Friday, October 29, 2010

Anxious About Tuesday

Inside Higher Ed
October 29, 2010
Higher education officials in some states are on tenterhooks about next week’s midterm elections, when voters will decide whether to infuse some much-needed cash into colleges and universities -- or, in some cases, to make it harder for states to do so.
Several of the 160 ballot initiatives to be voted on nationwide will affect colleges and universities. The public has generally backed spending on higher education in recent elections, approving ballot measures that funded bonds for colleges and maintained income taxes. Similar measures this year in states such as Alaska, Colorado and Massachusetts could maintain or cut current state funding, or give colleges a boost they say is crucial.
But heavy anti-tax campaigning and the anticipated record turnout of voters who characterize themselves as conservatives -- including a mobilized, anti-tax Tea Party -- have some college officials concerned that the climate for such measures is far from ideal.
Among other ballot measures with implications for higher education, one in Arizona -- where educators are still reeling from the controversial immigration law – could (after other failed attempts) make the state the fifth to ban affirmative action in college admissions and employment (more on that below).

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Colors of Great Recession: Black, Brown and Pink (Slips)

Florida Center for Investigative Reporting
Published on October 28, 2010.
By Ralph De La Cruz
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Among the first things to go when times get tough are good intentions.
For almost two decades, American companies worked to bring under-represented Hispanic and black workers into their workplaces. With labels like, “Our commitment top diversity,” they told us that it made economic sense to have the workforce reflect the population. Particularly in a nation where minorities are heading toward majority status.
Then came one big, bad recession and … well, have you noticed you don’t hear much about affirmative action anymore? Or how blacks, Latinos and women are moving up at the expense of white men? There are no big make-a-statement state initiatives about banning race as a consideration for hiring.

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ASA voices opposition to Prop 107
By Cale Ottens October 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Student leaders from the Arizona Students’ Association have banded together to resist a measure on Tuesday’s ballot that will put a ban on state affirmative action programs.
ASA, a lobbying group representing students from ASU, NAU and UA, hosted a press conference Wednesday in Tempe’s Memorial Union to voice their opposition to Proposition 107.
The Arizona Civil Rights Initiative, or Proposition 107, is intended to stop racial discrimination in Arizona.
The proposed amendment would put a stop to affirmative action programs within the state.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Affirmative action no longer needed

The Arizona Republic
Oct. 26, 2010 12:00 AM

Affirmative action wasn't meant to be a perpetual-motion machine. The policy served an important purpose, making up for missing opportunities in education and the workplace. But over time, the drawbacks have come to outweigh the advantages.
Voters should pull the plug. They should approve Proposition 107, which would amend the Arizona Constitution to ban affirmative-action programs in public employment, public education or public contracting.

Read more:

Affirmative Action for Men

Inside Higher Ed
March 27, 2006

When admissions officers gather to create a freshman class, there is a large elephant in the room, wrote Jennifer Delahunty Britz, in The New York Times last week: the desire to minimize gender imbalance in their classes. Britz, the admissions dean at Kenyon College, wrote that her institution gets far more applications from women than from men and that, as a result, men are "more valued applicants." Britz discussed a female candidate who was considered borderline by the Kenyon team but who -- had she been a he -- would have been admitted without hesitation.

Why is it important to favor male applicants? "Beyond the availability of dance partners for the winter formal, gender balance matters in ways both large and small on a residential college campus. Once you become decidedly female in enrollment, fewer males and, as it turns out, fewer females find your campus attractive," Britz wrote.

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Gender Gap at Flagships

Inside Higher Ed
June 3, 2005

For about a decade now, educators have been noticing -- and worrying about -- a growing gender gap among college students, 57 percent of whom are female.
Among high-school seniors, women are more likely to have the ambition to go to college, to enroll, and then to do well, according to Education Department data. But much of the attention of those concerned about these figures has focused on subsets of the undergraduate population where the gender gap showed up most quickly and most dramatically.
Community colleges have reported severe gender gaps for years, which is consistent with studies showing that the gap in college-going rates is greatest among low-income students. The gender gap is quite large among black students, leading to significant gender gaps at historically black colleges, and in black enrollments at other institutions. And liberal arts colleges have struggled with the issue for years, with all sorts of theories about why men prefer to go elsewhere.

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To All the Girls I've Rejected

The New York Times
Published: March 23, 2006

A FEW days ago I watched my daughter Madalyn open a thin envelope from one of the five colleges to which she had applied. "Why?" was what she was obviously asking herself as she handed me the letter saying she was waitlisted.
Why, indeed? She had taken the toughest courses in her high school and had done well, sat through several Saturday mornings taking SAT's and the like, participated in the requisite number of extracurricular activities, written a heartfelt and well-phrased essay and even taken the extra step of touring the campus.
She had not, however, been named a National Merit finalist, dug a well for a village in Africa, or climbed to the top of Mount Rainier. She is a smart, well-meaning, hard-working teenage girl, but in this day and age of swollen applicant pools that are decidedly female, that wasn't enough. The fat acceptance envelope is simply more elusive for today's accomplished young women.

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Bethune-Cookman Defends Dismissals of Professors Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Jamaal Abdul-Alim , October 27, 2010

Dr. Clanton Dawson, professor of religion and philosophy at Bethune-Cookman University, was in the middle of giving a lecture in the school’s Mary McLeod Bethune Fine Arts building more than a year ago when a student suddenly broke down and started crying.
“I go to her. I ask if she’s OK,” Dawson recalled during an interview Tuesday. “She said ‘yeah,’ but asked to speak with me after class.”
The conversation that Dawson says followed that fateful day is one of several that set off a chain of events that would ultimately lead to the controversial dismissal in spring 2009 of four faculty members who allegedly coerced female students into trading sex for grades.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Feds Investigate Treatment of Minorities in Toledo Schools

Education Week
Published Online: October 26, 2010
By Christopher D. Kirkpatrick, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio

The U.S. Department of Education confirmed Monday it's investigating whether Toledo Public Schools distributes its resources in a fair way to black students for career development and college preparation.
Several groups of parents, alleging discrimination against black students, filed a complaint early last year with the federal agency's Office for Civil Rights in Cleveland.

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Bullying Based on Sexual Orientation May Violate Civil Rights, Ed. Dept. Warns

Education Week
By Alyson Klein on October 26, 2010 6:01 AM
By guest blogger Christina A. Samuels

Certain types of harassment rooted in sexual orientation or religious differences may be a federal civil rights violation, even though members of those groups are not specifically protected in federal law, according to new guidance released today by the U.S. Department of Education's office of civil rights.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin; Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibit discrimination based on disability status. Many local districts and schools have anti-bullying and harassment policies that go beyond those protected groups, said Russlyn H. Ali, the department's assistant secretary for civil rights.

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Obama Labor Dept. Stresses Law Enforcement—Big Change from Bush Era

by James Parks, Oct 25, 2010

The U.S. Labor Department is committed to stronger enforcement of labor laws and is determined to reverse a “culture of noncompliance’’ that developed during the anti-worker years of the Bush administration, Labor Solicitor Patricia Smith said.
Smith told a labor law conference at Suffolk University Law School last week that the Bush administration emphasized voluntary compliance by employers while investigations and enforcement of labor laws declined, according to the Daily Labor Report (subscription required).
They relied on trickle-down enforcement; it doesn’t work any better than trickle-down economics. [As a result of reduced enforcement] many employers developed a “catch-me-if-you-can” attitude. Our challenge is to change that attitude.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Supremely Bad Judgment

The New York Times
Published: October 23, 2010

In the wacky coda to one of the most searing chapters in American history, everyone remained true to form.
Anita Hill reacted with starchy disgust.
Ginni Thomas came across like a spiritually addled nut.
Clarence Thomas was mute, no doubt privately raging about the trouble women have caused him.
And now into the circus comes Lillian McEwen, an old girlfriend of Thomas’s.

