Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Calif. votes to reject Texas textbook changes

Mercury News.com
The Associated Press
Posted: 08/31/2010 03:39:11 PM PDT
Updated: 08/31/2010 03:39:12 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California lawmakers are seeking to prevent a revised social studies curriculum approved in Texas from being taught in the nation's largest public school system.
The state Senate on Tuesday voted 21-13 to send SB1451 to the governor. It requires the California Board of Education to look out for any of the Texas content as part of its standard practice of reviewing public school textbooks.
The Texas school board adopted standards in May asserting that the country's Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles. They also minimize Thomas Jefferson's role in world and U.S. history and highlight the "unintended consequences" of affirmative action.

Full Story: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15954003?nclick_check=1

A Million Women vs. Wal-Mart

The New York Times
Published: August 30, 2010

For nine years, Wal-Mart has fought to stave off a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company has long discriminated against its female workers in pay and promotions. So far it has avoided a trial on the merits of the issue. The battleground instead is whether the million or so women who have worked for Wal-Mart since 2001 really constitute a class, which the company vigorously disputes. In 2004, a federal district court judge said they did, and in April the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, ruling the case could proceed.
Now Wal-Mart has taken the class issue to the Supreme Court. It is probably a smart legal move, given the court’s clear tendency to rule in favor of corporations, particularly when big classes or discrimination claims are involved. We hope the court resists the temptation to toss out the case, which would force women to file lawsuits one by one. Wal-Mart’s employment practices deserve a full hearing.

Full Editorial: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/opinion/31tue2.html?th&emc=th

Justice Dept. files suit vs. junior colleges in Maricopa County

by Mary Beth Faller - Aug. 31, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Community College District on Monday, accusing it of discrimination for requiring extra paperwork from new employees who were not U.S. citizens.
The suit claims that at least 247 newly hired employees who were not citizens were required to present additional work-authorization documents beyond those required by law between July 2008 and January 2010.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/08/30/20100830maricopa-county-community-college-federal-lawsuit.html#ixzz0yBfWJTDC

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wal-Mart appeals to Supreme Court in gender bias case

chron business
Bloomberg News
Aug. 25, 2010, 2:33PM

Wal-Mart Stores asked the Supreme Court to block female employees from suing on behalf of as many as 1.5 million women in what would be the largest gender-bias suit against a private employer in U.S. history.
The world's largest retailer today appealed a 6-5 lower court decision allowing women who have worked at Wal-Mart since 2001 to be part of a single class-action lawsuit. The justices likely will say later this year whether they will hear the case.
Saying the workers are seeking billions of dollars in back pay, Wal-Mart told the justices that the claims of workers around the country were too diverse to proceed as a single case under the rules that govern federal lawsuits.

Full Story: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7171133.html

Hyundai Ideal Electric Company Sued for Unequal Pay and Retaliation

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Female Employee Paid Less Than Male, Terminated After She Complained, Federal Agency Charged
CLEVELAND — Hyundai Ideal Electric Company located in Mansfield, Ohio, violated federal laws by paying a female employee less than a male employee for performing equal work and then firing her after she complained about the disparity, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division (Case: 1:10-cv-01882), Tabatha Wagner, an experienced female drafter, began her employment with the company in August 1, 2007, in the position of Design Drafter and was paid a salary less than that of a similarly situated male who was hired only months later. The lawsuit states that Wagner learned of the disparity and complained to Jon Shearer, the company’s Human Resources Manger on November 11, 2008. He subsequently terminated her employment on the next day, November 12, 2008.
Such alleged unequal pay, wage discrimination and retaliation violate the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its lawsuit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC seeks monetary relief, an order requiring the company to implement new policies and practices to prevent discrimination, training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the worksite, and other injunctive relief.
Debra Lawrence, Regional Attorney for the Philadelphia District stated, “This case is an example that the wage gap is alive and well in America, with the typical full-time female worker making 77 cents for every dollar earned by her male counterpart. Employers should take note that the EEOC will not tolerate discriminatory pay practices.”
According to its web site (www.hyundaiideal.com), Hyundai Ideal Electric Co. is the market leader in medium power generators for gas, steam and hydro turbines, and diesel engines. The Mansfield facility is the company’s home office.
Over the last three fiscal years, the EEOC has seen a 30% increase in charges of wage discrimination based on sex. Through the administrative enforcement process alone, the EEOC obtained about $19 million in relief for victims of wage discrimination in FY 2009. The Commission is currently litigating 14 cases that include allegations of sex-based wage discrimination.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


Disability discrimination and the interactive process

Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Rebecca Girn USA
August 11 2010

One of our manufacturing employees, call him Jim, was fairly seriously injured in an accident on the production floor. Jim applied for workers’ compensation and was examined by a doctor. The doctor let us know in his opinion, Jim would no longer be able to perform his job, since it required a significant amount of lifting and bending that he was simply no longer physically capable of doing. Rather than taking immediate action based on the doctor’s opinion, we waited. We thought maybe his condition would improve – Jim was a good employee, and we just didn’t want to do anything too hasty.
Meanwhile, we knew Jim was aware of the doctor’s report that he could not return to his job, but he didn’t get in touch with us to contradict it or to tell us he did want to try to return to work if we could find a way to have him do it. Admittedly, we did not try to contact him either. The months passed, and he never did get in touch with us or communicate that he wanted to return. Finally, 8 months later, we decided it was time to terminate him, since he had shown no signs of wanting to come back to work, even if he could. We sent him a letter enclosing the doctor’s report and explaining that we were forced to terminate employment since he could not perform his job, and there was no other job available.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=a6fa14cc-bfb3-4a11-b71d-560e97d55af3&utm_source=Lexology%20Daily%20Newsfeed&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Lexology%20subscriber%20daily%20feed&utm_content=Lexology%20Daily%20Newsfeed%202010-08-26&utm_term=

Immigration fines top $600,000 for Texas companies

Washington Bureau
July 16, 2010, 9:52PM

WASHINGTON — Texas businesses that hired illegal workers or failed to follow immigration regulations have been fined more than $600,000 since October, though few resulted in criminal prosecutions, federal records show.
A Houston Chronicle review of actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows 23 Texas companies, including at least four in Houston, have been penalized since the start of the federal fiscal year in October. At the same time, statistics show workplace arrests declining, a shift from the enforcement strategies of the George W. Bush era.
Under President Barack Obama, immigration workplace enforcement has largely targeted employers, rather than workers, and depended on audits of company paperwork that is supposed to prove employees are working legally. At least 1,500 such investigations have been completed since October, compared to 503 in a 12-month span two years ago when Bush was president.

Full Story: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7112254.html

Appeals Court Rules Single Incident Triggers Harassment Law

Workforce Management
August 25, 2010
The plaintiff’s attorney said that although the civil rights law establishes that a severe-enough single incident of harassment violates the law, most lawsuits charge either pervasive or severe and pervasive harassment.

a single incident of sexual harassment, if severe enough, can violate federal civil rights law, a federal appellate court said in a decision Monday, August 23.
The decision by the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cynthia Berry v. Chicago Transit Authority involved a dispute by Berry, who was a carpenter with the CTA, with a fellow worker over a card game in January 2006.
Berry said that after she refused to get up so that a co-worker, Philip Carmichael, could partner with another worker in a game during a morning break, Carmichael grabbed her breasts, lifted her up from a bench and rubbed her buttocks against the front of his body. Berry said that when she landed off-balance with only one leg on the ground, Carmichael pushed her into a fence.
When Berry reported the incident to a manager, he told her he did not care what happened because she was a “pain in the butt,” predicted she would lose her job if she filed charges, and promised he was going to do “whatever it takes to protect the CTA,” the opinion said.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/section/news/article/appeals-court-rules-single-incident-triggers-harassment-law.php

Friday, August 27, 2010

90 Years After the Vote, U.S. Women Still Seek Economic Citizenship

by Tula Connell, Aug 26, 2010

Women won the right to vote 90 years ago today. As historian Christine Stansell points out, the seemingly “no-brainer” move to ensure women have the same political citizenship rights as men was contested in this country until 1984, when Mississippi became the last state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
That’s 1984—19 years after the Voting Rights Act and 13 years after 18-year-olds got the right to vote.
Working women today still are fighting for complete citizenship—economic citizenship. The Joint Economic Committee yesterday released a report on economic advances by women over the past quarter century and found that despite a quarter-century of progress,challenges remain. Certain industries remain heavily gender-segregated. In addition, millions of women are struggling to juggle work outside the home
with family care-giving responsibilities. Sometime this year, the percentage of women in the U.S. workforce became equal to that of men. Yet, as economists point out, the recent decrease in the pay gap between men and women is a reflection of the loss of pay for men, not an increase for women. Women still only make 78 cents for every dollar a man is paid.

