Monday, February 28, 2011

LinkedIn Referral Policies Could Raise Legal Rift
LinkedIn recommendations are a Catch-22 for companies: preventing employees from writing them could lead to dissent but allowing them raises legal concerns. By Ed Frauenheim
February 2011

The recommendations on LinkedIn pages are usually pretty straightforward: current and former business colleagues tout the person’s skills and experience.
But these online testimonials are anything but simple for companies. On one hand, allowing employees to write recommendations for current or former co-workers raises legal risks, especially for financial services firms. On the other hand, muzzling workers might smack of censorship and create resentment.
“Companies attempting to ban employees from writing LinkedIn recommendations are going to appear overly controlling and out of touch,” says Jennifer Benz, founder of San Francisco-based consulting firm Benz Communications. “Aside from being unnecessary and harsh, trying to enforce a policy like that is a poor use of resources.”

Full Story:

Accommodation Solutions at Your Fingertips

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

Interested in exploring strategies for accommodating employees with disabilities, illnesses or injuries and helping them maximize productivity on the job? Free, expert assistance is just a click away.
The Job Accommodation Network's (JAN) Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) is an interactive Web tool that delivers customized job accommodation information by simulating the interaction users would have if they were speaking one on one with a JAN consultant.
When using SOAR, the user is first asked to identify a particular impairment, limitation and job function. Then, based on the user's responses, the system generates a list of potential accommodation solutions, each one linked to a page with further information and resources, if appropriate. In the event an accommodation might require special equipment or technology, SOAR also provides guidance on how such products can be obtained.
SOAR allows employers and employees alike to explore accommodation options for both short- and long-term impairments and decide which is best for a particular situation or circumstance. Fortunately, most options are highly cost effective, incurring little or no expense at all. In fact, data reveal that more than half of accommodations cost employers nothing, and of those that do, the typical one-time expenditure is $600 — an outlay that most employers report pays for itself multiple-fold in the form of reduced insurance and training costs and increased productivity.
JAN is a service of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). It offers assistance via phone at (800) 526-7234 or (877) 781-9403 (TTY) or online at

More Collaboration in the Future for Civil Rights Enforcement Agencies

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Latest Events and News

On February 8, OFCCP, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division hosted a webcast to discuss increased collaboration among their agencies in enforcing federal civil rights laws.
The meeting, which was transmitted to field offices for all three agencies, represents the first time in history that these agencies have met to discuss joint enforcement efforts. Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris moderated a panel with OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu, EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez to discuss opportunities for sustained collaboration moving forward. In addition, opening remarks were offered by Melody Barnes, White House Domestic Policy Council Director and principal advisor to President Obama on civil rights.
Agencies cited ways they will leverage resources and increase their collective ability to hold employers accountable for employment discrimination, including developing joint protocols, sharing information and best practices, and coordinating training and litigation strategies. "We need to start talking to each other, to start sharing information, and to put our egos and turf issues aside to really prioritize what's in the best interests of workers," Director Shiu said.
The agency leaders committed to working more closely together as a joint force to end work place discrimination and advance employment for American workers.

UC-San Diego Ensnared in Another Race Controversy

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by The Associated Press , February 28, 2011

SAN DIEGO — Racial tensions are up at the University of California, San Diego again after someone sent a campuswide e-mail that contained the N-word.
Someone hit “reply all” to an e-mail about a student survey on Feb. 9 and only wrote the epithet in the message. Campus administrators condemned the e-mail as “hurtful and offensive” this week, but they declined to identify the student or say whether any disciplinary action was taken.
University spokeswoman Judy Piercey says student personnel matters can’t be discussed. She downplayed the incident as “minor” and called the incident “one student being a jerk.”

Full Story:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

OFCCP institutes tougher enforcement guidelines
Ballard Spahr LLP
David S. Fryman and Farrah I. Gold
February 25 2011

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) this week announced its new Active Case Enforcement (ACE) initiative, expected to lead to broader, more aggressive compliance investigations by the agency. OFCCP is the U.S. Department of Labor division charged with ensuring that federal contractors comply with Equal Employment Opportunity laws and Executive Orders.
ACE, effective January 1, 2011, replaces OFCCP’s Active Case Management (ACM) program. Whereas under ACM only the compliance review methodology was used, under ACE the OFCCP will use all of the compliance evaluation investigative methodologies specified in the regulations. These methodologies include the following:
Compliance review — a comprehensive analysis/evaluation of a contractor’s hiring and employment practices and written affirmative action program, and of the results obtained via affirmative action efforts;
Offsite review of records — an analysis and evaluation of the affirmative action program (or any part thereof) and supporting documentation, and other documents related to the contractor’s personnel policies and employment actions that may be relevant to a determination of whether the contractor complied with the requirements of Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA);
Compliance check — a determination of whether a contractor has maintained records consistent with federal regulations; and
Focused review — an onsite review aimed at one or more components of a contractor’s organization or one or more aspects of a contractor’s employment practices.

Full Story:

Texas 'White Men' Scholarships a Response to Reverse Discrimination?

gather News
February 26, 2011 09:45 PM EST

Texas white men scholarships are available to those who do not fit into certain prescribed categories or into any targeted ethnic group.
Many say it’s a response similar to the controversial affirmative action laws created for blacks and other minorities. Creators say its creation is only meant to help an unrepresented group.
During Black History Month, it is somewhat of a paradox to have a conversation about whites not being represented in entitlement programs or other programs that provide some form of assistance to a certain group.
Texas 'White Men' Scholarships -- Why was it created?
Caucasian Americans have been part of the so-called majority since the beginning of this country's history. It's been part of the status quo, or the accepted way of things in everyday life.
However, a non-profit group says that Texas white men scholarships are being created for Caucasians who are now in the so-called minority group of American citizens.
Reportedly, a newly-formed not-for-profit group was formed by a student with the help of others who share his stance on the matter of reverse discrimination.

Full Story:

Comment from "A Higher Primate:"
Traditionally, scholarships have been designated for/allocated to white men. That is why some organizations found the need to establish scholarships for women and then scholarships for minorities and Hispanics. It would be safe to say that "white men scholarships" is an oxymoron for scholarships as "reverse discrimination" is an invalidation of discrimination. There are many, many serious problems in the world today that need to be addressed, and this question is not one of them.

Bias Against the Unemployed Is Subject of Probe

The Wall Street Journal
FEBRUARY 17, 2011, 6:08 P.M. ET

WASHINGTON—The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has begun a probe of whether employers and recruitment firms are unlawfully barring the unemployed from applying for certain jobs, the agency's chairman said.
EEOC Chairman Jacqueline Berrien said at a hearing Wednesday that the agency began hearing anecdotal reports of the practice last summer, including from news reports and from worker-advocacy groups gathering examples of help-wanted advertisements that said only individuals who currently had jobs should apply.
"We'll take a close look at what we heard and consider if there's anything we might need to do to clarify standards," she said.
It isn't clear what the EEOC will do to address the issue, or to what extent it is authorized to act. EEOC and Labor Department officials said they don't have much data on whether the practice of excluding unemployed people from applicant pools is widespread. Lawyers representing employers say it isn't, and even when it is done it can be justified based on employers' need to find workers whose skills are up to date.

Full Story:

Colleges’ actions in sexual assault cases scrutinized

The Boston Globe
New England Center For Investigative Reporting / February 27, 2011
Department of Education touts stricter sanctions

It was supposed to be a fun college version of Friday night at the movies. A group of students at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston gathered in a classroom building, spending the autumn evening in 2009.

But in the middle of the night, a 28-year-old sophomore said she woke to find a male student, whom she did not know apart from seeing him in class, fondling her, according to a police report. He was found responsible following a campus disciplinary procedure.

MassArt sanctioned him by placing him on probation until graduation, and ordering him to stay away from the victim and participate in an educational workshop and counseling, according to US Department of Education records obtained by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. The victim complained to the department’s Office for Civil Rights about the inadequacy of the sanctions, but the agency determined the school did nothing wrong, the records show.drinking rum and Cokes and watching films.

Full Story:

Answering the Illegal Question

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 24, 2011

By Julianna Baggott

I'm lucky in that I work in a department that is kid-friendly, at a university that's making a concerted effort to support women on the faculty and families (including with a new parental-leave policy).
As a novelist whose personal bio exists on the back of every one of my books, I don't have the luxury of pretending not to have kids. At my job interviews at the Modern Language Association convention a few years ago, it was obvious to anyone who knew my work and could count on their fingers that I was immensely pregnant with my fourth child. In academe that is much like growing a fourth head—though growing a fourth head would be more attractive because academics prize the mind over the body.

Full Story:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BEYA: Where Corporate America Meets and Encourages Black Talent
Originally published February 23, 2011
In Praise Of Black Engineers
by Lango DeenSpecial to the AFRO

“It’s been 25 years of inspiration,” Ted Childs, a retired diversity executive at IBM Corporation, said Feb. 19 at the 25th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards in the Washington, D.C.The Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA), produced by Career Communications Group, showcases African-American talent in science, technology, engineering and math and provides students with pathways to lucrative technical careers.
“It’s an opportunity to connect at a high level of intelligence and capital with business people who are interested in science, mathematics and engineering and who never get an opportunity to recognize or connect with one another,” said David Steward, founder and chairman of St. Louis-based Worldwide Technology Inc., who attended the event. “It shows the intellectual capital in the Black community and the leadership in the Black community and the value we bring to this society and this country and the world.”

Full Story:

Executive Recruiting And Women Leaders: Get Serious

The Executive Search Group
Executive Recruiting Blog
Posted by Tim McIntyre on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 @ 08:24 AM

Executive Human capital, ahh. Everyone loves to talk about "gender diversity" and boardroom issues, surveys, why women leaders are leaving the workforce and talent acquisition, and all sorts of discourse, but in reality, very few are doing anything about really Targeting and Recruiting them.
For example, our search firm has published (an almost) quarterly survey sent to thousands and thousands of corporate personnel, and why there is strong sentiment and responses, and continuous downloading of ebooks and other materiels, when conversing with the head of diversity, or senior HR folks or heads of lines of businesses, clearly, these are academic pursuits for most, getting up to speed on the latest lingo for that upcoming meeting, or preparing to foist off on unsuspecting colleagues, bosses or watchful eyes the latest spin on "breaking the glass ceiling".

Full Blog Post:

Bill Clinton criticizes N.C. school board over dumped diversity plan
Thursday, 02.24.11
By Thomas Goldsmith
The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Former President Bill Clinton has become the highest-profile figure to wade into the controversy involving the future of Wake County's public schools.
Clinton chose the opening of an exhibit in his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark. on one of the nation's most dramatic school integration events to criticize Wake County's change in direction on keeping schools' populations balanced by students' socioeconomic backgrounds.
Previously, newsmakers including federal Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and cable television satirist Stephen Colbert had taken swipes at the decisions made by the board leadership in charge since December 2009.

Read more:

Campus Health Officials Call for 'Cultural Competency'

Inside Higher Ed
February 24, 2011
Quick Takes

The American College Health Association reinforced the importance of constantly developing cultural awareness and sensitivity among campus professionals, with the goal of having members be “responsive to the needs of a diverse and changing student population,” in a statement released Wednesday.
The Cultural Competency Statement -- in its first revision since its initial publication in July 2000 -- compels ACHA members to cultural inclusion, cultural respect, equality and equity, and includes a number of criteria that demonstrate cultural competency for individuals, institutions and the association. Vanessa Britto, chair of the revision task force, told Inside Higher Ed that given the shifts in student demographics, international enrollment and experiential learning, the ACHA felt it was time to update and clarify the statement.

Full Story:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Diversity Groups PUSH FCC On Civil Rights

Multichannel News

FCC Counters That It Has Made 'Great Strides,' With More To Come.
John Eggerton -- Multichannel News, 2/23/2011 10:52:19 AM

The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council, joined by Rainbow PUSH, NAACP, and others are telling the Federal Communications Commission that the status of civil rights issues at the commission is even worse now than last year, when most of the same groups wrote the agency to complain about the state of minority ownership.
They want a meeting with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to air their grievances.
A commission spokesman strongly disagreed with the letter's characterization of the FCC on the issue.
In a letter dated Feb. 22, the groups said that no progress had been made on minority entrepreneurship and equal employment issues.

Full Story:

Deaf Hurt by "Current Employment" Requirement? Deafness
Saturday February 19, 2011
By Jamie Berke, Guide since 1997

This past week, the news story that held my attention the most was the one about how the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating whether the practice of requiring people to be "currently employed" in the job search is discriminatory. On February 16, the EEOC held a widely-reported hearing on this issue. Disabled people are one category of people that the EEOC is concerned this practice may have a disproportionate impact on.
How could the job advertisement statement "must be currently employed" potentially have a disproportionate impact on deaf and hard of hearing people?

Full Story:

DOL to Use New Active Case Enforcement (ACE) for Government Contractors

February 21, 2011

Active Case Enforcement (ACE), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP’s) newest enforcement tool, was recently put into work. Under the OFCCP’s ACE directive, the agency will employ all of its compliance evaluation methods (compliance review, compliance check, focused review, and offsite review of records.) Federal contractors may be evaluated under any one or a combination of these methods. In addition, under ACE, federal contractors will undergo a more thorough review—beginning with a full desk audit.

