEVELAND - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit announced today that Eclipse Advantage, Inc., violated federal law by subjecting an African-American employee to racial discrimination and retaliation at its Aldi Food Service warehouse in Hinckley, Ohio.
In its suit (Case No. 1:10-cv-02001), filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, the EEOC charged that Rodney Williams began working in a supervisory position with the company in August 2009, and shortly thereafter was subjected to racial epithets from his superiors. On his first day, Williams was asked if he was a “black man or a n----r.” The complaint alleges that management frequently used racial slurs, most notably the N-word in the workplace. Additionally, the EEOC says that Williams was demoted from supervisor to team lead and then discharged from his position as a team lead after complaining about a racially hostile work environment.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on national origin, race, color, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or religion and protects employees who complain about or oppose such discrimination from retaliation.
The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The EEOC seeks to eliminate these discriminatory practices and have Eclipse Advantage compensate Williams for his losses and provide equal opportunities to black employees.
“This case shows that racial harassment continues to permeate too many American work environments,” said EEOC Philadelphia Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence, whose district includes parts of Ohio. “As bad as this racial abuse was, Eclipse made a bad situation worse by punishing the victim for complaining. This kind of misconduct is completely unconscionable and illegal, and the EEOC will continue to fight it.”
According to company information, Eclipse Advantage provides distribution services and IT solutions at approximately 45 customer locations throughout the United States and Canada.
In Fiscal Year 2009, the EEOC received 33,579 charges alleging race-based discrimination, accounting for 36 percent of the agency's private sector caseload. Historically, race-based charges have been the most frequent type of filing with EEOC offices nationwide.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

EEOC Files Trio of New Cases under Amended Americans with Disabilities Act

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

WASHINGTON — Taking another step in its commitment to end disability discrimination in employment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the filing of three new disability discrimination cases today, charging employers in Georgia, Maryland and Michigan with violations of the recently amended Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
The cases — all filed under the broader and simplified definition of disability set forth in the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) — allege discrimination against qualified individuals with diabetes, cancer and severe arthritis.
“The contributions of people with disabilities to the workplace ought to be valued, not rejected based on myths, fears and stereotypes,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “The ADAAA made clear what the EEOC had always asserted: people with a range of disabilities are protected from unlawful discrimination. We hope that these cases send a clear message that the Commission will vigorously enforce the ADA.”
In Atlanta, the agency charged Eckerd Corporation, a nationwide drug store chain doing business as Rite Aid (EEOC v. Eckerd Corporation d/b/a Rite Aid), Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-2816-JEC, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia) with refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation -- a stool to sit on -- to a long-time employee who experienced severe arthritic symptoms in her knees. Fern Strickland, who had worked as a cashier for Rite Aid with this reasonable accommodation for seven years without incident, lost the use of her stool in January 2009 when a new district manager decided that the company would no longer accommodate her disability. According to the EEOC’s pre-suit investigation, the district manager “did not like the idea” that Strickland used a stool. The suit claims that she was terminated several weeks later because of the manager’s failure to accommodate her disability.
In a case filed in Baltimore, the agency alleges that surveying company Fisher, Collins & Carter fired two employees because they had diabetes and hypertension. According to the suit (EEOC v. Fisher, Collins & Carter, Case No. 10-cv-2453, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland), the company asked Robert Gray and Wayne Seifert and other employees to complete a questionnaire regarding their health conditions and medications. Gray had worked for the company for 15 years starting as a rodman, and had been promoted to the position of party chief by the time of his termination. Seifert had been employed since 2000 as a rodman. The suit asserts that, despite their many years of successful performance, the company unlawfully selected Gray and Seifert for a reduction-in-force on January 21, 2009, on the basis of their disabilities, while retaining less qualified, non-disabled employees.
In the third case announced today, filed in Lansing, Mich., the agency charged that IPC Print Services fired one of its employees rather than allowing him to work part time while being treated for cancer. According to the agency's pre-suit investigation, Derek Nelson, who had been employed by IPC as a machinist for over ten years, went on medical leave in 2008 in order to undergo chemotherapy. The EEOC's suit (EEOC v. IPC Print Services, Inc., Case No. 10-cv-886 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan ), alleges that in January 2009, when Nelson sought to continue working part-time while he completed his treatment, IPC discharged Nelson for exceeding the maximum hours of leave allowed under company policy. That decision, the agency contends, violated IPC's obligation to reasonably accommodate Nelson's disability.
In each case, the EEOC conducted an administrative investigation and attempted to reach a voluntary settlement prior to filing suit.
Originally enacted in 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of disability. During the ensuing years, federal courts took a narrow view of what conditions counted as “disabilities” under the law. Some courts had found that individuals with serious conditions — such as diabetes and cancer — were not covered by the ADA’s protections against discrimination. In 2008, Congress responded to these interpretations by adopting the ADA Amendments Act, which made clear that the definition of “disability” is both broad and straightforward.
“These cases, among the first filed by the EEOC under the ADA Amendments Act, illustrate the continuing need for rigorous enforcement of the law in this area, as well as further education about the ADA’s requirements,” said General Counsel David Lopez. “Congress has made the scope of the ADA clear and broad: Individuals with disabilities — including serious medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and severe arthritis — must be evaluated according to their qualifications, and not their disabilities. Where a reasonable accommodation will enable a person with a disability to perform the essential functions of her job, an employer must provide it. Through cases like those announced today, the EEOC’s litigation program will focus on deterring willful violations of this important civil rights law.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at