Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Working Mother Magazine Publishes List of 2011 Best Companies for Multicultural Women

Working Mother Magazine
Our 23 Best Companies know great talent when they see it. They are committed to supporting women of color with strong diversity, leadership and education programs.

The ApplicationThe 2011 Working Mother Best Companies for Multicultural Women application includes nearly 300 questions on representation; hiring, attrition and promotion rates; recruitment, retention and advancement programs; and company culture. It surveys the availability and usage of programs, as well as the accountability of managers who oversee them.
Download the 2011 Executive Summary PDF here
The ScoringThe Working Mother Research Institute creates a scoring algorithm based on the previous year’s benchmark results, which then determines the winners. All applicants receive feedback showing how they compare to other applicants; however, the names of applicants that do not make the list are kept confidential. Company profiles are culled from the survey applications and reflect 2009 data.

Full Story: http://www.workingmother.com/best-companies/2011-best-companies-multicultural-women

Employers should insert GINA’s safe harbor language into FMLA and other applicable leave policies and forms

Bricker & Eckler LLP
Cavett R. Kreps and James G. Petrie
May 23 2011

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other covered entities from discriminating based on genetic information. GINA also prohibits covered entities from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information of an applicant or employee. “Genetic information” is broadly defined by GINA and includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that such genetic services were sought, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member.
If an employer requests medical information from an employee (or his/her health care provider) and the employer receives genetic information in addition to the requested medical information, the employer may be liable under GINA. However, GINA’s regulations provide a safe harbor for employers that inadvertently receive otherwise protected genetic information. Specifically, receipt of genetic information from an employee (or his/her health care provider) may be considered “inadvertent,” and thus, not a violation of GINA if the employer instructs employees and/or health care providers from whom medical information is sought that the employee is not seeking and should not be provided genetic information.

Full Story:

EEOC regulations spotlight social media

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC
Mary E. Windham, Ted Claypoole and Stephanie L. Shaw
May 24 2011

Does your human resources staff dig into MySpace, snagging pictures of applicants at bong parties and finding admissions of employees stealing boxes of copy paper? Does your manager learn about the latest office pregnancy or skiing accident on Facebook? Is social media an official information source for your company?
If so, the EEOC is aiming to regulate your company’s use of social networking sites, especially as it relates to health data.
The EEOC commentary comes in the form of new anti-discrimination regulations and some interpretive guidance by the EEOC’s top lawyer. For several years the EEOC has cautioned of what one official has called “the snowballing problem” of potentially discriminatory hiring practices in the Internet era. Use of social media in particular creates further issues, as an employer may become aware of an individual’s protected characteristics such as marital status, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or political activities.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=1147c039-ef9c-4f6a-9ebb-448de20b8123&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Other+top+stories&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-05-31&utm_term=

Damage caps for non-economic and punitive damages apply to claims brought under the Ohio Civil Rights Act

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
Peg Koesel
May 24 2011

Reversing a $43 million punitive damage award in the largest retaliatory discharge award in Ohio history, the Eighth District Court of Appeals held that the statutory limits or caps on non-economic and punitive damages are applicable to a retaliatory discharge action brought under the Ohio Civil Rights Act. Although this is good news for employers, there are still substantial non-economic and punitive damages available to employees who successfully establish a discrimination claim under Ohio law.
In Luri v. Republic Services, Inc., et al., an employer and two of its supervisors asked a facility manager to prepare a plan to discharge three of the oldest employees at the facility. The manager told his superiors that one of the employees had strong performance evaluations and a medical condition. After informing his superiors that he had concerns that age and disability discrimination lawsuits could result if they were discharged, the manager refused to fire them. Less than six month later, the employer fired the manager after his superiors imposed some "Improvement Directives," which they claimed he failed to meet.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=d4a04b00-39a2-40a4-a6e7-283bd620f36b&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Other+states+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-05-31&utm_term=

Jury finds against Texas Tech in employee case

Lubbock Online
Posted: May 25, 2011 - 4:00pm Updated: May 25, 2011 - 11:03pm
A jury decided Texas Tech should pay a former professor more than $500,000 for discriminating against him because he is deaf

A Lubbock County jury on Wednesday decided Texas Tech should pay a former professor more than $500,000 for discriminating against him because he is deaf.
Michael L. Collier, Ph.D., a deaf, tenure-track assistant professor hired to teach American Sign Language and other courses relating to deaf culture, was abruptly dismissed in October 2006.
The jury found Collier's disability was directly related to his termination.

Full Story: http://lubbockonline.com/local-news/2011-05-25/jury-finds-against-texas-tech-employee-case?

Contract compliance agency seeks data

Federal Times
May 26th, 2011 Labor Posted by Sarah Chacko

The agency that ensures federal contractors are meeting federal employment rules is seeking more information from contractors.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) says the changes should make the process easier on contractors while also providing better data for their evaluations.
But corporate law firms and consultant groups are alerting contractors via their blogs and websites that the additional data OFCCP wants will actually be a new burden for them.

Full Story: http://blogs.federaltimes.com/federal-times-blog/2011/05/26/contract-compliance-agency-seeks-data/

EEOC Sues BP One Stop for Disability Discrimination

CSP Daily News
Issue Date: CSP Daily News, May 27, 2011
Waunakee, Wis., store allegedly fired employee for seeking medical attention

MILWAUKEE -- A BP One Stop store in Waunakee, Wis., owned and operated by Meffert Oil Co. Inc., violated federal civil rights laws by firing an employee because of her disabilities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed Thursday in federal district court in Madison, Wis. Among other businesses, Waunakee-based Meffert owns and operates two BP One Stop stores in Waunakee.Rosemary Fox, director of EEOC's Milwaukee Area Office, noted that the agency's administrative investigation, which preceded the lawsuit, revealed that Meffert appeared to have fired the woman for leaving her workplace to seek medical attention for her conditions, interstitial familial pulmonary fibrosis and panic attacks.

Full Story: http://www.cspnet.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=6EADDA4DF4E544D2B45DD523E4BFBCD7&AudID=7763DA803CBE410A893CD5C4ED7C9205

More Companies Go With Online Tests to Fill in the Blanks

Workforce Management
Employment assessments can range from online exams for a specific computer skill to personality tests intended to predict customer service prowess to extensive evaluations of potential executives. By Ed Frauenheim

Companies are giving employment testing high marks these days. Despite a still-tepid hiring climate, spending on assessments of job candidates and existing employees rose about 20 percent last year, according to vendors in the field. Josh Bersin, president and CEO of Oakland, California-based research firm Bersin & Associates, estimates the global market for assessment tools and consulting to be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion annually.
Bersin attributes increased interest in testing partly to the rise of software systems that let employers create detailed profiles of employees and plan their development. “With the growing awareness of integrated talent management and the new talent management systems becoming implemented in many companies, the role of assessments is growing,” Bersin wrote in a January blog post.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/training-development/more-companies-go-online-tests-fill-blanks/index.php

Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Immigration Law on Hiring

Workforce Management
May 31, 2011
Under the Arizona law, employers that intentionally violate the law a second time by knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant can lose their business license.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding an Arizona immigration law could result in employers facing a patchwork of onerous, costly anti-immigration laws unless Congress decides to take action, attorneys say.
In its 5-3 decision May 26 in Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America et al. v. Michael B. Whiting et al., the court upheld lower court rulings that found that Arizona’s 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act is not pre-empted by federal law.
The high court ruled that the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 expressly pre-empts “any state or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions [other than through licensing and similar laws] upon those who employ or recruit or refer for a fee for employment unauthorized aliens.”

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/section/news/article/supreme-court-upholds-arizona-immigration-law-hiring.php

Using Worker Focus Groups Carries Risks for Employers

Workforce Management
A labor lawyer warns that focus groups, even when set up by managers with the most noble motives, can easily backfire and expose a company to a litigation nightmare. By Patrick J. Kiger

For years, management gurus have touted employee focus groups as the answer to improving cooperation and communication between workers and managers on issues ranging from downsizing to designing compensation policies.
But the thought of employee focus groups makes Bill Altman cringe. As a labor lawyer with Bingham Farms, Michigan-based Vercruysse Murray & Calzone, Altman has spent the past 15 years counseling companies on how to avoid federal labor law violations and trying to extricate the unlucky ones from complaints filed by union organizers.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/legal/using-worker-focus-groups-carries-risks-employers/index.php

Four Amigos Travel and Top Dog Travel Sued by EEOC in Class Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Federal Agency Charged Female Telemarketers Subjected to Sexually Hostile Environment at Largo Workplace

TAMPA – Four Amigos Travel, Inc. and Top Dog Travel, Inc., related Florida-based travel telemarketing firms, violated federal law when they allowed five female employees at their Largo, Fla., location to be sexually harassed by supervisors, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s class suit, several of the firms’ male supervisors, including the general manager, conducted daily sales meetings which were sexually charged and raised sexually explicit discussions and propositioned female employees for sex. The harassers also inappropriately touched themselves and the female employees, made other aggressive sexual advances towards them and used derogatory terms such as “b-----s.” One male supervisor is alleged to have presented a female employee with a picture of his private parts and asked, “Impressive, aren’t I?”
The EEOC says that the women were offended and intimidated by the harassment and were mocked for objecting and complaining. The corporations failed to take appropriate action or properly remedy the situation, and two of the women were so repulsed by the sexually charged environment that they were forced to resign, according to the EEOC.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 8:11-CV-1163-T-26MAP) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, after attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
Four Amigos Travel and Top Dog Travel are high-volume telemarketers of vacation packages which have employed more than 200 employees at their three Florida locations.
“All employees have the right to work in an environment free of harassment,” said Robert Weisberg, the EEOC’s Miami regional attorney. “The EEOC continues, with this class lawsuit, to seek vigorous enforcement of the laws that protect all women from this kind of egregious discrimination.”
The EEOC’s Miami district director, Malcolm Medley, added, “Every employer needs to take action to remedy sexual harassment, which is a serious situation requiring serious attention. The EEOC will continue to aggressively pursue employers who tolerate and/or dismiss verbal and physical forms of sexual harassment in the workplace.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. The Miami District Office’s jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.


Foxconn asks Chinese workers to sign 'no suicide' pledge

Staff reporter
19:02 (GMT+8)

An investigation revealed that Foxconn's workers employed in China's Apple iPad and iPhone factories were forced to sign "no suicide" pledges.
An investigation of the 500,000 workers by the Centre for Research on Multinational Companies together with Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (Sacom) found appalling conditions in the factories, according to The Economic Times.
The investigation showed that managers at the Foxconn factories ordered new workers to sign a 'no suicide' pledge to protect against the tragedies of the previous year.

Full Story: http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20110503000163&cid=1204

OFCCP Posts Active Case Enforcement Presentation

The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has posted its May 17th presentation on the Active Case Enforcement program. The Active Case Enforcement (ACE) protocol was released as Directive 295 on December 16, 2010. In the presentation, OFCCP contrasts the ACE process with that if its predecessor, the Active Case Management program. ACE provides for full desk audits for all compliance evaluations, full compliance reviews for every 25 establishments and broadens the scope of reviews to include individual issues as well as indicators of systemic discrimination.

For the ACE presentation, click here: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/Presentation/ACE_Webinar_Slides_Public_05_17_2011.pdf

Guidance Regarding the Employment of Transgender Individuals in the Federal Workplace

Office of Personnel Management
Employment of Transgender Individuals
Policy and Purposes

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether that discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Agencies should review their anti-discrimination policies to ensure that they afford a non-discriminatory working environment to employees irrespective of their gender identity or perceived gender non-conformity.
The purpose of this memorandum is not to address legal rights and remedies, but instead to provide guidance to address some of the common questions that agencies have raised with OPM regarding the employment of transgender individuals in the federal workplace. Because the guidance is of necessity general in nature, managers, supervisors, and transitioning employees should feel free to consult with their human resources offices and with the Office of Personnel Management to seek advice in individual circumstances.
Core Concepts
Gender identity is the individual's internal sense of being male or female. Gender identity is generally determined in the early years of an individual's life and, if different from the individual's physical gender, may result in increasing psychological and emotional discomfort and pain. The way an individual expresses his or her gender identity is frequently called “gender expression,” and may or may not conform to social stereotypes associated with a particular gender.
Transgender: Transgender individuals are people with a gender identity that is different from the sex assigned to them at birth. Someone who was assigned the male sex at birth but who identifies as female is a transgender woman. Likewise, a person assigned the female sex at birth but who identifies as male is a transgender man. Some individuals who would fit this definition of transgender do not identify themselves as such, and identify simply as men and women, consistent with their gender identity. The guidance discussed in this memorandum applies whether or not a particular individual self-identifies as transgender.
Transition: Some individuals will find it necessary to transition from living and working as one gender to another. These individuals often seek some form of medical treatment such as counseling, hormone therapy, electrolysis, and reassignment surgery. Some individuals, however, will not pursue some (or any) forms of medical treatment because of their age, medical condition, lack of funds, or other personal circumstances. Managers and supervisors should be aware that not all transgender individuals will follow the same pattern, but they all are entitled to the same consideration as they undertake the transition steps deemed appropriate for them, and should all be treated with dignity and respect.

Full Guidance: http://www.opm.gov/diversity/Transgender/Guidance.asp

Friday, May 27, 2011

When whites say, "What about me?"

New research shows a big jump in white Americans saying they face racism. What are we missing here?
May 26, 2011
Joan Walsh

Did you know whites believe they face more racism than African-Americans do? That's what I've been reading in the news lately. Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal ran a short piece about an intriguing study by researchers at Tufts and Harvard University, under the headline, "White Americans See Anti-White Bias on the Rise." Since then the New York Times weighed in with a fascinating "Room for Debate" discussion titled "Is Anti-White Bias a Problem?" TheRoot likewise posed the findings as a question, albeit more pointed: "White People Face the Worst Racism?" Wednesday Gothamist declared flatly: "Regarding Racism, Whites Think They Are the New Blacks."
What's going on here? Black unemployment is double the white rate, with black poverty on the rise and the mortgage crisis hitting African-Americans hardest of all; there's proof that lenders gave blacks higher-interest and subprime mortgages even when they had the same income and credit rating as whites. The drug war hits black people disproportionately. So how in God's name can white people say they face worse racism? And who are these white people, anyway?

Full Story: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/2011/05/26/are_whites_facing_more_racism

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is Anti-White Bias a Problem?

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal report that there is a new study that says whites think discrimination against them is a bigger problem than anti-black bias. A study conducted by Michael I. Norton and Samuel R. Sommers suggests that whites believe they are suffering more discrimination as blacks perceive there to be less bias. A zero-sum game. If one group's circumstances improve, another's must necessarily decline. Where is the logic in this argument? See the report of the study at: http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton%20sommers.pdf

The researchers begin with a quote from Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala): "Empathy for one party is always prejudice against another." This quote may accurately reflect the sentiments of an individual who sent AAAA an email recently: "Affirmative Action ha srun its course, its now a matter of reverse discrimination against whites!!, and its going to cause a civil war!!!think i'm joking!!!!!!!!!!"

While our first notion is to dismiss this emailer as another misguided human being, the research suggests that there may be more to this and that a discussion should be had about the reasons for these perceptions and the consequences thereof.

Interestingly, African Americans do not see such a correlation; that less bias against them means more bias against Anglo Americans. The authors conclude:

Although our data do not speak directly to the mechanisms underlying Whites’ view of
racism as a zero-sum game, it is likely that this belief has both practical and symbolic components.On the practical side, affirmative action policies designed to increase minority representation may focus Whites’ attention on the impact of quota-like procedures on their own access to education and employment, in effect threatening their resources (Haley & Sidanius, 2006). On the symbolic side, Whites may fear that minorities’ imposition of their cultural values represent an attack on White cultural value sand norms, as evidenced by Whites’ resentment of norms of political correctness (Norton, Sommers, Apfelbaum, Pura, &Ariely, 2006) and the belief of many Whites in a ‘‘War on Christmas’’ (Gibson, 2005).

What is puzzling is the fact that there is little evidence that majority Americans are being displaced. Where are the hordes of women or minority CEOs casting out white males? Is the Congress being overrun with minorities? How many African-American college presidents or governors are there? The facts simply do not support these perceptions. Nor is there evidence that affirmative action programs on behalf of minority populations have greatly diminished the opportunities of non-minorities. Affirmative action simply makes the selection process fairer by diversifying the hiring pool from which a selection can be made.

This study confirms the irrationality of opposition to affirmative action programs and policies and the importance of education, especially as this nation becomes more diverse. Diversity and equal opportunity should not be viewed as a threat, but as endemic to this nation's core beliefs in equality; that "all men [sic] are created equal."

Wall Street Journal Story: http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2011/05/11/whites-americans-see-anti-white-bias-on-the-rise/

New York Times Story: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/22/is-anti-white-bias-a-problem

See Professor Patricia J. Williams' comments on this study: "When Prejudice Is So Malleable" http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/22/is-anti-white-bias-a-problem/when-prejudice-is-so-malleable

Monday, May 23, 2011

Affirmative Action and Public Opinion

The New York Times
Updated May 23, 2011, 12:11 PM
Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, is the author of "The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America."

On the Supreme Court, the debate over affirmative action purports to be a battle between two clashing constitutional principles. Conservative justices insist that the Constitution is colorblind in all circumstances, while liberal justices counter that it forbids only racial classifications designed to harm minorities, not to help them.
To justify their positions, both sides invoke the original understanding of the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees equal protection of the laws.
Don't be surprised if the Supreme Court's jurisprudence is affected by Norton and Sommers's study.
In practice, however, the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decisions have tended to follow public opinion. As Barry Friedman notes in "The Will of the People," in 1995, when the public was evenly split on affirmative action, the court restricted it; by contrast, in 2003, when support for affirmative action outweighed the opposition, the court became more permissive about allowing it.

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/22/is-anti-white-bias-a-problem/affirmative-action-and-public-opinion#AssetInstance1Form

University Insiders: Illegal Immigrants Get Affirmative Action

Fox News.com
By Maxim Lott
Published May 17, 2011

This week, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a bill to require the state's public universities to give undocumented aliens -- generally illegal -- in-state tuition privileges.
The bill, known as the Dream Act, is already the law in ten other states, including California, New York, Texas and Illinois.
But critics argue that the bill will give illegal aliens better treatment than Americans and legal immigrants -- thanks to existing diversity policies at universities.
University of Maryland (College Park) computer science Prof. James Purtilo told FoxNews.com that, during his time as an associate dean, he frequently saw admission officers favor students because of their “undocumented” status.

Full Story: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/17/affirmative-action-illegal-immigrants/

New Report Shows Federal Race Preferences More Entrenched

National Legal and Policy Center
Submitted by Carl Horowitz on Fri, 05/20/2011

Whether the preferred term is "affirmative action," "diversity" or "quotas," the nation continues its long march, and with remarkably little political opposition, toward mandatory equality in outcomes by race and sex. The unrelenting nature of this trend is evident in a 36-page report issued last month by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Titled "Survey of Federal Laws Containing Goals, Set-Asides, Priorities, or Other Preferences Based on Race, Gender, or Ethnicity" (see pdf file), the study counted 12 government-wide and 264 agency-specific statutes that require or encourage such preferences. The grand total of 276 is 60 percent higher than the 172 examples the CRS found during a similar review in the mid-Nineties. And there is no reason to believe the figure won't climb higher.

Full Story: http://nlpc.org/stories/2011/05/20/new-report-shows-federal-race-preferences-more-entrenched

UN launches Facebook diversity campaign

May 20th, 2011 By Bikya Masr Staff

Marking United Nations World Day for Cultural Diversity, UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) are launching a global campaign to create a grassroots movement of people who advocate for diversity. The campaign calls on individuals to take one action relevant to their lives that promotes diversity and inclusion–from experiencing another culture through film, food, or museums, to learning about other cultures or countries, or dedicating time to volunteer for that cause.

Full Story: http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=33728

A Call To Action: More Women on Boards Around the World

May. 19 2011 - 4:17 pm

The time has come for corporate boards to include among their ranks more than just a token number of women. Study after study has proven that when more corporate boards include a higher percentage of women, shareholders, customers, employees and stakeholders benefit.
The “business case for gender equality” Harvard has called it (http://onforb.es/c5Toqk and http://hvrd.me/kJxbgA). And it is powerful.
This week it has been my privilege to help put on and attend an incredible two-day WomenCorporateDirectors Global Institute of over 200 women corporate directors from around the world, as well as their Visionary Award Dinner, honoring three global companies with an outstanding dedication to women’s leadership on their boards, and in their executive ranks — P&G, Kraft, and Coca-Cola.

Full Story: http://blogs.forbes.com/daviatemin/2011/05/19/a-call-to-action-more-women-on-boards-around-the-world/

Practical Effects of ‘Cat’s Paw’ Ruling in USERRA Case Still Unclear for Employers

Workforce Management
The Supreme Court said the ‘singular influence’ test was too restrictive in light of USERRA, which states that an employer may be held liable for discrimination if a person’s membership in the military is a ‘motivating factor’ in the employer’s action. By George Wood
May 2011

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a hospital worker could sue his former employer for the animosity of supervisors who did not make the ultimate decision to fire him.
The decision struck down a narrow version of the so-called cat’s paw theory of employer liability. But its practical effects for employers are unclear.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/legal/practical-effects-cats-paw-ruling-userra-case-still/index.php

SCOTUS Decides Schindler v. U.S. ex rel. Kirk (VETS-100 issue)

Contracts Prof Blog
May 16, 2011

We blogged about this case one year ago when the Second Circuit ruled in favor of Mr. Kirk. Here's how we described the case back then:
Daniel Kirk, a Vietnam War veteran, worked at Millar Elevator Industries beginning in the late 70s. In 2002, Millar's operations were integrated into those of the Schindler Elevator Company. In 2003, Millar was demoted and resigned. Eight months later, Kirk sued, alleging that he had been fired in violation of VEVRAA, the VIetnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act. That claim was dismissed and the dismissal was affirmed last year.
Meanwhile, Kirk brought suit under the False Claim Act in the name of the U.S. government. In 2007, the government elected not to intervene and Kirk pursued his claim as a relator. His suit alleged that Schindler had entered into hundreds of contracts subject to VEVRAA requirements but that Schindler had failed to comply with those requirements. Among other claims, Kirk alleged that Schindler failed to submit required VETS-100 reports in some years and had filed false VETS-100 forms in others. The district court dismissed the action finding, among other things, that the claim was bared under the FCA, 31 U.S.C. s. 3730(e)(4), which provides that information that has been publicly disclosed cannot be a basis for a FCA claim. The information at issue here related to the allegedly missing and/or falsified VETS-100 forms that Mr. Kirk had discovered through FOIA requests.

Full Blog Post: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2011/05/scotus-decides-schindler-v-us-ex-rel-kirk.html

Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion

IPS News (First appeared in DiversityinMotion blog)
Op Ed
By Irina Bokova and Jorge Sampaio*UNITED NATIONS, May 20, 2011 (IPS) -

All cultures contribute to the enrichment of humankind. Human beings must respect one another in all their diversity of belief, culture and language. Differences within and between societies should be neither feared nor repressed but cherished as a precious asset of humanity. This is a core challenge of the 21st century.At the same time, we know well that living at ease with the landscape of diversities can pose challenges because communicating across differences is not always simple. This is true on the borders between countries. This is obvious in the tough neighbourhoods of our cities. UNESCO was created 65 years ago to promote the dialogue of cultures, to deepen understanding between peoples and to make the most of humanity's great diversity with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. This is also why five years ago a new initiative - the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations – was launched to build bridges between societies, to promote dialogue and understanding and to forge the collective political will to address the world's imbalances. To achieve these goals, we need renewed commitment and intensified collective action by states, by civil society, by the private sector. This must start with the involvement of individuals and communities at grass roots who will make a difference in building a culture of peace and dialogue in our age of diversity.


President Announces Intent to Re-Nominate Constance Barker EEOC Commissioner

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 18, 2011

Constance Smith Barker, Nominee for Member, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Constance Smith Barker currently serves as Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Prior to her appointment by President George W. Bush, Ms. Barker was a shareholder for 13 years at the law firm of Capell & Howard, P.C. in Montgomery, Alabama. Before she entered private practice, Ms. Barker was General Counsel to the Mobile County Public School System for 11 years. She also served as a part-time municipal judge for two municipalities in Mobile County, Alabama and was active in Mobile County’s juvenile justice system. Previously, Ms. Barker worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the 11th and 13th Judicial Circuits of Alabama. In 2007, she was awarded the Alabama State Bar’s Award of Merit for outstanding service to the legal profession. Ms. Barker has served on the boards of the Mobile Area YWCA and the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. She holds a B.A. from Notre Dame University and a J.D. from the University of Alabama, School of Law.


David Mamet Takes On Affirmative Action In Right-Wing Script

The Film Stage
May 21, 2011 by Anthony Vieira

Tired of hearing about a famous, controversial director who made some wacky, off-color and right-wing remarks? Well, Lars Von Trier has been banned from Cannes, so let’s move on to David Mamet. The Playlist brings us a breakdown of two recent articles which confirm that Mamet is no longer a “Brain Dead Liberal” and that he’s working on a script that argues against affirmative action. ...
Somewhere in there, Mamet mentions a script he’s been working on, “a young rich girl who applies to Harvard, when she’s rejected she suddenly declares herself an Aztec to qualify for affirmative action. Presumably high jinks ensue.” Indeed. If you’ve seen anything by Mamet, from the sexual-harassment psychological nightmare of Oleanna to the hyper-male, dog-eat-dog profanity of Glengarry Glen Ross to his overlooked 2004 military secret-ops flick Spartan, you know he’s not exactly known for his light, comic touch.

Full Story: http://thefilmstage.com/2011/05/21/david-mamet-takes-on-affirmative-action-in-right-wing-script/

Former aide suing Rowan loses round

Courier Post Online
Written by
May 22, 2011

A federal judge has dismissed a civil-rights lawsuit brought against Rowan University by the school's former affirmative-action officer.
But Richard Williams intends to continue his fight, said his Mount Ephraim attorney, Fredrick Gross.
"I expect to be filing an amended complaint soon," said Gross, who offered no details about his future strategy.
Williams sued Rowan and its former president, Donald Farish, on Dec. 16, 2010, alleging he had been the victim of bias at the Glassboro school.
The Willingboro man contended he faced bias due to disability in July 2007, when he was demoted to a counselor's position after returning from sick leave.

Full Story: http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20110522/NEWS01/105220344/Former-aide-suing-Rowan-loses-round

Emergency Transport Company Sued by EEOC For Pregnancy Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Tarheel Medical Transport Forced Pregnant Employees to Take Medical Leave of Absence, Federal Agency Charged

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A North Carolina ambulance service violated federal law by discriminating against several female employees because they were pregnant, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s complaint, SDTM Investments, Inc., doing business as Tarheel Medical Transport, subjected Samantha Holder and other pregnant employees to different terms and conditions of employment from its non-pregnant employees. The complaint alleges that upon learning that an employee was pregnant, Tarheel required the employee to take a leave of absence or be discharged. The EEOC contends that around March 2009, the company refused to let Holder work in her job as an emergency medical technician and discharged her because she was pregnant.
Several months after Tarheel discharged Holder, EEOC alleges that the company also forced office manager and emergency medical technician Christina Berdan to take medical leave from her job. Tarheel informed Berdan that she could not return to work until after the birth of her child in spite of the fact that Berdan was physically fit, had no medical restrictions and could fully perform the duties of her job. As a result of this practice, Holder, Berdan and other pregnant employees were either terminated or forced to take a leave of absence despite the fact that they were fully capable of performing their job duties.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant employees. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for Holder and the other affected employees, as well as injunctive relief. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. SDTM Investments, Inc. d/b/a Tarheel Medical Transport, Civil Action No. 4:11-CV-00080) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“Working women who chose to have children cannot be penalized or treated differently from other employees simply because they are pregnant,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “Employers must remember that paternalistic attitudes toward pregnant employees can result in unequal treatment at work, which violates federal law.”
SDTM Investments, Inc. doing business as Tarheel Medical Transport, operates an ambulance service in Beaufort, Wilson and Craven counties in North Carolina, transporting non-emergency patients from their care facilities or homes to medical appointments. It employs approximately 40 people.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination. More information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov


OFCCP seeks to require contractors to produce additional information during all audits

Seyfarth Shaw LLP
May 17 2011

On May 12, 2011, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published for public comment a Notice announcing its intent to modify the scheduling letter and itemized listing of required data that accompanies it, which are used to initiate every compliance evaluation of supply and service federal contractors and subcontractors. The Notice is available online here. OFCCP's current scheduling letter and itemized listing will expire on September 30, 2011. OFCCP needs approval from the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to modify its scheduling letter and itemized listing.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=7cf81f1e-6a21-485e-8110-9c639f60c05e

Online College To Pay $260,000 To Settle EEOC Lawsuit Charging Sex Harassment By Supervisors

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Anthem College Online Tolerated a Hostile Workplace, Federal Agency Charged

PHOENIX – High-Tech Institute, Inc., doing business as Anthem College Online, will pay $260,000 as part of a settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. In its suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (Civil Action No.CV-09-2041-ROS), the EEOC charged that Anthem College subjected female employees to repeated sexual harassment by supervisors.
According to the EEOC, six female admissions representatives working at the Phoenix, Ariz., location were frequently sexually harassed by three supervisors. The EEOC’s allegations included that the supervisors engaged in unwanted sexual touching and comments, writing sexually suggestive e-mails and soliciting sex from employees during unwelcome visits to the employees’ homes in the early morning hours. Some of this abusive behavior was witnessed by other Anthem College employees, the EEOC said.
The EEOC maintained that Anthem College knew or should have known about and tolerated this sexually hostile work environment caused by its supervisors. The agency said the company’s former human resource manager wrote that Anthem College employees were fearful to come forward because an alleged harasser was seen drinking and socializing with upper management and that there was blatant disrespect to employees and rampant poor management.
According to the EEOC, the company unreasonably delayed removing a class member from under the supervision of an alleged harasser who, the company’s own former human resources manager testified, was a “psychopath.” The EEOC argued that despite Anthem College’s knowledge about the harassment, the company failed to take reasonable steps to investigate and remedy the harassment.
“Employees who have an official or strong duty to communicate to management are considered part of management,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the Phoenix District Office, which originated the legal action. “Here, there was a breakdown in reporting by persons whose job descriptions required them to report any issues affecting the normal operation of the admissions department, including sexual harassment. They failed to do so, with serious consequences.”
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the settlement requiring Anthem College to pay $260,000 to the former employees, Anthem College also must investigate any further complaints of sexual harassment, provide training for managers and supervisors on conducting sexual harassment investigations and post a notice that harassment of Anthem College’s employees will not be tolerated.
EEOC Phoenix District Director Rayford O. Irvin added, “We insist that companies fulfill their obligation to protect employees from sexual harassment and provide the necessary training to ensure this protection.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


Justice Clarence Thomas Goes Home, But Not All Cheer Him

The Afro
by Erica ButlerAFRO Staff Writer
May 21, 2011

Clarence Thomas, the only Black justice on the Supreme Court, was welcomed with a standing ovation May 18 at a ceremony to dedicate an Augusta courthouse named after a civil rights leader. But not everyone in attendance was pleased to see him.According to the Associated Press, some residents were angered that Thomas, 62, was selected to speak at the grand opening of a courthouse named after civil rights lawyer John “Jack” Ruffin, Jr. Ruffin was the first black chief judge of the state Court of Appeals, and was recognized for his push to integrate local schools. Thomas’ known conservative record and firm stance against affirmative action programs have strained relations with Black residents in his home state.

Full Story: http://afro.com/sections/news/afro_briefs/story.htm?storyid=5113


DCI Consulting
by Art Gutman Ph.D., Professor, Florida Institute of Technology
May 16, 2011

Under a proposed rule by the OFCCP on April 26, 2011 federal contractors would be required for the first time to establish annual benchmarks for hiring veterans. In an interview on April 28, 2011, DCI president David Cohen told SHRM Online that he expects that the OFCCP would use referral and hiring ratios as evidence of discrimination in hiring by contractors. According to Cohen, the benchmarks would be expressed as the percentage of total hires who are protected veterans, and would apply to contractors with 50 or more employees and contracts of $100,000 or more (under 60-300). The basis for suit would be the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA), as amended, which requires each federal contractor with a federal contract of $100,000 or more to take affirmative action to hire and advance in employment qualified Armed Forces Service Medal veterans, disabled veterans, recently separated veterans and other protected veterans.

Full Blog Post: http://ofccp.blogspot.com/2011/05/following-up-on-ofccps-proposed-rules.html

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Evolving Role of the Affirmative Action Officer

Insight into Diversity
Shirley J. Wilcher
June 2011 Issue

Since the signing of Executive Order 10925 in 1961 and Order 11246 in 1965, the person assigned the responsibility to promote equal opportunity through affirmative action has had an evolving role. The affirmative action officer’s profession in 2011 reflects the changes society has made since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and the divergent views about affirmative action itself. Executive Order 11246 requires that federal contractors not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The Order also requires that a contractor take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The regulations implementing the Order require that non-construction (supply and service) employers with 50 employees and $50,000 in federal contracts prepare a written affirmative action program for each of their establishments. This document is a “management tool designed to ensure equal employment opportunity.” The regulations go on to state:
A central premise underlying affirmative action is that, absent discrimination, over time a contractor's workforce, generally, will reflect the gender, racial and ethnic profile of the labor pools from which the contractor recruits and selects. Affirmative action programs contain a diagnostic component which includes a number of quantitative analyses designed to evaluate the composition of the workforce of the contractor and compare it to the composition of the relevant labor pools. Affirmative action programs also include action-oriented programs. If women and minorities are not being employed at a rate to be expected given their availability in the relevant labor pool, the contractor's affirmative action program includes specific practical steps designed to address this underutilization. Effective affirmative action programs also include internal auditing and reporting systems as a means of measuring the contractor's progress toward achieving the workforce that would be expected in the absence of discrimination.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines the function of “EEO [equal employment opportunity] officers, representatives, or affirmative action coordinators” to include handling equal employment opportunity matters. “They investigate and resolve EEO grievances, examine corporate practices for possible violations, and compile and submit EEO statistical reports.” Over time, employers who were not covered by the Executive Order also created the affirmative action position to prepare, establish and implement comparable programs. Thus, the affirmative action profession includes contractor and non-contractor establishments. In the federal government, such professionals are responsible for compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Sec. 2000e-16. [Section 717], which requires an “affirmative program of equal opportunity” in government agencies. Management Directive 715 forms the guidance for implementing affirmative employment programs.

Full Story: http://www.insightintodiversity.com/diversity-issues/magazine-articles/60-magazine-articles/840-the-evolving-role-of-the-affirmative-action-officer-by-shirley-wilcher.html

Monday, May 16, 2011

“Peer-to-Peer Violence and Bullying" Statement from the US Civil Rights Commissioners

Joint Statement of
Chairman Martin R. Castro and Commissioners Roberta Achtenberg, Dina Titus, and Michael Yaki,
Individual Members of the United States Commission on Civil Rights,
“Peer-to-Peer Violence and Bullying:
Examining the Federal Response”
May 16, 2011

CONTACT: Chairman Martin R. Castro: (312) 523-2073

Commissioner Roberta Achtenberg: (415) 648-6693

Commissioner Michael Yaki: (202) 683-6063

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ briefing in Washington, D.C. on May 13, 2011 featured compelling and wide-ranging testimony about our nation’s pervasive, complicated problem of peer-to-peer student violence. The proceeding may be viewed at http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/AntiBull.
Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, testified that complaints alleging harassment due to race, national origin, disability, or sex increased 31% in the one year from 2009 to 2010. Jocelyn Samuels, Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, testified that, in addition to pursuing traditional enforcement actions, Justice staff visits schools nationwide to help students understand the need for “a school environment in which all students feel safe, regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender non-conformity.”

The largest portion of the rising number of federal complaints involves racial discrimination, particularly toward African-Americans. The National Crime Victimization Survey reports that one in four Latino/a students report being targeted. Students of many religions are also harassed. Over 80% of students experience sex discrimination, and students with disabilities are ten times more likely than non-disabled peers to be targeted. Sexual minority youth report almost near-universal experience with verbal harassment and a rate of physical harassment of 40%.

The impact of peer-to-peer violence continues long after the harassment stops. Studies and position papers presented to the Commission from numerous institutions, including the American Psychological Association and top-rated universities, conclude that targeted students fall victim to immediate and long-term complex mental health issues, substance abuse, academic failure, and, most tragically, suicide.
Ms. Tammy Aaberg of Minnesota testified powerfully about the July 2010 harassment-fueled suicide of her son Justin. Recalling her own lost son and other young suicide victims, Ms. Aaberg testified, “The current level of federal involvement in our schools is not sufficient enough. Let’s get federal protections in schools to include all kids across the country so no more students or families need to be put in our position.”
“We all have children in our lives whom we love and care about, be they our own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, godchildren, neighbors, or students,” stated Chairman Martin R. Castro. “We want them all to lead safe, happy, and long lives and to achieve their full potential. That is why it’s important for the USCCR to address the significance of affirming and extending Constitutional protections to all children, regardless of their backgrounds.”
“The first-rate testimony and evidence which the Commission has received is compelling. It underscores the need for compassionate governmental responses which effectively balance competing Constitutional interests,” said Commissioner Roberta Achtenberg.
“Data presented to us by social scientists, government representatives, and advocacy groups clearly indicate that peer-to-peer student violence, harassment, and bullying are escalating problems in our schools which must be addressed posthaste by the federal government in order to protect the civil rights of all our children,” according to Commissioner Dina Titus.
Commissioner Michael Yaki stated that “The testimony from this briefing leads me to conclude that the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause must be enforced with explicit protections for LGBT youth. Nothing else will ensure that these vulnerable children can receive the education that they deserve and protection that they require.”
The public may add comments until May 27, 2011. Comments should be directed to: Kimberly Tolhurst, Esq., Acting General Counsel, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 624 Ninth St., Sixth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20425. Electronic comments may be sent to ktolhurst@usccr.gov. This investigation will culminate in the Commission’s 2011 Statutory Report, which will include findings and recommendations regarding the seriousness of the problems and the federal response. This report will go to Congress and the President by September 30, 2011.

AAAA Recognizes the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides at the Summit



Register and be eligible to win a Nook color at the Summit

Sponsorship, Exhibit, Awards and Advertising Deadlines Extended to May 20, 2011

Click here for Summit Brochure:
AAAA Summit 2011 Brochure with Agenda at-a-Glance

Bring your resumes and vacancy announcements for the AAAA Career Connection

Regular registration ends on May 20, 2011.

Best practices for compliance with the new ADA Regulations

Betsy Johnson
May 4 2011

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued the final Regulations interpreting the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”). The Regulations become effective on May 24, 2011. It has taken the EEOC over two (2) years from the effective date of the ADAAA (January 2009) to issue the regulations. The ADAAA and the Regulations are designed to change the focus of inquiries under the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA") from whether an individual's impairment meets the definition of a "substantial impairment" that constitutes a disability, to issues of discrimination, qualifications, the interactive process, and reasonable accommodation.
The Regulations also lower the bar for finding a "substantial limitation," and the Regulations take the position that an impairment need not last a particular length of time to qualify under the ADAAA --an impairment lasting less than six months can be "substantially limiting.” Most ADA claims will now focus on whether the employee is qualified for the job, whether a reasonable accommodation was offered, whether the employer engaged in the interactive process to discuss possible accommodations in good faith, and whether any employer action was caused by an individual’s disability, record of disability, or being regarded as disabled.
Employers should anticipate a rapid escalation in the number of disability discrimination claims made once the Regulations become effective and immediately address the key aspects of the Regulations to minimize the risks for potential claims and costly litigation.


EEOC targets gender gap in wages

The Arizona Republic
by Luci Scott - May. 11, 2011 06:19 PM

An attorney with the "reinvigorated" U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that it is becoming more aggressive in looking into claims of sex discrimination in pay and that the agency doesn't need a formal complaint by a woman to begin an investigation.
Andrea Baran, supervisory attorney in the agency's district office, spoke Tuesday at a seminar, Phoenix Fair Pay Day, attended by dozens of employers and employees at the EEOC offices, 3300 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix.
More enforcement will happen as part of the Obama administration's commitment to fair pay, she said.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/2011/05/11/20110511gender-wage-gap.html#ixzz1MWlsJubR

Ford Motor Company Exceeds 2010 Goal for Spending with Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses

PR Newswire
DEARBORN, Mich., May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

In 2010, Ford Motor Company purchased $4.1 billion in goods and services from its U.S. minority- and women-owned business enterprises
Ford exceeded its goal to source more than 10 percent of U.S. spending with diverse suppliers
Ford is partnering with Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council to find internships for more than 20 local high school students
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced today that it exceeded its supplier diversity sourcing goals by purchasing $4.1 billion in goods and services from its tier-one minority- and women-owned business enterprises in 2010.
The increase from $2.7 billion in 2009 reflects higher vehicle production volumes, expanded sourcing to existing suppliers and the addition of several new minority- and women-owned businesses.
In addition, Ford's tier-one suppliers spent $1.29 billion with tier-two minority- and women-owned businesses in 2010, an increase from $1.02 billion in 2009.
"Ford Motor Company takes very seriously its commitment to developing and growing a diverse supply base," said Tony Brown, group vice president, Global Purchasing. "These companies offer a wealth of innovation, and if we are to remain competitive, it is imperative that we connect with the best of the best. Not only does this strengthen our supply network, it creates jobs and economic growth for the communities that we serve."
The $4.1 billion spent in 2010 surpasses Ford's annual goal of sourcing more than 10 percent of its U.S. production and non-production business with diverse suppliers.
Ford's Supplier Diversity Development program represents a commitment to providing a broad range of supplier opportunities and resources. Ford understands the value of ensuring that its suppliers represent all segments of the business community, and mirror those communities in which it does business. Ford's Supplier Diversity Development Office works with business leaders, trade associations and community-based organizations that represent the interests of diverse businesses to empower communities through economic development.
"Our suppliers are of paramount importance to our success as a company and in serving our diverse customer base," said Carla-Traci Preston, director, Supplier Diversity Development. "At Ford, we are strongly committed to maintaining qualified and certified minority- and women-owned businesses."
Developing the next generation of diverse business leaders is an important part of a healthy, diverse supplier network. As part of this week's Michigan Minority Procurement Conference at Cobo Conference Center in Detroit, Ford and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) are sponsoring the MMSDC Ford Diversity Internship Program. More than 70 high school juniors and seniors from schools throughout Metro Detroit are interviewing with minority- and women-owned businesses that will provide internships and mentoring to more than 20 students this summer.
"This is an opportunity to match some of the best and brightest high school juniors and seniors throughout Metro Detroit with minority- and women-owned companies," said Preston. "These students represent the next generation of diverse business leaders who have the potential to significantly impact the future of our state, nation and the global economy."
Ford's longstanding commitment to supplier diversity has been recognized this year by a number of diversity publications and organizations:
Corporation of the Year - Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council
Top Supplier Diversity Program - Professional Women's Magazine
Top Supplier Diversity Program - Black EOE Journal
Corporation of the Year - Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC)
Ford ranked No. 5 - Diversity Inc. Supplier Diversity
Ford ranked within the top 50 organizations in the U.S. for multicultural business opportunities - DiversityBusiness.com
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.
SOURCE Ford Motor CompanyBack to top
RELATED LINKShttp://www.ford.com

Hyundai Ideal Electric Company to Pay $188,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Bias and Retaliation Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Female Drafter Paid Less Than Male, Then Fired for Complaining, Federal Agency Charged
CLEVELAND — Hyundai Ideal Electric Company (HIEC), located in Mansfield, Ohio, will pay $188,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Tabatha Wagner, an experienced female drafter, was hired for a job preparing drawings and sketches for batteries and engines, but at a lower salary than that of a similarly situated male who was hired only months later. Upon learning of the disparity in wages, Ms. Wagner complained to HIEC’s then human resources manager, and was subsequently fired as retaliation, the EEOC said.
Wage discrimination and retaliation for complaining about it violate the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit, No. 1:10-cv-1882, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.
In addition to the monetary relief, the two-year consent decree settling the suit provides for training for all human resources personnel and employees at its Mansfield, Ohio, facility and posting an anti-discrimination notice to all employees. The training will focus on complying with federal anti-discrimination laws, including but not limited to Title VII and the EPA, and preventing discrimination in pay and terms and conditions of employment as well as retaliation.
“The EEOC will not tolerate discriminatory pay practices,” said Debra Lawrence, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Philadelphia District. “To help build public awareness of this continuing problem, EEOC offices are holding Fair Pay Day events throughout the country.”
According to its web site (www.hyundaiideal.com), Hyundai Ideal Electric Co. is the market leader in medium power generators for gas, steam and hydro turbines, and diesel engines. The Mansfield facility is the company’s home office.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


Maine Voices: On affirmative action, Congdon blames blacks in a state with few

Maine Voices
The Portland Press Herald
Monday, May 16, 2011

The former economic development chief needs to look at the facts -- and get a history lesson.
ORONO - Philip Congdon, formerly Maine's commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, recently issued a broadside against affirmative action, presumably for its negative impact on the economy.
Congdon's scapegoating of affirmative action is wrong for three reasons.
First, the largest recipients of affirmative action are, as Time Magazine has noted, white women. Indeed, the University of Maine recently got a $3.2 million grant to promote women in science (not bad for economic development).
But presumably Congdon wasn't complaining about his wife and daughters, or any other white women: The largest recipients of complaints about affirmative action are and always have been African-Americans.

Full Story: http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/on-affirmative-action-congdon-blames-blacks-in-a-state-with-few_2011-05-13.html

See story about comments by Philip Congdon: http://www.pressherald.com/news/ousted-official-says-hes-been-misquoted-misunderstood_2011-04-30.html?searchterm=affirmative+action

The Need for a New Narrative of Excellence in the Black Community (Part II)

Bed-Stuy Patch
The need for a higher standard of excellence once again comes into focus with the news that two premier NYC public high schools will no longer participate in the Discovery Program

In my last column I spoke about the need for the black community to create a new narrative of collective excellence in academia and beyond.
This week, the need for this higher standard once again comes sharply into focus with the news that Stuyvesant High School and Bronx Science High School -- two of the premier public schools in the nation -- will no longer participate in the Discovery Program.
The Discovery Program came about from a New York State law passed in 1971 that set the criteria for admission into New York’s selective public high schools.
The provisions for the Discovery Program attempted to gain parity for disadvantaged students who narrowly missed the cutoff score for admission into the elite public high schools by providing an opportunity to still gain entry after attending a summer enrichment course.
The move to discontinue this program is consistent with what has been happening nationally, as state after state continues to roll back the affirmative action policies that were prevalent from the 1970s – 1990s.

Full Opinion: http://bed-stuy.patch.com/articles/the-need-for-a-new-narrative-of-excellence-in-the-black-community-part-ii

Perspective: Increase Diversity Among Division I College Football Coaches

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Kenneth L. Shropshire , May 10, 2011

There is no question that Blacks have made tremendous progress on the field and on the sidelines. But Blacks and other people of color are still not major participants in the money side of college sports. Players, of course, do not get paid, but those in the higher echelons of college sports certainly do. And those faces remain, even today, almost exclusively White. How can this picture be changed? One answer is the implementation of a Rooney Rule at the collegiate level. This is a proven mechanism to increase the hiring of underrepresented people both inside and outside the sports business.

Full Story: http://diverseeducation.com/article/15533/

Oklahoma Regents Approve Sexual Assault Rule

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Associated Press , May 16, 2011

NORMAN, Okla. — The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents voted Thursday to lengthen the time frame during which victims of sexual assault on campus can decide if they want the university to pursue disciplinary action against the assailant.
The board voted unanimously to revise the policy regarding sexual assault. The new revision increases the time frame from 30 days to 365 days for which victims can decide if they want the university to pursue further disciplinary action.

Full Story: http://diverseeducation.com/article/15605/

Regarding Disciplinary Action Toward an Employee, Is Honesty the Best Policy?

Workforce Management
The legal benefits from making the effort to explain a disciplinary action far outweigh the discomfort that may be involved. By James Kingma
Workforce Management Online, December 2010

Employers are not legally required to give employees the reason for a disciplinary action, such as a discharge.
So, why bother? The employee may become angry or ask difficult questions. Confrontations are never fun. That said, the substantial legal benefits from making the effort to explain a disciplinary action far outweigh the discomfort that may be involved. When an employee is discharged and no reason is given, the individual is left to make assumptions that may not be accurate. One of those assumptions is that the individual has been discriminated against or subjected to an unfair action.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/legal/regarding-disciplinary-action-toward-employee-is-honesty/index.php

PBS Documentary on The Freedom Riders: Chronicling The Nonviolent Army

The Defender Online


Posted By The Editors May 13th, 2011
By Kenneth J. Cooper

“Freedom Riders” is a well-documented ride through history, back 50 years into another century, when America seemed like a different place. It is no joy ride.
In the public television documentary, which premieres May 16, MacArthur “Genius Award” winner Stanley Nelson tells the story of the cadres of 400 college students and clergymen, black and white, who dared challenge rock-solid segregation in the Deep South by…getting on buses together.
“Freedom Riders” conveys a foreboding sense of the danger and violence that awaited the courageous passengers along highways and at bus stations in Alabama and Mississippi. Watching evokes anxiousness about the safety of the young, idealistic riders who maintain their dignity and nonviolence even when attacked by unmerciful mobs of white segregationists. Period photos and film footage, some in slow motion, and all in black and white, heighten the feeling of being there just as disaster is about to happen.

Court of Appeals Victory in Chicago Firefighter Discrimination Case

The Defenders Online
(NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc.)
Posted By The Editors May 13th, 2011

(New York, New York) – This morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of a class of over 6,000 qualified African-American firefighter applicants who were unfairly denied the opportunity to work for the Chicago Fire Department. Last Spring, after over a decade of litigation, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and co-counsel won a unanimous victory for the African-American firefighter applicants in the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals’ decision today, also unanimous, decisively rejected Chicago’s attempt to evade that Supreme Court ruling.
“After many years fighting for justice, our African-American clients will finally have a fair chance to serve their City,” said John Payton, LDF’s Director-Counsel who argued the case in the Supreme Court. “The only remaining step is speedy implementation of a robust remedy for this long-standing injustice. The City of Chicago will be better for it. And beyond the immediate results in Chicago, this case will help ensure that no other fire department or employer utilizes a discriminatory test to unjustifiably eliminate fully qualified applicants of any race.

Full Story: http://www.thedefendersonline.com/2011/05/13/court-of-appeals-victory-in-chicago-firefighter-discrimination-case/

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Legacy Admit Rate at 30 Percent

The Harvard Crimson
Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Harvard’s acceptance rate for legacies has hovered around 30 percent—more than four times the regular admission rate—in recent admissions cycles, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 told The Crimson in an interview this week.
Fitzsimmons also said that Harvard’s undergraduate population is comprised of approximately 12 to 13 percent legacies, a group he defined as children of Harvard College alumni and Radcliffe College alumnae.

Full Story: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/5/11/admissions-fitzsimmons-legacy-legacies/

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Episode 15: After 55 Years, and Social Change, an Integrationist Graduates

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 9, 2011, 8:58 pm
By Sara Lipka

“This is what I’m back here for. I can feel it.”
Burlyce Logan
University of North Texas
In this episode, we hear from Burlyce Logan, 73, who enrolled with the first group of black students at the University of North Texas in 1956, left because of harassment, recently returned, and will graduate this month.

For the audiotape of Ms. Logan, go to: http://chronicle.com/blogs/saysomething/2011/05/09/episode-15-after-55-years-and-social-change-an-integrationist-graduates/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Monday, May 9, 2011

Department of Labor Proposes New Veterans Regulations for Federal Contractors

Stevens and Lee
Jo Bennett, Esq.

The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs wants federal contractors to establish hiring benchmarks for veterans. This requirement is just one of many that OFCCP has proposed in a major revamping of affirmative action regulations covering veterans. For federal contractors, the new rules mean changes in recruiting, hiring and record-keeping practices.
To learn more, read the alert.

Proposed Regulation - Veterans Affirmative Action Requirements

Sparlin Law Office, PLLC

On April 26, 2011, the OFCCP announced significant proposed changes to the affirmative action requirements of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (“VEVRAA”). The proposal would expand regulatory duties imposed by 41 C.F.R. §§ 60-250 and 60-300, adding significantly to the compliance obligations that contractors face under VEVRAA. The new regulations would require contractors, for the first time, to establish annual statistical hiring benchmarks for veterans. Contractors also would be required to collect and retain new forms of supporting data that would be used to monitor performance. Actual hiring patterns would be compared to the benchmarks, creating a structure that has significant parallels to the current annual “in-depth analysis” of hiring by gender and race. The new data collection and monitoring requirements, along with other changes that are proposed, would raise VEVRAA compliance to a level of importance that is similar the current emphasis on affirmative action obligations for women and members of racial minorities. The Sparlin Law Office, PLLC, has prepared an Alert intended to familiarize you with and help you prepare for the proposed changes.

A copy of the Alert can be viewed at http://private.sparlinlaw.com/Client_Alert/VEVRRAClient_Alert.pdf

Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility Recognizes Chrysler Group for its Long-Standing Commitment to the Hispanic Community

Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility Recognizes Chrysler Group for its Long-Standing Commitment to the Hispanic Community

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Chrysler Group named among only seven companies nationwide with more than 20 years supporting corporate responsibility in the Hispanic community
The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) -- a coalition of the nation's most influential Hispanic community-based organizations -- has recognized Chrysler Group for its long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and corporate responsibility in the Hispanic community. Chrysler Group is one of only seven companies nationwide recognized for its leadership and commitment demonstrated by its more than 20 years of active involvement with HACR, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.
Chrysler Group was honored at the HACR Annual Symposium held in Washington D.C. on May 2.
"For more than 20 years, Chrysler Group has carried out its long-term commitment to diversity, inclusion and corporate responsibility through a partnership with HACR," said Lisa J. Wicker, Director - Office of Talent Acquisition, Global Diversity and Compliance, Chrysler Group LLC. "Through this partnership, Chrysler Group continues to strengthen its relevance and impact in the Hispanic community."
Chrysler Group continues to be an active participant in HACR's Annual Corporate Inclusion Index, which measures the role of Hispanics in Corporate America. At 15 percent of the nation's population, Hispanics now represent the fastest-growing group of Americans in several categories: consumers, employees, business owners, taxpayers and voters. The index reviews and evaluates corporate performance providing opportunities for Hispanics in the areas of hiring, procurement, philanthropy and governance.
In addition, in 2003, Chrysler Group was instrumental in HACR's creation of a unique leadership training program for newly-elected Hispanic public officials in the state of California. The Chrysler/CLCI (California Latino Legislatie Caucus) Elected Officials Training Academy today continues to be held at least twice a year in collaboration with the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University and the Institute for Local Government. This program offers an intensive learning environment that cultivates key leadership qualities and teaches skills necessary to develop effective and innovative approaches to local governance.
Chrysler Group also participates in HACR's annual recognition of Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers, which recognizes emerging Hispanic business leaders who are making an impact. Over the years, many Chrysler Group employees of Hispanic origin also have been recipients of this prestigious recognition.
"Hispanics today represent the fastest-growing segment of America, impacting every vital aspect of our society and marketplace," said Carlos F Orta, President & CEO, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility. "HACR is pleased to honor the select group of companies that embraced the HACR mission from the onset; and have continued to contribute to the growth and development of the Hispanic community 25 years later."
About HACR
Founded in 1986, HACR is one of the most influential advocacy organizations in the nation representing 16 national Hispanic organizations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. HACR's mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with economic contributions. To that end, HACR focuses on four areas of corporate responsibility and community reciprocity: employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance.
Collectively, the coalition members reflect the voice of more than 46.6 million Hispanics living in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, serving those diverse communities through advocacy, education, representation, assistance, capacity building, public policy support, resource development, and the exertion of political influence. HACR Coalition Members work with more than 1,500 affiliate community-based organizations serving the Hispanic community in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, including more than 450 institutions of higher learning enrolling three out of every four U.S. Hispanic college students, and 400 publications with a combined circulation of more than 10 million.
About Chrysler Group's Leadership Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Chrysler historically has been a leader in promoting diversity throughout its enterprise. The Company was named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine 12 times, and has been recognized five times by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as one of the country's leading corporations supporting diversity and inclusion. In 2009 and 2010, Chrysler was named to HispanicBusiness magazine's prestigious Diversity Elite 60, for implementing strategies to reach more Hispanic customers and to pursue more business with minority- and Hispanic-owned suppliers.
Early in 2010, CEO Sergio Marchionne assumed the role as executive sponsor of Chrysler's Global Diversity Council and reaffirmed the commitment of Chrysler's leadership team to the values and principles of diversity. "Culture is the fabric that holds organizations together. It is not just an ingredient for success; it is the essence of success itself," Marchionne wrote. "This is why my leadership team and I are committed to creating an atmosphere where all of our people feel respected and valued, because every person plays an important role in shaping our future, including employees, our supply base, our marketing and our dealer network. Chrysler Group LLC and its people have a future with promise. We will reach the full measure of that promise only as one, united diverse team."
In March 2011, the editors of DiversityInc magazine named Chrysler Group to the magazine's 2011 list of "Top 50 Companies for Diversity." This coveted annual benchmark is comprised of companies the magazine's editors believe are diversity-management leaders. This was the fifth year since the list was established in 2001 that Chrysler has been included.
In April 2011, Chrysler Group was named among nation's "Top Supporters" of Engineering Programs of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, recognizing the Company's efforts in developing, recruiting and hiring talented students pursuing technical careers at the nation's minority-serving institutions.
About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Challenger and Ram 1500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.
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Chrysler Connect blog: http://blog.chryslergroupllc.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/chrysler
Streetfire: http://members.streetfire.net/profile/ChryslerVideo.htm
Corporate website: http://www.chryslergroupllc.com
Chrysler careers: www.chryslercareers.com
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Trump, Obama, and Affirmative Action

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 5, 2011, 5:58 pm
By Richard Kahlenberg

Following a campaign to get President Obama to release his birth certificate, Donald Trump shifted the issue to release of Obama’s college transcripts. In a veiled reference to affirmative action, Trump told the Associated Press, “I’ve heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia, and then to Harvard?” He challenged, “Let him show his records.”
Many supporters of the president understandably took this accusation—on top of the “birther” allegations—as yet another insult of America’s first black president. Some suggested it was outrageous—even racist—to suggest that Obama’s transfer from Occidental College to Columbia University and his admission to Harvard Law School wasn’t strictly based on merit.
Bob Schieffer of CBS News, for example, objected to Trump’s assertion that “We need to look at his grades and see if he was a good enough student to get into Harvard Law School. That’s just code for saying he got into law school because he’s black. This is an ugly strain of racism that’s running through this whole thing.” DeWayne Wickham, likewise, wrote in USA Today, “If his factless assault on Obama’s citizenship isn’t proof enough of Trump’s racism, then his attempt to brand the president as the undeserving beneficiary of affirmative action in higher education—an old saw of modern-day bigots—should remove all doubt.”

Full Commentary: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/trump-obama-and-affirmative-action/29379