Full Story: http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/08/26/90-years-after-the-vote-u-s-women-still-seek-economic-citizenship/

Beck’s Perverse Honor of Martin Luther King

The Atlanta Post
August 26, 2010
Earl Ofari Hutchinson

There are 52 Saturdays in 2010 and talk show exhibitionist Glenn Beck could have picked any one of them to hold his “Restoring Honor” rally on Washington DC’s Lincoln Mall. But Beck, of course, picked August 28, the same date as the 47th anniversary of the March on Washington. Becks been repeatedly called out for picking the date to mock the civil rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
He first lied and said that he had no idea the date is a sacred day for civil rights leaders, and that it was pure coincidence he chose the date. But since that lie wouldn’t fly, Beck reversed gear and wrapped himself in the mantle of King. He’s bragged to audiences that he and conservatives are the inheritors and protectors of King’s dream. In a moment of preposterous flight of rhetoric he fantasized that he and other conservatives could see themselves beaten by police, set upon by dogs, dosed with fire hoses, and jailed on trumped-up charges.

Full Story: http://www.atlantapost.com/2010/08/26/becks-perverse-honor-of-martin-luther-king/

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ward Connerly Group Dismisses Bias Suit After Settlement With LAUSD

Metropolitan News-Enterprise
Thursday, August 26, 2010
By a MetNews Staff Writer

An organization led by anti-affirmative action activist—and former University of California regent—Ward Connerly said yesterday it had dismissed a lawsuit charging the Los Angeles Unified School District with illegally assigning teachers to schools on the basis of race.
The Pacific Legal Foundation, which represented Connerly’s American Civil Rights Foundation—said it dismissed the action after concluding a settlement with LAUSD.
“Using race to assign teachers to schools teaches the wrong lesson—that people are defined by their race,” PLF attorney Joshua P. Thompson said.

Full Story: http://www.metnews.com/articles/2010/acrf082610.htm

All Liberals are not liberal: The case for race-based affirmative action

Shirley J. Wilcher
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 09:14 PM ET
Letter to the Editor

Michael Lind's "The liberal case against race-based affirmative action," fails to reflect a comprehension of what race-based affirmative action is, and as a consequence, he, like other critics, has not succeeded in making a case against it. Representing himself as a liberal or invoking the spirit of Bayard Rustin does not absolve him of the responsibility to present the facts either.
Yes, the historic speech given by President Lyndon Baines Johnson at Howard University in June 1965 is often used as a justification for affirmative action. If one reads "Why We Can't Wait," one can easily discern that the quote was derived from, if not lifted from Dr. Martin Luther King's seminal "manifesto" for the movement. It was clear that Dr. King was not only calling for some form of affirmative action for the "Negro," but for more - a Marshall Plan to restore him to his rightful place in America. That Dr. King also rightly saw the linkage between class and race does not support any argument that race-based affirmative action to overcome the centuries of discrimination was not necessary or that class trumps race in the order of priorities.
Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon Johnson in September 1965 (three months after his historic speech at Howard University) contains two fundamental mandates: nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The Order states specifically:
The contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
There is an inextricable relationship between discrimination and affirmative action. The Department of Labor, which enforces the order, conducts compliance reviews of federal contractors and in doing so, looks for evidence of discriminatory employment practices as well as "underutilization," where minorities and women in the workplace are compared with qualified minorities and women in the contractor's reasonable recruitment area to determine if the contractor needs to take affirmative action, i.e., recruitment and outreach, to increase and diversify the pool from which qualified individuals may be selected. Prior to the Order, those who were qualified women or minorities could be and often were not given the opportunity to apply for or be selected for the jobs that they were prepared for or could be trained for. The operative word is “opportunity.” Affirmative action means giving everyone who is qualified an opportunity to compete.
In Johnson v. Transportation Agency, the Supreme Court permitted gender, and presumably race, to be taken into account by an employer when there was a "manifest imbalance." In that case the employer had had no women road dispatchers and therefore, pursuant to its affirmative action program, it was allowed to select a woman who was qualified to serve as a dispatcher even though a male employee received a higher score on the qualifying exam. The Court has also ruled in cases of contracting and higher education, but has imposed strict limitations on the use of race in selections or admissions. Yes, the diversity rationale was used in Bakke and later in the Grutter case against the University of Michigan, but the Court has made clear that race could be only one of a number of factors and that a more holistic approach was needed than the use of race alone.
Where is the evidence of so-called race-based affirmative action that is rife with quotas? When I see such impassioned briefs calling for fairness for the white male I am taken aback, because I see no evidence that white males have been so terribly wronged. They continue to dominate the ranks of corporate CEOs, presidents of colleges and universities, the United States Congress and even the Supreme Court. What harm have they suffered? More importantly, where is the evidence that race-based affirmative action has mutated and taken the form of quotas?
The Johnson Executive Order, which I enforced in the 1990s, remains in effect, and in 2000 we made clear in regulations that quotas were not allowed. Only where there is evidence of repeated instances of discrimination are courts permitted to impose quotas. Since the Supreme Court has, ironically, applied the highest form of scrutiny for efforts to remedy past discrimination against the descendants of slaves, government-based quotas are virtually impossible to impose. So, where is your evidence? During my tenure at Labor a study was conducted by Professor Al Blumrosen to determine the extent of reverse discrimination as reflected by charges at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Professor Blumrosen found that there was a miniscule number of charges filed and even fewer resulted in findings of discrimination.
The affirmative action program that I know and enforced is one that a true liberal could support. It is responsible, in part, for increasing the ranks of the black middle class and has benefited white women in ways that could not have been foreseen in 1967 when gender was added to the order. Beneficiaries of affirmative action include such luminaries as General Colin Powell, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor. All were qualified for the positions they held and were selected despite racial and gender stereotypes that, in years past, would have caused them to be excluded. They were given an opportunity to excel. Despite such progress, it is too soon to end it after centuries of discrimination against both minorities and women, and I include Hispanics and Asians in this group as well.
Affirmative action has been ill-served by writers who do not take the time to comprehend how it truly works. It has also been used as a wedge issue, stoking fear and hatred by those who seek scapegoats instead of solutions. We can do better than this and the nation’s historically disadvantaged deserve more than ill-studied rants against phantoms.
Shirley J. Wilcher
Executive Director
American Association for Affirmative Action


See Michael Lind's article at: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/08/24/affirmative_action/index.html

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The liberal case against race-based affirmative action

Michael Lind
Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010 07:01 ET
Why Sen. James Webb is right to advocate colorblind public policy

Some time ago I attended an event in Washington, D.C., in which Virginia Sen. James Webb startled the audience by declaring: "The greatest threat that this country faces is the class system."
Recently Webb shook up the complacent establishment once again with a critique in the Wall Street Journal of race-based preferences in higher education, small business lending and other areas of public policy:
Our government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes.
Webb's intervention is a reminder that, from the 1970s until the mid-1990s, there was a lively debate over race-based affirmative action between integrationist or "colorblind" liberals and liberals of the "identity politics" school. Most of the liberal critics of race-based policy were pro-labor liberals and social democrats, while many of its defenders were found among neoliberals, who favored inexpensive symbols of racial progress even as they sought to deregulate the economy, slash welfare and shrink the government.

Full Story: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/08/24/affirmative_action/index.html

See SJW's Letter in Response: http://letters.salon.com/29f5cc2be007d9bfd81495330c65b35e/author/

Monday, August 23, 2010

Administrative law judge rules in favor of company in OFCCP compliance review dispute

Ford & Harrison LLP
Bennet Alsher, Linda Cavanna-Wilk, Jade M. Cobb and Karen Tyner
USA August 5 2010

USA August 5 2010
On July 23, 2010, Administrative Law Judge Larry W. Price issued a significant ruling that clearly establishes the temporal scope of an OFCCP compliance review during the desk audit phase.
On July 13, 2007, the OFCCP sent Frito-Lay a Scheduling Letter stating that its Dallas Baked Snack facility had been selected for a compliance review. In the letter, the OFCCP asked Frito-Lay to submit applicant and hire data for the 2006 Affirmative Action Plan year. It also asked for data for the first half of 2007 if Frito-Lay received the letter six months or more into its current AAP year. The Frito-Lay AAP was effective January 1, 2007; thus, the Company sent the OFCCP hire and applicant data for 2006 and the first six months of 2007. The OFCCP later requested data for the second half of 2007 and for data dating back to July 13, 2005. Frito-Lay complied with the OFCCP's request.
The OFCCP analyzed hiring at the Dallas Baked Snack facility and alleged the analysis showed an adverse impact in Frito-Lay's hiring of women from June 13, 2006 to December 31, 2007. The OFCCP then alleged it was necessary to determine whether the adverse impact continued after December 31, 2007. The OFCCP sent Frito-Lay a request on November 10, 2009, for applicant and hire data from January 1, 2008 to October 31, 2009. Frito-Lay refused to comply with the OFCCP's request and the OFCCP subsequently filed an administrative complaint.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=84a654ae-2465-46fa-a565-a477b89e028d&utm_source=Lexology%20Daily%20Newsfeed&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Lexology%20subscriber%20daily%20feed&utm_content=Lexology%20Daily%20Newsfeed%202010-08-20&utm_term=

New credit-checking legislation signed into law


Vedder Price PC
Thomas G. Hancuch, Laura Sack, Roy P. Salins and Christopher Nybo
USA August 16 2010

Last April, we alerted you to a fast-moving proposal in the Illinois General Assembly to prohibit employers from using an employee’s credit history in employment decisions (Check Your State Law Before Credit-Checking Your Employees, 4/13/10). With Governor Patrick Quinn’s signature one week ago, this proposal became law. When it goes into effect on January 1, 2011, Illinois will join a small group of states banning credit checks for most job applicants.
The Employee Credit Privacy Act (Public Act 096-1426) (the “Act”) generally prohibits employers in Illinois from:
refusing to hire, discharging or otherwise discriminating against an applicant or employee because of the individual’s credit history or credit report;
inquiring about an applicant’s or employee’s credit history; or
ordering or obtaining an applicant’s or employee’s credit report.
“Credit history” is defined as an individual’s past borrowing and repaying behavior, including paying bills on time and managing debt and other fi nancial obligations, while “credit report” means any written or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency that bears on a consumer’s creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity or credit history.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=38aa0492-d8d8-4d6f-a7c7-62aa3e7d872d&utm_source=Lexology%20Daily%20Newsfeed&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Lexology%20subscriber%20daily%20feed&utm_content=Lexology%20Daily%20Newsfeed%202010-08-20&utm_term=


DCI Consulting
OFCCP Blogspot.ccm

by David Cohen, President, DCI Consulting Group

During the recent National ILG Conference in Las Vegas, OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu announced that the administration would be rescinding the compensation standards and guidelines. The compensation standards and guidelines were released under the Bush Administration on June 16th 2006. For the first time, these standards codified and published OFCCP’s protocol for enforcing systemic compensation discrimination. This published guidance became an invaluable tool for federal contractors because it gave contractors insight into how OFCCP would monitor compliance efforts and identify the tools and understanding needed to proactively recognize and fix potential problem areas. With this knowledge, many contractors took advantage of the ability to “get ahead of the game” by being proactive and conducting analyses to identify “problems” before or in anticipation of an OFCCP compliance evaluation. In addition, it gave the agency’s compliance officers a set of objective standards that function as a roadmap for enforcement; these standards assured that both contractors and the agency were using the same playbook.

Full Blog Post: http://ofccp.blogspot.com/

Affirmative Action Rules hidden in Financial Reform Bill

Oregon Business Report
August 23, 2010
Surprise! Wall Street Reform Bill Contains Massive New Affirmative Action Requirements
Written by Wayne D. Landsverk
Miller Nash LLP,
Oregon and Washington Law Firm

With all the media attention given to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, there was almost no mention of a far-reaching provision (Section 342) that imposes new diversity requirements on businesses in or connected to the financial industry.Section 342 requires that within six months of July 21, 2010, each of the following federal agencies establish its own Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (“OMWI”):• Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve• Comptroller of the Currency• Consumer Financial Protection Bureau• Department of the Treasury• Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation• Federal Housing Finance Agency• Federal Reserve Regional Banks (12 separate banks)• National Credit Union Administration• Securities and Exchange Commission
The director of each OMWI is required by Section 342 to develop and implement his or her own standards and procedures “to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, the fair inclusion and utilization of minorities, women, and minority-owned and women-owned businesses in all business and activities of the agency at all levels, including in procurement, insurance, and all types of contracts.” (Emphasis added.) Contractors, in turn, will be required to provide a written statement that they—and their subcontractors—have fairly included women and minorities in their workforces.

Full Story: http://oregonbusinessreport.com/2010/08/affirmative-action-rules-hidden-new-financial-reform-bill/

Delano Regional Medical Center Sued For National Origin Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Company Policy Targets Filipino Employees and Creates Hostile Work Environment, Federal Agency Charges

FRESNO – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the filing of a national origin discrimination lawsuit against the Delano Regional Medical Center, an acute care hospital in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
According to the EEOC, the hospital prohibited Filipino staff from speaking Tagalog (or other Filipino languages) while allowing non-Filipino employees to speak other languages, such as Spanish. The EEOC contends that hospital management subjected Filipino staff to a hostile working environment by singling them out for reprimands in company meetings, threatening them with audio surveillance, and encouraging other staff to report on them. The Commission alleged that the medical center’s directive created a hostile working environment with supervisors and other staff taunting and threatening the Filipino staff on a regular basis, creating tension between Filipino and non-Filipino employees. This alleged national origin discrimination and harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The EEOC filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California (EEOC v. Central California Foundation for Health d/b/a Delano Regional Medical Center, Case No. 10-CV-01492-LJO-JLT ), after efforts to reach a pre-litigation settlement failed. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of compensatory and punitive damages, and an injunction against future discrimination.
“Employers must ensure that company policies are applied equally,” said Anna Park, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office. “Targeting workers of a particular national origin is not only illegal, it also erodes company morale, pitting groups against one another.”
Melissa Barrios, local director of the EEOC’s Fresno Local Office, added, “The EEOC enforces laws that protect against harassment based on one’s country of origin. The targeting of one group in this particular case for behavior that was condoned for other groups is simply deplorable.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

Ohio Court Finds Harassment Allegations Do Not Bar Comp Benefits

Workforce Management
The claimant had been under investigation concerning ‘numerous’ sexual harassment allegations for acts allegedly occurring between 2004 and 2008, the records state.