The ACE procedures are outlined in Directive #295, signed December 16, 2010. ACE became effective January 1, 2011 (although the directive and agency FAQs were not posted until late last week). All supply & service (S&S) compliance evaluations scheduled on or after January 1, 2011, will be processed using ACE procedures. ACE procedures will not be used to conduct compliance evaluations of construction contractors.

Full Story:


OFCCP Blog Spot
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

by Fred Satterwhite, Senior Consultant, DCI Consulting Group

OFCCP submitted its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for "Non Discrimination In Compensation: Compensation Data Collection Tool" to the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on February 18, 2011. This is the first step in the official process to implement a new contractor survey tool similar to the Equal Opportunity (EO) Survey that was rescinded in 2006.

Full Story:

Employer’s frequent calls to employee during FMLA leave may create interference with FMLA rights
Ogletree Deakins
Maria Greco Danaher
February 15 2011

Author page »
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employer is prohibited from denying, restraining, or interfering with an employee’s rights to qualified leave. One federal court recently found that an employer’s frequent phone calls to the employee asking when she would return to work while she was on FMLA leave may have interfered with the employee’s FMLA rights. Terwilliger v. Howard Memorial Hospital, WDAK, No. 09-CV-4055, January 27, 2011.
The FMLA provides to eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for qualifying conditions, and precludes employers from interfering with an employee’s rights under the Act. Under the regulations associated with the Act, interference includes “discouraging” an employee from using FMLA leave.

Full Story:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Flawed Study Dismissing Job Bias Thrills Media

Women's eNews
By Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers
WeNews commentators
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The media is having a heyday with a study that came out earlier this month finding that scientific women are stalled by their own lifestyle choices, not discrimination. Co-authors Roz Barnett and Caryl Rivers say "show us the data."

(WOMENSENEWS)--Is discrimination against women in the sciences a thing of the past? Do women do less well than men because of choices they themselves make, rather than bias and structural barriers in the workplace?
Yes, says a new paper that's getting a lot of media attention.
Researchers Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams say women's underrepresentation is mostly a matter of career preferences and fertility and lifestyle choices.
Seeking time with family, caring for children or elderly parents, following a spouse or preference for working part time are the real reasons they say women lag behind men in good jobs in math and science.
Their paper, "Understanding Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science," was published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Feb. 7.
The news media loves it.

Full Story:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Five key labor and employment issues hospitality employers need to be aware of this quarter
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
February 15 2011

View original document Send to colleague Print Suggest a topic Back
Five key labor and employment issues hospitality employers need to be aware of this quarter
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
February 15 2011

1. OSHA to Continue Aggressive Workplace Inspections in 2011
2010 was a busy year for the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). If 2010 could be summed up in two words, they would be enforcement and enforcement. OSHA largely stripped funding from its cooperative compliance programs in favor of more money for enforcement, hiring more compliance officers, initiating numerous enforcement initiatives and increasing the fines issued for violations.
2. OFCCP Sets Aggressive Regulatory Agenda for 2011
Until recently, federal contractors and subcontractors were able to pay minimal attention to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) or the equal employment opportunity and affirmative action mandates and regulations that OFCCP enforces, while suffering little or no negative consequences. That is no longer the case.

Full story:

Out of Work? Out of Luck

U..S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC Examines Employers’ Treatment of Unemployed Job Applicants at Hearing

WASHINGTON—In a public meeting held today, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) examined the impact of employers considering only those currently employed for job vacancies.
“Throughout its 45 year history, the EEOC has identified and remedied discrimination in hiring and remains committed to ensuring job applicants are treated fairly,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “Today’s meeting gave the Commission an important opportunity to learn about the emerging practice of excluding unemployed persons from applicant pools.”
According to Helen Norton, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law, employers and staffing agencies have publicly advertised jobs in fields ranging from electronic engineers to restaurant and grocery managers to mortgage underwriters with the explicit restriction that only currently employed candidates will be considered. “Some employers may use current employment as a signal of quality job performance,” Norton testified. “But such a correlation is decidedly weak. A blanket reliance on current employment serves as a poor proxy for successful job performance.”
“The use of an individual’s current or recent unemployment status as a hiring selection device is a troubling development in the labor market,” said Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment of the National Women’s Law Center. She noted that this practice “may well act as a negative counterweight” to government efforts to get people back to work. Women, particularly older women and those in non-traditional occupations, are disproportionately affected by this restriction, testified Goss Graves.
Denying jobs to the already-unemployed can also have a disproportionate effect on certain racial and ethnic minority community members, Algernon Austin, Director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy of the Economic Policy Institute, explained. Unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are higher than those of whites. When comparing college-educated workers, the unemployment rate for Asians is also higher. Thus, restricting applications to the currently employed could place a heavier burden on people of color, he concluded.
The use of employment status to screen job applicants could also seriously impact people with disabilities, according to Joyce Bender, an expert in the employment of people with disabilities. “Given my experience, I can say without a doubt that the practice of excluding persons who are currently unemployed from applicant pools is real and can have a negative impact on persons with disabilities,” Bender told the Commission.
Dr. William Spriggs, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy, offered data supporting this testimony. Spriggs presented current national employment statistics showing that African-Americans and Hispanics are overrepresented among the unemployed. He also stated that excluding the unemployed would be more likely to limit opportunities for older applicants as well as persons with disabilities.
“At a moment when we all should be doing whatever we can to open up job opportunities to the unemployed, it is profoundly disturbing that the trend of deliberately excluding the jobless from work opportunities is on the rise,” said Christine Owens, Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project. In addition to presenting statistical evidence, she recounted stories unemployed workers have shared with her organization where they were told directly that they would not be considered for employment due to being unemployed.
James Urban, a partner at the Jones Day law firm, who counsels employers, expressed doubt as to the extent of the problem. Fernan Cepero, representing the Society of Human Resource Professionals, told the Commission that his organization is not aware of this practice being in regular use. But both Mr. Urban and Mr. Cepero noted that the automatic exclusion of unemployed persons from consideration does not constitute “due diligence” in the screening of job applicants.
The EEOC enforces the nation’s laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available at Materials from this Commission meeting, including statements and biographies of the witnesses, may be found at

Is describing a C-level executive’s discharge as “for cause” defamatory?
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Roy A. Ginsburg
February 7 2011

Quirky Question # 168: I saw your last question about discharging an executive for cause. We recently terminated a C-level executive for that reason. His contract delineated four different “cause” grounds and we felt that two were implicated, although one of these ground arguably was iffy. We’re wondering whom we can tell about this decision. Are there any risks associated with publicizing this discharge?
Roy’s Analysis: You raise an excellent question, which companies like yours need to consider thoughtfully. Ideally, this thoughtful assessment will occur before a company terminates an executive “for cause.” As a prefatory matter, just to ensure that the readers all understand the terminology of your question, a “C-level” executive is typically a CEO, CFO, COO or some other high-ranking executive. These individuals, especially in the case of the CEO, usually report either directly to the Board of Directors, or for the lower level execs, to the CEO. At times the non-CEO, C-level executives report jointly to the CEO and the Board.

Full Story:

ADA settlement highlights importance of individualized return-to-work analysis
February 14 2011
Foley & Lardner LLP
Larry Perlman

A grocery chain agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle 110 former employees' lawsuits claiming that the company applied an inflexible, overly rigid policy regarding disability leave. The EEOC recently announced an Illinois federal court's approval of the settlement agreement.
The lawsuit, EEOC v. Supervalu Inc., ( alleged that the company terminated multiple employees after their approved medical leaves had expired. According to the EEOC, the company required employees to prove that they were 100-percent able to carry out their job duties before returning to work. The EEOC argued that this requirement violated the ADA ( because it did not provide for an individualized analysis of each employee's situation in order to determine whether each employee could return to work with reasonable accommodations. The lawsuit also alleged that the company discriminated against disabled employees because it did not allow employees to take advantage of a company-sponsored “light-duty” program unless they were injured on the job. In addition to the monetary payout, the settlement terms also require the company to change its leave policies to comply with the “individualized analysis” requirement and to communicate with all employees out on leave in order to assess their ability to return to work.

Full story:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Employers: watch out for "GINA"

Ward and Smith PA
Kyle R. Still
February 4 2011

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ("GINA") is still unfamiliar to many employers, despite the fact that Congress enacted it in 2008. That soon will change, however, as the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") recently issued final regulations interpreting GINA. The regulations went into effect on January 10, 2011, and require all employers to change the way in which they ask for medical information about their employees.
This article will discuss the basic requirements of GINA, its overlap with other health-related employment laws, and one important change employers should make to their medical inquiry policies in light of the EEOC's new regulations.
GINA's Basic Requirements
GINA protects employees from discrimination based on as yet unmanifested health conditions (such as the fact that diabetes runs in an employee's family). Most of GINA's legal protections relate to the use and collection of "genetic information" about employees. GINA's definition of "genetic information" contains many items including not only information from genetic tests taken by an employee or an employee's family member, but also information about an employee's family medical history. For example, if members of an employee's family have diabetes, that is considered to be part of that employee's genetic information.

Full Story:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Women Execs Drive Winning Performance
Three examples of successful companies with strong female leadership.
By Selena Maranjian
Motley Fool
updated 2/16/2011 4:59:42 AM ET 2011-02-16T09:59:42

Research suggests that companies with prominent female leadership produce strong financial performance. That makes diversity an important criterion when sizing up potential investments. This year's awards from Catalyst, an organization that studies women in leadership, honored three promising prospects: McDonald's, Kaiser Permanente, and Time Warner.
Big progress Women occupied half of the senior executive positions at health care's Kaiser Permanente by 2009; racially or ethnically diverse women held 18% of them. Thanks to a companywide diversity initiative, its board of directors went from 21% women in 2001 to 36% women in 2009. That's quite an accomplishment, especially in an industry with atypically high levels of women in charge. Aetna's board is 29% female, while UnitedHealth's is 22%, versus the national average of 15.7%.

KPMG: Workforce Diversity for Competitiveness

Business Wire
February 15, 2011 03:00 PM Eastern Time

HR Summit 2011
“Having a diverse workforce does not just happen; the organisation needs to have a specific strategy and stated goals and metrics. There needs to be strong sponsorship and accountability from senior leadership who are actively engaged in the diversity agenda.”

HR Summit 2011
Gold Coast, Australia, 6 - 8 March

Interview with: Susan Ferrier, Head of People, Performance & Culture, KPMG
In today’s globalised world there is a competitive advantage in being able to put different perspectives on the table, says Susan Ferrier, Head of People, Performance & Culture, at KPMG. A speaker at the marcus evans HR Summit 2011 at the Gold Coast in Australia, 6 - 8 March, Ferrier shares her thoughts on diversity, employee engagement and how Human Resources (HR) directors can capitalise on what motivates their people.
How important is diversity in the workforce and how can organisations capitalise on it?
Susan Ferrier: “In today’s workplace, having a diverse population is incredibly important. The benefits of a diverse workforce include innovation, increased engagement and economic growth. Organisations are often operating in an international or multi-faceted national context, and to service customers well, they need to attract and retain people from the full range of demographic segments. Having a diverse workforce brings a range of useful perspectives to the table and there is a significant competitive advantage if organisations are able to optimise these differences in their people.”

Full Story:

Ohio Universities Defend Affirmative Action Strategies in Their Admissions

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Jamaal Abdul-Alim , February 16, 2011

Two universities that are accused in a new report of giving minority students an unfair edge in the admissions process defended their practices Tuesday as being legitimate strategies to expand access and enhance diversity on campus.
The report – titled ‘Racial and Ethnic Preferences in Undergraduate Admissions at Two Ohio Public Universities’ – was released this week by the Falls Church, Va.-based Center for Equal Opportunity, which opposes race-conscious affirmative action in higher education.

Full Story:

No Time for Complacency on Racial Diversity

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 13, 2011
By Arthur L. Coleman and Scott R. Palmer

Last month a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a University of Texas policy that included consideration of race as part of an overall assessment of applicants was lawful. Applying the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, which upheld the University of Michigan law school's race-conscious admissions policy, the appeals court found that the challenged policy "used a holistic, multifactor approach, in which race [was] but one of many considerations," and was aligned with Grutter.
The central issue in the case, however, had less to do with the policy's adherence to a Michigan-like model and more to do with whether Texas needed a race-conscious admissions policy in the first place.

Full Story:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Report: Colleges favor blacks in admissions

The Columbus Dispatch
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 02:53 AM
By Encarnacion Pyle

Kasich reassures black lawmakers

Ohio State and Miami officials dismissed a report issued yesterday that accuses their universities of discriminating against white students by favoring black applicants.
The Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative think tank that fights race-based admissions policies at colleges across the nation, says its analysis shows that black students at both schools have a leg up on white students with comparable test scores and academic records. ...

Officials at both schools disputed the findings but said they had not seen the report until yesterday. They said each school looks at the whole student - not just their test scores, grades and class rank.

Full Story:

New Study Documents Heavy Admissions Discrimination at Ohio State and Miami University

Center for Equal Opportunity
Monday, 14 February 2011

(Columbus,OH) A new study released today by the Center for Equal Opportunitydocuments evidence of significant discrimination based on race andethnicity in undergraduate admissions at Ohio State University andMiami University. African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latinoswere given preferences over whites and, again to a lesser extent,Asians.

SJW: This is another "study" from the group whose mission is to end affirmative action.

Racist group's flyers left at Burbank homes

KABC - TV 7 Los Angeles
Leo Stallworth
Monday, February 14, 2011

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- Residents in at least two Southland communities discovered controversial flyers outside their homes Monday. Some found the unwanted leaflets offensive.
The flyer was distributed throughout a Burbank neighborhood Monday morning. Residents in Costa Mesa got the flier as well.
One side of the flyer has the words "Love your race," with a picture of a white blond-haired woman below it. The other side says "Stop affirmative action, white people need jobs too." Both sides include the name of an organization called National Alliance.

Full Story and video:

EEOC to Examine Treatment of Unemployed Job Seekers

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC to Examine Treatment of Unemployed Job Seekers

Commission to Meet Feb. 16 at Agency Headquarters
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, February 16, at 9:30 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.
In order to examine the practice by employers of excluding currently unemployed persons from applicant pools, including in job announcements, the Commission will hear from invited panelists on the potential impact on job seekers. The meeting agenda includes:
Panel 1: U.S. Department of Labor’s Latest Unemployment Data
William E. Spriggs, Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
Panel 2: Unemployment Status Screening
Christine Owens, Executive Director, National Employment Law Project (NELP)
Fernan R. Cepero, Vice President for Human Resources, The YMCA of Greater Rochester, representing SHRM
Amy Dias, Partner, Jones Day
Helen Norton, Professor, University of Colorado Law School
Panel 3: Impact on Unemployed Persons
Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment, National Women’s Law Center
Algernon Austin, Director of the Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy Program, Economic Policy Institute
Joyce Bender, CEO, Bender Consulting Services
A brief question-and-answer session with EEOC Commissioners will follow each panel discussion.
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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be a Sponsor at the AAAA Access, Equity and Diversity Summit 2011

AAAA Members and Friends:

Once again we call upon you to apply your influential skills to assist the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) reach its goal of $55,000 for our 2011 Annual Summit. This year's summit will be held June 28-30, 2011 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey and entitled, EEO and Diversity: "A Strong and Prosperous Nation Secured Through a Fair and Inclusive Workplace." Current confirmed guests are OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu and Dr. Marybeth Gasman of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien is one of our invited guests.

Inspire your employer to pledge its support for our efforts to guarantee everyone basic freedoms and entitlements that mirror America's national anthem. Invite your company representative to visit our website and learn of our history, and educational and training programs that offer employers and employees a better understanding of human and civil rights laws. And then, mesmerize them as you boast of the successful diversity of AAAA's leadership and membership.

The mission of the American Association for Affirmative Action is to enhance access and equity in employment, business, and educational opportunities. The success of our mission requires your support.

It would be an honor if your organization became one of our 2011 Summit sponsors. Share with your employers this invitation to place their names among AAAA supporters and professional members who have the same dream of a nation working together for individual enhancement. Why not your company logo gracing the halls of the Atlantic City Convention Center to promote equal opportunity and diversity?

The enclosed Sponsorship Brochure and Application explain the benefits we offer for the financial support of your choice, to include conference bags. In addition, we can meet with you and/or a company representative to discuss other support possibilities of value to your company. If you have questions, please contact us as soon as possible. If we have not heard from you before our May 2, 2011 deadline, we will give you a call to determine your interest.

Again, please consider a AAAA partnership from which we both may prosper! We look forward to seeing you again at the Summit!

Sincerely yours,

Gregory T. Chambers
Gregory T. Chambers
AAAA President

Joyce A. Pratt
Joyce A. Pratt
Sponsorship Chairperson
AAAA Summit Planning Committee

AAAA Sponsorship Application

AAAA Summit Sponsorship Brochure

Agencies collaborate against discrimination

1500 AM Federal News Radio
By Meg BeasleyReporterFederal News Radio
February 8, 2011 - 5:33am

The departments of Labor and Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are joining to combat discrimination in the workplace.
Patricia Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at Labor announced today that she will meet with EEOC chairwoman Jackie Barrien and assistant attorney general for civil rights Tom Perez, to figure how to collaborate on protecting employees' rights.
"Just as intelligence agencies must share information to protect our national security, so too must our civil rights agencies work together to safeguard the rights of all workers," said Shiu, during her keynote speech Monday at the Women's and Fair Practices Departments' 2011 Civil Rights Luncheon, hosted by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

Full Story and mp3 Download:

Recent New Jersey Appellate Division decision reinforces the need for employers to adopt an appropriately drafted anti-harassment policy, training on
Lowenstein Sandler PC
Julie Levinson Werner
February 3 2011

Employment attorneys and human resource professionals have long recognized the importance of implementing an anti-harassment policy.

In addition to improving morale and providing clear guidance to employees in terms of what conduct in the workplace is and is not acceptable, such a policy, according to federal and state law, may provide an employer with a safe haven from discrimination claims. However, a recent New Jersey Appellate Division decision, Allen v. Adecco, Inc., et al., demonstrates that having a policy alone will be insufficient to provide an employer with the legal protection it needs. Essential components of an effective anti-harassment policy are: a formal prohibition of harassment; formal and informal complaint structures; antiharassment training; monitoring mechanisms for assessing the effectiveness of the policies and complaint procedures; and an unequivocal and consistent commitment to intolerance of harassment. In Allen, the New Jersey Appellate Division reversed the summary judgment order entered by the lower court, finding genuine issues of material fact as to whether the employer’s anti-harassment policy met the standards necessary to defeat a claim of negligence or vicarious liability under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”). As discussed below, the court’s decision contains important lessons for all employers, executives, and human resource personnel.

Full Story:

EEOC Receives a Modest Increase in White House's FY 2012 Budget

The White House has proposed a modest increase in the budget of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for Fiscal Year 2012. In FY 2010, the last year when a budget was actually passed by the Congress and signed into law, the agency's budget was $367 million. In FY '11, the EEOC operated under a continuing resolution. For 2012, the Administration has proposed that the Commission operate under a budget of $386 million, an increase of $19 million over the 2010 levels. Staffing would increase from 2371 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) to 2557, an 8 percent increase.

To view the EEOC's proposed budget, go to:

White House Proposes Slight Increase for OFCCP in 2012

The budget released by the White House today proposes a budget of $109 million for the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). In the past year, the agency operated under a continuing resolution although the Department of Labor had requested a budget of $113 million for FY '11. The OFCCP received a 33% budget increase in FY2010 to $105 million, and “embarked on an unprecedented initiative” to hire 213 new compliance officers. The FY2011 budget proposal would have maintained these funding levels: the OFCCP would have received an increase to $113 million (788 full-time equivalents) for FY2011. Receiving $109 million in FY 2012 would effectively constitute a cut of $4 million from the proposed $113 in the past year.

The White House's proposal of an increase of $4 million from the 2010 level does reflect a continuing focus on civil rights and equal employment opportunity enforcement. This is only the first step in the budget process, however. The ultimate size of the OFCCP budget will depend upon the work of a more divided Congress determined to reduce the national budget deficit.

To see the Administration's proposed budget for the Department of Labor, go to:

Workplace Guidance Remains Elusive After Facebook Posting Case Is Settled
February 9, 2011
In the agreement, American Medical Response agreed to ‘revise its overly broad rules’ to ensure that employees’ rights to discuss working conditions are protected, according to a written statement by the NLRB.

Employees may be rejoicing, but some legal experts are disappointed that the National Labor Relations Board reached a settlement on Feb. 7 with a company that fired an employee for bad mouthing her boss on Facebook, dashing hopes for a legal precedent to guide employers’ social media policies.
Dawnmarie Souza, an emergency medical technician with ambulance service company American Medical Response of Connecticut, was fired in 2009 after criticizing her supervisor on Facebook. Her case was scheduled to be heard before a federal labor board judge in Hartford, Connecticut, on Feb. 8.

Full Story:

January 2011 Disability Employment Statistics Released

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

January 2011 Disability Employment Statistics Released
In January 2011, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 20.1. By comparison, the percentage of persons with no disability in the labor force was 69.5.
The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 13.6 percent, compared with 9.7 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
Read about the January Disability Employment Statistics
Retrieve Historical Disability Employment Data
Read Commonly Used Terms in BLS Employment Statistics

First Student To Pay $150,000 To Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment, Retaliation Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

School Bus Drivers Touched and Taunted by Supervisor, Then Forced Out Upon Complaining, Federal Agency Charged

LOS ANGELES — School bus operator First Student, Inc. will pay $150,000 and provide other relief to settle a lawsuit for sexual harassment and retaliation filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
The EEOC had charged that four female employees at the company were sexually harassed, retaliated against or forced to quit. Ohio-based First Student claims to be North America’s leading school bus transportation services company.
According to the EEOC, a male supervisor at its facility in Los Angeles sexually harassed at least four women, including bus drivers and a human resources assistant. The supervisor began by making constant explicit remarks about their body parts and the sexual acts he wanted to perform on them. The harassment turned physical when the supervisor exposed himself, grabbed the breasts of a bus driver and rubbed his private parts onto her, the EEOC charged.
The EEOC contends that a male manager who received their complaints of harassment not only failed to correct the situation, but also disciplined one victim and transferred another in retaliation for complaining. The harasser cut another bus driver’s hours upon refusal of his advances and promised extra hours to female employees who might acquiesce, the EEOC said. Three of the victims felt forced to resign as a result of the ongoing harassment.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits gender discrimination in employment, including sexual harassment and retaliation. The EEOC filed suit against First Student in September 2009 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (EEOC v. First Student, Inc., Case No. CV 09-7102 RVBKx) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
Aside from the monetary relief, the parties entered into a consent decree, valid through 2012, which requires First Student to hire an outside EEO consultant to revamp the company’s policies, complaint procedures, investigations and training of its employees on sex discrimination, harassment and retaliation. First Student must also require supervisors to report such complaints to the human resources department within 24 hours of receipt and create a centralized tracking system for those complaints. The decree covers First Student locations in the California counties of Los Angeles and Orange, and the EEOC will monitor compliance.
“Last year, retaliation charges became the number one type of complaint that the EEOC received,” said Olophius Perry, district director for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office. “The increase signals a widespread problem wherein employers seem to choose retribution over working toward eliminating the sources of discrimination in the workplace. Employers must understand that workers have the right to complain, and it is illegal to retaliate against those that do.”
Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, said, “We encourage all employers to implement proactive relief to focus on prevention rather than reacting to problems after they occur. Sexual harassment can happen in any workplace, to any employee, and it is the employer’s responsibility to prevent and to immediately respond and correct the types of problems we saw in this case.”
According to the company’s website,, First Student provides student transportation services to schools in over 1,500 school districts in 42 states, transporting 6 million students across the country every day.
The EEOC is the federal agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

US Labor Department settles gender discrimination case with Green Bay Dressed Beef on behalf of 970 female applicants for $1.65 million

OFCCP News Release: [02/03/2011]
Contact Name: Scott Allen or Rhonda BurkePhone
Number: (312) 353-6976 or x6976
Release Number: 11-0146-CHI

US Labor Department settles gender discrimination case with Green Bay Dressed Beef on behalf of 970 female applicants for $1.65 million

Agreement includes back wages, interest, benefits and job offers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Federal contractor Green Bay Dressed Beef LLC will pay $1.65 million in back wages, interest and benefits to 970 women who were subjected to systemic discrimination by the company. The settlement follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which found that the women were rejected for general laborer positions at the company's Green Bay plant in 2006 and 2007.
"This is the 21st century in the United States of America. There is no such thing as a "man's job,'" said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "I am pleased that my department has been able to work out a resolution with Green Bay Dressed Beef, and that the settlement not only compensates the victims of discrimination but also provides jobs for many of these women."
In addition to financial compensation, the beef supplier will extend a total of 248 offers of employment to affected women as positions become available. The company already has hired more than 60 of the women in the original class.
During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP determined that the company had violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of gender in their employment practices. Under the terms of the conciliation agreement worked out between the Labor Department and the contractor, the $1.65 million will be divided among the affected women who return timely notifications. The company also has agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring and corrective measures to ensure that all employment practices fully comply with the law and will immediately correct any discriminatory practices.
Two of Green Bay Dressed Beef’s largest clients are the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Defense — as one of the largest suppliers of beef products for the federal school lunch program and one of the leading providers of beef products to American military personnel worldwide.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP's legal authority exists under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws hold those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of gender, 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. Additional information is also available at

University of Alabama president sends out campus email after racial slur by student
Published: Sunday, February 06, 2011, 12:44 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 06, 2011, 1:57 PM
By Kent Faulk -- The Birmingham News

Dr. Robert WittA student at the University of Alabama is facing disciplinary action after a Friday incident that involved use of a racial slur in referring to another student.In response to the incident, University President Robert E. Witt sent out an email Saturday to all University students, faculty and staff. "The words that were used are offensive to our community, and are especially upsetting to African Americans," he wrote.

Full Story:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Diversity attracts jobs, Governor: editorial

The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Published: Monday, February 07, 2011, 4:25 AM

Republican Gov. John Kasich has retuned a tin ear by finally adding some racial diversity -- albeit, not much -- to his Cabinet.
Kasich last week appointed Michael Colbert, a state government professional who happens to be black, as director of the Department of Job and Family Services. Colbert, a graduate of Central State University, had been the department's acting director since Jan. 9. The sprawling agency directs welfare, Medicaid and unemployment compensation.
Except for four (white) women, all of Kasich's Cabinet-level appointees before he settled on Colbert were white males. As The Plain Dealer's Columbus bureau chief, Reginald Fields, has reported, Kasich's Cabinet was shaping up to be the first all-white Ohio Cabinet since 1962.

Full Editorial:

Elite Institutions Are Tested on Diversity

The New York Times
Published: February 6, 2011

LONDON — David Lammy is still mad. In December, Mr. Lammy, a former British higher education minister, currently serving as a Labour Party member of Parliament, released figures showing vastly different success rates for white and black applicants to the country’s two oldest universities. Oxford, he claimed, admitted only a single black student of Caribbean origin last year, while Cambridge, which admitted one in three white applicants, admitted just one in six black applicants.
Both universities pushed back hard, with Oxford claiming to have admitted a total of 27 British black students and Cambridge demonstrating that, contrary to Mr. Lammy’s claim, the university did have black academics — though it was unable to say how many.

Full Story:

‘Objectifying Gaze’ Subtracts From Women’s Math Abilities

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 4, 2011, 3:34 pm

When a man looks at a woman in that way, her math skills suffer, according to a study that will be published in the March issue of the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly.
Researchers at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Pennsylvania State University at University Park asked 150 undergraduates at a large university in the Midwest — 67 women and 83 men — to participate in what they were told was a study of how people work together in teams. Instead, says Sarah J. Gervais, the lead author, the study examined how being visually “checked out” by a member of the opposite sex affected each student’s performance on math problems.

Full Story:

From Conflict to 'Cohorts': When Young and Older Workers Mix
Managing generations in the workplace may be especially daunting today as the millennials butt heads with Generation X and the baby boomers. But generational conflict has been a challenge, well, for generations. By Emilie Le Beau
Workforce Management, October 2010, p. 12

The organization was in decline with older members seizing control and the younger generation feeling frustrated. As young members left, the organization became “top heavy with old people.” Succession was a struggle, and the organization lost status within the community.
Managing generations in the workplace may be especially daunting today as the millennials butt heads with Generation X and the baby boomers. But generational conflict has been a challenge, well, for generations. The above example comes not from a 2010 corporate office environment, but rather from a 1957 study of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union by Joseph Gusfield, a University of Illinois researcher. Gusfield concluded that two or more generations in an organization lead to factional conflict.

Full Story:

EEOC Sues Three South Carolina Companies For National Origin Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Assembly Technician, U.S. Citizen, Fired Because She Was Born in Guatemala, Federal Agency Charged

GREENVILLE , S.C. – AJK Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Express Employment Professionals, a Greenville-based employment staffing firm and Proformance Group Inc., a Greenville-based industrial subcontractor, violated federal law by discriminating against a Guatemalan-born employee because of her national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s complaint, on October 3, 2008, Rosmery Diaz Caraballo, a Guatemalan-born naturalized U.S. citizen, was assigned by staffing firm Express Employment Professionals to work as an Assembly Technician for Proformance Group. After working at Proformance Group’s facility for about two hours, Caraballo was confronted by a representative of Express Employment and asked to produce a birth certificate. The EEOC said that Proformance Group required that Caraballo provide a birth certificate proving she was born in the United States in order to continue working on the assignment. When Caraballo responded that she did not have a U.S. birth certificate because she was born in Guatemala, but did have a U.S. passport proving her U.S. citizenship, she was told that she could not continue to work on the assignment.
According to the EEOC, the assignment that Caraballo worked on at Proformance Group involved assembling control panels for use at a U.S. nuclear facility in Piketon, Ohio. Under the requirements of that project, all employees had to be citizens of the United States. The EEOC argues that proof of U.S. citizenship could have been verified through one of many documents, including a birth certificate or a U.S. passport. The agency contends that Caraballo was discriminated against based on her national origin despite her U.S. citizenship and her offer to prove her citizenship using her passport, when she was not allowed to work on the project because she was not born in the United States.
Although the EEOC contends that Caraballo was terminated based on her national origin, the complaint alleges in the alternative, that she was never hired by the defendants due to the short period of time which Caraballo worked at Proformance Group before being sent home.
National origin discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Express Services, Inc., AJK Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Express Employment Professionals, and Proformance Group, Inc., Civil Action No. 6:11-cv-00279-HFF-BHH) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The lawsuit also names Express Services, Inc. (ESI), a Colorado corporation, as a defendant. ESI is the franchisor for Express Employment and has franchise locations worldwide. The EEOC said that Express Employment and ESI operated as an integrated business enterprise and that Proformance Group was a joint employer of Caraballo with Express Employment and ESI. The complaint also argues that Proformance Group interfered with the employment relationship between Express Employment, ESI and Caraballo.
The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for Caraballo, as well as injunctive and other non-monetary relief.
“Although citizenship is not a protected status under Title VII, a citizenship requirement can have the effect of discriminating on the basis of national origin,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office. “Employers must be careful when applying citizenship requirements to ensure that persons who are citizens of the United States, but who were born outside the country, are not discriminated against because of where they were born.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination. More information about the EEOC is available on its website at

EEOC Sues Amtrak For Sex-Based Wage Discrimination And Retaliation

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

National Rail Carrier Retaliated Against Female Human Resources Regional Director Because She Complained About Pay Discrimination, Federal Agency Charges
PHILADELPHIA – The nation’s largest rail carrier paid a human resources regional director less money because of her sex and then unlawfully retaliated against her when she complained about the wage discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.
The EEOC charged that beginning in 2001, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, also known as Amtrak, discriminated against Sheila Davidson in her compensation and work assignments because of her sex. The EEOC said that Amtrak paid Davidson, a human resources manager assigned to the rail carrier’s 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, the same salary as it paid two male human resources regional directors, even though Davidson had more relevant experience and was assigned a far greater workload than her male counterparts.
The pattern of sex discrimination against Davidson continues to have a negative affect on her compensation and benefits even after she was laterally transferred to the position of director of work force planning in 2006, the EEOC said in its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-00692.
The EEOC also charged that Amtrak violated Title VII and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by unlawfully retaliating against Davidson because she complained about the wage discrimination and filed a charge with the EEOC. The retaliation includes barring Davidson from participating in senior staff meetings, the EEOC said.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in compensation and other terms and conditions of employment based on sex. Both Title VII and the Equal Pay Act prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee who complains about pay discrimination or files a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.
The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. In its lawsuit, the EEOC seeks injunctive relief prohibiting discriminatory practices based on sex or retaliation, as well as lost wages and compensatory and punitive damages for Davidson and other affirmative relief.
“As a member agency of the President’s Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, the EEOC is committed to strong enforcement of the equal pay laws,” said Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. “Employers should be on notice that they will be held accountable if they engage in wage discrimination based on sex or if they punish employees who exercise their federal right to complain about sex-based wage disparities.”
EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence added, “Denying Davidson a salary commensurate with her greater workload not only showed bad business judgment, it also constituted a violation of federal law. We hope this lawsuit reminds all employers to review their compensation policies and practices to make sure they are not engaging in unlawful wage discrimination.”
In Fiscal Year 2010, private sector workplace discrimination charge filings with the EEOC hit an unprecedented level of 99,922, which included a record-high number of retaliation charges (36,258) and sex discrimination charges (29,029).
According to its website,, Amtrak operates a nationwide rail network serving over 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces on more than 21,000 miles of routes, with more than 19,000 employees.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

End of diversity policy leaves a Southern school district divided

Los Angeles Times
By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
February 5, 2011, 3:41 p.m.

Reporting from Raleigh, N.C. — This vibrant Southern capital has enjoyed a reputation for first-rate schools that long ago shed a segregated legacy. Schools in poor urban neighborhoods and prosperous suburbs alike have been praised as racially mixed and academically sound.But the school board's move to abandon its diversity policy in favor of neighborhood schools has prompted accusations of "re-segregation" and thrown the district into turmoil. Police attend board meetings, where some protesters have been arrested — including the president of the state NAACP, who is now barred from the premises.

Full Story:,0,5898469,full.story

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Toshiba faces $100 million gender bias lawsuit


By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:54pm EST

(Reuters) - A senior human resources manager at Toshiba Corp has filed a $100 million lawsuit accusing a U.S. unit of the Japanese technology company of gender bias against women in pay and promotions.
The plaintiff, Elaine Cyphers, contends Toshiba America Inc pays women lower salaries and bonuses than men who perform similar work. She also alleges the company steers women into lower-grade positions and favors men in promotions.
Cyphers said this results in an "astounding lack of women in leadership positions," despite Toshiba's creation six years ago of a "Gender Equality Office." The complaint said only 3.4 percent of Toshiba's 6,273 managers worldwide are women.
"The numbers are atrocious," said David Sanford, a partner at Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP who represents Cyphers, in an interview. "We believe the class claims are significant, and will be substantiated in the litigation."

Full Story:

Dodd-Frank brings diversity into sharper focus for organizations contracting with federal financial agencies
Allen B. Roberts
January 27 2011

Organizations contracting with federal financial agencies, and their contractors, will encounter new scrutiny of their diversity programs and accomplishments during 2011. A feature of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires each agency to adopt procedures prescribing that a contractor shall ensure, to the maximum extent possible, the fair inclusion of women and minorities in the workforce of the contractor and, as applicable, subcontractors.
The reach and anticipated impact of the diversity initiative is evident from the federal agencies having responsibility for programs and the types of organizations impacted by those programs. Agency directors of the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, each of the Federal Reserve banks, the Federal Reserve Board, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection are charged with developing standards for increased participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the programs and contracts of the agency, including standards for coordinating technical assistance to those businesses. The provision, set forth in Dodd-Frank Section 342, applies to "all business and activities of the agencies at all levels, including in procurement, insurance, and all types of contracts."

Full Story:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Diversity is not a Four Letter Word
Feb. 1 2011 - 1:06 pm
Posted by Victoria Pynchon

I didn’t talk about diversity or inclusivity in the legal profession for nearly thirty years. Nor did I want to speak about women lawyers or later, female mediators.
“It’s a toxic topic,” I’d say to people who asked me to comment. “I don’t want to be a woman lawyer. I just want to be a lawyer.”
Though I’ve been told by feminists that “it’s the only voice you have,” I didn’t want to speak with a “woman’s” voice. I’m not “compassionate” (read: weak) or compliant.

Full Story:

For a copy of: "A Positive Approach to Studying Diversity in Organizations" go to:

50 Years of Black History: A Time Line

The Root

From the civil rights movement to the election of President Barack Obama, Henry Louis Gates Jr., The Root's editor-in-chief, presents a time line of the highlights of African-American history. See how far we've come and how far we've yet to go.

Go to the pictorial timeline on the

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Programs Help Women Take the Lead

Workforce Management

Not since the 1970s and 1980s has there been such a push to help women find their way into the C-suite. With a record number of women earning college degrees, such programs are critical in making more cracks in the glass ceiling. By Rita Pyrillis
Workforce Management, January 2011, p. 3-4

Advertising account manager Samantha Reeb-Wilson is clear-eyed about her strengths and weaknesses. She recognizes that honing her negotiating skills will likely accelerate her career. And at age 31, with 10 years of advertising agency experience behind her, she’s ready for the next step.
So when she learned about a new women’s leadership program at Barnard College in New York City, her alma mater, she signed up for a seminar on persuasive argument. “In my role we try to figure out the best way to solve a client’s business problem, and that requires laying out an argument and defending it,” says Reeb-Wilson, whose employer, ad agency McGarryBowen, footed her tuition bill. “It’s hard to find a program where you can learn those kinds of skills. I’ve run into many that focus on project management or financial fluency for women, but I have that. I need more powerful skills, like having a presence in a room.”
Female-focused leadership development programs—such as the Athena Leadership Lab at Barnard College, which was launched last fall and offers workshops costing $199 to $799—are flourishing. Among the schools offering leadership programs for women: Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts; Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts; Harvard Business School in Boston; Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois; and Simmons College, also in Boston.

Full Story:

Federal agencies set up Dodd-Frank-mandated Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion
Ballard Spahr LLP
John L. Culhane, Jr, Mark J. Furletti, Alan S. Kaplinksy, Barbara S. Mishkin, Jeremy T. Rosenblum and Mercedes K. Tunstall
January 25 2011

Responding to a little-noticed provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, federal agencies have begun establishing Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion.
Each agency’s Inclusion Office must develop standards for: equal employment opportunity and the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the agency’s workforce and senior management; and increased participation of minority- and women-owned businesses in the agency’s programs and contracts. More important to financial institutions, however, is that Directors of the Inclusion Offices must develop standards to assess the diversity policies and practices of the entities their agencies regulate.
Required to establish an Inclusion Office by January 21, 2011, were the Federal Reserve Board, 12 Federal Reserve Banks, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Department of the Treasury, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Housing Finance Agency, National Credit Union Administration, and Securities and Exchange Commission. The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) has until January 21, 2012, to meet the requirement of Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Full Story: