Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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

Jackson Lewis LLP



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

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

Monday, December 12, 2011

A stand for racial diversity in education

Miami Herald
Monday, 12.12.11

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

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

It’s a critical difference in approach.

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

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

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Rule would require federal contractors to hire more disabled workers

Business Insurance

December 9, 2011 - 1:40pm

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

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

OFCCP Announces Proposed Rules on Disability Law

News Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Letter from OFCCP Director on Proposed Disability Regs

U.S. Department of LaborDecember 9, 2011

Dear Friends:

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

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

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

That’s never been done before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many thanks,

Patricia A. Shiu


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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Obama Administration Gives Colleges Broad Leeway on Affirmative Action

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Peter Schmidt


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

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

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

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

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

For Immediate Release
December 5, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Turkey Company Violated Federal Disability Law, Agency Charged

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Conducting international employment-related investigations

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

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

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

Guidance on Diversity

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

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

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

Saturday, December 3, 2011

U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity

The New York Times


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

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

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

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

Friday, December 2, 2011

Obama Administration Says Schools May Use Race for Diversity

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

By Greg Stohr

(Updates with comment from guidance in third paragraph.)

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

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

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

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

Broadcasting and Cable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A copy of the joint guidance follows.

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

December 2, 2011

Dear Colleague:

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


White Savannah State football coach settles discrimination suit

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

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

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

CRP Announces New Book published by UNC Press

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 1, 2011

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

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

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

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

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


Adopting the U. of Maryland-Baltimore County Way

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

By Marybeth Gasman

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

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