Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DOL Administrative Law Judge Concludes Law Firm is a Federal Contractor Subject to OFCCP Jurisdiction

Jackson Lewis LLP



A law firm that provided legal services to the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) in connection with the sale of real property is subject to the jurisdiction of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”), according to a U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). OFCCP v. O’Melveny & Myers LLP, DOL OALJ, No. 2011-OFC-00007 (Oct. 31, 2011).

Full Story: http://www.jacksonlewis.com/resources.php?NewsID=3952

Monday, December 12, 2011

A stand for racial diversity in education

Miami Herald
Monday, 12.12.11

Barack Obama has deftly begun what could be his most significant legacy on racial equity. Did you miss it? Most people did.

This month, the administration sent new guidelines to the nation’s 17,000 school districts about how to address “racial isolation” in primary and secondary schools. It also sent new guidelines to college administrators about promoting racial diversity in admissions policies. The new directives are notable for the ways in which they reverse the spirit of George W. Bush’s 2008 dictate against race as a consideration for school admissions. Obama’s message was that schools and universities need to stay within the law, but that they may get creative in crafting policies that promote diversity. The administration says it will have their back, within constitutionally allowable limits.

It’s a critical difference in approach.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/09/2539344/a-stand-for-racial-diversity-in.html#ixzz1gLBfeVYA

Whitehall Health Care of Ann Arbor Sued by EEOC for Religious Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release

Nursing Home Fired Jehovah’s Witness Because of Her Need to Attend Religious Services, Federal Agency Charged

DETROIT — An Ann Arbor, Mich., nursing home violated federal law when it fired a Jehovah’s Witness based on her religion and need for a religious accommodation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit (Case No. 2:11-cv-15407), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Whitehall Healthcare terminated the discrimination victim, a Jehovah’s Witness from Ann Arbor, from her job as a certified nursing assistant due to her need to have Wednesdays and Sundays off to attend religious services.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees against discrimination based on religion and requires employers to provide employees with reasonable accommodations to allow them to practice their sincerely held religious beliefs. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking an injunction to prohibit the company from engaging in this type of discrimination in the future, as well as monetary relief on the behalf of the victim.

“An employer has a legal duty to accommodate an employee's sincerely held religious beliefs, plain and simple,” said Lauren Gibbs, trial attorney for the EEOC's Detroit Field Office. “Firing someone for asserting that right violates federal law against religious discrimination and only makes a bad situation worse.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov.



OFCCP Blog Spot
by Art Gutman Ph.D., Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

On 10/9/09, a letter written to the EEOC asked the following question: [Does] the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), prohibit the State of Tennessee from requiring students with learning disabilities to take “Gateway tests” or “end-of-course assessments” in order to receive their full high school diplomas?

Full Story: http://ofccp.blogspot.com/2011/12/eeoc-issues-private-letter-on-hs.html

Rule would require federal contractors to hire more disabled workers

Business Insurance

December 9, 2011 - 1:40pm

WASHINGTON—The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance has proposed a new rule under which federal contractors and subcontractors would be required to set a goal of having 7% of their workforce be people with disabilities, it said Thursday.
According to the proposal, which was published Friday in the Federal Register, contractors and subcontractors would have to reach that percentage within each of their job groups rather than within its workforce as a whole.

Full Story: http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20111209/NEWS07/111209871?tags=%7C309%7C70%7C303#

OFCCP Announces Proposed Rules on Disability Law

News Release

OFCCP News Release: [12/08/2011]
Contact Name: Laura McGinnis or Mike Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-4653 or x6588
Release Number: 11-1614-NAT

US Labor Department seeks to improve job opportunities for Americans with disabilities by setting historic hiring goal for federal contractors and subcontractors

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with disabilities, among other requirements. The department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs invites public comment on this proposal, which will be published in the Dec. 9 edition of the Federal Register.

OFCCP's proposed rule would strengthen the affirmative action requirements established in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 obligating federal contractors and subcontractors to ensure equal employment opportunities for qualified workers with disabilities. The proposed regulatory changes detail specific actions contractors must take in the areas of recruitment, training, record keeping and policy dissemination — similar to those that have long been required to promote workplace equality for women and minorities. In addition, the rule would clarify OFCCP's expectations for contractors by providing specific guidance on how to comply with the law.

"This proposed rule represents one of the most significant advances in protecting the civil rights of workers with disabilities since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "President Obama has demonstrated a commitment to people with disabilities. This proposed rule would help federal contractors better fulfill their legal responsibility to hire qualified workers with disabilities."

Although Section 503 regulations have been in place for decades, the current unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 13 percent, 1 1/2 times the rate of those without disabilities. Even more discouraging, data published last week by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics show stark disparities facing working-age individuals with disabilities, with 79.2 percent outside the labor force altogether, compared to 30.5 percent of those without disabilities.

"For nearly 40 years, the rules have said that contractors simply need to make a 'good faith' effort to recruit and hire people with disabilities. Clearly, that's not working," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "Our proposal would define specific goals, require real accountability and provide the clearest possible guidance for employers seeking to comply with the law. What gets measured gets done. And we're in the business of getting things done."

Establishing a 7 percent hiring goal for the employment of individuals with disabilities would be a tool for contractors to measure the effectiveness of their affirmative action efforts and thereby inform their decision-making. The proposed rule also would enhance data collection and record-keeping requirements — including for documentation and processing of requests for reasonable accommodation — in order to improve accountability. Additionally, it would ensure annual self-reviews of employers' recruitment and outreach efforts, and add a new requirement for contractors to list job openings to increase their pools of qualified applicants.

To read the notice of proposed rulemaking or submit a comment, visit the federal e-rulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments also can be submitted by mail to Debra Carr, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, Room C-3325, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20210. All comments must be received by Feb. 7, 2012, and should include identification number (RIN) 1250-AA02.

In addition to Section 503, OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they take affirmative action and not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
Read this news release en EspaƱol.

Letter from OFCCP Director on Proposed Disability Regs

U.S. Department of LaborDecember 9, 2011

Dear Friends:

Today we made history at the Department of Labor. This morning, OFCCP proposed a new rule to strengthen the affirmative action obligations of federal contractors and subcontractors to improve job opportunities for people with disabilities.

Our proposed rule would revise and update Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, giving millions of Americans with disabilities a better and fairer shot at competing for jobs. The proposal also aims to give businesses greater clarity on what is expected of them, leveling the playing field so that employers who play by the rules don’t have to compete at a disadvantage against those who shirk their legal responsibilities.

The rule we are proposing is historic: businesses with at least 50 employees and $50,000 or more in government contracts would be required to set a hiring goal of 7 percent for workers with disabilities.

That’s never been done before.

I believe that what gets measured gets done. When four out of every five working-age individuals with a disability are outside the labor force, we have serious work to do. This proposed rule is a concrete step we can take to help close that gap, to ensure that discouraged workers in the disability community have a reason to believe they too can have meaningful opportunities to work.

The concept of setting a goal is not new. A goal is yardstick for employers to assess how they’re doing and a tool to help us better evaluate their efforts. Our proposal would require employers to take specific actions with respect to recruitment, training, record-keeping and the dissemination of policies – actions similar to those which have long been required to promote equal opportunity in the workplace for women and minorities.

I invite you to read our proposal and submit comments on how we can make it better. Throughout this rulemaking process, we have sought as much input as possible from workers, employers, advocates, experts, scholars and the public at-large. Last year, we published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – the government equivalent of a national brainstorming session – to get ideas on what this rule should look like. The input we received on the ANPRM and in stakeholder and town hall meetings throughout the country helped shape the rule we put before you now.

Our proposed rule is open for public comment from now until February 7, 2012. My staff and I will read, review and consider every comment we receive. That is part of the public trust we hold at the Department of Labor.

Now we need you to please look over our proposal and give us your honest and constructive feedback. Go to http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/503 to read and comment on the rule. There, you will also find a short summary of the proposed rule, a fact sheet you can print and share, answers to frequently asked questions and other useful materials.

Today we made history. Now we ask you to help us make possibility.

Many thanks,

Patricia A. Shiu


Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Letter from Director Patricia A. Shiu

Monday, December 5, 2011

Obama Administration Gives Colleges Broad Leeway on Affirmative Action

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Peter Schmidt


The Obama administration on Friday released its first guidelines on affirmative action in higher education. In doing so, it showed that it takes an expansive view of the educational benefits of diversity and intends to give colleges and universities considerable leeway in determining whether they can achieve desired levels of diversity without explicitly considering applicants' ethnicity or race.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/article/Obama-Administration-Gives/130008/

American Association for Affirmative Action Commends the Obama Administration for Supporting Equal Opportunity and Diversity

American Association for Affirmative Action Commends the Obama Administration for Supporting Equal Opportunity and Diversity in Education Programs

Association of Equal Opportunity Professionals Applauds the Departments of Education and Justice for Issuing Guidance that Supports Educational Opportunities for All Students

For Immediate Release
December 5, 2011

Shirley J. Wilcher, Executive Director
202-349-9855; 240-893-9475

Washington, DC, December 5, 2011 – The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), an organization of more than one thousand equal opportunity, affirmative action and diversity professionals and institutions highly commends the Obama Administration for issuing guidance that recognizes the “benefits that flow from achieving a diverse student body.” Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decisions in Gratz and Grutter v. Bollinger the US Departments of Education and Justice issued a joint guidance document that explains what colleges and universities can lawfully do to promote a diverse student body. In so doing, the Obama Administration has stated unequivocally that educational institutions can voluntarily consider race among other factors to promote student body diversity.

“What the Departments of Education and Justice have done is to correctly interpret the Supreme Court’s decisions and to allay any concerns that colleges and universities may have had that their efforts to achieve a diverse student body were inconsistent with the law,” said AAAA President Gregory T. Chambers. “The Administration rightly acknowledged that programs to promote access, equity and diversity benefit all students and assist those who have been historically disadvantaged to compete in the global marketplace,” Chambers added.

OCR and Justice acknowledged the legal necessity of seeking race-neutral alternatives unless they are unworkable and of using a holistic and individual assessment of the student, with race as one of many factors. Institutions can also use socio-economic status, geography, a history of hardships, or percentage plans as in the State of Texas, as additional considerations. What is significant is that the Administration has encouraged recruitment to broaden the pool of qualified applicants, partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUS) and “feeder schools” that are identifiable based on their demographics. This expands upon the range of schools that selective colleges and universities may currently use in their admissions considerations; schools that heretofore (e.g. college prep schools) may have benefited only students who were economically or racially advantaged.

Founded in 1974, the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity. We assist our members to be more successful and productive in their careers. We also promote understanding and advocacy of affirmative action to enhance access, equity and diversity in employment, economic and educational opportunities.

Butterball Sued By EEOC For Harassment, Firing Of HIV-Positive Employee

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Turkey Company Violated Federal Disability Law, Agency Charged

GARNER, N.C. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today that Butterball, LLC, a Garner, N.C.-based turkey processing company, violated federal law by subjecting an employee to a hostile work environment based on the fact that she has Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and firing her because of that disability.

According to the lawsuit, Butterball subjected Tracy Montgomery to harassment throughout her employment in October and November 2009. Specifically, three of Montgomery’s co-workers expressed to her on a daily basis that they did not want to touch her or work with her because she is HIV-positive. The three employees also referred to Montgomery using derogatory names to describe her HIV status. The EEOC further alleges that Montgomery complained to her supervisor about the harassment on a daily or near-daily basis, but the harassment persisted. Butterball’s plant manager was also aware of the harassment after conducting a meeting with Montgomery and one of her co-workers to address an altercation that the co-worker provoked. However, the next day, the plant manager fired Montgomery.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees with disabilities from being harassed, fired, or from other employment decisions based on disabilities that are covered under the act, such as HIV. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Butterball, LLC, Civil Action No. 5:11-cv-00685) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary damages for Montgomery as well as certain injunctive relief.

“Harassment that targets a person with an ADA-covered disability, is just as much a violation of federal law as harassment based on a person’s race, color, gender, age, religion, or national origin,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District. “HIV/AIDS has always been a sensitive health issue, and an employer has no excuse for failing to intervene when an employee complains of vicious harassment based on her HIV status.”

EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Tina Burnside added, “Employees have the right to work in an environment free from harassment, and Title VII prohibits both harassment and firing an employee because of her disability.”

President Barack Obama has charged federal agencies to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which includes addressing and preventing employment-related discrimination against people living with HIV.This case serves as an example of how the EEOC will strongly enforce federal laws to ensure that qualified people are not wrongfully deprived of an opportunity to earn a living simply because of their HIV status.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.


Conducting international employment-related investigations

Fisher & Phillips LLP Celia M. Joseph Global,
USA November 29 2011

If you are a Human Resources or other manager at a multi-national company, it is likely that at times you receive complaints from employees and others requiring investigations to ensure your workplace environment is free from illegal harassment, discrimination, theft, defamation, violence and other violations of the law and/or company policies.However, those responsible for investigations for global organizations must be aware of statutes, policies, and guidelines in countries and regions outside of the United States that could impact the way investigations must be conducted, the actions that may be taken as a result of investigations, and the decisions regarding whether an incident violated applicable law or workplace policy.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=74a9c99f-12d3-4aca-8d68-533fae5589bf&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-12-02&utm_term=

Guidance on Diversity

Inside Higher Ed
December 5, 2011 - 3:00am
By Scott Jaschik
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has aligned itself strongly with the right of colleges to consider race and ethnicity in admissions decisions.

Guidance issued jointly Friday afternoon by the Departments of Education and Justice states that diversity is an important educational goal, and that colleges should be able to use a variety of methods (including the consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions) to achieve diversity. In many ways, the guidance is consistent with the arguments made by colleges that consider race in admissions decisions -- but it represents a reversal from 2008 guidance issued by the Bush administration that stressed the limits on the rights of colleges to consider race in admissions.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/12/05/obama-administration-issues-affirmative-action-guidance-colleges#ixzz1fh9eUmNZ
Inside Higher Ed

Saturday, December 3, 2011

U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity

The New York Times


The Obama administration on Friday urged colleges and universities to get creative in improving racial diversity at their campuses, throwing out a Bush-era interpretation of recent Supreme Court rulings that limited affirmative action in admissions.

The new guidelines issued by the Departments of Justice and Education replaced a 2008 document that essentially warned colleges and universities against considering race at all. Instead, the guidelines focus on the wiggle room in the court decisions involving the University of Michigan, suggesting that institutions use other criteria — students’ socioeconomic profiles, residential instability, the hardships they have overcome — that are often proxies for race. Schools could even grant preferences to students from certain schools selected for, among other things, their racial composition, the new document says.

“Post-secondary institutions can voluntarily consider race to further the compelling interest of achieving diversity,” reads the 10-page guide sent to thousands of college admissions officials on Friday afternoon. In some cases, it says, “race can be outcome determinative.”

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/03/education/us-urges-campus-creativity-to-gain-diversity.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

Friday, December 2, 2011

Obama Administration Says Schools May Use Race for Diversity

Bloomberg Business Week
December 02, 2011, 4:19 PM EST

By Greg Stohr

(Updates with comment from guidance in third paragraph.)

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration told school districts and universities they may consider the race of students in programs to foster diversity, revoking Bush administration guidelines that had advocated race-neutral enrollment policies.

The U.S. Justice Department and Education Department laid out approaches schools can use to promote racial diversity in documents released today. The policy represents the administration’s interpretation of three recent Supreme Court decisions that have limited the use of race, without outlawing it altogether.

Full Story: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-02/obama-administration-says-schools-may-use-race-for-diversity.html

Coalition Asks FCC to Focus on Diversity in Quadrennial Ownership Rule Review

Broadcasting and Cable

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights says FCC has no meaningful policies to address racial and gender inequalities in media ownership

By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/2/2011 4:55:34 PM

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has written the FCC to ask that it focus on diversity in its quadrennial ownership rule review. In addition to the congressional mandate for the review, the FCC is also taking a fresh look on orders from the Third Circuit, which remanded its last rule changes back to the commission in July for a better explanation of the diversity efforts as part of its last rule revision in 2007.

Full Story: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/477409-Coalition_Asks_FCC_to_Focus_on_Diversity_in_Quadrennial_Ownership_Rule_Review.php

OCR and Justice Release Joint Guidance on Voluntary Efforts to Promote Racial Diversity

The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights have just released new guidance on how educators can lawfully pursue voluntary policies to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation.

The Dear Colleague letter can be reached at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201111.html. As Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez stated, "Diversity is a remarkable source of strength."

A copy of the joint guidance follows.

Dear Colleague Letter
U.S. Department of JusticeCivil Rights Division
U.S. Department of EducationOffice for Civil Rights
More Resources
Dear Colleague LetterPDF (136K)
Guidance ESEPDF (290K)
Guidance PSEPDF (124K)

December 2, 2011

Dear Colleague:

Today, the United States Department of Education (ED) and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) are jointly issuing guidance that explains how educational institutions can lawfully pursue voluntary policies to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation within the framework of Titles IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and current case law. The guidance is presented in two documents, one for elementary and secondary schools and the other for postsecondary institutions. This guidance replaces August 2008 letters titled “The Use of Race in Assigning Students to Elementary and Secondary Schools” and “The Use of Race in Postsecondary Student Admissions” issued by ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Concurrent with the issuance of this guidance, the August 2008 letters are withdrawn.
The new guidance documents review three key Supreme Court rulings on the use of race by educational institutions, and provide examples of options that schools and postsecondary institutions may wish to consider in structuring programs that lawfully further diversity or reduce racial isolation. Both guidance documents provide examples of different educational contexts within which institutions may permissibly consider race to pursue their compelling objectives. For example, the elementary and secondary guidance discusses school districts’ options in areas such as student assignment, student transfers, school siting, feeder patterns, and school zoning. Similarly, the postsecondary guidance provides examples of how colleges and universities can further diversity in contexts including admissions, pipeline programs, recruitment and outreach, and mentoring, tutoring, retention, and support programs.
OCR and DOJ are available to provide technical assistance, and welcome questions about the application of this guidance to educational institutions. To submit questions or receive technical assistance, please contact the OCR regional office for your state or territory at http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm. To contact DOJ for assistance, please contact the Educational Opportunities Section at (202) 514-4092, (877) 292-3804, or education@usdoj.gov.
Russlynn Ali
Assistant Secretary
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Thomas E. Perez Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice


White Savannah State football coach settles discrimination suit

The Augusta Chronicle
By Donald Heath
Morris News Service
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 7:19 AM

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Former Savannah State football coach Robby Wells received compensation of $350,000, which included $110,000 to his attorneys, to settle his discrimination lawsuit against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and SSU administrators. The Savannah Morning News learned details of the agreement after issuing a freedom of information request for documents on the case.

Full Story: http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2011-12-01/white-savannah-state-football-coach-settles-discrimination-suit

CRP Announces New Book published by UNC Press

The Civil Rights Project-UCLA
Date Published: November 29, 2011

The Civil Rights Project announces the publication of Integrating Schools in a Changing Society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation, a new book of cutting-edge scholarship on the forces shaping the future of school integration policy following the Supreme Court’s 2007 PICS decision.

The book is designed “to reinvigorate the movement for equality in our multiracial society,” says Co-editor Erica Frankenberg. “It furthers the case for how education policies can be adopted in tandem with other social policies to create a more integrated and equitable society.”Integrating Schools in a Changing Society enhances the discussion already underway about immediate and long-term policy options legally available to the nation’s school districts, many of which remain committed to the ideal of integration as a tool for improving educational opportunity and achievement.

Full Announcement: http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/news/news-and-announcements/2011-site-news/crp-announces-new-book-published-by-unc-press?utm_source=CRP+Mail+Dump+11.21.2011&utm_campaign=0e48b818ed-template_2_for_announce11_22_2011&utm_medium=email

This Book is Available on the AAAA Bookstore: http://www.affirmativeaction.org/bookstore.html

Thursday, December 1, 2011

US Labor Department files complaint against Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co. for sex discrimination at Minnesota manufacturing plant

News Release
OFCCP News Release: [12/01/2011]
Contact Name: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke

More than 200 women applicants affected; complaint seeks back wages, job opportunities

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is suing federal contractor Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary. In an administrative complaint filed today with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges, OFCCP asserts that the companies systematically discriminated against more than 200 women who applied for entry-level positions at Lund's boat manufacturing plant in New York Mills, Minn.
"Representatives from Lund have argued that women were less likely to be hired than men because of a preference for workers with manufacturing experience," said Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith. "However, OFCCP's investigation found that even women with this type of experience were less likely to be hired than men without it. That's not fair. It's not right. And it's against the law."
Under Executive Order 11246, federal contractors are required to ensure that qualified job applicants receive equal consideration for employment without regard to their sex. OFCCP's complaint requests that Lund and Brunswick provide financial remedies — including lost wages, interest and benefits — to the women affected by the discriminatory practices. Furthermore, the agency asks that job offers be extended to at least 27 women in the original group of applicants. Finally, the suit asks that the companies be prohibited from extending or modifying current government contracts and from entering into future contracts until they have remedied these violations.
"Brunswick's Chairman and CEO, Dustan McCoy, has stated a commitment to acting ethically," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "By his own words, 'Acting ethically simply means that we do what is right in all situations.' So, we ask him now to do what is right for the women who sought a fair shot at employment with his company and for the taxpayers who deserve to know that their money is never used to discriminate."
Based in Lake Forest, Ill., Brunswick is a leading provider of marine, athletic and recreational products. Lund serves as the corporation's boat manufacturing division. In the past two years alone, Brunswick held federal contracts totaling almost $23 million with agencies including the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, among others.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 1-800-397-6251 or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

OFCCP v. Lund Boat Co. and Brunswick Corp.Case Number: 2012-OFC-00002


Adopting the U. of Maryland-Baltimore County Way

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 30, 2011, 11:12 am

By Marybeth Gasman

On November 13, Freeman Hrabowski III, the president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), was profiled on 60 Minutes. Under Hrabowski’s leadership, UMBC has become a powerhouse in the sciences for racial and ethnic minorities (and many others). Although the 60 Minutes reporter marveled at Hrabowski’s success, when I watched the interview, the strategies and successes made sense. Hrabowski earned his bachelor’s degree at Hampton University—one of the nation’s premier black colleges and liberal-arts colleges. He learned how to love math in a cooperative, supportive environment and had role models that looked like him teaching his classes. This makes a huge difference.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/adopting-the-u-of-maryland-baltimore-county-way/30963?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A subject that won’t vanish

livemint.com (India)
Summary Judgement Prashant Agrawal
Posted: Tue, Nov 29 2011. 10:42 PM IST

India’s private sector needs to watch only one Bollywood movie this year: Aarakshan. Unlike most big budget movies, this one tackles a sensitive subject—quotas—in educational institutions. Though the film is focused squarely on education, the issue of affirmative action not only haunts educational institutions, but radiates to corporate life as well.
It’s ironic, but the world’s two greatest and largest democracies face similar issues in helping long suppressed minorities uplift their status. To help correct the injustice, government programmes in both countries were developed to help the underprivileged.

Full Story: http://www.livemint.com/2011/11/29224222/A-subject-that-won8217t-van.html?h=B

Cargill rejects charges

Rod Smith

The U.S. Department of Labor has brought a complaint against Cargill Inc. alleging that the company's meat business has engaged in "systematic" discriminatory hiring practices -- a complaint that Cargill said was unexpected and unfounded.
Labor filed its complaint yesterday, charging specifically that Cargill's turkey processing plant in Springdale, Ark., preferably hired Asian and Pacific Islander applicants over other "qualified" job seekers, including women, blacks, whites, Hispanics and Native Americans. Labor said the plant unfairly rejected 4,069 job seekers over a three-year period between August 2005 and July 2008.

Full Story: http://www.feedstuffs.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=F4D1A9DFCD974EAD8CD5205E15C1CB42&nm=Breaking+News&type=news&mod=News&mid=A3D60400B4204079A76C4B1B129CB433&tier=3&nid=FCF12E93530C458A8AD3B374C15D5C51

US Labor Department files complaint against Cargill Meat Solutions for discrimination at Springdale, Ark., facility

U.S. Department of Labor
OFCCP News Release: [11/29/2011]
Contact Name: Elizabeth Todd or Juan Rodriguez

Suit seeks back wages and job offers for more than 4,000 affected job applicants, cancellation of federal contracts

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has filed an administrative complaint against federal contractor Cargill Meat Solutions, alleging that the company systematically discriminated against 4,069 qualified female, white, black, Hispanic and Native American applicants who sought entry-level production jobs at its Springdale facility.
The complaint was filed with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges after OFCCP was unable to secure a fair resolution from Cargill Meat Solutions to pay back wages and interest to the rejected job applicants and extend job offers to at least 167 of the affected workers. OFCCP is seeking cancellation of Cargill Meat Solutions' existing government contracts and debarment from entering into future contracts until the company resolves all violations and corrects its discriminatory employment practices.
"This is an unfortunate case in which thousands of qualified workers were denied the opportunity to compete fairly for jobs in a tough economy," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "Cargill has discriminated against vulnerable workers. OFCCP is prepared to use every tool at our disposal, including canceling a company's federal contracts when necessary, to achieve the goal of equal opportunity for workers."
OFCCP discovered the company's discriminatory practices during a scheduled review to determine its compliance with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race, national origin or sex when making hiring decisions. The investigation found that the company's selection criteria were subjectively and inconsistently applied. As a result, women were less likely to be employed in entry-level production jobs, and Asian and Pacific Islander job seekers were unfairly favored over other racial groups.
Cargill Meat Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Minneapolis, Minn.-based Cargill Inc., currently holds contracts in excess of $550 million with the U.S. Department of Defense. The Springdale facility processes turkeys for sale under the brand names Honeysuckle White and Riverside.
OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. As amended, these three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
OFCCP v. Cargill Meat Solutions, case number: 2012-OFC-00001


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Barbara Arnwine, Civil Rights Lawyer, Has Home Raided By Police

The Huffington Post
First Posted: 11/28/11 04:10 PM ET Updated: 11/29/11 09:37 AM ET

A civil rights lawyer said she is outraged and is sharing her story with the media, after her Maryland home was raided by police shortly before Thanksgiving.
Barbara Arnwine, the executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said her Prince George County home was raided by a SWAT team and other law enforcement the morning of Nov. 21, Politic365.com reports.
"They held us at gunpoint for three hours," Arnwine told Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. on Sharpton's radio show "Keepin' It Real." "There is no justification for them operating like this. It's totally unprofessional and unjustified."

Full Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/28/barbara-arnwine-civil-rig_n_1117186.html

Condoleeza Rice Says America Will Never Be 'Race Blind' On 'Face the Nation' VIDEO

Huffington Post
First Posted: 11/29/11 09:40 AM ET Updated: 11/29/11 12:41 PM ET

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, has been speaking out and reflecting on her time spent in the White House, much of which she recounts in her memoir "No Higher Honor."
During an interview on a special Thanksgiving edition of CBS' "Face the Nation," Rice talked about her perspective on race in America, saying although the country has come a long way, it will never be "race blind."
"It is a birth defect with which this country was born out of slavery" she told CBS' Bob Schieffer. "We're never really going to be race blind."

Full Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/condoleeza-rice-says-amer_n_1118455.html

Compensating Differentials for Sexual Harassment

Professor Joni Hersch of Vanderbilt University has published a paper that suggests that women who work in workplaces where there is a higher risk of sexual harassment are compensated more for such an environment. The abstract states:

American Economic Review
"Workplace sexual harassment is illegal, but many workers report that they have been sexually harassed. Exposure to the risk of sexual harassment may decrease productivity, which would reduce wages. Alternatively, workers may receive a compensating differential for exposure to sexual harassment, which would increase wages. Data on claims of sexual harassment filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are used to calculate the first measures of sexual harassment risks by industry, age group, and sex. Female workers face far higher sexual harassment risks. On balance, workers receive a compensating wage differential for exposure to the risk of sexual harassment."

http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.3.630 (To see the entire paper, subscription required or pay-per-view)

WIAReport Survey: First-Year Enrollments of Women at the Nation’s Leading Research Universities

Women in Academia Report
Posted on Nov 22, 2011

WIAReport surveyed the nation’s highest-ranking research universities to determine the percentage of women in this year’s entering classes. Of the 29 high-ranking universities that responded to our survey, women were a majority of the entering students at 14 schools while there were more men than women in the entering classes at 15 universities. However, the results showed a wide disparity.

Full Story: http://www.wiareport.com/2011/11/wiareport-survey-first-year-enrollments-of-women-at-the-nations-leading-research-universities/?utm_source=Women+In+Academia+Report&utm_campaign=44b16bbef0-Women_in_Academia_Report_6_14_116_13_2011&utm_medium=email

Affirmative Action for Men?

Women in Academia Report
Posted on Nov 23, 2011

Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, one of the original Seven Sisters schools, decided to go co-educational in 1970. Since that time, the college has struggled to achieve a student body that is balanced between men and women.
Due in part to its history as a women’s college, only about one third of all applicants to the institution are men. Other factors are also involved, including the fact there is no football program and no engineering curriculum which tends to attract male applicants.

Full Story: http://www.wiareport.com/2011/11/affirmative-action-for-men/?utm_source=Women+In+Academia+Report&utm_campaign=44b16bbef0-Women_in_Academia_Report_6_14_116_13_2011&utm_medium=email

Much Pain, a Lot of Gain in EEOC Awards

EEOC awards for pain and suffering have reached an all-time high.
Jenna Greene
The National Law Journal
November 29, 2011

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission feels federal workers' pain — and will pay them for it.
A review of commission decisions during the past decade shows an uptick in awards for emotional distress. In fiscal year 2011, the agency awarded discrimination victims an average of $106,000 for emotional pain and suffering, an all-time high. Five years ago, the average award was $84,477, according to the EEOC, and in 2002, it was $67,484.
The EEOC is tasked with reviewing appeals from federal workers who allege that they suffered discrimination in their government workplaces. The agency on appeal has often unilaterally increased workers' original emotional-distress awards, sometimes substantially. A fired U.S. Postal Service worker who lost custody of his daughter and was reduced to sleeping in his car, for example, was originally awarded $15,000 for emotional distress. The EEOC in 2010 increased the amount his agency must pay him 11-fold to $165,000.

Full Story: http://www.law.com/jsp/cc/PubArticleCC.jsp?id=1322397683014&Much_Pain_a_Lot_of_Gain_in_EEOC_Awards

Responding to OFCCP document requests after united space alliance v. solis

Husch Blackwell LLP
November 17 2011
Posted by Deena Jenab

Chief Judge Royce Lamberth's 46-page decision in United Space Alliance, LLC v. Solis, No. 11-746 (D.D.C. Nov. 14, 2011), introduces new uncertainties for contractors facing OFCCP investigations. The case arose from a 2009 OFCCP desk audit of United Space Alliance's facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Applying DOL's established practices to the initial compensation data provided by United Space Alliance revealed no discriminatory pattern. But DOL sought additional information because "it appeared that women were earning less more frequently than men." United Space Alliance refused, calling the request "unjustified."
United Space Alliance challenged the DOL's order to produce the additional information in court, asserting violations of the Fourth Amendment, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Fifth Amendment, and the Paperwork Reduction Act. The basic theory behind the lawsuit was that OFCCP was limited to using its published methodologies in identifying discrimination. Since the initial analysis revealed no discriminatory pattern in the compensation data, United Space Alliance argued that OFCCP was not permitted to request additional data or to conduct additional data analysis.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=7d39b19e-7289-495c-a4b1-2580b0092e3a&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Other+top+stories&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-11-28&utm_term=

Massachusetts legislature passes An Act Relative to Gender Identity

Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC
Martha J. Zackin
November 21 2011

On November 15, 2011, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed An Act Relative to Gender Identity, by a vote of 115 to 37. The next day, the bill was passed in a voice vote by the Massachusetts Senate. If Governor Patrick signs it, which he is expected to do, the Transgender Act will go into effect on July 1, 2012.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e9cbb993-e2d8-4573-828e-16ebd3d8c509&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Other+states+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-11-28&utm_term=

Use of “English-only” policies is subject of disagreement between governmental agencies

Ogletree Deakins
Maria Greco Danaher

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) has posted a report which recommends that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) modify its position that the use of “English-only” policies is a presumptive violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. See EEOC’s guideline at 29 C.F.R. § 1606.7 (2010). This report sets up an interesting dichotomy in the analysis of such policies by two governmental agencies, both of which ostensibly were formed primarily to insure civil rights.
While most individuals are aware of the existence of the EEOC, fewer have heard of the USCCR and its mission. The USCCR was established under the Civil Rights Act of 1957 as an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency. Its mission, according to its website, is “to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws.” It does so by reviewing alleged deprivations of voting rights and alleged discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice. The agency plays a vital - but widely unrecognized - role in advancing civil rights through objective and comprehensive investigation, research, and analysis on issues of fundamental concern both to the federal government and to the public.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=48643899-18f1-480a-8a34-01662503b373&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-11-28&utm_term=

Occupy Wall Street and Affirmative Action

The Root
The protests -- and Abigail Fisher's lawsuit -- remind us that inequality affects white people, too.
By: John McWhorterPosted: November 25, 2011 at 12:32 AM

The Occupy Wall Street phenomenon has a thing or two to teach us about, of all things, affirmative action.
One of those affirmative-action-all-the-time spells will most likely be on us again -- soon. Abigail Fisher has appealed to the Supreme Court in her 2008 case against the University of Texas at Austin -- denied by the 5th Court of Appeals -- for not admitting her despite an academic record that would have gained a black or Latino applicant admission.
Forecasts suggest that the Supremes will likely hear the case before June -- unless UTA succeeds with its current strategy of stonewalling in response to the high court's request for a preliminary response to the challenge of its admissions policy. However, that will work for only so long, in which case the decision would happen in late 2012 or soon thereafter.

Full Story: http://www.theroot.com/views/occupy-wall-street-and-affirmative-action

Former College Trustee Heyman ‘51 dies at 81

By Lindsay Ellis
Published on Monday, November 28, 2011

Ira Michael Heyman ’51, a former member of the Board of Trustees who triumphed affirmative action while serving as Chancellor for University of California, Berkeley from 1980 to 1990, died due to complications from emphysema in his Berkeley home on Nov. 19, according to his son, James Heyman. He was 81 years old.
Heyman, who also served as the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was highly-regarded at Berkeley because of his intellect and concentration on community issues, John Cummins, Berkeley’s former associate chancellor and Heyman’s chief of staff, said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
“He had the ability to bring people together around issues and work for solutions that weren’t always popular but were ahead of his time,” Cummins said.
Heyman helped develop Berkeley’s affirmative action policy, according to Cummins. During Heyman’s time at Berkeley, the number of undergraduate students of color rose from 21 to 57 percent, according to his faculty profile on the university’s website.

Full Story: http://thedartmouth.com/2011/11/28/news/heyman

Confronting Ignorance and Prejudice in Public Forums

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 28, 2011, 3:07 pm

By Marybeth Gasman

This post is co-authored with Mayra Olivares-Urueta, a Ph.D. student at the University of North Texas. Mayra is pursuing research related to the involvement of Latino families in all aspects of the college process as well as increasing the number of underrepresented students who complete allied-health degrees.
I met Mayra at a national conference a few weeks ago. Because she is a graduate student, it was one of her first academic conferences. She was excited, eager, and thrilled to meet people who cared about similar issues. Unfortunately, during one of the conference sessions, which focused on the impact that family has on minority students and their college aspiration and attainment goals, Mayra came face to face with prejudice against students just like her. The discussant commenting on papers in the session told the audience that (paraphrasing) ‘when we work with those students, we can’t make them want to go to college even if we really want them to.’ She then added, ‘If they want to go out and get pregnant after high-school graduation then we should just let them.’ Along with Mayra, many of the young students of color and assistant professors in the room were deeply offended by the speaker’s comments. They were “those” students the speaker’s remarks.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/confronting-ignorance-and-prejudice-in-public-forums/30961?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Dodge’s Chicken To Pay $190,000 To Former Employee Fired After Suffering From Seizures

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release 11-28-11

Company Violated ADAAA Disability Law, EEOC Charged
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – D&H Company, Dodge Brothers, Inc., and Giant Oil Company of Arkansas, Inc., doing business as Savings Station Dodge Stores and Dodge’s Chicken Store, will pay $190,000 to settle a disability lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that the companies denied the store leader of their Dodge’s Chicken Store 631 in Hot Springs, Ark., a reasonable accommodation after she suffered from seizures. Because her doctor restricted her from driving, she requested that the employer allow another employee to conduct daily competitor gasoline price surveys while she handled that employee's in-store duties. The defendants denied her request for an accommodation and discharged her.
Denial of a reasonable accommodation to disabled individuals violates Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended by the Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The EEOC filed suit on Sept. 28, 2010, No. 6:10-cv-06072, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Hot Springs Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. This case was among the agency’s first lawsuits filed under the ADAAA.
EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez noted that President Barack Obama recognized October 2011 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
“The Commission has devoted considerable attention to ensuring compliance with the ADA through the issuance of policy and public attention,” said Lopez. “As reflected by this case, however, the EEOC, when necessary, is prepared to litigate to ensure that persons with disabilities have fair opportunity for economic independence. Indeed, last fiscal year, the EEOC filed approximately 60 disability discrimination cases.”
Faye A. Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, added, “Reasonable accommodations allow many individuals with disabilities to work. Employers should understand their obligation to provide an employee with a reasonable accommodation unless it poses an undue hardship. The EEOC remains committed to its responsibility in enforcing the ADA.”
In addition to monetary relief, the terms of the 30-month consent decree require that the defendants create a disability policy in its employee handbook for distribution to all its employees; provide for training under the ADA; maintain records of any disability complaints; provide reports to the EEOC; and post a notice to employees about the lawsuit that includes the EEOC’s contact information.
Defendants own and operate convenience stores and gas retailers in 10 states including Arkansas and Mississippi and collectively employ more than 700 people.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


EEOC Intake, Relief Obtained and Charges Resolved Hit Record Highs in 2011

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release 11-15-11

Fiscal Year 2011 Shows First Reduction in Pending Inventory Since 2002

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finished fiscal year 2011 with a ten percent decrease in its pending charge inventory—the first such reduction since 2002, achieved the highest ever monetary amounts through administrative enforcement, and received a record number of charges of discrimination, the agency reported in its annual Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) filed today.
The EEOC received a record 99,947 charges of discrimination in fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30, the highest number of charges in the agency’s 46-year history. EEOC staff also delivered historic relief through administrative enforcement—more than $364.6 million in monetary benefits for victims of workplace discrimination. This is also the highest level obtained in the Commission’s history. The fiscal year ended with 78,136 pending charges—a decrease of 8,202 charges, or ten percent. In previous years, the pending inventory had increased as staffing declined 30 percent between fiscal years 2000 and 2008.
“I am proud of the work of our employees and believe this demonstrates what can be achieved when we are given resources to enforce the nation’s laws prohibiting employment discrimination,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “The EEOC was able to strategically manage existing resources and take full advantage of increased resources in the past two fiscal years to make significant progress towards effective enforcement of the nation’s civil rights laws.”
Due to EEOC’s enforcement programs in both the private and federal sectors, 5.4 million individuals benefitted from changes in employment policies or practices in their workplace during the past fiscal year. Additionally, EEOC’s public outreach and education programs reached approximately 540,000 persons directly.
The agency continued to build a strong national systemic enforcement program. At the end of the fiscal year, there were 580 systemic investigations involving more than 2,000 charges under way. EEOC field legal units filed 261 lawsuits—23 of which involved systemic allegations affecting large numbers of people; 61 had multiple victims (less than 20); and 177 were individual lawsuits.
The EEOC’s private sector national mediation program also achieved historic highs, obtaining more than $170 million in monetary benefits for complainants, and securing the highest number of resolutions in the history of the program—9,831. This is five percent more than the number of resolutions reported in fiscal year 2010.
In the federal sector, where the EEOC has different enforcement obligations, the Commission resolved a total of 7,672 requests for hearings, securing more than $58 million in relief for parties who requested hearings. It also resolved 4,510 appeals from final agency determinations.
The EEOC’s FY 2011 PAR is posted on the agency’s web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/index.cfm. Comprehensive enforcement and litigation statistics for fiscal year 2011 will be available in early 2012.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site www.eeoc.gov.


Reinvigorated Partnership between EEOC and OFCCP

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

OFCCP and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have updated their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The revisions became effective on November 7, 2011, when OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu and the EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien both signed the revised MOU. The agencies first entered into this MOU on May 20, 1970 and revised it in 1974, 1981 and most recently in 1999. This MOU sets out procedures for OFCCP and EEOC to coordinate investigation of Title VII and Executive Order 11246 complaints. It includes procedures for information-sharing and confidentiality, and requires regular interagency coordination meetings. The revised MOU promotes greater coordination, reduces duplication and maximizes efficiency across agencies. This MOU supersedes the 1999 MOU between EEOC and OFCCP.
"These updates will further improve the way our agencies work, both separately and together, in pursuit of equal employment opportunity for all American workers," said OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu.

Read the MOU in the Federal Register for more information.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics

Pew Social and Demographic Trends
Released: July 26, 2011
By Paul Taylor, Richard Fry and Rakesh Kochhar

Executive Summary

The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009.
These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009.

Full Story: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/07/26/wealth-gaps-rise-to-record-highs-between-whites-blacks-hispanics/

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Sweden made me re-think affirmative action'

The Local (Sweden)
Published: 23 Nov 11 11:20 CET

Although Sweden’s emphasis on gender can at times seem a bit much to a foreigner, the battle to change perceptions of how a gender equal society can look, has made it a model to follow, Ruben Brunsveld observes.
Ban mums' bare boobs: young Swedes (26 Oct 11)
Half of young Swedish mums want to be housewives: study (25 Oct 11)
Swedish men soon in the majority (25 Sep 11)Reacting to my latest contribution on The Local, some readers questioned if I wanted to live in Sweden or whether it would not be better to move (back) to another country. One commentator even “marvel(ed) at Mr. Brunsveld's almost neverending knitpicking of Sweden's endless flow of 'faults and inadequacies'’. So let me begin with stating the obvious: Sweden is a marvelous country in which to live! So many important core values are anchored in society in a way that few other countries have managed. Transparency, equality, the rule of law, and many other human rights values are not only incorporated in the constitution but also woven deeply into the fabric of society. And yes, sometimes I wonder if it doesn’t go too far.

Full Story: http://www.thelocal.se/37516/20111123/#

What Should Obama Do on Affirmative Action?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 21, 2011, 5:53 pm
By Richard Kahlenberg

President Obama, facing high unemployment and a sluggish economy, may soon encounter a new obstacle in his quest for re-election: the re-emergence of affirmative action in higher education as a political issue. The odds seem increasingly likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up a suit against the University of Texas at Austin, re-introducing the issue of racial preferences that has been largely dormant since the 2003 Supreme Court Grutter decision affirming the use of race in admissions.
The tricky politics of affirmative action for Obama is an important feature of two new books, Still a House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama’s America by Desmond S. King of Oxford and Rogers M. Smith of the University of Pennsylvania (a volume I reviewed this week in The New Republic); and The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency, a trenchant analysis by Harvard Law School professor Randall Kennedy.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/what-should-obama-do-on-affirmative-action/30905

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pro vs Con: Affirmative Action

(Loop 21 picture)

By Kenrya Rankin8:37 AM
Nov 21st, 2011
Two powerful arguments for an issue dividing the nation

Affirmative action has long been a contentious question in this country. But no matter how it’s framed, most Americans believe the country still has work to do when it comes to social and economic equality. According to a USA Today/Gallup Poll, when asked “How much of a role, if any, do you think the government should have in trying to improve the social and economic position of blacks and other minority groups in this country: a major role, a minor role, or no role at all?” 91% of African Americans think the government should play some role. A full 69% of whites agree. A recent spate of cases that challenge affirmative action in higher education has pushed the issue into the spotlight, so we turned to Black experts on both sides of the conversation to tackle the key question: Is affirmative action still necessary in our current higher education climate?

Full Story: http://www.loop21.com/content/pro-vs-con-affirmative-action-0

Nishimoto Trading Co. will pay $400,000 to 71 women to settle US Labor Department sex discrimination allegations

US Department of Labor
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
News Release
OFCCP News Release: [11/17/2011]

Nishimoto Trading Co. will pay $400,000 to 71 women to settle US Labor Department sex discrimination allegations

Women denied employment at Santa Fe Springs, Calif., branch to receive back pay and job offers
LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has reached an agreement with federal contractor Nishimoto Trading Co. to settle findings of hiring discrimination. In a conciliation agreement with the department, Nishimoto will pay $400,000 in back wages and interest to 71 women who were rejected for sales associate positions at the company's facility in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
"Those who do business with our government are expected to follow our laws," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "I am pleased the Department of Labor was able to work out a fair settlement with Nishimoto that will guarantee women the right to compete fairly for good jobs."
Based on a compliance evaluation of the company's Santa Fe Springs facility conducted by OFCCP's Los Angeles District Office, investigators determined that Nishimoto failed to ensure qualified job applicants received equal consideration for employment without regard to gender as required by Executive Order 11246. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Nishimoto will extend job offers to 14 women in the original class as sales associate positions become open. The company also has agreed to improve training for personnel involved in the selection process. In addition, Nishimoto must undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law and immediately correct any discriminatory practices.
Tokyo, Japan-based Nishimoto operates U.S. branch offices in Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Las Vegas, Nev.; Miramar, Fla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Carlstadt, N.J.; and Elkridge, Md. The company holds federal contracts totaling $1.2 million with the U.S. Department of Defense to sell Asian foods at commissaries.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
Read this news release in Japanese.


Veterans with Disabilities Need Multi-Prong Approach for Employment, EEOC Told at Meeting

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Commission Also Votes to Approve Age Discrimination Regulations

WASHINGTON—Veterans with disabilities have unique needs in transitioning to and retaining civilian employment, and many are unaware that they are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a panel of experts told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a public meeting held today. The panel included representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Defense (DOD) and private sector stakeholders, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The meeting was one of a series the EEOC has held to examine barriers to employment.
“Today’s Commission meeting provided an important opportunity to learn effective ways to remove barriers to employment for veterans with disabilities,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien.
“Veterans with disabilities often remain a distinct segment of the disability community, which challenges traditional avenues of outreach,” said Heather Ansley of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. Moreover, veterans with disabilities “are not immune to the myths that surround the employment of people with disabilities.”
Panelists pointed out the important role of employment in easing a veteran’s return to civilian life and recovery from injuries. The VA and DOL have programs providing vocational rehabilitation services and job training for veterans with disabilities. DOL also enforces a specific law prohibiting discrimination against former service members—the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act. Additionally, the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) insures that federal contractors comply with laws giving veterans priority referrals to job openings and not discriminate on the basis of disability, Claudia Gordon, special assistant to OFCCP director Patricia Shiu told the Commission.
Ruth Fanning, Director of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services for the VA, stressed the need for early intervention in the transition from active duty to civilian life. Encouraging injured veterans to plan and work toward civilian career goals “reduces the risk of homelessness, underemployment, or unsuitable employment after discharge from the military.” As George M. Parker, Director of Compliance and Investigations of the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) of the DOL put it, “for wounded and injured veterans, employment can play a significant role in the road to recovery.”
Disabled veterans face special challenges, a number of panelists told the Commission, especially those returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan who may have traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which many employers do not know how to accommodate. The DOL’s Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides special resources for employers who need to learn more about how to accommodate veterans with PTSD and TBI, said Anne Hirsh, JAN’s co-director.
Ironically, the increased attention to veterans with conditions like TBI, PTSD and other mental health issues has made some employers hesitant to hire veterans at all, believing that all veterans are likely to have these conditions, Ansley told the Commission. Stereotypical views of mental health issues, rooted in suspicion and fear, “often lead to widespread discrimination against people with conditions like PTSD.”
The EEOC works to combat these myths and stereotypes about veterans with disabilities, said EEOC Senior Attorney-Advisor Joyce Walker-Jones. In 2008, the Commission issued two guides—one for veterans, the other for employers—explaining how the ADA and USERRA protect veterans with disabilities. “We issued the guides because we wanted veterans to know what the ADA is, and employers to know that many veterans with disabilities are able to—and want to—work,” she stated.
Other panelists included Dinah Cohen, Director of the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program of the Department of Defense, and Ray Decker, Assistant Director for Veterans Services at the U.S. Department of Personnel Management.
In an unrelated matter, the Commission voted 3—2 at the meeting to approve the “Final Regulation on Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other than Age” under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The regulation now goes to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Upon OMB approval, the text of the regulation will be made public in the Federal Register.
The EEOC enforces the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.


OPM releases the Federal Government Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan

AAAA Urges OPM and EEOC to Include Private Sector in a Consultative Role

The US Office of Personnel Management has issued the long-awaited Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for federal employees. The OPM plan was a product of the presidential executive order 13583 calling for a diversity and inclusion policy and program for the federal sector. The Executive order "directs executive departments and agencies (agencies) to develop and implement a more comprehensive, integrated, and strategic focus on diversity and inclusion as a key component of their human resources strategies."

OPM defines workforce diversity and inclusion thusly:

"We define workforce diversity as a collection of individual attributes that together help agencies pursue organizational objectives efficiently and effectively. These include, but are not limited to, characteristics such as national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, and family structures. The concept also encompasses differences among people concerning where they are from and where they have lived and their differences of thought and life experiences.
We define inclusion as a culture that connects each employee to the organization; encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness; and leverages diversity throughout the organization so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential."

The OPM's three principal goals are: Workforce Diversity (recruit from a diverse and qualified workforce), Workplace Inclusion (cultivate a culture that encourages collaboration and fairness), and Sustainability (develop structures to enable managers to manage diversity).

AAAA met with OPM staff including Director of Diversity Veronica Villalobos last week. OPM official Liz Montoya also addressed the AAAA board in September.

AAAA has urged the government to include non-governmental organizations including AAAA to assist in advising OPM in the development of such programs. Diversity management as a concept is not new to the private sector and AAAA is recommending that the government not reinvent the wheel and that it confer with those who have experience in managing diversity, affirmative action and EEO programs. The ultimate program may have implications for the private sector as well.

AAAA board members Gregory T. Chambers, ReNee Dunman, Delia Johnson and John Gonzalez have taken a lead role in this initiative. For a copy of the OPM Diversity and Inclusion Plan, go to: http://www.opm.gov/diversityandinclusion/reports/GovernmentwideDIStrategicPlan.pdf


The OFCCP Blog Spot Reports that the Department of Labor's OFCCP has selected Bradley A. Anderson to replace Sandra Zeigler as director of the Midwest Region. "Director Anderson has been with the agency for 16 years and was most recently the director of the Charlotte District Office in North Carolina."

Full Story: http://ofccp.blogspot.com/2011/11/ofccp-names-new-director-of-midwest.html

See Something / Say Something

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 18, 2011, 12:15 pm
By Billie Hara

We’ve heard this statement a lot lately, “see something / say something,” but we’ve heard it in a context that most of will never face. But how often do we see something on our college or university campuses– something that is questionable, something that is odd, something that is just plain wrong– and we don’t say anything to anyone about it? The situations we witness might not involve minors, but the situations could still be wrong, could still be abusive, or could still be illegal. It’s important to recognize, too, that we may not just see these situations; we may be experiencing them ourselves.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/see-something-say-something/37352?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

US district court rules United Space Alliance must give US Labor Department access to information for review of its Cape Canaveral, Fla., facility

OFCCP News Release: [11/15/2011]
Contact Name: Laura McGinnis or Mike Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-4653 or x6588
Release Number: 11-1608-ATL

US district court rules United Space Alliance must give US Labor Department access to information for review of its Cape Canaveral, Fla., facility
Decision supports February ruling by Office of Administrative Law Judges

WASHINGTON — The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that United Space Alliance LLC must supply the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs with compensation information requested for a review of the company's Cape Canaveral, Fla., facility. The ruling upholds a Feb. 28 decision by the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges.
"Workplace discrimination is not universal, but it is far too common — and the people who suffer most are the American workers," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "At OFCCP, we are charged with identifying which federal contractors discriminate in their hiring and pay practices, and which are abiding by the law. We cannot serve our mission to protect workers if companies refuse to give us access to the records they promised to keep and share with us when they signed their contracts."
United Space Alliance, a spaceflight operations company and a joint venture between Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., holds contracts with NASA worth at least $8 billion dollars.
In 2009, OFCCP asked for information about United Space's affirmative action program and supporting documents to conduct a scheduled compliance review. The initial review raised questions about the company's pay practices, leading OFCCP to request additional data and records in order to complete the evaluation. The company refused to provide the records or to allow OFCCP access to its premises to gather the requested information.
In November 2010, the Labor Department's Office of the Solicitor filed a complaint with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges alleging denial of access and requesting that United Space Alliance be compelled to comply with the requirements of Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act, as well as permit OFCCP access to its facility and records.
Following a February 2011 hearing, an administrative law judge ruled in favor of OFCCP and issued a recommended decision and order that the company provide access to the requested compensation information within 30 days or be subject to contract suspension, cancellation and debarment. After additional administrative procedures, United Space Alliance sought review of the decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under the Administrative Procedures Act.
In a Nov. 14 decision, Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled in favor of OFCCP on all issues — rejecting every major argument United Space Alliance made — and ordered the contractor to provide the requested documentation. "The [d]epartment has merely required United Space to submit data about its employee compensation," said Lamberth. "Submission to such lawful investigations is the price of working as a federal contractor."
Lamberth's order will become enforceable on Nov. 28.
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 require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp.


Ivy League legacies due for court scrutiny?

CBS MoneyWatch
November 15, 2011 9:33 AM

COMMENTARY. Should legacy applicants at Ivy League schools continue to enjoy an edge over everybody else?
I think most people -- except perhaps parents with an Ivy League pedigree -- would agree that giving a college admission boost to such "legacies," or family of alumni, is unfair.
The issue of alumni favoritism is bound to resurface in the coming months if the U.S. Supreme Court goes ahead, as expected, and reviews the constitutionality of affirmative action at colleges and universities. I wrote about this likelihood here: Is the End Nearing for Affirmative Action at Universities?

Full Story: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57324527/ivy-league-legacies-due-for-court-scrutiny/

EEOC Announces Commission Meeting November 16 to Discuss ADEA and VETS Issues

CONTACT: Christine Nazer
Justine Lisser 202) 663-4191
TTY: (202) 663-4494 newsroom@eeoc.gov
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, November 16, at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern Time), at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E. In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the meeting is open for public observation of the Commission’s deliberations.

The following matters are scheduled for consideration during the meeting:

< Vote on “Final Regulation on Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other Than Age” under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
< Panel discussion, “Overcoming Barriers to the Employment of Veterans with Disabilities”

The Commission will examine unlawful discrimination in employment and other challenges that veterans with disabilities may face. The list of invited panelists includes:

· Heather Ansley, Director of Veterans Policy, VetsFirst, and Co-Chair of the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities Veterans Task Force
· Vivian Eng Bendewald, Program Manager, Student Veterans and Wounded, Ill and Injured Veterans Employment Initiatives, Veterans Employment Program, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
· Dinah Cohen, Director, Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP), U.S. Department of Defense
· Ray Decker, Assistant Director for Veteran Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
· Ruth A. Fanning, Director, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
· Claudia Gordon, Special Assistant to the Director, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, U.S. Department of Labor
· Anne E. Hirsh, Co-Director, Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
· George M. Parker, Director, Office of Compliance and Investigations, Veterans Employment and Training Service, U.S. Department of Labor
· Joyce Walker Jones, Senior Attorney Advisor, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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.

The Commission agenda is subject to revision. Additional information about the hearing, when available, will be posted at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/index.cfm.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

# # #

OFCCP Offers"Opening Doors" Brochure for Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has produced a brochure for America's workers entitled "Opening Doors." In the introduction to the brochure, OFCCP writes:

"At the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, we protect workers, promote diversity and enforce the law. We hold those who do business with the federal government-contractors and subcontractors-to the fair and reasonable standard that they take affirmative action and not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran." The agency, which covers nearly a quarter of the US civilian workforce, explains its mission of education, inspection, securing good jobs and changing bad employment policies.

For a copy of the brochure, go to: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/media/highlights/OFCCP_Brochure.htm

Labor Department criticized for abandoning citizenship checks

Government Executive
By Charles S. Clark cclark@govexec.com November 9, 2011

A year-old decision by the Labor Department to discontinue certain citizenship checks on employees of federal contractors is drawing fire from immigration reform groups, who view it as government "shirking" its responsibility to curb hiring of illegal workers.
At issue is whether the Labor office that monitors contractor compliance with anti-discrimination laws can leave it to the Homeland Security Department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau to verify workers' immigration status.

Full Story: http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1111/110911cc5.htm

Affirmative Action for the Rich

The New York Times
by Richard Kahlenberg
November 13, 2011

While affirmative action policies for students of color have been the subject of countless books, lawsuits, and voter initiatives, much less attention has been paid to legacy preferences, which benefit a larger number of students. It’s time for the scrutiny to increase and the policies to end.
Rewarding birth rather than merit is un-American and possibly illegal.
Legacy preferences provide the equivalent of a 160 point boost on the math and verbal SATs, not the “tiebreaker” that many universities claim . These preferences disproportionately benefit wealthy white students, providing, in essence, affirmative action for the rich.

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/11/13/why-do-top-schools-still-take-legacy-applicants/affirmative-action-for-the-rich

Latin Business Association Honors Verizon for Its Commitment to the Latino Small-Business Community

press release
Nov. 14, 2011, 1:01 p.m. EST

Verizon Receives 2011 Chairman's Historical Corporation of the Year Award for Efforts to Increase Business Opportunities for Latino-Owned Businesses

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Latin Business Association has presented Verizon with the 2011 Chairman's Historical Corporation of the Year Award, in recognition of the company's commitment to supplier diversity and its support of the Latino small-business community.
The LBA cited Verizon's efforts to increase access to business opportunities for Latino-owned businesses and for providing guidance and support to the membership of the LBA and the small-business community.
"Verizon's forward thinking extends beyond its innovative products and services," said Ruben Guerra, chairman of the Latin Business Association. "Through strong supplier diversity programs and business partnerships within the Latino community, Verizon sets the bar high for other companies."

Full Press Release: