Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A subject that won’t vanish (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.

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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.

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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
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, 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."

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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."

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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." (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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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 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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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
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

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:


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:

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:

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

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:

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

CONTACT: Christine Nazer
Justine Lisser 202) 663-4191
TTY: (202) 663-4494
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

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

# # #

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:

Labor Department criticized for abandoning citizenship checks

Government Executive
By Charles S. Clark 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:

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:

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:

Can Well-Behaved Women Make (Academic) History?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 13, 2011
By Female Science Professor

How to respond to a sexist dig is a topic that always generates debate and criticism on my blog. I am referring to incidents in which someone (most commonly a man) in my academic life has treated me in an apparently disrespectful way. Many of those incidents could be interpreted as sexist, but no matter what you call them, they are somewhat (to very) humiliating.
The incidents themselves are not what generates the debate on my blog. Instead, the sometimes-heated discussion focuses on how I have chosen to respond to such slights: that is, my tendency to react in a calm, polite way, perhaps with a bit of humor or gentle sarcasm. Except in extreme cases, I prefer not to respond to insulting remarks with anger, and I try to move on with the research, teaching, or service task at hand.

Full Commentary:

U.S. reviewing Marquette response to sex assault reports

By Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel
Nov. 10, 2011

The U.S. Department of Education confirmed Thursday that it is reviewing how Marquette University handled two separate cases of alleged sexual assault involving athletes last February and in October 2010.
The review falls under the federal Clery Act. That is the same act that prompted federal authorities to launch an investigation of the alleged sexual abuse scandal involving a former Penn State University football coach that has prompted the firings of head football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier.
The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on or near their campuses.

Full Story:

Students Benefit From Programs Responding to Violence

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 7, 2011

To the Editor:
Over the past several years there have been countless news stories and investigative reports highlighting the poor record that colleges and universities have when it comes to responding to sexual assault and misconduct on campus. These stories focus on huge financial settlements for complainants and paint a picture of an almost cold and uncaring academy. Rarely do we hear about the positive and excellent work being done in these areas on our campuses. I want to share a story of hope and positive impact that is taking place on my campus.
The Phoenix Center at Auraria is an office funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to respond to issues of interpersonal violence and sexual misconduct on the Auraria Campus, in Denver.

Full Comment:

Citadel Admits Failing to Report Sex Abuse

The Citadel News Service
Press Release
12 November 2011
Statement regarding Louis Neal “Skip” ReVille
from Citadel President Lt. Gen John. W. Rosa and Doug Snyder, chairman of The Citadel Board of Visitors

The Citadel family is deeply saddened that one of its alumni has committed, by his own admission, acts that betray the principles and values for which the college stands. We remain dedicated to the wellbeing of all who are associated with The Citadel. As has been reported, in 2007 The Citadel received an allegation against Louis Neal “Skip” ReVille. We want to make it very clear that, as soon as this information was brought to our attention, The Citadel immediately investigated the accusation. In 2007, a former camper at The Citadel Summer Camp reported that, five years prior, in 2002, he was in the room of Mr. ReVille along with another camper. The individual stated they watched pornography on Mr. ReVille’s computer. They did not touch each other, but they engaged in sexual activity.

Full Statement:

Williams Cancels Classes to Reflect on Hate Speech

Inside Higher Ed
November 15, 2011 - 3:00am

Williams College canceled all classes and athletic activities Monday after an incident of apparent racial bias -- and the college's initial response to it -- agitated many students. The phrase “All Niggers Must Die” was found scrawled on a hallway wall in a campus dorm early Saturday morning, according to a statement released by Adam Falk, the college’s president. An initial e-mail to the campus angered students who thought the message's wording was vague, said Colin Adams, a member of the college’s faculty steering committee and professor of mathematics.

Read more:

Did Herman Cain breach a confidential settlement agreement?

Briggs and Morgan
Michael C. Wilhelm
November 2 2011

Maybe. Over the past several days, the media reported that two female employees accused presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Both of the incidents reportedly ended with settlement agreements that contained confidentiality provisions. After the reports surfaced, Cain denied the allegations against him and suggested that one of the reports was based on a comment he made about a woman’s height.

Full Story:

Women Students Are in the Minority at the University of Michigan

Women in Academia
Posted on Nov 11, 2011

Nationwide, women make up a solid majority of all enrollments in higher education. But at the University of Michigan, there are more men than women and the gap appears to be increasing.
The University of Michigan reports that this fall there are 42,716 students enrolled at the Ann Arbor campus. Women make up 47.7 percent of the total enrollments. Over the past five years, the percentage of women in the student body has dropped from 48.5 percent to 47.7 percent.

Full Story:

World Economic Forum Ranks U.S. 19th Among World Nations in Gender Equality

Women in Academia Report
Posted on Nov 12, 2011

The World Economic Forum has published a new report examining the gender gap in economic opportunity, educational attainment, political participation, and health in 135 countries throughout the world.
Overall, Iceland was rated as having the highest level of gender equality. Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Ireland were ranked in the top five. The United States ranked 19th in gender equality. South African, Lesotho, and the Philippines all ranked higher than the United States.
Yemen was rated as having the lowest level of gender equality. Chad, Pakistan, Mali, and Saudi Arabia were all in the bottom five.
The United States did better in educational equality than in the overall index. The U.S. was ranked first, tied with several other countries

Full Story:


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

The proposed rules (or simply “Rules”) were published on 2/18/10, as reported in an Alert on 3/2/10. The Rules may be viewed at The vote to finalize the Rules is scheduled for 11/16/11, the call for which is at Rules themselves were written in response to Supreme Court rulings in Smith v. City of Jackson (2005) and Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab (KAPL) (2008). In Smith, a 5-4 Supreme Court majority ruled that: (1) that adverse impact is a valid ADEA claim and (2) the Factors Other Than Age (RFOA) defense (a lighter defense than job-relatedness in Title VII) is the appropriate defense in ADEA cases. In Meacham, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that RFOA is an affirmative defense, meaning it requires proof (rather than a simple “articulation” or “explanation”). The Smith and Meacham rulings are discussed in detail by Gutman & Dunleavy (2008) (at

Full Story:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Civil Rights Groups Join Equal Justice Society in Brief Urging Court to Strike Down Anti-Equality Law in Michigan

Civil Rights Groups Join Equal Justice Society in Brief Urging Court to Strike Down Anti-Equality Law in Michigan
Equal Justice Society Press Release

Download a PDF of this release Download a PDF of the amicus brief

SAN FRANCISCO (November 3, 2011) - The Equal Justice Society and more than a dozen other civil rights organizations this week filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, urging the court to strike down Michigan's anti-equality Proposal 2 as unconstitutional.
In its brief, EJS argues that Proposal 2 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution by creating procedural barriers for people of color.
"Since its founding, certain interests in America have tried to restrict access to the political process," said Eva Paterson, President of the Equal Justice Society. "First only white male landowners could vote. The franchise was expanded after the Civil War but women could not participate. Now we see many states erecting barriers to voting that may appear harmless, but are designed to keep voters of color from helping shape their political destinies. The national civil rights community speaks in one strong voice in opposing these measures, including Michigan's Proposal 2."
Several organizations joined EJS in signing the brief: the California Voting Rights Institute, Public Advocates, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Women's Law Center, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Worksafe, South Asian Network, the Association of Asian American Attorney and CPA Firms, the Council of Asian American Business Associations, Equal Rights Advocates, and the Asian American Justice Center and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the latter two both members of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.
Michigan voters passed Proposal 2 in 2006, amending the state's constitution to prevent the state government from advancing equal opportunity by considering race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. In March 2008, a federal district court judge upheld the law, but the decision was reversed this July by an appeals court panel. The case is now under consideration by the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
"We stand with our civil rights allies in opposing Proposal 2 and other similar laws that exclude racial minorities and women from the political process," said Allison Elgart, Supervising Attorney at the Equal Justice Society. "When people of color have to amend the state constitution just to have their interests represented, the law is not protecting their right to equal protection under the law, and the court should step in."
"Proposal 2 is the most recent example of a voter initiative that restructures the political process in a non-neutral way and places special burdens on racial minorities who want to lobby for race-conscious admissions processes," reads the brief. "Voting changes and requirements that disproportionately impact racial minorities and provide them less opportunity than others to participate in the political process and effectuate their choices are violations of the Equal Protection Clause."
The brief cites several reasons why Proposal 2 violates the Constitution:
The law impedes participation in the political process by people of color. After Proposal 2 passed, advocates of race-conscious admissions policies can no longer lobby admissions committees or university administrators. Their only recourse is to launch another statewide initiative, a costly process that could take years to see through to its conclusion. Advocates for other considerations in the admissions process do not face the same burden and are free to continue lobbying admissions committees without structural limitations.
People of color have historically faced hurdles that hinder participation in the political process. Participation in the political process by people of color in the past has been thwarted by literacy tests applied differently to distinct racial groups, electoral redistricting that disfavored racial minorities, and more recently by states that have established seemingly innocuous voter requirement laws that often result in racial exclusion and vote suppression. Courts have found these seemingly "neutral" laws unconstitutional if their purpose is to impede participation by people of color in the political process. Proposal 2 falls into this category.
Proposal 2 is a modern reincarnation of white primaries, literacy tests, and redistricting. Like voting, lobbying to change the admissions processes in Michigan is a way for people of color to participate in governance. The Equal Protection Clause "guarantees racial minorities the right to full participation in the political life of the community," and therefore requires that every group has equal opportunities to participate in the decision-making process, particularly in the context of public education. Proposal 2 prevents the full participation by people of color in the decision-making process regarding admissions.
The case should be fully briefed before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals by the end of the year and the Sixth Circuit will then set a hearing date.
Download a PDF of this release Download a PDF of the amicus brief
The Equal Justice Society is a national legal organization focused on restoring Constitutional safeguards against discrimination. We aim to achieve a society where race is no longer a barrier to opportunity. We use a three-pronged approach - combining legal and policy, Grand Alliance and communication strategies - to reverse those laws and policies that erode the protections guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
Donate to EJS or attend one of our events so thatwe can continue our important work

Comfort Suites To Pay $132,500 For Disability Discrimination Against Clerk With Autism

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Hotel Fired Clerk After Denying Him a State-Paid Job Coach, Charged EEOC

SAN DIEGO – Tarsadia Hotels, doing business as Comfort Suites, a hotel developer and operator in California, will pay $132,500 and implement substantial changes to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed on behalf of hotel clerk with autism.
The EEOC charged that a front desk clerk at the Comfort Suites Mission Valley Hotel in San Diego was denied a reasonable accommodation, disciplined and ultimately fired in 2008 due to his disability. The clerk, who has autism, had prior hotel experience in a similar position, where his work earned him a positive recommendation. Shortly after starting at Comfort Suites, he sought free job coach services from the state. A job coach would have helped the clerk learn to master his job by using autism-specific training techniques. However, Tarsadia refused to allow the assistance of a job coach and then fired him.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit against the company in September 2010 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (EEOC v. Tarsadia Hotels dba Comfort Suites, Case No. 10-CV-1921-DMS-BGS).
As part of settlement, the parties entered into a three-year consent decree under which Tarsadia will pay the claimant $125,000 and donate $7,500 to Partnerships With Industry, a San Diego-based non-profit organization that provides employment support to people with disabilities. Tarsadia further agreed to sweeping changes, including revising its policies and procedures with respect to ADA compliance; hiring an EEO consultant to train all Tarsadia employees of their ADA rights and responsibilities and ensure the proper handling of reasonable accommodation requests and disability-related complaints; and agree to hold managers and supervisors accountable in their evaluations for compliance with policies against disability discrimination and retaliation. The company will also submit annual reports to the EEOC on its compliance with the decree’s terms.
Mark Berger, president and chief executive officer of Partnerships with Industry, stated, “We are grateful that EEOC took a stand against disability discrimination, a serious problem which all too often plagues individuals with developmental disabilities. We believe that individuals with disabilities can make productive workers as long as employers are willing to work with them through accommodations.”
Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, said, “We commend Tarsadia for implementing widespread change, assuring that people with disabilities have a fair shot at gaining and retaining employment. Other employers should also learn to comply with the ADA rather than be driven by stereotypes about disabilities like autism.”
Marla Stern, local director of the EEOC’s San Diego Local Office, added, “A reasonable accommodation is often minimal in cost and merely involves open communication between the employer and employee to make it work. The results can make all the difference for people with disabilities, allowing them to succeed in the workplace.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at

California-Only Class Refiles Sex Discrimination Suit Against Wal-Mart

Workforce Management
By Judy Greenwald
October 28, 2011

Plaintiffs in the Betty Dukes et al. vs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sex discrimination litigation refiled the case Thursday in federal court, but this time on behalf of at least 45,000 current and former female employees in California.
The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled against a proposed class of some 1.5 million members nationwide in June. The majority ruled that the "respondents have not identified a common mode of exercising discretion that pervades the entire company."

Full Story:

Is it time to rethink mandatory arbitration of employment disputes in light of AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion?

Shannon Gracey Ratliff & Miller LLP
Patrick J. Maher
November 3 2011

For many years the issue of mandatory arbitration of employment disputes has been a controversial topic. Employee advocates frequently condemn mandatory arbitration of employment disputes, at least outside of the collective bargaining context, due to the alleged bias of the arbitration system. They claim employers, as repeat users, have an unfair advantage in the private arbitration process. Opponents of mandatory arbitration also claim the privacy of the arbitration process impedes the full development and public knowledge of legal rights.
In contrast, many employer advocates have preached the virtues of mandatory employment arbitration. These advocates contend that arbitration is cheaper, quicker, and more predictable than the traditional court system. Some advocates also treasure the relative privacy of the arbitration process.

Full Story:

Factions lining up for battle on affirmative action proposal

Tulsa World
World Capitol Bureau
Published: 11/6/2011 2:26 AM
Last Modified: 11/6/2011 4:32 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY - Several organizations are forming a coalition to oppose a state question that would abolish affirmative action in the public sector.
The measure, State Question 759, is expected to appear on the November 2012 ballot.
SQ 759 would abolish affirmative action public employment, contracting and education, with some exceptions. It would apply to the state, public agencies, counties, cities, towns, school districts and other state subdivisions.
Lawmakers put the issue on the ballot last session after a failed initiative petition effort in 2008.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

Affirmative action legislation sees halt

The Badger Herald (Wisconsin)
By Pam SelmanThursday, November 3, 2011 12:12 a.m.
Updated Thursday, November 3, 2011 2:28:31 a.m.

Democrats in the state Assembly managed to temporarily stall a vote on a controversial surprise amendment on affirmative action brought into Tuesday night’s floor meeting, which flowed into the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The original bill provides grants to students who are in poverty and are non-traditional. For a student to qualify as non-traditional, he or she must either be in prison, a first generation college attendee or black, Indian, Hispanic or Hmong.
The amendment, introduced by Rep. Peggy Krusick, D-Milwaukee, proposes eliminating race as a factor in college grant applications that consider minority status as a qualification.

Full Story:

2 Penn State Officials Quit After Ex-Coach Is Arrested for Alleged Sex Abuse

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 5, 2011, 11:17 am

[Updated: 11/7, 5:36 a.m.] A former football coach at Penn State was arrested on Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight boys during a period that overlapped with his time at the university, the Associated Press reported, and two top Penn State administrators charged in connection with the case will step down, the university announced this morning.

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What Spurs Students to Stay in College and Learn? Good Teaching Practices and Diversity

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 6, 2011
By Dan Berrett
St. Petersburg Beach, Fla.

Good teaching and exposure to students from diverse backgrounds are some of the strongest predictors of whether freshmen return for a second year of college and improve their critical-thinking skills, say two prominent researchers.
Patrick T. Terenzini, a professor of higher education at Pennsylvania State University, and Ernest T. Pascarella, a co-director of the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education at the University of Iowa, spoke to an audience of chief academic and fund-raising officers convened by the Council of Independent Colleges here on Sunday.
The two men are co-authors of a highly influential book, How College Affects Students, and they sought on Sunday to synthesize what recent research says about student learning, while also weighing in on recent controversies in higher-education research.

Full Story:

ODEP Publishes "Diversifying Your Workforce"

The US Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy has published "Diversifying your Workforce," a guide for employers seeking to recruit, hire and retain persons with disabilities. ODEP emphasizes that issues of diversity include individuals with disabilities. According to ODEP,

"Although the term is often used to refer to differences among individuals such as ethnicity, gender, age and religion, diversity actually encompasses the infinite range of individuals' unique attributes and experiences. Thus, disability is a natural part of diversity, and businesses can benefit by taking steps to ensure people with disabilities are represented in their workforce."

The publication can be obtained on the agency's website at:

Nearly Half of Students Experienced Sexual Harassment at School Last Year

American Association of University Women
Contact:Katie Broendel, broendelk@aauw.org202/785-7761
Lisa Goodnight, goodnightl@aauw.org202/785-7738

Nearly Half of Students Experienced Sexual Harassment at School Last Year
AAUW Releases Most Comprehensive Research on Sexual Harassment at School in a Decade

WASHINGTON — The American Association of University Women (AAUW) today released Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School, the most comprehensive, nationally representative research conducted in the past 10 years on sexual harassment in middle and high schools.
Sexual harassment pervades the lives of students in grades 7–12. Nearly half of those surveyed reported that they had been harassed in the 2010–11 school year. Of that number, a majority (87 percent) said that being harassed had a negative effect on them. Among the responses, one-third said they did not want to go to school as a result of the harassment. Another third said they felt sick to their stomachs.
The prevalence of sexual harassment in middle and high school comes as a surprise to many, in part because it is rarely reported. Only about 9 percent of harassed students told a teacher, guidance counselor, or other adult at school about being sexually harassed.
"The AAUW report Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School is a call to action to students, parents, teachers, and all of us who are concerned about the next generation," said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. "Many students feel sexual harassment is normal behavior, and often victims of sexual harassment in turn victimize other children. It's a vicious cycle that exacts an enduring emotional toll on students."
Included in the report are promising practices for how teachers, parents, and community groups in particular can help change the school climate.
"The good news is that the more we know about sexual harassment at school, the better we can combat it," said AAUW Director of Research and co-author Catherine Hill. "This report is nationally representative and provides fresh insight into this problem."
Creating, publicizing, and enforcing sexual harassment policies and adhering to the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 are other ways schools can bring attention to the issue and chip away at the problem.
"Our report clearly shows that, in many instances, we are failing to provide the safe environment necessary for our children to succeed," said Lisa Maatz, AAUW director of public policy and government relations. "Children and their families are too often left to fend for themselves when kids are harassed. Congress needs to strengthen federal protection for all students, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, perceived gender identity, or religion."
On Tuesday, November 15, AAUW will host an event at the National Press Club on the topic featuring Rosalind Wiseman, an AAUW fellowship recipient, youth expert, and author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, the book that inspired the film Mean Girls; Kedrick Griffin, senior director of programs at Men Can Stop Rape; and Ileana Jiménez, educator at the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation's leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW has a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches, and 500 college/university institutional partners. Since AAUW's founding 130 years ago, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW's commitment to educational equity is reflected in its public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections.


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

In a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Connecticut, Garry Tinney and six co-plaintiffs sued the City of New Haven and the International Association of Firefighters Local 825 for racial discrimination in relation to the promotion exams targeted in Ricci v. DeStefano. Recall that the Supreme Court ruling in this case was that New Haven could not prove a reasonable basis for believing they would lose an adverse impact challenge to minority applicants for promotion to lieutenant and captain. Of course, there was every reason to believe they would be sued, and the lawsuit was filed on October 7, 2011 (see The lawsuit cites the 5th and 14th Amendments, and both adverse impact and disparate treatment under Title VII.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Amicus Briefs on Affirmative Action

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 2, 2011, 5:59 pm
By Richard Kahlenberg

Earlier this week, The Chronicle published an important article by Peter Schmidt on Fisher v. Texas, the latest legal challenge to affirmative action that may wind up on the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket. Opponents of affirmative action have filed briefs urging the High Court to take the case, while supporters have just been invited by the Court to respond.
The early maneuvering is important because Fisher could well turn out to be far more significant in determining the shape of affirmative action in higher education than the 1978 decision in Bakke v. Regents of the University of California or the 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Crimson Academy nets promising results

The Bay State Banner
November 3, 2011— vol. 47, no 13
Kenneth J. Cooper

Harvard University and other elite colleges have encountered criticism because students from upscale families have come to dominate the schools’ black enrollments. African American alumni of an earlier generation and other critics want more low-income students admitted.
National studies, though, show that only a small percentage of high school seniors from poor African American or Hispanic families even apply to the country’s best colleges. Most of these students incorrectly assume they would never get into top schools or could not possibly afford to attend them.
For most of the past decade, seven college-prep programs — most housed at Harvard and other prestigious private universities — have made some headway in reversing this trend and misconception.

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Affirmative action case develops
Lyle Denniston Reporter
Posted Tue, November 1st, 2011 5:05 pm

The Supreme Court has asked the University of Texas to provide a reaction to the new challenge to its race-based affirmative action policy on college admissions. That request, noted yesterday on the Court’s docket for the case of Fisher v. University of Texas (docket 11-345), kept the case going even though university officials had simply avoided taking any action on it so far. (This blog posted this story when the case first reached the Court.)
Since the petition by rejected white applicant Abigail Noel Fisher was filed on September 15, numerous contacts with university officials and others close to the case seeking a reaction about their plans have met with cryptic responses. For example, the university’s president, William Powers Jr., responding to one of those queries through an aide on Oct. 25, re-released an earlier statement saying that “the UT legal team is reviewing the petition for certiorari and we will continue our very important defense of this case.” The aide commented on his own: “We are unable to comment on this case or our legal strategy while the litigation is still pending.”

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