August 20, 2010
Ohio Court Finds Harassment Allegations Do Not Bar Comp Benefits
Even through a hospital worker was fired because of sexual harassment allegations, he is not barred from collecting workers’ compensation benefits, an Ohio appeals court ruled.
The decision Tuesday, August 17, in State of Ohio ex rel. State University Cancer Research Hospital v. Industrial Commission of Ohio addresses a “sprain lumbosacral” the male claimant suffered in January 2009.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/section/news/article/ohio-court-finds-harassment-allegations-do-not-bar-comp-benefits.php

Remarks by the President on 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
July 26, 2010

Remarks by the President on 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
South Lawn
6:26 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Good evening, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Well, we have a gorgeous day to celebrate an extraordinary event in the life of this nation. Welcome, all of you, to our White House. And thank you, Robert, for the wonderful introduction. It is a pleasure and honor to be with all of you on the 20th anniversary of one of the most comprehensive civil rights bills in the history of this country -- the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Applause.) I see so many champions of this law here today. I wish I had time to acknowledge each and every one of you. I want to thank all of you. But I also want to thank our Cabinet Secretaries and the members of my administration here today who are working to advance the goals of the ADA so that it is not just the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law, that's being applied all across this country. (Applause.) I want to thank the members of Congress in attendance who fought to make ADA possible and to keep improving it throughout the years. (Applause.) I want to acknowledge Dick Thornburgh, who worked hard to make this happen as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush. (Applause.) And by the way, I had a chance to speak to President Bush before I came out here, and he sends heartfelt regards to all of you. And it’s -- he’s extraordinarily proud of the law that was passed. He was very humble about his own role, but I think it’s worth acknowledging the great work that he did. (Applause.) We also remember those we’ve lost who helped make this law possible -- like our old friend, Ted Kennedy. (Applause.) And I see Patrick here. And Justin Dart, Jr., a man folks call the father of the ADA -- whose wife Yoshiko, is here. (Applause.) Yoshiko, so nice to see you. (Applause.) I also notice that Elizabeth Dole is here, and I had a chance to speak to Bob Dole, as well, and thank him for the extraordinary role that he played in advancing this legislation. (Applause.) Let me also say that Congressman Jim Langevin wanted to be here today, but he’s currently presiding over the House chamber -- the first time in our history somebody using a wheelchair has done so. (Applause.) Today, as we commemorate what the ADA accomplished, we celebrate who the ADA was all about. It was about the young girl in Washington State who just wanted to see a movie at her hometown theater, but was turned away because she had cerebral palsy; or the young man in Indiana who showed up at a worksite, able to do the work, excited for the opportunity, but was turned away and called a cripple because of a minor disability he had already trained himself to work with; or the student in California who was eager and able to attend the college of his dreams, and refused to let the iron grip of polio keep him from the classroom -- each of whom became integral to this cause. And it was about all of you. You understand these stories because you or someone you loved lived them. And that sparked a movement. It began when Americans no longer saw their own disabilities as a barrier to their success, and set out to tear down the physical and social barriers that were. It grew when you realized you weren’t alone. It became a massive wave of bottom-up change that swept across the country as you refused to accept the world as it was. And when you were told, no, don’t try, you can’the -- you responded with that age-old American creed: Yes, we can. (Applause.) AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.) THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we can! Sit-ins in San Francisco. Demonstrations in Denver. Protests in Washington, D.C., at Gallaudet, and before Congress. People marched, and organized, and testified. And laws changed, and minds changed, and progress was won. (Applause.) Now, that’s not to say it was easy. You didn’t always have folks in Washington to fight on your behalf. And when you did, they weren’t as powerful, as well-connected, as well-funded as the lobbyists who lined up to kill any attempt at change. And at first, you might have thought, what does anyone in Washington know or care about my battle? But what you knew from your own experience is that disability touches us all. If one in six Americans has a disability, then odds are the rest of us love somebody with a disability. I was telling a story to a group that was in the Oval Office before I came out here about Michelle’s father who had MS. By the time I met him, he had to use two canes just to walk. He was stricken with MS when he was 30 years old, but he never missed a day of work; had to wake up an hour early to get dressed -- AUDIENCE MEMBER: So what. THE PRESIDENT: -- to get to the job, but that was his attitude -- so what. He could do it. Didn't miss a dance recital. Did not miss a ball game of his son. Everybody has got a story like that somewhere in their family.

Full Remarks: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-20th-anniversary-americans-with-disabilities-act

US DOJ Issues Revised ADA Regulations for Title II and III

Rolling Rains Report
By Scott Rains on August 15, 2010 5:36 AM

President Obama announced the U.S. Department of Justice has issued final regulations revising Title II and III, including the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. These regulations will be published in the Federal Register. (Remarks by the President: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-20th-anniversary-americans-with-disabilities-act)


Adoption of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The Department has adopted revised ADA design standards that include the relevant chapters of the Access Board's 2004 ADA/ABA Accessibility Guidelines as modified by specific provisions of this rule. To minimize compliance burdens on entities subject to more than one legal standard, these design standards have been harmonized with the Federal standards implementing the Architectural Barriers Act and with the private sector model codes that are adopted by most States.

Effective Date. The rule will become effective six months after publication in the Federal Register. Eighteen months after publication, compliance with the 2010 Standards will be required for new construction and alterations. In the period between the effective date and the compliance date, covered entities may choose between the 1991 Standards and the 2010 Standards. Covered entities that should have complied with the 1991 Standards during any new construction or alteration of facilities or elements, but have not done so by 18 months after the date of publication of the final rule, must comply with the 2010 Standards.

Full Report: http://www.rollingrains.com/2010/08/us-doj-issues-revised-ada-regulations-for-title-ii-and-iii.html

Three in Five Americans Say U.S. Has Long Way to Go to Reach Gender Equality

Harris Interactive
Seven in ten Americans say women often do not receive the same pay as men for doing exactly the same job

New York, N.Y. - August 16, 2010 - In 1920, 144 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, women in the United States achieved the right to vote. Ninety years later gender equality is still discussed and debated. When it comes to whether things are fine between men and women, the nation is split - just over half of Americans (52%) disagree that things are fine between the genders while 43% say things are fine. But men and women have a different take on the situation with over half of men (55%) believing things are fine compared to just one-third (32%) of women who say the same.
Even more Americans (63%) agree that the U.S. still has a long way to go to reach complete gender quality. While three-quarters of women (74%) agree with this, so do just over half of men (52%).
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,227 adults surveyed online between June 14 and 21, 2010 by Harris Interactive.
Whether the issue of gender equality should be addressed is another question in these times with so many other pressing issues. Three-quarters of U.S. adults (74%) agree that they do not think gender equality is perfect, but there are more pressing issues to fix first. And men and women are in agreement on this (74% of men agree as do 75% of women).
Women and Work
One of the discrepancies the Equal Rights Amendment was hoping to correct was inequality in the workplace among men and women. But seven in ten Americans (69%) say that women often do not receive the same pay as men for doing exactly the same job. Three in five U.S. adults (62%) agree that women are often discriminated against in being promoted for supervisory and executive jobs. Women are much more likely than men to agree with this but almost half of men also agree with both sentiments. Four in five women (80%) agree that women often do not receive the same pay for the same job compared to 58% of men, and 75% of women agree women are discriminated against in their promotions compared to 48% of men.
Half of Americans (50%) say women often receive lower pensions or pay more on annuities than men doing the same work while 23% disagree with this and 27% are not at all sure. And it's not just with pay that there are issues. More Americans believe women often have much more trouble than men in getting credit, bank loans and mortgages (42% agree with this while 36% disagree) and that women are often discriminated in the insurance rates they pay (38% agree; 33% disagree).
But it isn't all bad. Over half of Americans (52%) say most employers are willing make the conditions of work flexible enough to help women with families who want to go to work. Again, there is a gender difference here as three in five men (60%) agree with this compared to less than half of women (46%).
So What?
In ninety years many things have changed for women in this country. And some may argue things are better, but there is still the undercurrent that there are issues, especially when it comes to pay and employment, where things have not yet approached an equal footing with men. Women are sitting in more boardrooms and at the helms of more companies today, but there is a sense they are not yet getting paid the same as men in those positions. There is also a sense that something else may have been lost. Four in five Americans (81%) and four in five men and women (81% for both) say women today are treated with less chivalry than in the past. Can women have both equal pay and chivalry? Or can it be only or the other?

Full News Release including charts: http://www.harrisinteractive.com/NewsRoom/HarrisPolls/tabid/447/mid/1508/articleId/452/ctl/ReadCustom%20Default/Default.aspx

July 2010 Disability Employment Statistics Released

US Department of Labor
Office of Disability Employment Programs

July 2010 Disability Employment Statistics Released

In July 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 70.6.
The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 16.4 percent, compared with 9.5 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
Read about the July Disability Employment Statistics
Retrieve Historical Disability Employment Data
Read Commonly Used Terms in BLS Employment Statistics


Discovery of Facebook allowed in sexual harassment case

Jackson Walker LLP
John Koepke
USA August 17 2010

A recent discovery order in the case of EEOC v. Simply Storage Management in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana discussed how much information from social network sites is discoverable to an employer defending a sexual harassment claim.
Two females claimed that they were subjected to sexual harassment during their employment with Simply Storage. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint on their behalf.
Simply Storage’s request for production of documents included requests for “all photographs or videos posted by claimants or anyone on [their] behalf on Facebook or MySpace [from the beginning of their employment to the present],” and requested all “updates, messages, wall comments, causes joined … activity streams … and applications for the same time period.”
Simply Storage asserted the requests were proper because the EEOC had placed the “emotional health” of the women at issue by claiming that the women had sought “medical treatment” for anxiety stemming from the alleged sexual harassment and become “depressed and suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.” The EEOC argued that “production should be limited to content that directly addresses or comments on matters alleged in the complaint.”

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=3bf92ed9-ea8c-41d9-bee6-c744f2042a17&utm_source=Lexology%20Daily%20Newsfeed&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Lexology%20subscriber%20daily%20feed&utm_content=Lexology%20Daily%20Newsfeed%202010-08-23&utm_term

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lucy Daniels Center Welcomes New Board & Board of Advisors Members

Wake MyNC.com
By Patti Wilt, User Submitted,
16 hours, 44 minutes ago
Updated: Aug. 20 11:21 am

Cary, NC-The Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood announces five new members have been elected to the Center's board and two new members have been appointed to the advisory board. "We are so pleased to have new members who bring a variety of skills, talents, experience, and passion for service to the Center," says Dean McCord, the new board chair. "Each of them will help us achieve our mission of providing a healthy emotional start to young children in the Triangle." ...

Christian Marín is a Manager of Partner Operations in Cisco's Public Sector organization, leading a team of subject matter experts that specialize in implementing technology solutions for the state, local, federal, and education marketplaces. He is a 14-year veteran of the information technology and management consulting industries. He is an active member of, and will soon serve on the Board of the American Association for Affirmative Action. ...

Full Story: http://wake.mync.com/site/wake/news%7CSports%7CLifestyles/story/54557/Lucy_Daniels_Center_Welcomes_New_Board___Board_of_Advisors_Members

Panel to look at potential ban on affirmative action

Utah News
By Robert Gehrke
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated 2 hours ago

A panel of judges, attorneys and legislators will scrutinize the legal impact of a potential amendment to Utah’s Constitution banning affirmative action policies.
“Stated very simply, the impact of [a ban] is enormous,” said retired Judge Jon Memmott, the chairman of the state Constitutional Review Commission. “And the implementation of that is fairly enormous given the almost 50-year history of affirmative action and all the programs … that this would impact at the state and both higher education and regular education programs.”
In the last legislative session, Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, proposed an amendment — a similar one had been adopted in other states — that would prohibit any level of government from engaging in any affirmative action programs.

Full Story: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50139823-76/action-affirmative-amendment-commission.html.csp

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Lydia Lum , August 19, 2010

Dr. France Córdova is by no means the first college president to declare increasing the presence of women and minorities on campus as a top priority. Nor will Córdova be the last. However, several of her initiatives thus far suggest she is aggressively guiding Purdue University into a firmer embrace of diversity while building on its stellar reputation as a world-class engineering institution.

Full Story: http://diverseeducation.com/article/14050/purdue-s-c-rdova-leads-university-into-firm-embrace-of-diversity.html

U. of I. opens state-of-the-art dorm for students with disabilities

Chicago Tribune
By Jodi S. Cohen, Tribune reporter
10:05 p.m. CDT, August 18, 2010

Facility marks new milestone for university, already a leader in disability services

CHAMPAIGN — With very limited use of her arms and legs, Kelsey Rozema has needed her parents' help with most daily tasks — getting out of bed, showering, putting on a coat and even opening a water bottle. In 18 years, they've been apart for only six nights.
So moving into a college dorm this week — and away from the reliance on her family — is even more of a milestone for Rozema than for the thousands of other wide-eyed freshmen arriving this week at the University of Illinois, a ritual that will be repeated on college campuses throughout the country in coming weeks.

Full Story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-u-of-i-disability-dorm-20100818,0,796860.story

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Building an Internal Mobility Program to Increase a Diverse Employee Population

Reggie Stewart
Aug 18, 2010, 2:46 pm ET

When you think about building a diverse workforce, an internal mobility program may not be the first thought that comes to mind. In fact, when we at Sodexo first looked at internal mobility programs, we were focused on helping our employees achieve their career aspirations through internal promotions and hires.
However, over time, we’ve come to learn that these programs also represent a vital component of our company’s journey to build a diverse and inclusive workforce.

The Beginning of an Evolution at Sodexo
Like many companies, Sodexo’s diversity initiatives have evolved over time.
We created a diversity and inclusion framework that was based on measures of accountability from the CEO down, tied to incentives and performance goals. We established a consistent and transparent recruiting and selection process and provided training in compliance in such areas as EEO/Affirmative Action to ensure that all our managers understood the legal environment.

Full Story: http://www.ere.net/2010/08/18/building-an-internal-mobility-program-to-increase-a-diverse-employee-population/

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

OFCCP initiates regulatory revisions for affirmative action obligations toward individuals with disabilities and covered veterans

Littler Mendelson
Alissa Horvitz, Joshua Roffman and Matt Nusbaum USA August 17 2010

Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("ANPRM") Regarding Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act Relating to Meaningful Outreach for Individuals with Disabilities

In anticipation of strengthening the regulations requiring government contractors to engage in meaningful outreach for qualified individuals with disabilities and before issuing actual proposed regulations, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is asking government contractors to respond by September 21, 2010, to 18 questions.
The questions can be categorized into several categories: (1) how can affirmative action requirements for individuals with disabilities be made more effective; (2) what affirmative action efforts for individuals with disabilities have proved effective for federal contractors; (3) whether the establishment of placement goals for individuals with disabilities would be feasible and effective and how placement goals for individuals with disabilities could be established; (4) whether soliciting self-identification of disability status of all applicants would be effective in opening more opportunities to individuals with disabilities; and (5) what special considerations should OFCCP account for in revising its affirmative action obligations for individuals with disabilities with regard to small entities and businesses.
Below are the specific questions from OFCCP's July 23, 2010 ANPRM:
How can the affirmative action requirements of Section 503 be strengthened to measurably increase employment opportunities of covered contractors for individuals with disabilities? If available, include examples or information illustrating the effectiveness of the suggested new requirements.
What measures have contractors and subcontractors taken to fulfill the current affirmative action requirements of Section 503? How much did these measures cost?
What barriers currently impede Federal contractors from hiring people with disabilities?
Are there changes that could be made to the existing language on permissible qualifications standards that would better ensure equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities? ...

Proposed Regulations for Improved Outreach and Reporting Regarding Affirmative Action Obligations for Covered Veterans Submitted to the White House by OFCCP
On July 2, 2010, OFCCP sent to the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") its proposed rule relating to "Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors, Subcontractors, Evaluation of Recruitment and Placement Results under the VEVRAA of 1974, As Amended."
OFCCP has previously announced that it wants to strengthen the extent to which government contractors are engaging in meaningful outreach for covered veterans, and this was a topic that Director Patricia Shiu covered extensively in her town hall meetings last year and this year.
Once OMB approves the proposed regulation, OFCCP will submit it for publication in The Federal Register, and will afford contractors an opportunity to submit comments.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=4ac1e369-cb48-4daa-be9a-237edc6fd95a

The Enduring Relevance of Affirmative Action

The American Prospect

When diversity became a positive, race-based preferences overcame the backlash.
Randall Kennedy August 11, 2010

One of the most notable accomplishments of liberalism over the past 20 years is something that didn't happen: the demise of affirmative action. Contrary to all predictions, affirmative action has survived. This is a triumph not only for race relations but also for the liberal vision of an inclusive society with full opportunity for all.
In the early 1990s, the future of policies aimed at assisting racial minorities seemed bleak indeed. In 1989, the Supreme Court invalidated an affirmative-action plan for government contracts in Richmond, Virginia, holding that such programs at the state and local level must be subject to "strict scrutiny" -- the same level of skeptical assessment applied to laws or decisions that had historically disadvantaged racial minorities. That same year, the Court issued decisions that neutered the concept of "disparate impact" as a form of racial discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Disparate impact required employers not only to desist from intentionally excluding racial-minority applicants because of their race but also to avoid race-neutral screening criteria that had the same effect, unless the criteria could be justified by "business necessity" or shown to be related to job performance. In 1990, when Congress repudiated the Court's regressive interpretation of Title VII, President George H.W. Bush vetoed the legislation, calling it a "quota bill."

Full Story: http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_enduring_relevance_of_affirmative_action

Gaslight: Proving Institutionalized Racism

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Dr. Robin Lee Hughes, July 25, 2010

In a recent talk, I stated that institutional and structural racist systems of opportunity and privilege still exist in the academy. Noticing the pushback — furrowed brows looked like neon signs plastered on folks’ foreheads — I engaged them in a conversation that went something as follows:
Search committees talk about the difficulty they face when trying to “find” faculty of color. When we hear this excuse, some of my colleagues and I share similar responses, “You ain’t looking.” There are more than a few of us around and I would argue that you may not be knocking at the right door. Also, when you folks knock, the universities may be creating a wide chasm. Sometimes, the potential faculty is met at that door with the question “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” And, at the other end of the chasm, “Sorry we already have one.” While some institutions have made significant changes, overall the number of faculty of color on most campuses is still relatively low.

Full Story: http://diverseeducation.com/blogpost/285/gaslight-proving-institutionalized-racism.html

Monday, August 16, 2010

Worker Can Pursue Pregnancy Bias, ADA Claims for Transfer

Workforce Management
August 13, 2010
Filed by Judy Greenwald of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

After Heather Spees’ doctor said she needed bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy, she was terminated and told the reason was ‘for being pregnant,’ according to the opinion.

A pregnant welder who was transferred from her job can pursue pregnancy discrimination and Americans with Disabilities Act claims, a divided federal appeals court has ruled in largely overturning a lower court decision.
However, a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld the lower court’s ruling in Heather Spees v. James Marine Inc. and JamesBuilt L.L.C. that dismissed Spees’ claim that her subsequent termination also constituted pregnancy discrimination.
According to the 2-1 ruling Tuesday, August 10, Spees was hired in 2007 to work as a welder at Paducah, Kentucky-based JMI’s JamesBuilt facility, which focuses largely on building deck and tank barges, towboats and dry docks for the river-shipping industry. At the time, only four of JMI’s 935 nonoffice positions were female and Spees was the only female assigned to the JamesBuilt facility.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/section/00/article/27/30/48.php


US Senator Robert Menendez

Minorities represent 14.5% of corporate boards; women 18%. One of most successful corporate diversity surveys ever -- 219 of Fortune 500 responded; 71 of Fortune 100.
August 4, 2010
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Democratic Task Force and the lone Hispanic Senator, today unveiled the results of his survey on women and minority representation among the senior management of Fortune 500 companies, as well as their use of minority and women-owned businesses in the contracting and procurement process. The survey found that women and minority representation on corporate boards continues to lag far behind the national population percentages. Menendez's survey was one of the most successful of its kind, garnering input from 219 corporations on the Fortune 500 list and 71 on the Fortune 100 list.
The study found minorities to represent a total of 14.5% of directors on corporate boards and overall have less representation on executive teams than they do on corporate boards. Hispanics are least proportionately represented on boards and fared even worse on executive teams. They comprise 3.28% of board members and and 2.90% on executive teams, about one-fifth of the 15% they represent in the U.S. population. Among minority groups, African Americans have the highest representation on boards compared to their population, but saw greatest decline in representation from boards to executive management teams, from 8.77% to 4.23%. Women on the other hand fared better on executive teams than on corporate boards, with 18.04% and 19.87% of representation respectively, but these figures still represent less than one-half of their proportion of the national population.
Senator Menendez and others also offered concrete recommendations, including the creation of a task force with select corporations, executive search firms, board members, and other experts to help companies move in this direction.
“As Chair of the Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force, one of my top priorities has always been promoting and expanding diversity at all levels of our economic, political and social sectors, and the basic understanding that has resulted from this survey will help guide us in doing so," said Senator Menendez. "This report clearly confirms what we had suspected all along – that American corporations need to do better when it comes to having the board rooms on Wall Street reflect the reality on Main Street. We need to change the dynamic and make it commonplace for minorities to be part of the American corporate structure. It is not just about doing what’s right, but it’s a good business decision that will benefit both corporations and the communities they’re tapping into and making investments in. That’s why I’m offering my recommendations and to work one-on-one with companies who want to move those numbers and company executives who want to make a difference in the community.”
“At the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) as an organization that represents more than 200 local Hispanic Chambers across the United States, and speaks for 3 million small and minority-owned businesses throughout the nation, we believe that embracing diversity is not just the right thing to do, but is a smart business decision. To us, diversity is not an abstract concept – we measure success by the qualified Hispanic employees hired, developed, advanced and flourishing with their corporate employers and we applaud Senator Menendez’s leadership in holding corporate America accountable to their commitments to diversity.” Said Javier Palomarez, President & CEO of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“A diverse workforce is critical to providing the best service to our global clients, supporting our business initiatives and creating a workplace environment that promotes respect and fairness,” said Jose Manuel Souto, Chief Financial Officer for Visa in Latin America.

REMINDER: OFCCP Seeks Input on Section 503 Regulatory Changes

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

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is seeking input from the public on ways to strengthen its regulations requiring federal contractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities. In an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to be published in the Federal Register July 23, the agency invites the public to help revise the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Topics on which comment is requested include:
What employment practices have been effective in recruiting, hiring, advancing and retaining qualified individuals with disabilities.
What data are available that could be used to establish hiring goals and conduct utilization analyses of individuals with disabilities.
How linkage agreements between federal contractors and organizations that focus on the employment of qualified individuals with disabilities can be strengthened to increase effectiveness.
The deadline for receiving comments is Sept. 21, 2010
Read the News Release
Read the ANPRM or submit a comment in the Federal eRulemaking Portal
Frequently Asked Questions on this rulemaking process


ODEP: Now Available — Reports on Affirmative Action for People with Disabilities and Disabled Veterans in the Federal Contractor Sector

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

As part of its mission, ODEP contracted with Economic Systems Inc. to assess existing affirmative action policies applicable to people with disabilities and disabled veterans. Specifically, the policies set out in the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503) and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) were evaluated to determine whether and how Federal contractor affirmative action programs might be modernized as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce barriers to employment and eliminate earnings gaps.
The researchers produced two reports:
Volume I: Data Sources and Models
Volume II: Modernizing Affirmative Action
Review the researcher’s findings and conclusions (under “Affirmative Action”)

AAAA Comment: Amending the Section 503 Regulations to make disability affirmative action programs more comparable to the Executive Order 11246 programs will have major record keeping and other implications for employers. This report and the OFCCP's Advance Notice of Proposed Rule making should be read and comments should be filed with the Department of Labor.

Elmer W. Davis To Pay $1 Million To Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Lawsuit

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Roofing Company Charged with Racial Harassment, Discriminatory Job Assignments, and Failure to Promote African-American Employees

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Elmer W. Davis, Inc., the largest commercial roofing contractor in New York State and one of the top 40 largest commercial roofing contractors in the United States, will pay $1 million to African-American employees to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. This is the largest EEOC settlement ever in Rochester.
The EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 07-CV-06434), filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York in Rochester in 2007, charged that black employees at Elmer Davis were subjected to a pattern of race discrimination, including harassment, unfair work assignments, failure to be promoted, and retaliation for complaining about discrimination from at least 1993 through the present.
According to dozens of African-American employees, they were constantly subjected to racial slurs by their white foremen. Blacks were routinely referred to as “n----r,” “lazy n-----rs,” “sambo,” “slave,” and “monkey.” Foremen also frequently made comments like, “All n----rs should get on a boat and go back to Africa.” They were also exposed to nooses and racially offensive graffiti like “dirty n----r,” “KKK” and swastikas written on the walls of the portable toilets at work sites.
The lawsuit also charged the roofing company with subjecting African-American employees to disparate treatment in job assignments, claiming that it generally reserved the most difficult, dirty and less desirable jobs for black workers, including “tear off” and “hot tar” jobs, often referred to as the “bull work,” while whites were assigned to detail work and service trucks to conduct repairs.
African-American employees were routinely laid off first at the end of the roofing season and called back last in the beginning of the following season, while whites were laid off later and called back earlier.
The EEOC further charged that the company systematically excluded black employees from promotion opportunities, which it accomplished by using a subjective system of promotions without job announcements or an application process, and actively discouraging black employees from seeking promotions.
The EEOC alleged that Elmer Davis’s conduct violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The case was investigated by the Buffalo Local Office of the EEOC before it proceeded to court.
Elmer Davis will be bound by a five-year consent decree which, in addition to the $1 Million monetary relief for the victims of discrimination, enjoins the company from engaging in further race discrimination or retaliation. The decree requires Elmer Davis to hire an EEO Coordinator to provide training, monitor race discrimination complaints, and report to the EEOC on hiring, layoff and promotion. The decree has been submitted to U. S. District Court Judge Siragusa for approval.
“This settlement marks the end of decades of ugly and unlawful discrimination against African-American employees at Elmer Davis,” said Spencer Lewis, district director for the EEOC’s New York District Office. “No employee should have to endure slurs and other harassment in order to do his job. The EEOC will remain vigilant to protect workers from these types of abuses.”
Trial Attorney Judith Biltekoff added, “This consent decree will not only right the wrongs perpetrated against the African-American employees at Elmer Davis, but also promote a race-neutral work environment for all employees going forward.”
The EEOC has a fact sheet on race discrimination available on its website at http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-race.html.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.


EEOC Gets "Cheaters" To Change Ways In Settling Sex Harassment Suit

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release 8/10/10

Owner and President of Randy TV Show Subjected Two Women to a Sexually Hostile Work Environment, Federal Agency Charged

DALLAS – The companies that own and produce the Dallas-based “Cheaters” television show have paid $50,000 and will furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and two female claimants, the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against Bobby Goldstein Productions, Inc., and Cheaters II, Ltd. (Civil Action No. 3:08-CV-1912-P), two female office assistants were subjected to sexually explicit remarks and unwelcome touching from the companies’ owner and upper management staff for the duration of their employment. The EEOC said that this behavior included frequent comments and jokes of a sexual nature, propositions for sex, and unwanted aggressive physical advances. The EEOC further charged that there was no effective outlet for complaints about the behavior because members of upper management were participants in the harassment, and there was no employee handbook or policy explaining the procedure for reporting inappropriate workplace conduct at the time of the complainants’ employment.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and retaliation for complaining about discrimination. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
“This is a good outcome for all parties, and it is our hope that these very real and substantive changes to the companies’ policy will make this a positive and comfortable environment for all employees, male and female,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Meaghan Shepard.
The two-year consent decree notes that the two claimants have received $50,000 in settlement of their claims against the companies. The decree requires the companies to supplement the employee handbook to include an alternate avenue for making complaints where an employee is uncomfortable reporting conduct through the internal process. The companies will also provide annual anti-sexual harassment training to all employees (including managers) for the duration of the agreement, post a notice of non-discrimination on employee bulletin boards, and notify the EEOC each time they receive a complaint of sexual harassment from one of their employees during the term of the agreement.
“Just because the creator of Cheaters promotes a TV show business which thrives on featuring sexual transgressions, it is no justification for engaging in sexual improprieties which violate the employment rights of his female employees behind the scenes,” said Regional Attorney Robert A. Canino of the EEOC’s Dallas District Office. “We considered this to be the prime time for a re-write of Cheaters’ employment practices to make them consistent with federal law.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


New rules may help women-owned firms get federal contracts

The guidelines aimed at getting women-owned businesses the minimum 5% of government contracts initially mandated in 1994 will focus on 83 industries, including residential construction.

By Cyndia Zwahlen
August 16, 2010

In 1994, Congress passed a law requiring that a minimum of 5% of the money spent on government contracts go to the nation's businesses that are majority-owned by women.That was great news for women who believed they had never received a fair share of those contracts.But the government didn't reach that mandated goal, and six years later Congress passed the Equity in Contracting for Women Act to give women-owned businesses more traction getting federal contracts.That program was never implemented. Disagreements, including a lawsuit, held it up, and advocates for the businesses accused federal officials of foot-dragging. The closest the government ever came to meeting the goal was 3.4% in fiscal 2008. Recently, however, there was new hope that the full 5% could finally become a reality. New rules for a Small Business Administration program to get contracts to women-owned businesses are going through final review by the agency.Karen Mills, head of the SBA, told a congressional committee last month that it's almost ready to go live.

Full Story: latimes.com/business/la-fi-smallbiz-women-20100816,0,6954880.story

Friday, August 13, 2010

“Stray Remarks” Showing Discriminatory Attitudes in the Workplace Can Be Important Evidence of Employer Discrimination

Workplace Fairness Blog
Today's Workplace
August 12th, 2010 Patrick R. Kitchin

On August 5, 2010, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision concerning the type of evidence a worker can rely upon to prove an employer discriminated against him or her. The Court’s decision concerns the so-called “stray remarks doctrine.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor coined the term in a 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision, writing that “stray remarks” made by “non-decisionmaking coworkers or remarks made by decisionmaking supervisors outside of the decisional process” are insufficient evidence of an employer’s discriminatory attitude. Without additional evidence of discrimination, she wrote, a gender discrimination claim can be and should be dismissed by the court before trial.
In Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins (1989) 490 U.S. 228, the worker presented evidence that a partner of the firm told her to “walk more femininely,” “talk more femininely,” “dress more femininely,” “wear make-up,” “have her hair styled,” and “wear jewelry” to improve her chances for partnership. Justice O’Connor concluded that though such “stray remarks” might constitute evidence of a discriminatory attitude in the workplace, they are not sufficient evidence of discrimination on their own. When combined with more direct kinds of evidence of discrimination, however, stray remarks evidence can tend to support a discrimination claim.
Since 1989, some federal courts have expanded the stay remarks doctrine substantially.

Full Story: http://www.todaysworkplace.org/2010/08/12/%E2%80%9Cstay-remarks%E2%80%9D-showing-discriminatory-attitudes-in-the-workplace-can-be-important-evidence-of-employer-discrimination/

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Warning: Racism Is Bad for Your Health

By Elizabeth Page-Gould, Greater Good
Posted on August 11, 2010,
Printed on August 12, 2010

Note: This month, Beacon Press is publishing the latest Greater Good anthology, Are We Born Racist? New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology. To coincide with its release, Greater Good featured a sneak peak at some of the contributions to the book, including this provocative essay by psychologist Elizabeth Page-Gould. To learn more about Are We Born Racist?, click here.

When we think about the victims of racism, we typically think of the immediate targets of racial prejudice: Those who have suffered at the hand of discrimination and oppression. But new research has identified another, unlikely group of victims: the racists themselves.
In the urban metropolises of the United States and Canada, it is almost impossible to avoid talking to someone of another race. So imagine the toll it would take if every time you did, your body responded with an acute stress reaction: You experience a surge in stress hormones, and your heart pumps harder while your blood vessels constrict, inhibiting the flow of blood to your limbs and brain.
These types of bodily reactions are helpful in truly dangerous situations, but a number of recent studies have found that racially prejudiced people experience them even during benign social interactions with people of different races. This means that just navigating the supermarket, coffee shop, or modern workplace can be stressful for them. And if the racist person then has to go through this every single day, the repeated stress can become a chronic problem, which places them at heightened risk for disease in later life.
Harboring prejudice, it seems, may be bad for your health.
Challenge vs. threatThe human body is incredibly adaptive to stressful situations. But our nervous system reacts very differently to stressful situations we perceive as challenges than to those we see as threats. It’s a distinction that, in the long run, could mean the difference between life and death for people with racial prejudices.
Challenges incite a sequence of physiological responses that send more blood to our muscles and brains, enhancing our physical and cognitive performance. Threats, on the other hand, set off a physiological response that restricts our blood flow and releases the hormone cortisol, which breaks down muscle tissue and halts digestive processes so that the body can quickly muster the energy it needs to confront the threat. Over time, these responses wear down muscles, including the heart, and damage the immune system.

Full Story:http://www.alternet.org/story/147814/warning%3A_racism_is_bad_for_your_health

IUPUI Minority Students Pressure School to Improve Diversity Outreach

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Lekan Oguntoyinbo , August 12, 2010

It was the kind of crisis most universities dread.
In November 2006, a group of minority student leaders at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis threatened to sue the university if administrators did not heed demands that included providing more funding for multicultural student groups.
In a letter to university administrators, the leader of the university’s Black Student Union also appealed for the hiring of more African-American faculty and administrators. The demands came on the heels of several concerns expressed by minority students, including the fact that they did not feel welcome on campus and that requests for excursions by Black student groups were often rejected.

Full Story: http://diverseeducation.com/article/14033/iupui-minority-students-pressure-school-to-improve-diversity-outreach.html

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reports Reveal Colleges with the Biggest, Smallest Gaps in Minority Graduation Rates in the U.S.

The Education Trust
Press Release

Contact info:
Lauren Stephens, 202.293.1217 x. 373
Publication date: August 9 2010

WASHINGTON (August 9, 2010) – Two reports released today by The Education Trust“Big Gaps, Small Gaps: Some Colleges and Universities Do Better Than Others in Graduating African-American Students” and “Big Gaps, Small Gaps: Some Colleges and Universities Do Better Than Others in Graduating Hispanic Students”—dig beneath national college-graduation averages and examine disaggregated six-year graduation rates at hundreds of the nation’s public and private institutions.
Even though 57 percent of all students who enroll earn diplomas within six years, the graduation rates for different groups of students are vastly different. Nationally, 60 percent of whites but only 49 percent of Latinos and 40 percent of African Americans who start college hold bachelor’s degrees six years later.
“These averages mask important differences between institutions,” said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust. “Graduation rates at individual institutions tell a range of stories—some of smashing success—which should be studied deeply and replicated widely. Unfortunately, there are others of shocking irresponsibility. The lesson of all of these stories is: What colleges do for students of color powerfully impacts the futures of these young people and that of our nation.”
Using several years of data from College Results Online—a unique Web-based tool that allows the public to view college graduation rates by race, ethnicity, and gender for four-year institutions across the country—these reports highlight institutions that are doing well and expose those that are missing the mark on graduation equity, some of them by miles:
At Wayne State University in Detroit, for example, fewer than one in ten African Americans graduate within six years. For white students at Wayne State, the success rate is more than four times higher.
The success rate among Hispanic students attending City University of New York’s Brooklyn College is 34 percent, compared with a 53 percent graduation rate for white students.
These colleges are hardly alone.
At nearly two-thirds of the colleges and universities in the study, fewer than half the African-American students emerge with a degree.
And though the vast majority of Latino students in the study entrust their futures to public colleges and universities, more than 60 percent of the institutions they attend graduate fewer than half their Latino students in six years.
“We did uncover some large gaps in student success rates and low graduation rates for students of color. But it would be wrong to assume that these gaps are inevitable or immutable,” said Mamie Lynch, higher education research and policy analyst at The Education Trust and coauthor of the report. “For many of the ‘big gap’ schools, we can point to an institution working with a similar student body that graduates students of color at rates similar to those of white students.”
As examples of more successful colleges, Lynch points to such schools as these:
Old Dominion University in Virginia, where African Americans make up almost a quarter of the student population and have historically graduated at rates equal to white students. In 2008, 56 percent of African Americans at the university graduated in six years or less, exceeding the national average graduation rate for black students.
Florida International University (FIU), where nearly two-thirds of all students are Hispanic. Completion rates among Hispanic students at FIU have outpaced those among white students in each of the past seven years.
University of California, Riverside (UCR), which successfully graduates black, Latino, and white students. Because of its focus on data, strong leadership, and retention efforts carried out by each of the university’s colleges, the university can boast 63 percent and 67 percent graduation rates for Latino and African-American students, respectively. The success rate for white students at UCR is 62 percent.
The new reports demonstrate that similarities between schools do not necessarily result in similarities in minority graduation rates. At peer institutions—schools with comparable institutional and student characteristics—the gaps for minority student groups run the gamut from abysmal to exemplary.
At the University of Illinois at Chicago, a 22 percentage-point gap in success rates separates white and African-American students, who graduate at 52 percent and 30 percent, respectively. But at a peer institution, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, the graduation rates among black students are dramatically different. On average, 56 percent of African-American students at UNC-Greensboro graduate within six years, compared with 51 percent of white students. UNC-Greensboro Vice Provost Alan Boyette attributes the university’s equitable graduation rates to three guiding principles: (1) Student success is a part of the school’s mission, (2) the cost-effectiveness of helping students graduate rather than recruiting new students, and (3) the University of North Carolina’s systemwide focus on student retention and graduation goals.
The programs tied to UNC-Greensboro’s goals are available to all students, but many are targeted at minority and underserved populations. The programs aren’t there as showpieces. To the contrary, the university provost relies heavily on data to determine the success or failure of the programs. Those that don’t work are discontinued, and those that do are expanded.
“Higher education institutions that place success at the heart of their mission make it a realistic goal for every student,” said Jennifer Engle, assistant director of higher education at The Education Trust and coauthor of the report. “For both moral and economic reasons, colleges need to ensure that their institutions work better for all of the students they serve.”
For more information about American public colleges and universities making the biggest gains in closing gaps that separate students, read two other Ed Trust briefs, “Top Gainers and Top Gap Closers.”
# # #


Monday, August 9, 2010

ABA’s First Hispanic-American President Seeks to Preserve Justice System, Make Civics a Priority

Posted Aug 9, 2010 7:03 PM CDT
By Edward A. Adams

Florida attorney Stephen N. Zack has become the first Hispanic American to head the world’s largest voluntary professional association. He is the administrative partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner’s Miami office. His one-year term as ABA President officially begins Tuesday, at the conclusion of the annual meeting.
Zack, the son of a Cuban mother and a father whose roots were in Russia, is fluent in Spanish and spent his childhood in Cuba. His family fled the Castro regime and settled in Miami.
“As a 14-year-old in 1961, when I was fleeing Cuba with my family, and we were taken off a plane by the G2—the Cuban equivalent of the KGB—and put in a cell, the last thing I could have imagined was a day like today,” Zack told the ABA’s 561-member House of Delegates.
Zack outlined four priorities for his one-year term. First is the preservation of the justice system. “When I was 14 in Cuba, the first knowledge we had that we would lose our liberty was the attacks on the judiciary," he said. "We today are under the same attack against our justice system. We are fighting to establish the rule of law around the world, and we are in danger of losing it here in the United States.”

Full Story: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/abas_first_hispanic_american_president_seeks_to_preserve_justice_system/