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USCIS Issues New Manuals on E-Verify

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency (USCIS) has issued three new manuals on the E-Verify program. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. Federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts containing the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify Clause are required to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility status of their employees. The penalties for contractors that don’t comply can range from monetary fines to contractor debarment. The rule for federal contractors became effective on September 8, 2009. A list of contractors who use E-Verify is maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. See the list at:

The E-Verify Users Manual for Contractors may be found by clicking here:

OFCCP's Director Talks about FY '11 Budget in Video

OFCCP's Director Patricia A. Shiu discusses the Fiscal Year 2011 budget and her priorities for the coming year in a video located on the OFCCP website. In the video, Director Shiu says, the 2011 budget request is for $113 million. The request will make it possible to maintain the 2010 staffing levels. The agency will broaden its enforcement efforts, renew its commitment to strengthen affirmative action and enforcement on behalf of women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities. The program will also focus on individual cases of harassment, retaliation, termination and failure to promote. OFCCP will increase monitoring of contractor self audits and will renew its emphasis on construction reviews as well. The Secretary's vision of "good jobs for everyone" will mean that the agency will enforce the laws with the goal of protecting workers, the nation's "most important asset."

To view the video, go to:

The Redwoods In Yosemite To Pay $165,000 For Harassment And Discrimination Against Latinos

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Latino Housekeepers and a Non-Latino Manager Who Defended Them Forced Out by Operations Manager Who Complained That Mexicans Gave Him a Headache, Says EEOC

FRESNO – A vacation home rental management company in Yosemite National Park will pay $165,000 and furnish injunctive relief to settle a national origin discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit against Wawona Property Management, Inc., doing business as The Redwoods in Yosemite, seven Latino employees were targeted for harassment, discipline, heightened scrutiny, and eventual termination by an operations manager who favored non-Latino staff. The EEOC also obtained relief on behalf of the general manager, who was suspended and fired after reporting the discriminatory conduct to the board of directors.
According to the EEOC, the victims were longtime seasonal employees of Mexican and Salvadoran descent, who worked in the housekeeping and maintenance departments since as far back as 1997. In November 2006, the company hired a new operations manager who expressed a disdain for the Latino employees early on, allegedly stating that “Mexicans had given [him] a headache” and that he did not like people of color.
The operations manager verbally abused and formally disciplined Latino staff for alleged infractions such as taking coffee breaks and failing cleaning inspections. The EEOC contends that two Latino housekeepers were disciplined after calling in absences due to the sudden hospitalization of their son, while non-Latino employees who violated company policies were promoted. When the general manager raised the concerns of the Latino claimants to the company’s board of directors, the general manager was suspended and ultimately terminated. Thereafter, the operations manager forced the Latino claimants to quit due to his hostility towards them, the EEOC said.
The EEOC filed suit against Wawona in September 2009 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Wawona Property Management, Inc. dba The Redwoods in Yosemite, Case No. 1:09-CV-016903 LJO-SKO), asserting that the national origin harassment, discrimination and retaliation were in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This settlement is a first for the EEOC in California’s national parks.
The parties entered into a three-year consent decree in which Wawona agreed to revise its policies and procedures with respect to discrimination, harassment, retaliation and employee evaluations. The company further agreed to contract an equal employment opportunity consultant; periodically provide live anti-discrimination training to all employees in both English and Spanish, with additional training for managerial staff on how to properly handle complaints of discrimination and harassment in a neutral manner; track and report potential violations of Title VII; and display a posting on the matter.
“No matter how remote a place may seem, the EEOC aims to serve all workers who may be victims of unlawful discrimination,” said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office. “Notwithstanding, the EEOC is pleased that Wawona is taking measures to rectify the situation and prevent future incidents of discrimination from occurring.”
Melissa Barrios, local director of the EEOC’s Fresno Local Office, said, “Workers should be able to come forward about discrimination they may be experiencing without fear that actions will be taken against them. Employers who engage in such illegal retaliation can and will be held accountable by the EEOC.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at

EEOC Public Meeting Explores the Use of Credit Histories as Employee Selection Criteria

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Growing Practice Can Have Disparate Impact on African-Americans, Latinos; Are Not Predictive of Job Performance, Some Witnesses Say

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public Commission meeting today to hear testimony from representatives of various stakeholder groups as well as social scientists and the Federal Trade Commission on the growing use of credit histories as selection criteria in employment.
“High unemployment has forced an increasing number of people to enter or re-enter the job market,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “As a result, an ever increasing number of job applicants and workers are being exposed to employment screening tools, such as credit checks, that could unfairly exclude them from job opportunities. Today’s discussion provided important input into our agency’s work to ensure that the workplace is made free of all barriers to equal opportunity.”
The Commission heard from a diverse set of experts. Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) expressed grave concerns that the use of credit histories is mushrooming at the time of economic instability for many Americans, noting that the use of credit histories “create[s] a fundamental ‘Catch-22’ for job applicants,” especially during this period of high unemployment and high foreclosures, both of which have a negative impact on credit.” She observed, “You can’t re-establish your credit if you can’t get a job, and you can’t get a job if you’ve got bad credit.” This view was echoed by several of the witnesses.
Sarah Crawford of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever from the National Council of Negro Women, explained that the use of credit histories in the employment context can have a disparate impact on a range of protected groups, including people of color, women, and people with disabilities. While the use of credit checks as employment screens increases, Crawford cited studies that show credit history is a poor predictor of job performance. Additionally, she pointed out that many credit reports are riddled with errors or incomplete information, a view that was echoed by Wu of the NCLC, making whatever predictive value they might have even less reliable.
Representatives from the business community—Michael Eastman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Christine V. Walters of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and Pamela Quigley Devata of the law firm Seyfarth Shaw, LLP—told the Commission that the use of credit histories is permissible by law, limited in scope, and predictive in certain situations of reliability.
Walters of SHRM said that “13 percent of organizations conduct credit checks on all job candidates … [and] another 47 percent … consider credit history … for select jobs,” but for those employers, “credit histories are but one piece of the puzzle.” It is the experience of SHRM member companies that very few utilize credit histories for every single job opening. Devata asserted that the use of credit histories is driven, in part, by the need for background information on potential employees in a current environment when it is difficult to obtain any but the most basic information in job references.
However, Dr. Michael Aamodt, an industrial psychologist, said that although there is considerable research that supports the use of credit scores in making consumer decisions, there is little research exploring the implications of using credit checks in the employment context. Given the potential for discriminatory exclusion, he concluded that it would be wise to use an applicant’s credit history only within the context of a thorough background check.
This meeting is one of several throughout the year that will examine barriers to employment and their potential adverse impact on protected groups. The statements of all the panelists, along with their biographies, can be found on the EEOC’s website at A complete transcript of the testimony will be posted later.
The EEOC enforces the nation’s laws against employment discrimination. More information is available on the Commission’s website at

EEOC Chair Statement on Death of Paul Miller

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

WASHINGTON - I was deeply saddened on Tuesday to learn of the passing of my law school classmate and former EEOC Commissioner Paul Steven Miller. Commissioner Miller was first nominated by President Clinton in May 1994 and served the EEOC -- and ultimately, the nation -- with great distinction until 2004.
Among many achievements during his tenure, Commissioner Miller helped to lead the agency’s efforts to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), visited every state in the Union to meet with the EEOC’s stakeholders, and created the alternative dispute resolution program for settling discrimination claims out of court. He also represented the EEOC internationally, and long before there was a Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), Paul Miller was a proponent of protections against discrimination on the basis of family medical history or genetic information. In July, 2010, Miller was honored for his contributions to the EEOC and work on behalf of people with disabilities during the EEOC's 20th Anniversary Celebration of the ADA.
After leaving the EEOC, Commissioner Miller joined the faculty of the University Of Washington School Of Law. He returned to Washington, D.C. to assist with President Obama's transition and work in the White House in 2009.
Commissioner Miller is survived by his wife, Jennifer Mechem, their daughters Naomi and Delia Mechem-Miller, two sisters, and a host of friends and colleagues, including those of us at the EEOC. He will be greatly missed.
Picture: EEOC

Affirmative Action in Brazil

Americas Quarterly
by Amy Erica Smith

Affirmative action programs have spread rapidly across Brazil’s higher education institutions. Afro-Brazilians seeking a university education now have access to opportunities that were unreachable just decades ago.
In fact, a recent study by the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro found that 70 percent of Brazil’s public universities—both federal and state—have adopted some form of affirmative action. This comes despite the fact that federal legislation for university-based affirmative action has yet to be passed. But the programs continue to be deeply controversial. Opponents argue that affirmative action may unfairly disadvantage non-targeted groups and that it politicizes race in ways that are distinctly un-Brazilian.
But outside of the media limelight, what does the average Brazilian think? New data from the 2010 round of the AmericasBarometer surveys by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) provide a window on ordinary Brazilians’ views.

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Delaware State University settles lawsuit on Title IX

School to expand women's sports, recruiting
The News Journal

WILMINGTON -- Delaware State University has settled a class-action lawsuit that charged it was in violation of a federal law requiring gender equity in varsity sports.
As a result, the Dover university now plans to significantly increase its spending on women's sports and recruiting to bring the levels of female participation in athletics up to the federal standard.
The lawsuit, which had been filed by members of DSU's female equestrian team after the school announced it would be cutting their program for financial reasons, had been set to go to trial in U.S. District Court on Monday. But the two sides reached an agreement, details of which were not released until late Thursday.

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The rising tides of xenophobia

The Boston Globe
By James Carroll October 25, 2010

‘THE APPROACH [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side by side and to enjoy each other . . . has failed, utterly failed.’’ This statement at a political rally last week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel was greeted by a standing ovation from her listeners. She was speaking of how Germany’s immigrant population, mainly Turks, remains socially marginal. Using “we’’ to refer to the nation’s majority population, she continued, “We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don’t accept them don’t have a place here.’’
Hello? The 5 million Muslims living in Germany were on notice, but Merkel’s remarks reverberated across the continent — and the ocean. On both sides of the Atlantic, a rising tide of xenophobic hostility toward immigrants is threatening to swamp the foundation of liberal democracy. As if out of nowhere, American politics, too, shows this. Merkel’s overt affirmation of “Christian values’’ as a note of national identity, for example, has an echo in the sly deriding of the separation of church and state that came last week from Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. Supposedly a gaffe, her “Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?’’ was actually code — a message to American Christian nationalists who understood her very well.
When Nevada candidate Sharron Angle told Hispanic students in Las Vegas, “I don’t know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me,’’ she was subtly upholding a white template of American identity. You “others’’ all look the same to “us.’’ Code again, not a gaffe. Angle and O’Donnell can seem like fringe characters, but broad public discourse (Juan Williams, writer of the civil rights classic “Eyes on the Prize,’’ flaunting his fear of Muslims) suggests that race and religion are back as notes of qualification for full citizenship.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Is affirmative action for men the answer to enrolment woes?

The Globe and Mail (Canada)

Carolyn Abraham and Kate Hammer
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 5:41AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 10:32AM EDT

For Harold Reiter the tipping point was the entering class of 2002.
As the new chair of admissions at McMaster University's medical school, he took one look at the proportion of women admitted – a whopping 76.9 per cent – and wondered what had happened to the men.
The gender gap at the university's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine was one of the widest in the country and one of the factors that prompted Dr. Reiter to rethink the admissions criteria.

Full Story:
Picture: Globe and Mail
SJW Comment:
I read with much interest this story about Canadian medical schools and their "soft" admissions policies to attract more male applicants. What I don't see or hear is the thunderous opposition and indignation that medical school admissions policies are being lowered; that future patients will be threatened. Who will hire a male doctor who is the obvious beneficiary of affirmative action and preferential treatment? Can we trust these unqualified professionals? Male preferential treatment has occurred in some form for centuries and is now being subtly applied to favor more male applicants in the USA and now Canada. What I do not see is the same anger and emotion that is used when the subject of race based affirmative action comes up, despite centuries of discrimination and exclusion. Is this a matter of whose ox is gored? Such hypocrisy!

US Labor Department settles hiring discrimination case with Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats in Vernon, Texas

News Release
OFCCP News Release: [10/21/2010]
Contact Name: Elizabeth Todd or Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number: (972) 850-4710 or x4709
Release Number: 10-1461-DAL

Affected job applicants to receive back wages, interest and job offers

VERNON, Texas — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has announced that Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats Inc. has agreed to settle findings of hiring discrimination against 157 African-American and 375 Caucasian applicants for laborer positions at the company's bacon processing plant in Vernon.
"The Labor Department is committed to leveling the playing field for all workers," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "A company that profits from taxpayer dollars must not discriminate, period."
OFCCP investigators found that African-American and Caucasian applicants were less likely to be hired than similarly situated Hispanic applicants over a two-year period.
Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats will pay a total of $560,000 in back pay and interest to the 532 applicants. Additionally, the company will make job offers to 59 of the 532 eligible class members as laborer positions become available and revise the practices, policies and procedures it uses to recruit, track and hire applicants to fully comply with the law and immediately correct discriminatory practices.
This agreement follows litigation by OFCCP involving two other subsidiaries of Tyson Foods Inc. In 2008, a Labor Department administrative law judge found that TNT Crust in Green Bay, Wis., systematically discriminated against Hispanic applicants in its hiring. In September 2010, OFCCP filed an administrative complaint against a Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Joslin, Ill., for systematically rejecting female applicants seeking entry-level positions.
OFCCP, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 that prohibit employment discrimination by federal contractors. The agency monitors federal contractors to ensure that they provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, gender, color, religion, national origin, disability or veteran status.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Few And Far Between: Court Decides Female on Male Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment Case

Today's Workplace: a Workplace Fairness blog
October 20th, 2010 Ellen Simon
Assumption That Men Welcome Sexual Harassment Is Sex Stereotyping In Violation Of Title VII

You don’t often see sexual harassment cases in which the woman is the aggressor and the man is the victim. Many people (including some judges) don’t interpret those facts to constitute sexual harassment in violation of Title VII. That’s why the recent case of EEOC v. Prospect Airport Services from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is so important.

What Happened In The Case
Rudolpho Lamas worked for Prospect Airport Services at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. He worked as a passenger assistant helping passengers who needed wheelchair assistance.

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Teachers Set To Sue Over Arizona's Ethnic Studies Ban

Education Week
By Mary Ann Zehr on October 19, 2010 9:44 AM

Teachers are poised to file a lawsuit challenging Arizona's law that targets the teaching of ethnic studies in public schools, according to the Associated Press.
In December, a new law goes into effect that bans public schools in Arizona from teaching ethnic studies that are designed for a particular ethnic or racial group, promote ethnic solidarity, or foster resentment toward a certain ethnic or racial group. Tom Horne, Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, has contended publicly that ethnic studies in the Tucson Unified School District match that description and should be shut down. I visited the Tucson Unified school system and wrote about the controversy in September. Educators there say ethnic-studies courses make the school curriculum more relevant for Mexican-American students and are open to any student. I mentioned in that story that teachers from Tucson Unified expected to file a lawsuit challenging the law this month.

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New Data Indicate Educational Attainment Continues to Flat-Line

American Council on Education
Press Release
CONTACT:Erin Hennessy
(202) 939-9367

Washington, DC (Oct. 20, 2010)—Young Hispanics and African Americans have made no appreciable progress in postsecondary attainment as compared to their older peers, and attainment rates have dipped for the youngest group (aged 25-34), according to a new report released today by the American Council on Education (ACE).
These flat-lining attainment rates indicate that today’s young adults are no better educated than the baby boom generation, according to Minorities in Higher Education 2010 – Twenty-Fourth Status Report. The report, made possible by generous support from the GE Foundation, goes on to unpack important differences among racial/ethnic and gender groups that tend to be obscured by the aggregated attainment data.
Widely recognized as the most authoritative national source of information on advances made by students of color in higher education, the report summarizes trends in high school completion, college enrollment, college persistence, degrees conferred and higher education employment. The report uses data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Among the key findings:
Each generation of younger women in the United States is continuing to reach higher levels of postsecondary attainment, while the attainment levels of younger men are falling.
The strides made by women are mostly driven by Asian Americans and whites. Although other women of color have made generational gains while their male peers have stagnated or fallen, these minority women have not achieved the comparable gains in postsecondary educational attainment that Asian-American or white women have.
Younger whites (aged 25-34) also have made strides past their older peers. However, their gains are not only smaller than those of Asian Americans but also attributable only to women.
Among all racial/ethnic groups in the United States, Hispanics—the fastest growing population—continue to exhibit the lowest educational attainment levels. Young Hispanic men lag behind Hispanic women, and the gap is growing wider.
Special Essay on Hispanic Population
Because of the worrisome nature of the low educational attainment levels among Hispanics, the report includes a special essay on this population. The essay analyzes characteristics of the Hispanic population, with a focus on Hispanic immigrants, to identify for policy makers and educators the unique challenges of and opportunities for improving the educational attainment of this group.
Among the barriers to attaining further education for Hispanic immigrants identified in the report are:
The lack of a high school credential;
Interrupted schooling prior to immigration;
Immigrating at an older age;
Lack of English fluency;
Substantial economic needs for immigration;
Placement in low-wage, low-skilled jobs; and
Lack of legal status for some.
Understanding these disincentives and concentrating policy attention and resources on them are important steps in raising educational levels of Hispanics.
“Our nation stands at the intersection of bold new goals for educational attainment on one hand, and a pattern of low educational attainment for Hispanic students on the other,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “For the future of these students and of our nation, we must take this opportunity to act. The costs of leaving behind generations of the fastest growing population in this country are too great.”
"The essay paints a more nuanced portrait of the 47 million Hispanics living in the U.S.,” said Mikyung Ryu, assistant director of ACE’s Center for Policy Analysis and author of the report. “In particular, Hispanic immigrant adults have received little attention in higher education policy. Current debates around increased educational attainment or economic sustainability don't seem to recognize the opportunity this key subgroup may represent."
Additional Findings
High School Completion
As of 2008, Asian Americans and whites had the highest rates of high school completion, at 91 and 88 percent respectively, followed by African Americans at 78 percent and American Indians at 71 percent.
Although Hispanics made the largest gains and narrowed gaps between themselves and both whites and African Americans from 1988-2008, they continue to have the lowest rate of completion at 70 percent.
College Enrollment
Colleges and universities became more diverse during the past decade, with minority share of the student body rising from 25 to 30 percent and the white share shrinking from 68 to 59 percent. Minority enrollment during this period continued to become more concentrated in two-year colleges compared with four-year institutions (36 and 26 percent, respectively).
Enrollment rates for traditional college-aged whites increased from 31 percent in 1988 to 45 percent in 2008—the largest increase—while rates for young African Americans rose from 22 to 34 percent. Hispanics had the smallest improvement over this timeframe, from 17 to 28 percent.
From 1997-2007, the number of enrolled minority students of any age grew from 3.6 million to 5.4 million (52 percent) while the number of white students increased from 9.7 million to 10.8 million (12 percent). Among minorities, Hispanics had the largest gains, both in growth rates and in absolute numbers, followed by African Americans.
College Persistence
For the 2003 freshmen cohort, Asian Americans led all races/ethnicities with persistence rates of 89 percent for students who began at four-year institutions and 67 percent for those who started at two-year institutions.
African Americans had the lowest persistence rates of all groups, 73 percent for those who began at four-year institutions and 47 percent for those who started at two-year colleges.
Degrees Conferred
Total number of undergraduate degrees awarded increased 39 percent during the decade, with minorities leading the growth in associate degrees. However, despite enrollment gains by minorities during the decade, 66 percent of undergraduate degrees were awarded to white students in 2007.
In 2007, women earned approximately 62 percent of all associate degrees and 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees. Among minorities, women earned 65 percent of associate degrees and 61 percent of bachelor’s degrees.
The number of master’s degrees earned by women of color doubled from 1997-2007, and the number of doctoral degrees they earned increased 63 percent. Women now earn more graduate degrees than men.
For combined STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), men continued to outnumber women in bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2007, at 65 and 35 percent respectively. However, women outnumbered men in biological/biomedical sciences, as well as in most non-STEM fields.
Faculty, Administrators and Presidents
From 1997-2007, minority representation in faculty, administration and presidential posts increased steadily, from 13 to 17 percent in faculty positions and from 14 to 18 percent in administrative positions. Minority share of presidential appointments rose from 8 to 13 percent from 1986-2006.
As of 2006, women accounted for 23 percent of presidential posts overall, up from 10 percent in 1986.
“ACE continually raises the bar in its analysis of minorities in higher education,” said Bob Corcoran, president and chairman of the GE Foundation. “This year’s report further reinforces the urgency of responding to today’s challenges in the U.S. education system, an important focus area for the GE Foundation.”
For the sixth year, the Status Report includes a CD-ROM which features data tables and highlights from the report as well as charts suitable for use in presentations.
Founded in 1918, ACE ( is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy.
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, the GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2009, the entire GE family—including businesses, employees, retirees and GE Foundation—contributed more than an estimated $220 million to community and educational programs, including more than $100 million from GE Foundation. For more information, visit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Experiment Finds Race Trumps A Prestigious Degree
Daniel Fisher
Full Disclosure
October 19, 2010

An experiment designed to test perceptions of affirmative action found that independent observers rated companies significantly lower when they were told the top executives were African-American graduates of prestigious universities, instead of white. The difference went away when the executives were said to have graduated from less selective schools, and when the evaluators were told that the more selective schools exercised race-blind admissions.

The study, by researchers at Clarkson University, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and the May Group Family Fund, suggests that people assume minority candidates receive preferential treatment at more selective schools and discount their professional skills as a result.

Full Story:

Abercrombie & Fitch fined after I-9 audit

US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement
News Release
September 28, 2010

DETROIT - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced today a $1,047,110 fine settlement reached with the clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch for violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act related to an employer's obligation to verify the employment eligibility of its workers.
The settlement is the result of a November 2008 Form I-9 inspection of Abercrombie & Fitch's retail stores in Michigan. The audit uncovered numerous technology-related deficiencies in Abercrombie & Fitch's electronic I-9 verification system. The company was fully cooperative during the investigation and no instances of the knowing hire of unauthorized aliens were discovered. Since the initial inspection, Abercrombie & Fitch has taken measures to revise its immigration compliance program, and has begun to implement new procedures to prevent future violations of federal immigration laws.
"Employers are responsible not only for the people they hire but also for the internal systems they choose to utilize to manage their employment process and those systems must result in effective compliance," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI for Ohio and Michigan "We are pleased to see Abercrombie working diligently to complete the implementation of an effective compliance system; however, we know that there are other companies who are not doing so. This settlement should serve as a warning to other companies that may not yet take the employment verification process seriously or provide it the attention it warrants."
Employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This form requires employers to review and record the individual's identity and employment eligibility document(s) and determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the individual. Additionally, an employer must ensure that the employee provides certain information regarding his or her eligibility to work on the Form I-9.
In 2009, ICE implemented a new, comprehensive strategy to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation's lawful workforce. Under this strategy, ICE is focusing its resources on the auditing and investigation of employers suspected of cultivating illegal workplaces by knowingly employing illegal workers. In the last year, ICE has leveled a record number of civil and criminal penalties against employers who violate immigration laws.
For the most up-to-date ICE information, sign up for ICE e-mail alerts. You may also visit us on Twitter and YouTube.
-- ICE --

'Motherhood Gap' Explains Differences in Gender Wages
By Stephen Miller

Debate over the persistent pay disparity between men and women isn't likely to abate anytime soon, but a new study sheds light on the issue—or perhaps tosses more fuel on the fire.
Motherhood is the culprit behind unexplained but significant wage losses for working women in North America, according to the TD Economics report, Career Interrupted—The Economic Impact of Motherhood. The report suggest this "motherhood gap" in wages largely occurs because of wage penalties mothers experience each time they exit and re-enter the workforce.
"Previous studies on wage differences by gender have found that roughly half of an observed 20 percent gender gap cannot be explained by the usual factors that drive wages, such as experience, hours worked, occupation, industry, age and the like," said report co-author Beata Caranci, deputy chief economist at TD Economics. "The research leads us to conclude that exits from the labor force, most often related to family or motherhood—not gender—are the culprit behind this 'unexplained' wage gap."

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OFCCP's Focus on Veterans Is Subject of House Subcommittee Hearing

U.S. Department of Labor


Some 30 percent of OFCCP's on-site reviews of federal contractors in FY 2010 turned up problems with the recruitment of veterans, Les Jin, OFCCP's deputy director, recently told members of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. Jin testified about the work OFCCP does to enforce the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistant Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act as it pertains to disabled veterans.
Especially disturbing was the agency's finding that some veterans for whom VEVRAA and Section 503 provide important civil rights protections are reluctant to disclose their veteran status when they work for or seek employment with federal contractors or subcontractors.
"Many of these young men and women are returning from battle with physical injuries, emotional trauma and a host of other challenges," Jin said. "They need re-entry services and some have told us they are afraid to disclose their status as a disabled veteran - and sometimes even their service - to their employers for fear of being discriminated against when hiring, compensation and promotion decisions are made."
OFCCP, in response to such concerns, is seeking to revise VEVRAA regulations to strengthen affirmative action programs and measure the effectiveness of federal contractors' equal employment opportunity efforts. Similar regulatory action is underway with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Jin also described OFCCP's new outreach efforts to individual veterans and to community and advocacy groups who represent veterans' interests. "We are educating veterans about their rights in the job market. We are showing them how to identify discriminatory practices, and we are creating avenues for two-way communication between communities of veterans and OFCCP," he said.
Read the complete text of Deputy Director Jin's testimony at

EEOC Sues Walmart for Firing Veteran Employee over Cancer-Related Disability

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release 10/07/10

Retail Giant Punished Forklift Operator It Called ‘Outstanding’ Because He Couldn’t Do Another Worker’s Job and in Retaliation for His Complaints

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Walmart violated federal law when it fired a longtime employee because of a cancer-related disability and retaliated against him for complaining about the discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, the employee had successfully worked as a forklift operator at a Walmart distribution center in Midway, Tenn., for 12 years. He was a productive worker for three years following cancer surgery which left him with weakness in his right shoulder and arm. On November 24, 2008, Walmart asked the former employee to relieve a shipping department employee for a 20-minute break. Because his cancer surgery left him unable to manually lift, he could not replace the worker at this task. He then requested the reasonable accommodation of remaining in the forklift operator position he had worked for his entire career at Walmart, where no manual lifting was done.
Walmart refused this reasonable accommodation, the EEOC said. Instead, according to the agency, Walmart removed him from his forklift position, declared he could not perform the essential functions of his job, and placed him on unpaid leave – ironically, on the same day it issued him an “outstanding” work evaluation. The EEOC further contends that the man continued to request an accommodation, and then filed a discrimination charge. Shortly thereafter, on July 16, 2009, Walmart discharged him because of his disability and in retaliation for complaining about Walmart’s failure to accommodate him, the EEOC charged.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 2:10-cv-00222), in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Northeastern Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The lawsuit asks the court to, among other things, grant a permanent injunction enjoining Walmart from failing to provide a reasonable accommodation for disability, discharging an employee due to a disability, and retaliating against any employee for complaining about the refusal to provide a reasonable accommodation. The lawsuit also seeks appropriate back wages and compensatory and punitive damages for the former employee.
“This man had clearly demonstrated his worth and value to Walmart, but the company punished him because his disability prevented him from filling in for someone else’s job,” said Katharine W. Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “This treatment was not only outrageous, but unlawful, and the EEOC will continue to fight for such people’s rights.”
According to company information, Walmart is a discount convenience retail store with more than 8,576 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries, with fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

Cannon & Wendt Held in Contempt for Failure to Comply Fully with Consent Decree

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Court Grants EEOC’s Request to Order Company to Provide Back Pay Without I-9 Form, Gives Federal Agency Say in Selecting Anti-Discrimination Instructor
PHOENIX -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that a federal court has granted in part the EEOC’s request that the court hold Cannon & Wendt Electric Co., Inc., in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a consent decree settling a discrimination suit. The court ordered Cannon & Wendt Electric Co., Inc., to pay $20,000 in back pay to Victor Cortez, as previously agreed to by the company, rejecting the company’s demand that the discrimination victim submit a new I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) form as a precondition.
The court further ordered that Cannon & Wendt use an instructor approved by the EEOC in carrying out the training on national origin discrimination and retaliation as was also required by the decree.
The decree had been signed by the parties and entered and ordered by the court to resolve the EEOC’s national origin discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the company. According to the EEOC’s suit, EEOC v. Cannon & Wendt Electric, Co., Inc., CV-07-1710 PHX/EHC in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in Phoenix, employee Victor Cortez was unlawfully harassed because of his Mexican national origin by his immediate supervisor, Mark Ghose. The harassment included comments by Ghose, such as “I hate all Mexicans,” and “(Mexicans) are worthless.” The lawsuit further alleges that Cannon & Wendt retaliated against Cortez by terminating him after he complained about the harassment.
Cannon & Wendt agreed to the terms of the consent decree and signed it in April 2010. The decree was submitted to the court by the EEOC and Cannon & Wendt and approved by the court on April 12.
Under its terms, Cannon & Wendt agreed to provide Cortez $100,000 as damages for lost wages and benefits as well as compensation for the emotional distress ($80,000 for compensatory damages and $20,000 in back pay), and also agreed to provide a letter of apology. By entering into the decree, Cannon & Wendt agreed also to subject Ghose to certain remedial training; to an injunction against national origin harassment and retaliation; to provide reporting to the EEOC; to post and distribute a notice; to change its anti-discrimination policies; and to conduct extensive training for its supervisory and managerial work force over the next three years.
However, Cannon & Wendt refused to pay the $80,000 in compensatory damages and issue the letter of apology until the EEOC filed the contempt action in court. Additionally, Cannon & Wendt refused to provide the back pay without receiving a new I-9 form from Cortez. The EEOC objected to the request for the new I-9 since Cortez is a permanent resident of the United States and is authorized to work in this country. Further, the EEOC pointed out, the company had already employed Cortez for nearly five years and he had given the company all of the appropriate documentation when he started work there.
“Cannon & Wendt’s demand that Cortez provide an I-9 can only be interpreted as another form of national origin harassment, given that Cortez is a permanent resident with the right to work here and had already worked for the company for almost five years with proper documentation,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, Regional Attorney for the Phoenix District Office.
Rayford O. Irvin, District Director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, added, “Such a demand is not required or allowed by the law. We question whether Cannon & Wendt would have asked for this if Cortez were not from Mexico.”
The EEOC additionally objected to the instructor selected by Cannon & Wendt to conduct the training required under the consent decree. The EEOC alleged that the instructor Cannon & Wendt had selected, who is a manager for the company, had engaged in retaliation against Cortez. The court agreed with the EEOC that under the consent decree Cannon & Wendt must obtain the EEOC’s approval in selecting an instructor.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at

Commission to Meet on October 20, 2010

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will meet on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, to discuss the Employer use of credit history as a screening tool. The specifics of the meeting are as follows:

Next Commission Meeting
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 9:30 A.M. Eastern Time
Commission Meeting Room on the First Floor of the EEOC Office Building, 131 “M” Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20507
The meeting will be open to the public
Announcement of Notation Votes, and
Employer Use of Credit History as a Screening Tool
NOTE: In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the meeting will be open to public observation of the Commission’s deliberations and voting. Seating is limited and it is suggested that visitors arrive 30 minutes before the meeting in order to be processed through security and escorted to the meeting room. (In addition to publishing notices on EEOC Commission meetings in the Federal Register, the Commission also provides a recorded announcement a full week in advance on future Commission sessions.)
Please telephone (202) 663-7100 (voice) and (202) 663-4074 (TTY) at any time for information on these meetings. The EEOC provides sign language interpretation and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services at Commission meetings for the hearing impaired. Requests for other reasonable accommodations may be made by using the voice and TTY numbers listed above. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Stephen Llewellyn, Executive Officer on (202) 663-4070.
Stephen LlewellynExecutive OfficerExecutive Secretariat
This Notice Issued October 08, 2010

10-Plus Tips for Succeeding in an EEOC Mediation: Part One

Workforce Management
In the first installment of a two-part article, an EEOC insider—a former agency mediator who mediated more than 500 cases of alleged discrimination—talks about simmering workplace disputes and how to defuse them, thereby possibly avoiding an EEOC charge. She also offers tips on how to prepare for a successful EEOC mediation. By Kathryn Schear
September 2008

Many professional workplace mediators have said that for every 50 employees there’s one who is a simmering pot. A simmering-pot is a person whose resentment is at a low boil. Simmering-pot employees have turned off, left the organization prematurely, sabotaged their companies or gone out on extended stress leaves. Some of these pots, if left unattended, will become the people who file charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging discrimination. The best goal for your organization is to stay out of the EEOC process, and mediation can help you do that. But if a charge has been filed and you’re before the EEOC, consider these tips on how to prepare for success in a mediation. In part two of this article, I’ll suggest some tips for the EEOC mediation itself, as well as some ideas for steering clear of problems in the future.
Tip One: Don’t ignore the simmering pot. A recent workplace dispute demonstrates this point. It’s a classic example of a simmering pot who was handled "properly," but the handling did not address the employee’s underlying concerns. The result was that the employee filed an EEOC charge anyway.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Anthony Marx’s Legacy at Amherst

The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 14, 2010, 1:21 pm
By Richard Kahlenberg

Last week, the president of Amherst College, Anthony Marx, announced he will leave his post to become president of the New York Public Library next year. As the leader of a relatively small (if very prestigious) institution for eight years, Marx had an out-sized impact on the national conversation about diversity in higher education.
For many years, diversity on selective campuses meant assembling a class that included rich kids of all colors. Research found that eighty-six percent of blacks at selective institutions were middle or upper-middle class; and whites were even wealthier. In 2004, Marx – along with Lawrence Summers, then president Harvard University, and William Bowen, then president of the Mellon Foundation – said higher education needed to pay equal attention to socioeconomic diversity, and took important steps to do so.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Diversity Conference Features Top Legal Brass

The AmLaw Daily
October 13, 2010
Posted by Ross Todd

Last week more than 200 legal professionals gathered in Washington, D.C., for the first annual conference of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. The subject was to discuss ways to advance--you guessed it--diversity. Setting this conference apart from other diversity efforts was the council's unique barrier to entry: In order for a company to participate, its general counsel had to be present. For law firms, the managing partner had to appear.

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Newly diverse sport report card

by Katie White
October 13, 2010

A study conducted by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, TIDES, at the University of Central Florida found collegiate sports leadership in the National Collegiate Athletics Association overwhelmingly held by white men.
The Racial and Gender Report Card, created by the sport management department of UCF, grades schools on the percentages of minority people they employ in the sports departments.
In 2008, Federal Affirmative Action policies stated the percent of minority college sports leadership positions should reflect the percent of the minority in the entire population.
Schools that meet the percentage receive an ‘A' in the study and subsequent lesser percentages receive lower scores.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

ODEP Provides Return to Work Toolkit for Employers and Employees

The US Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has launched a toolkit for employers and employees faced with the prospect of returning to work after an illness or injury. The toolkit assists in understanding the return to work process and can be implemented while the employee is recovering.

For more information, go to:

September 2010 Disability Employment Statistics Released

US Department of Labor

In September 2010, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 21.6. By comparison, the percentage of persons with no disability in the labor force was 69.9.
The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 14.8 percent, compared with 9.0 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
Read about the September Disability Employment Statistics
Retrieve Historical Disability Employment Data
Read Commonly Used Terms in BLS Employment Statistics

US Department of Labor’s ‘Add Us In’ initiative provides more than $2.4 million to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities

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

News Release
ODEP News Release: [09/30/2010]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble or Clarisse Young
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667 or x5051
Release Number: 10-1387-NAT

WASHINGTON — As part of its "Add Us In" initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy awarded four two-year cooperative agreements totaling more than $2.4 million to consortia led by the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo.; Community Partners-Integrated Recovery Network in Los Angeles, Calif.; The Workplace Inc. in Bridgeport, Conn.; and the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.
The consortia will create replicable models and strategies that can be used nationwide by businesses and employers to reach out to people with disabilities in their communities, build a national and local network of experts skilled in serving a diversity of individuals with disabilities, and improve employment opportunities and outcomes for diverse people with disabilities. According to recent data from the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of August 2010, the percentage of individuals with disabilities participating in the labor force was 22.0 percent compared with 70.2 percent for individuals with no disability. About one in five people with disabilities is in the labor force, and the unemployment rate for those with disabilities remains much higher than the national average.
"This administration is committed to expanding job opportunities for all Americans, including individuals with disabilities," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Add Us In will expand opportunities for workers with disabilities and help ensure that everyone who wants to work can find a good job."
More than 10 million Americans who are members of ethnic and racial minority groups have long-lasting disabling conditions or impairments. When looking at the relationship between disability and employment, researchers have found that individuals with disabilities from these groups are often at increased risk for unemployment. Add Us In is an important step toward integrating disability and diversity into employers' workforce planning and addressing employment disparities for people with disabilities.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez noted, "It is quite appropriate for the Add Us In grants to be awarded on the eve of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. We look forward to the Add Us In consortia improving the ability of businesses to employ individuals with disabilities and serving as examples of success during NDEAM for many years to come."
The Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing the use of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships, and delivering authoritative and credible data on employment of people with disabilities.
To learn more about the Add Us In initiative, visit
Editor's Note: A complete listing of the consortia and their members follows this release.

OFCCP Shares Enforcement Role in New Rule on Employee Rights Poster

U.S. Department of Labor

A new Employee Rights Poster regulation, implementing Executive Order 13496, is now in effect to better inform employees about their labor law rights. The rule requires covered federal contractors to provide notice to their employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including their rights to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers, and to engage in other protected concerted activity with or without a union, or to refrain from all such activity. Contractors also must make the posting obligation applicable to their subcontractors through use of a mandatory contract clause.
The poster also provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct that interferes with those rights and indicates how employees can contact the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that enforces those rights, with questions or complaints.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs shares enforcement responsibilities for this new regulation with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS). OFCCP is responsible for investigating complaints, compliance evaluations and conciliation, and will refer violations to OLMS for enforcement. The sanctions, penalties and remedies for noncompliance with the notice requirements include the suspension or cancellation of the contract and the debarring of federal contractors from future federal contracts.
Find out more about this poster (or download it in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Hmong, Laotian or Vietnamese) at If you have questions about the poster, such as where and when it should be posted, please contact your nearest OLMS office. A listing of these offices and their contact information can be found at:


OFCCP Blog Spot
Tuesday, October 05, 2010

by David Cohen, President, DCI Consulting Group

OFCCP’s fiscal year ended on Thursday, September 30th, marking the close of the second year under the Obama administration. During the 2010 fiscal year, the OFCCP proposed many regulatory and policy changes, and some of those new initiatives are currently under review, while others have been implemented. In the meantime, the OFCCP continued to conduct routine and complaint driven compliance evaluations. The following snapshot of 2010 enforcement data was summarized from the Department of Labor’s enforcement database as of October 2, 2010.

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Bardon, Inc. / Aggregate Industries to Pay $325,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC Said Female Technician Subjected to Sexual Comments and Requests, Lewd Acts and Groping, and Fired After Complaining to Management

BALTIMORE – Concrete company Bardon, Inc., trading as Aggregate Industries, Inc., will pay $325,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. Aggregate, an internationally owned ready-mix concrete company with operations in the United States and United Kingdom, has corporate offices in Greenbelt, Md.
In its suit, (Civil Action No. 8:08-cv-1883-RWT) filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the EEOC charged that Aggregate created and maintained a sexually hostile work environment for Ora L. Borrell -- the only female quality control technician employed at the company. The EEOC charged that the incidents of sexual harassment included repeated public urination in her presence, overt and explicit sexual comments and requests, touching and grabbing against her will and other sexually offensive conduct while on the job. Borrell’s managers were aware of the offensive conduct, having witnessed some incidents and through her complaints. Borrell was subsequently fired by the company’s human resources department in retaliation for opposing these discriminatory practices.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation for resisting such harassment and complaining about it. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
In addition to the monetary relief to Borrell, which represents back wages and compensatory damages, the consent decree settling the suit provides significant remedial relief. Aggregate:
is enjoined from discriminating on the basis of sex and from retaliating against any employee who complains about discriminatory practices made unlawful under Title VII or because of filing a charge, giving testimony, assistance or participating in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under Title VII;
will post a notice to employees at all its facilities concerning its commitment to maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment and retaliation for a period of five years;
will provide mandatory training to all its employees, managers and supervisors regarding federal EEO laws prohibiting discrimination in employment with emphasis on sex discrimination, harassment and retaliation;
will provide training on its equal employment opportunity policies and its sexual harassment policy to all newly-hired employees during orientation; and
agreed to monitoring by the EEOC with regard to its compliance with the provisions in the decree settling the lawsuit for five years.
“Sexual harassment continues to be a persistent problem 45 years after the enactment of Title VII, which prohibits gender discrimination in employment,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “Workers should not be subjected to this type of conduct or lose their livelihood when they complain about it.”
According to its web site,, Aggregate Industries is a member of the Holcim group of companies and is an international construction and building materials company in the UK and the U.S., with operations ranging from the northeast to the southwest, along with the U.S. corporate office and Shared Services Center in Rockville, Maryland.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available at its web site at (

EEOC Sues Kintetsu International Express for Disability Harassment, Retaliation

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Tour Coordinator Called “Selfish” For Making Others Watch Her Limp, Then Forced to Quit Along With a Co-Worker for Protesting

HONOLULU — Kintetsu International Express (USA), Inc., a major worldwide travel company, violated federal law when it subjected an employee to disability-related harassment and discrimination, and retaliated against employees who protested the harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC contends that a supervisor constantly disparaged a tour coordinator who suffers from malignant rheumatoid arthritis during the tour coordinator’s employment with the company in 2005 and 2006. The supervisor frequently harassed the tour coordinator, who had difficulty walking as a result of her condition, with offensive remarks such as “If you cannot walk straight, you cannot work at the hotel,” “Because of the way you walk, you create a bad atmosphere,” “No one wants you here,” and “You are selfish for making other people have to watch you limp.” The same supervisor allegedly gave her a less favorable work performance evaluation than those received in the past.
Both the tour coordinator and a co-worker protested the harassment and discrimination by complaining to the company’s vice president, yet the company took no action to remedy the situation, according to the EEOC. The EEOC claims that both individuals were further harassed and forced to quit in retaliation for having complained of the misconduct.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (EEOC v. Kintetsu International Express (USA), Inc., Case No. CV 10-00560-DAE-BMK) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The EEOC’s suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the victims, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination at the company.
“Employees with disabilities have the right to work without the fear of reprisal or harassment,” said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, which has jurisdiction over Hawaii. “The EEOC is committed to furthering the rights of employees with disabilities, who make important contributions to the workplace.”
Timothy Riera, director of the EEOC’s Honolulu Local Office, added, “Those who have the courage to stand up and protest discrimination – even when they are not the victims – should be commended for their efforts to rectify abuses at work, not condemned. It is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who complain of discrimination or harassment, and employers are responsible for taking action to correct such abuses.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

Prop 107 on Affirmative Action Goes to Voters Nov. 2
Updated: Wednesday, 06 Oct 2010, 10:48 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 06 Oct 2010, 7:50 PM MDT

PHOENIX - Should the state of Arizona get rid of its affirmative action programs? That's what the backers of Proposition 107 want, and it's turning into an intense and emotional battle which voters will decide on Election Day.
Proposition 107 calls for no more preferences for minorities and women in public employment, contracting, and education.

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The mixed legacy of 1492

The Boston Globe
By James Carroll
October 11, 2010

IT IS commonly observed that 1492, in addition to being the year of Christopher Columbus, was also the year of the Jews — their expulsion from Spain by the same Ferdinand and Isabella who sponsored the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. But the overlap of events (actually, Columbus set sail in the very week of the banishment) has historic significance, for it was in Iberia that ancient Christian anti-Judaism had recently morphed into genetic anti-Semitism — the idea that Jews are contemptible not because of their religion, but because of their “blood impurity.’’ This notion of a group’s innate biological inferiority tragically gripped the European imagination just as the encounter with the New World occurred.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

'Asians in the Ivory Tower'

Inside Higher Ed

October 8, 2010

Each fall brings articles about rising Asian-American enrollments at leading colleges and universities. But according to Robert T. Teranishi, associate professor of higher education at New York University, those stories ignore broader realities -- many of them challenging -- for Asian-Americans in higher education. In his new book, Asians in the Ivory Tower: Dilemmas of Racial Inequality in American Higher Education -- he discusses these challenges. He responded to questions in an e-mail interview about the book.

Q: We've just come through another round of studies on such topics as average SAT scores, and the results show considerable Asian success. What do you make of such figures as average SAT scores?
A: The SAT scores for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) reveal two important trends that are often not recognized by educators, practitioners, and policymakers.

To Purchase "Asians in the Ivory Tower" at a discount, go to the AAAA Bookstore: page 19.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

US Labor Department settles discrimination case with 2nd-largest Coca-Cola bottler in the nation

U.S. Department of Labor
News Release
OFCCP News Release: [10/07/2010]
Contact Name: Michael D’Aquino or Michael Wald
Phone Number: (404) 562-2076 or x2078
Release Number: 10-1368-ATL
Minority applicants to receive back wages, interest and job offers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated has agreed to pay $495,000 in back wages and interest to 95 African-American and Hispanic job seekers who applied in 2002 for sales support positions at the company's Black Satchel Road distribution facility in Charlotte. The settlement follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
In addition to back pay, the Coca-Cola bottler agreed to make offers of employment to those 95 applicants until at least 23 interested applicants are hired. Those hired will receive retroactive seniority benefits they would have accrued from July 1, 2002, if not for the discriminatory actions of the company.
"The Labor Department is firmly committed to ensuring that those who do business with our government do not discriminate in their employment practices," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "Being a federal contractor is a privilege that comes with an obligation to ensure equal opportunity in employment."
This plant is the second largest Coca-Cola bottler in the nation and a major supplier of Coke brand products to military and government installations under a number of federal contracts.
OFCCP's investigation of the company's hiring practices found that the Coca-Cola bottler failed to hire qualified minority applicants at a comparable rate to non-minority applicants. OFCCP's statistical analysis determined that the disparity in hires was too great to occur solely by chance. Additionally, OFCCP found that the bottler's own records revealed instances in which rejected minority applicants had more experience and education than some non-minority hires.
OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws hold those who do business with the federal government, to the very reasonable standard that they not discriminate in their employment practices based on gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. For more information, visit OFCCP's website at

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Electronic compliance report isn't helping veterans get jobs

The Washington Post
Joe Davidson
Wednesday, October 6, 2010; B3

Everybody loves veterans.
Holidays are named for them. Parades are devoted to them. Politicians of all stripes make a public display of embracing them.
But when it gets right down to how Uncle Sam serves former service members, the picture can get murky.
Testimony submitted for a congressional hearing last week demonstrated that employment of veterans with companies that do business with the federal government is an area that leaves much to be desired.
The House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee on economic opportunity heard witness after witness describe serious weaknesses with the government's oversight and enforcement of affirmative action laws and regulations designed to promote employment of veterans with private contractors.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

False Comparisons: the Plight of Historically Black Colleges?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 4, 2010, 02:53 PM ET

By Marybeth Gasman
No matter how many times historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) demonstrate progress and success, they continue to take a beating from ill-informed critics. The latest incident appeared in The Wall Street Journal. Once again, the author used flawed analysis in an attempt to show that HBCUs are inferior.Since their inception, many people have labeled HBCUs inferior even though they are responsible for educating the majority of the African-American middle class as we know it. When hurling criticism at HBCUs, most naysayers point to the words of Black conservatives—such as Thomas Sowell, who has lambasted HBCUs for decades, or sociologists Christopher Jencks and Davie Riesman, whose 1967 study of HBCUs labeled them “academic disaster areas.” What these critics fail to realize is that neither Sowell nor Jencks and Riesman did empirical research on HBCUs to make their claims—instead, they relied only on anecdote and personal experience.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Screen Actors Guild Celebrates Diversity Awareness Month During October
Publicity Release Posted: October 04, 2010 18:56:19 EST

October 04, 2010 SHOOT Publicity Wire

--- For the second year, Screen Actors Guild will celebrate Diversity Awareness Month during the month of October with a slate of programs and activities exhibiting the value of diversity and equal employment of diverse actors in film, television and other recorded media.From a Diversity Careers in Focus conference at national headquarters to SAG's Dare to Be Diverse screening series, an inclusive and abundant lineup awaits. (See the complete calendar below.) "SAG's Diversity Awareness Month celebration is a mission that is close to my heart and one to which I am personally dedicated, and have been for more than 40 years," said SAG National President Ken Howard. "Our union, our industry and our culture are made stronger and more powerful when everyone has equal access to work opportunities. It's time to swing wide the door of opportunity that has remained closed to so many for so long."The Guild has, since its inception, been an advocate for diversity and equal employment in the workplace and entertainment industry. In addition to protecting all members against discrimination and harassment, SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity works closely with members who are LGBT, performers of color, performers with disabilities, senior performers and women to increase employment opportunities for these underemployed and underrepresented groups."SAG has chosen October to highlight our everyday advocacy and initiatives," said Rebecca Yee, national director of SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, "but it is a 24/7, year-round effort to shift our media landscape toward desiring and developing more accurate and diverse portrayals of the American Scene in film and television."