Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Panel Suggests Ways to Increase Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Law Schools

The Chronicle of Higher Education March 28, 2011 By Lauren Sieben Although black and Mexican-American students have applied to law school at steady rates since the early 1990s, their representation in law schools has decreased over the past 15 years. The proportion of black students in law school dropped by 7.5 percent from 1993 to 2008, reports Columbia Law School, which examined data from the Law School Admission Council. The proportion of Mexican-American students decreased by 11.7 percent over the same period. Together those students' enrollment went from 9.5 percent of the incoming class in 1993 to 8.7 percent in 2008. The actual number of black and Mexican-American students also dropped, even as the size of first-year law classes increased by nearly 3,000 seats across the nation from 1993 to 2008. Full Story: http://chronicle.com/article/Panel-Suggests-Ways-to/126917/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wal-Mart v. Dukes: The Supreme Court's Big Case Threatens the Ability to Fight Corporate Misbehavior

The Huffington Post Posted: 03/28/11 03:05 PM ET Nan Aron President, Alliance for Justice What's it like to be a female employee of Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer? According to Betty Dukes, it's frustrating, as well as economically and psychologically debilitating. Ms. Dukes was an enthusiastic Wal-Mart employee, eager to work her way up from store "greeter" to a position in management. But after years passed watching male colleagues move up and finding no opportunities for her own advancement, she discussed her concerns with a district manager. The result was a pattern of retaliation that eventually led to a demotion and pay cut -- and the biggest sex discrimination case in history. It turns out Ms. Dukes wasn't alone. When a woman with a master's degree who had worked at Wal-Mart for five years asked her department manager why she was paid less than a 17-year-old boy who had just been hired, she was informed, "You just don't have the right equipment... You aren't male, so you can't expect to be paid the same." Another female employee was informed that a male employee got a bigger raise then she did because he had "a family to support." Another was told that men would always be paid more than women at Wal-Mart because "God made Adam first, so women would always be second to men." Full Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nan-aron/walmart-v-dukes-the-supre_b_841551.html

For Women Seeking to Advance in Academe, Advice From 4 Who Made It to the Top

The Chronicle of Higher Education March 24, 2011 By Jack Stripling Washington Be on powerful committees that control money. Avoid petty disputes. And always have the last word. Such was the sometimes tongue-in-cheek—and sometimes not—advice a panel of female presidents gave an audience at the National Archives here Thursday night. At the "Fourth Annual Forum on Women in Leadership" series, female university leaders discussed their trajectory through academe and the challenges that remain in a profession dominated by men. Speaking to an audience of mostly women, the presidents of four institutions warned that women are easily sidelined in academe in part because they are lured into positions and onto committees that won't help them advance through the administrative ranks. "Be on the finance committee. Don't be on—this is going to sound awful—the child-care committee," said Catharine Bond Hill, president of Vassar College. Full Story: http://chronicle.com/article/For-Women-Seeking-to-Advance/126889/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Seven Deadly Sins Your Managers Are Committing As You Read This

HR Daily Advisor Monday, March 21, 2011 3:00 AM by Steve Bruce Managers. Why can't they just do everything the way you ask them to and the way the policy reads? Wishful thinking. Here are seven deadly managers' sins that are probably being committed right now, down the hall. Sin 1. Lust Sexual harassment continues to be a problem in the workplace. And it's often worse when it's a manager and a subordinate. Perhaps the most difficult challenge in training managers and supervisors about harassment is getting across the idea that what matters is the attitude of the receiver of the harassment, not the deliverer. Managers think they can excuse their improper behavior with "I was just kidding" or "Can't she take a joke?" but if the victim was offended, and especially if he or she asked for the behavior to stop, there's a problem. Even if the victim seems to be going along with the behavior, he or she will likely claim in court something along the lines of "I had to go along with it—I have small children to feed." Of course, when training about sexual harassment, don't forget other types of harassment, for example: Religious Race National Origin Full Story: http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/archive/2011/03/21/HR_Policies_Procedures_Seven_Deadly_Sins.aspx

Warning: harassment prohibition policies may not be enough

Lexology.com Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon LLP Andrew M. Slobodien USA March 18 2011 Since the landmark 1998 Supreme Court decisions in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, most companies have recognized the importance of adopting proper EEO and anti-harassment policies. A new line of cases suggest that this is not enough. Various lower courts, such as in the recent case, Winchester v. National Mutual Insurance Co., have held that an employer can meet its burden to show that it took reasonable efforts to “prevent and correct” harassment only if it also conducts training and otherwise acts to actively engage employees with the policies. The Faragher / Ellerth Affirmative Defense In Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998) and Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998), the U. S. Supreme Court held that an employer has a complete defense to liability for certain sexually harassing conduct if it can prove that: (1) it exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct the harassment; and (2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of the corrective or preventive opportunities which the employer provided, or to avoid harm otherwise. This defense applies only when the harassment did not culminate in a tangible adverse employment action, such as termination or demotion. Current State of the Law Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=baa2d54c-14f5-42b3-8839-9a4e0646f99c&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-03-28&utm_term=

Supreme Court defines "complaint" in significant wage-hour case

Lexology.com Fisher & Phillips LLP USA March 22 2011 Sometimes cases turn on a single word or phrase, whether those pivotal words are found in a statute, regulation, rule, handbook or an email. It's a rarity that those singular expressions or phrases have as widespread an impact as the words at issue in a Supreme Court decision issued on March 22, 2011. In a 6 -2 ruling (Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of the case), the Supreme Court clarified the meaning of the words "filed any complaint" from the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) anti-retaliation provision. Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. While employers will not be pleased with the Court's ruling, the opinion adds some much-needed clarity to the issue of what constitutes protected activity under the FLSA's anti-retaliation provision. In the end, both employers and employees may find that Court's opinion is beneficial. When Is A Complaint A "Complaint"? Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e62b51ef-c67b-40c3-8e85-a5090a775c82&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-03-28&utm_term=

More News from OFCCP Action on Compensation Standards, CSALs, and I-9s

HR.BLR.Com March 22, 2011 OFCCP is rapidly earning the reputation as the agency that “never sleeps.” There have been big changes at OFCCP, including the notice of proposed rulemaking for Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, an interim final rule requiring disclosure of executive compensation, the discontinuation of functional affirmative action plans (AAPs), and the agency’s intention to rescind its 2006 voluntary guidelines for self-evaluation of compensation practices. Full Story: http://hr.blr.com/HR-news/Discrimination/Affirmative-Action/More-News-from-OFCCP-Action-on-Compensation-Standa/

OFCCP Issues FAQs on Active Case Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has published Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new Active Case Enforcement program. According to the agency, "Under this initiative, OFCCP will employ all of its compliance evaluation methodologies, i.e., Compliance Review, Compliance Check, Focused Review, and Offsite Review of Records (41 CFR 60-1.20). A federal contractor 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 Active Case Enforcement FAQs can be found at: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/faqs/ACE_faqs.htm#Q1

Verdict For EEOC Against Autozone Affirmed

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission PRESS RELEASE 3-18-11 Ninth Circuit Upholds $65,000 Award for Sexual Harassment PHOENIX – A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco has affirmed a $65,000 jury verdict against AutoZone, Inc., the Memphis-based national auto parts retail giant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today. The EEOC had sued AutoZone (EEOC v. AutoZone, Inc., CIV 06-926-PHX-SMM, U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. of Ariz.) for creating a sexually hostile work environment for Stacy Wing, an employee at an AutoZone store in Mesa, Ariz. Wing reported the sexual harassment to AutoZone management, the EEOC said, but AutoZone failed to take immediate and appropriate action to stop it. The evidence at the resulting jury trial showed that Wing was subjected to egregious sexual harassment by AutoZone’s store manager, including repeatedly forcing Wing’s face down to his genitals and making crude sexual remarks to her. At least one such incident was captured and recorded on the store’s video camera system but AutoZone claimed it lost the video prior to trial, along with all records of Wing’s reports and the “investigation” AutoZone asserted it conducted. Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. On June 10, 2009, an eight-person federal jury in Phoenix returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the EEOC, and awarded Wing $65,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. On August 21, 2009, AutoZone appealed the trial court’s denial of AutoZone’s motion that sought to overturn the jury’s verdict (EEOC v. AutoZone, Inc., 09-16860 and 10-15059, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit). On March 15, 2011, the Ninth Circuit rejected AutoZone’s appeal, holding that the jury could reasonably have determined that AutoZone management failed to exercise reasonable care to correct promptly the store manager’s obscene and harassing behavior once Wing brought it to their attention, and that a reasonable juror could question the efficacy and good faith of AutoZone’s investigation. The court noted evidence was introduced that AutoZone’s investigator, a regional human resources manager, did not interview certain employees, did not report the investigation to AutoZone per company policy, and did not advise Wing of the outcome of the investigation. The court stated that AutoZone’s inability to produce any documentation corroborating that it had even conducted an investigation – documents AutoZone’s own policies required that it create and maintain – and the loss of the video evidence cast doubt as to AutoZone’s actions. Upon learning of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, Wing said, “I can finally close this chapter of my life and move forward; you will never know grateful I am for all of [the EEOC’s] help.” EEOC Senior Trial Attorney D. Andrew Winston, one of the EEOC lawyers who tried the case to the jury, said, “Stacy Wing demonstrated tremendous courage coming forward and reporting what happened to her, and her actions and the actions of other women like her improve conditions in the workplace for all women.” The EEOC appellate attorney who handled the case on appeal, Paula Bruner, added, “The Court’s decision reaffirms that it is not enough for a Title VII-covered employer to have an anti-discrimination policy. The employer must enforce the policy and take preventive or corrective action to effectively fulfill its statutory obligation to maintain a workplace free of discrimination and harassment . ” According to the company’s web site, “AutoZone is the No. 1 auto parts retailer in America, with “4,000 AutoZone stores in 48 states and the District of Columbia … and 84 AutoZone stores in Mexico.” The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov. The EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and part of New Mexico (including Albuquerque). http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-18-11.cfm

U.S. Chamber Applauds Bipartisan Work of EEOC on ADA Amendments Regulations

US Chamber of Commerce Press Release Release Date: Mar 24, 2011Contact: 888-249-NEWS WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits, Randel K. Johnson, issued the following statement today applauding the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for its bipartisan approval of regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008: “The ADA Amendments reflect a carefully crafted compromise between the business community and the disability community that was passed by the House and the Senate without dissent.“The Commission is to be commended for undertaking the hard work needed to reach bipartisan agreement that has been a hallmark of the Americans with Disabilities Act for the last two decades. We know firsthand that these issues can be exceedingly difficult. While we have only begun to review the final regulation, it is clear that the Commission gave substantive consideration to our comments and those of other stakeholders.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. # # # http://www.uschamber.com/press/releases/2011/march/us-chamber-applauds-bipartisan-work-eeoc-ada-amendments-regulations

Geraldine Ferraro Dead: First Female Vice Presidential Candidate Dies At 75

The Huffington Post March 28, 2011 Geraldine Ferraro, a Democrat and the first major female vice presidential candidate, passed away on Saturday, according to a statement released by her family. Jeff Zeleny at the New York Times reports that at the age of 75, Ferraro died of complications from blood cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital. Ferraro was the first woman and first Italian-American to run on a major party national ticket. According to a statement released by her family, she died surrounded by her loved ones after battling multiple myeloma for twelve years. Full Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/26/geraldine-ferraro-dead-dies_n_840995.html?utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily+Brief&utm_campaign=daily_brief

Thursday, March 24, 2011

3M settles age-discrimination suit for up to $12M

Bloomberg/Business Week
The Associated Press March 19, 2011, 7:02PM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn.
3M Co. has agreed to pay up to $12 million to settle an age-discrimination lawsuit with as many as 7,000 current and former employees.
The 2004 lawsuit targeted the company's performance-review system, alleging that older workers were disproportionately downgraded.

Full Story: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9M2JBUO1.htm

Bayer is target of $100M gender bias lawsuit

The Associated Press
March 22, 2011, 8:32AM ET

NEWARK, N.J.
A subsidiary of the Bayer Corporation faces a class-action lawsuit that claims the company discriminated against women, particularly pregnant women and mothers.
The $100 million suit against Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals was filed in U.S. District Court in Newark on Monday. The Wayne, N.J.-based company is a subsidiary of Bayer, whose American headquarters are in Pittsburgh.

Full Story: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9M49DU80.htm

Immokalee Farming Operation Committed Sexual Harassment Against Women, EEOC Charges

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release
3/23/11

Federal Agency Says DiMare Ruskin Also Retaliated Against Victims of the Abuse

MIAMI -- DiMare Ruskin, Inc., a large agricultural business with operations in California and Florida, violated federal law by subjecting female employees to sexual harassment by their supervisors and retaliating against them for complaining about it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed late yesterday.
The EEOC’s lawsuit asserted that father-and-son supervisors at the DiMare tomato facility in Immokalee, Fla., subjected female employees to severe and pervasive sexual harassment. The abuse, the EEOC said, included physical harassment such as groping and forcibly attempting to kiss the female employees, as well as verbal harassment, which included a nearly daily barrage of vulgar and unwelcome sexual comments.
The EEOC also charged that the father-and-son supervisors retaliated against the female employees because they consistently rejected the unwelcome sexual harassment. The retaliation included assigning the female employees to harsher and more physically demanding work. Ultimately, supervisors effectively terminated female workers by refusing to give them work assignments. The EEOC argued that the sexual harassment and retaliation were done with malice or reckless indifference to the female employees’ federally protected rights.
“It is crucial that the EEOC continue its efforts to eradicate sexual harassment and all other types of discrimination from the workplace whether it occurs in an office, a factory, at a construction site or in agricultural fields,” said Robert Weisberg, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Miami District Office.
Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC’s suit, Case No. 2:11-cv-00158-CEH-SPC, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Ft. Myers Division, after the agency first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation efforts. The EEOC is seeking injunctive relief, including the implementation of effective anti-harassment policies and procedures, to prevent future discrimination. The EEOC is also seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the former employees named in the lawsuit and other similarly situated women.
Muslima Lewis, an attorney for the EEOC’s Miami District Office, added, “The EEOC will strive to ensure that anti-discrimination laws are enforced everywhere, including in agricultural businesses where workplace discrimination impacts some of the most vulnerable workers. No one, including employees whose labors help put food on the nation’s tables, should have to endure harassment on the job because of their sex, or any type of retaliatory treatment for rejecting unlawful behavior in the workplace.”
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.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-23-11.cfm

EEOC Announces Final Bipartisan Regulations for the ADA Amendments Act

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
3-24-11

Regulations Implement Congressional Intent to Simplify Definition of Disability

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) final regulations to implement the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) are now available for public view on the Federal Register website at www.ofr.gov. The regulations will be published Friday. Like the law they implement, the regulations are designed to simplify the determination of who has a “disability” and make it easier for people to establish that they are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“The ADAAA is a very important civil rights law,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “The regulations developed by the Commission to implement the ADAAA clarify the requirements of the law for all stakeholders, which is one of the Commission’s most important responsibilities.”
“Based on the hard work we did at the Commission over the past months, I am confident that these regulations will work well for both people with disabilities and employers,” said Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who joined the EEOC in April, 2010. “It was our job as an agency to carry out the intent of this landmark law and I believe we have done so successfully.” Feldblum was one of the lead negotiators on the original ADA as well as on the Amendments Act.
“Just as the ADAAA was the result of a considerable bipartisan effort by Congress, the final rule represents a concerted effort of EEOC Commissioners representing both parties to arrive at regulations that hold true to that bipartisan Congressional intent,” said Commissioner Constance S. Barker. “I was pleased to have been able to vote in favor of the final rule.”
The ADAAA went into effect on Jan. 1, 2009. In the ADAAA, Congress directed the EEOC to revise its regulations to conform to changes made by the Act, and expressly authorized the EEOC to do so. The EEOC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on proposed implementing regulations on September 23, 2009, and received well over 600 public comments in response. The final regulations reflect the feedback the EEOC received from a broad spectrum of stakeholders.
The ADAAA overturned several Supreme Court decisions that Congress believed had interpreted the definition of “disability” too narrowly, resulting in a denial of protection for many individuals with impairments such as cancer, diabetes or epilepsy. The ADAAA states that the definition of disability should be interpreted in favor of broad coverage of individuals. The effect of these changes is to make it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the ADA.
The ADAAA and the final regulations keep the ADA’s definition of the term “disability” as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record (or past history) of such an impairment; or being regarded as having a disability. But the law made significant changes in how those terms are interpreted, and the regulations implement those changes.
Based on the statutory requirements, the regulations set forth a list of principles to guide the determination of whether a person has a disability. For example, the principles provide that an impairment need not prevent or severely or significantly restrict performance of a major life activity to be considered a disability. Additionally, whether an impairment is a disability should be construed broadly, to the maximum extent allowable under the law. The principles also provide that, with one exception (ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), “mitigating measures,” such as medication and assistive devices like hearing aids, must not be considered when determining whether someone has a disability. Furthermore, impairments that are episodic (such as epilepsy) or in remission (such as cancer) are disabilities if they would be substantially limiting when active.
The regulations clarify that the term “major life activities” includes “major bodily functions,” such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, and brain, neurological, and endocrine functions. The regulations also make clear that, as under the old ADA, not every impairment will constitute a disability. The regulations include examples of impairments that should easily be concluded to be disabilities, such as HIV infection, diabetes, epilepsy, and bipolar disorder.
Following the dictates of the ADAAA, the regulations also make it easier for individuals to establish coverage under the “regarded as” part of the definition of “disability.” Establishing such coverage used to pose significant hurdles, but under the new law, the focus is on how the person was treated rather than on what an employer believes about the nature of the person’s impairment.
The Commission has released two Question-and-Answer documents about the regulations to aid the public and employers – including small business – in understanding the law and new regulations. The ADAAA regulations, accompanying Question and Answer documents and a fact sheet are available on the EEOC website at www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adaaa_info.cfm.
The EEOC enforces the nation’s laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-24-11.cfm

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Register Now for AAAA Access, Equity and Diversity Summit 2011





ONLINE REGISTRATION NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE 2011 SUMMIT AND ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Registration for the 2011 AAAA Summit and Annual Meeting, "EEO and Diversity: A Strong and Prosperous Nation Secured Through a Fair and Inclusive Workplace" is currently underway! Joining us as a partner with this Summit is the New Jersey Affirmative Action Officers’ Council (NJAAOC). We are excited about the myriad of plenary sessions and nationally recognized keynote speakers. Workshop presenters have been carefully selected to ensure diverse, cutting edge information for attendees who represent every imaginable entity in employment, government, education and the private sector. As a member driven association, the primary focus of our summit and training experiences is to provide attendees with valuable tools to use on the next assignment, case or review. Events will be held at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel is adjacent to the Convention Center. You can make reservations in the group block by calling: (888) 627-7212 and giving the group code AAAA or give the name of the group and the dates. You may also make reservations online: http://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/affirmativeaction. Our special Summit rate is only $109.00 per night excluding taxes. Reservations must be made on or before May 28, 2011.
For detailed information regarding the conference and registration, visit the following link: http://www.regonline.com/aaaa_2011_summit. Remember, one of our membership benefits is discounted conference registration; therefore, you must have a $0 membership balance in order to take advantage of this benefit. If you have not renewed and paid the balances owed on your membership prior to registration you will be required to pay the Non-Member fees. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the national office toll-free at 800-252-8952.



We look forward to seeing you in Atlantic City, New Jersey

AAAA Announces Awards Nominations for 2011

AAAA Announces Awards Nominations


AAAA AWARDS NOMINATIONS

DEADLINE May 13, 2011

On behalf of the American Association for Affirmative Action Access, Equity, and Diversity Summit Annual Meeting, the Association is soliciting the nomination of candidates to be considered for the Cesar Estrada Chavez Award, the Rosa Parks Award, the Edward M. Kennedy Community Service Award, the Champion of Diversity Award and the Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award. The Association is conferring these awards during the American Association for Affirmative Action Summit and Annual Meeting, June 28-30, 2011, in Atlantic City, NJ. The criteria for each award category, the nomination protocol, and the official Awards Nomination Form are provided on the attached form: 2011_Awards_Form.pdf

The nomination deadline is Friday, May 13, 2011, and the completed nomination packet must be provided to ReNeƩ S. Dunman/Lynnette Bolden by the deadline date. If you have questions or need more information, please call 757-683-3141 or you may email http://us.mc1803.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=lbolden@odu.edu.

DHS Launches E-Verify Self Check

US Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS
News Release
March 21, 2011

On March 21, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the launch of E-Verify Self Check—an innovative service that allows individuals in the United States to check their employment eligibility status before formally seeking employment.
E-Verify Self Check is the first online E-Verify program offered directly to workers and job seekers. This voluntary, free, fast and secure service was developed through a partnership between DHS and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
As of March 21, 2011, E-Verify Self Check is available to users who maintain an address and are physically located in Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia or the District of Columbia.
E-Verify Self Check and Workers
E-Verify Self Check gives individuals in the United States access to their employment eligibility status and gives them an opportunity to submit corrections to their DHS and SSA records, if necessary, before applying for jobs.
The E-Verify Self Check process consists of four steps:
Users enter identifying information online (such as name, date of birth and address).
Users confirm their identity by answering demographic and/or financial questions generated by a third-party identity assurance service.
Users enter work eligibility information such as a Social Security number and, depending on citizenship status, an Alien Registration number.
E-Verify Self Check checks users’ information against relevant SSA and DHS databases and returns information on users’ employment eligibility status.
The information that users provide to E-Verify Self Check and the results of an E-Verify Self Check query are never shared with users’ employers or prospective employers. The results of a Self Check query do not replace the results of an employer E-Verify query.
An individual’s status or information may change between the time they use Self Check and when an employer uses E-Verify. Accordingly, if E-Verify Self Check confirms that an individual is authorized to work in the United States, it does not necessarily mean that a future E-Verify query will find the same individual to be employment authorized.
If Self Check is unable to confirm employment authorization, individuals are provided with instructions on how to resolve a potential data mismatch in their SSA or DHS records. These instructions are available in English and Spanish.
In addition to E-Verify Self Check, individuals have several ways to confirm their employment eligibility and correct their government records if necessary. They may:
Wait until an employer checks their employment eligibility through E-Verify. If issues arise, employers will inform individuals of the next steps.
Request a Social Security Statement from SSA. This statement includes the individual’s full name, date of birth and the last four digits of his or her Social Security number as they appear in SSA records.
Verifying the statement’s accuracy may prevent mismatches during an E-Verify query.
To learn more about Social Security Statements and to request a statement, visit www.ssa.gov/mystatement.
Contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 800-375-5283, TTY 800-767-1833.
Self Check will not affect a user’s credit score. Users viewing their credit reports after using Self Check will see a record of a “soft hit” or “soft inquiry” in the report. Soft hits are not shown to businesses and are not used to calculate credit scores.
Individuals cannot be required to use E-Verify Self Check to prove work authorization. Individuals who are asked by employers or anyone else to run a Self Check query to prove that they are authorized to work in the United States, or who believe they are victims of any other type of discrimination or unfair labor practice related to Self Check, should notify the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices at 800-255-7688.
For general inquiries about Self Check, contact the E-Verify Employee Hotline at (888) 897-7781.
E-Verify Self Check and Employers
E-Verify Self Check is expected to reduce the number of data mismatches employers experience when using E-Verify and, as a result, will decrease the amount of time and resources they spend resolving those mismatches. For more information on E-Verify Self Check, visit at www.uscis.gov or call the E-Verify Employee Hotline at (888) 897-7781.

Full News Release: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=9feb59984b9de210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=8a2791daff2df110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD

New ADA regulations imminent

Lexology.com
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
USA
March 14 2011

Late last week, the Office of Management and Budget approved much-anticipated final regulations under the ADA Amendments Act (“ADAAA”). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sent OMB the regulations at the end of 2010. That OMB approved the new regulations in less than 90 days (the usual regulatory review period) reflects the Obama Administration’s continued commitment to heightened civil rights enforcement. Publication in the Federal Register is expected any day.
Subjects likely to be addressed in the final regulations include:
whether a “temporary” impairment (e.g., less than 6 months) can be substantially limiting, and thus covered under the ADAAA;
whether numerous conditions will consistently meet the definition of disability, including cancer, cerebral palsy, diabetes, epilepsy, HIV and AIDS, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, major depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia; ....

Full Story:

Transgender Issue Plays Key Role in Anti-Bias Legislation

Workforce Management

The latest version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is likely to include both sexual orientation and gender identity, unlike some past iterations of the federal bill. But including transgenders will make ENDA’s passage more uncertain. By James Walsh
March 2011

Gender identity has become the most controversial flashpoint in the continuing debate over national employment protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers.
The latest version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, expected to be introduced this year, is likely to include both sexual orientation and gender identity, unlike some past iterations of the federal bill. But including transgenders will likely stir up more intense opposition and make ENDA’s passage more uncertain.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/legal/transgender-issue-plays-key-role-anti-bias-legislation/index.php

Belk, Inc. To Pay $55,000 To Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
3-16-11

Major Store Unlawfully Fired Jehovah’s Witness for Refusing to Wear Santa Garb, Federal Agency Charged

RALEIGH , N.C. – Belk, Inc. will pay $55,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious discrimin­ation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged in its lawsuit that Belk violated federal law when it failed to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs and then fired her because of her religion.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, during the 2008 Christmas holiday season, Belk, Inc. required Myra Jones-Abid, who worked at Belk’s Crabtree Valley Mall store in Raleigh, to wear a Santa hat and apron. Jones-Abid’s religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses, prohibits her from recognizing holidays, and therefore she declined to wear the holiday garb. On November 27, 2008, Belk terminated Jones-Abid for refusing to wear the apparel.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to attempt to make reasonable accommo­dations to sincerely held religious beliefs of employees as long as this poses no undue hardship. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (EEOC v. Belk, Inc., Civil Action No. 5:10-CV-00300) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to paying monetary relief to Jones-Abid, the settlement requires Belk to take other actions, including providing annual training on religious discrimination to all of its managers and supervisors at the store where Jones-Abid worked. In addition, Belk must post there a notice on employees’ rights under federal anti-discrimination laws and provide periodic reports to the EEOC on actions taken in response to employees who have requested religious accommodations.
“No employee should be forced to choose between her faith and her job,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District, which includes the EEOC’s Raleigh Area Office, where the charge was filed. “ This case demonstrates the EEOC’s commitment to combat religious discrimination in the workplace.”
According to company information, Charlotte, N.C.-headquartered Belk, Inc. is the nation’s largest privately owned mainline department store company, with more than 300 fashion department stores in 16 contiguous Southern states.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-16-11.cfm

United Air Temp / Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. Sued By EEOC For Race Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
3-21-11

Company Paid Non-Caucasian Employees Less Because of Race, Federal Agency Charged

ALEXANDRIA , Va. – United Air Temp / Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc., located in Lorton, Va., violated federal law by discriminating against non-Caucasian employees based on their race by paying them less than at least one Caucasian colleague, the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. United Air Temp, which provides preventive maintenance for residential and commercial heating and air conditioning systems, has approximately 247 employees at 13 locations within Florida, Georgia, the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and Maryland.
According to the EEOC’s complaint, from around Feb. 1, 2001, until around April 20, 2006, Patricia Burch, who is African-American, and other non-Caucasian telemarketers were paid less than a Caucasian telemarketer because of their race. The lawsuit alleges that Burch was one of ten telemarketers employed by United Air Temp in Lorton. According to the EEOC, a Caucasian telemarketer who performed the same job, or a substantially similar job as Burch and other non-Caucasian telemarketers, made a higher hourly wage than the non-Caucasian telemarketers. The EEOC’s complaint further charged that Burch complained to United Air Temp’s management about the pay disparity to no avail. Burch’s base salary remained the same until her separation from United Air Temp around April 20, 2006.
Race discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division (EEOC v. United Air Temp, Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-281) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief.
“Pay equity is a basic tenet of equal opportunity in the workplace,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District office. “The unfortunate reality is that some employers continue to base employee salaries on race instead of fair and equitable factors such as the quality of their work. Employers must treat employees of all races equally.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available at its website at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-21-11a.cfm

Myths and Stereotypes About Mental Disabilities Greatest Barrier to Employment

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
3-15-11

EEOC Hears Experts and Individuals with Mental DisabilitiesDetail Struggles to Gain Employment at Meeting

WASHINGTON - The greatest barrier to employment for people with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities are employers’ myths and fears about their condition, not the disabilities themselves, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) learned at a hearing held today. The hearing focused on a group whose rate of unemployment and underemployment far exceeds the national average.“We want job seekers, workers, and employers to understand the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and be well equipped to comply with them,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “Today’s Commission meeting provided an important opportunity to dispel myths and learn about effective ways to dismantle barriers to employment for people with disabilities.” Sharon Lewis, Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health And Human Services, underscored the need to dismantle barriers for people with intellectual disabilities, noting that “the proportion of the population of people with disabilities who are employed is estimated to be 17 percent, compared to 63 percent for people without disabilities.”As Ruby Moore, Executive Director of the Georgia Advocacy Office, the designated Protection and Advocacy System for People with Disabilities in Georgia, told the Commission, “one of the biggest obstacles to employment is consciously and unconsciously-held beliefs about people with psychiatric, cognitive or intellectual disabilities.” She further testified that most of the accommodations individuals with mental disabilities require can be provided in a well-managed, flexible workplaceoften without any out-of-pocket costs to the employer. She stated that these flexibilities have the effect of aiding all employees, not just those with disabilities. Chief among the misapprehensions surrounding the employment of people with psychiatric disabilities is that they are violent. In fact, psychologist Dr. Gary R. Bond of the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center of Dartmouth Medical School, told the Commission, “violence is exceedingly rare among people with mental illness . . . [and] being employed significantly reduces the possibility of violence even further.”The employment rate for individuals with psychiatric disabilities is not only low compared to the general population, it is also half the employment rate for people with other sorts of disabilities. The lack of employment has a particular impact on individuals with psychiatric disabilities for whom work is “a crucial element in the recovery process,” according to Dr. Bond. Samuel R. Bagenstos, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U. S. Department of Justice echoed this point: “Work commands respect, and it represents agency, responsibility, and independence. Work is the place where people with and without disabilities can come together, share common projects, and break down barriers of stereotype and prejudice.” Donna Malone, a person with a psychiatric disability, related the beneficial effect of work: “I realized that working hard was a way that I could feel good about myself and no one could take it away.” After working successfully for a number of years at Land Air Express without incident, she was discharged while hospitalized due to her disability because her supervisor had a “gut feeling” that she was a “danger” and had to “look out for the safety of his other employees.” Following a lawsuit by the EEOC alleging failure to accommodate and discriminatory termination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the case was settled for $360,000.Similarly, Anupa Iyer, a law student at the University of Seattle and currently interning at the EEOC, said that “work was my salvation,” after being hospitalized for a psychiatric disability. However, at her places of employment, she endured ridicule and was stigmatized, experiences which motivated her to enroll in law school.Tenesha Abbott, who has an intellectual disability as well as learning disabilities, spoke of how her job at a local grocery store helps her “stay active and learn new things.” Through her work, she has improved her reading skills and is learning responsibility which she hopes will help her to live on her own. Her manager, Jack Eaton, related how pleased he was when employees with intellectual disabilities were able to move up to more complex jobs with greater responsibilities. He said that dealing with people’s individualized needs, as he does with employees with mental disabilities, makes him a better manager for all of his employees.“Our witnesses brought home the fact that people with mental disabilities can work, and want to work, just like everyone else. And it’s a win-win situation when employers figure out how to tap that work potential,” said EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum.The EEOC enforces the nation’s laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information about the EEOC and the Americans with Disabilities Act can be found the EEOC’s website at www.eeoc.gov. Information about this meeting, including witness statements and a video of the event, can be found at www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/3-15-11/index.cfm.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-15-11c.cfm

US Labor Department launches website for public feedback on regulations

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy

OASP News Release: [03/16/2011]
Contact Name: David Roberts
Phone Number: (202) 693-5945
Release Number: 11-0386-NAT

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of a new online tool to collect public feedback on ways to improve regulations and the department's regulatory review process.
The online tool is part of the department's compliance with Executive Order 13563, which calls for federal agencies to detail how they will review existing significant regulations to identify whether regulations may be made more effective or less burdensome.
Members of the public who wish to provide comments or suggestions to improve Department of Labor regulations by modifying, streamlining, expanding or repealing them are encouraged to visit http://www.dol.gov/regulations/regreview.htm.
Comments must be received no later than March 31.

http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/asp/oasp20110386.htm

How to Minimize Employment Claims in the Workplace

Workforce Management
March 15th, 2011

In a 2010 survey of federal employees, only 45 percent said they were satisfied with the policies and practices of their department or agency’s senior leaders, while 55.7 percent said their leaders maintain high standards of honesty and integrity.
This approval rating, mediocre at best, reveals a troubling lack of trust and confidence in the day-to-day behavior and practices of senior leaders.
By contrast, a far higher percentage—66.5 percent—said they had trust and confidence in their supervisors.
Why this worrying lack of trust in senior leaders?
This situation is familiar to human resources leaders, compliance officers, general counsels and Equal Employment Opportunity directors everywhere, whether they work in government or the private sector. So how can we as HR, EEO or diversity leaders bridge this gap?
In a word, it starts and ends with leaders. As we have discussed in a previous post, “The 97 Percent Problem: Why Meritless Claims Matter,” the tone is set squarely at the top of the organization, where senior leaders need to make it clear that improper conduct is unacceptable, regardless of whether it’s illegal or not.
But leaders need to do more than merely set the tone; they must act, communicate, get involved and get help when troublesome situations arise and improper behavior comes to light that put the organization at risk for generating legal claims, damaging employee morale and reducing productivity.

Full Story: http://workforce.com/wpmu/ethical/2011/03/15/how-to-minimize-employment-claims-in-the-workplace/

Monday, March 21, 2011

ADA changes effective March 15, 2011: what it means for your business

Lexology.com
Jackson Walker LLP
Randy A. Racine
USA
March 11 2011

The U.S. Department of Justice’s amended Final Rule, which substantially revises and expands the regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), becomes effective on March 15, 2011. The revisions set forth in the amended Final Rule potentially have far-reaching implications for owners and operators of businesses, developers, lenders, commercial landlords and tenants. Full compliance with the new regulations is mandatory by March 15, 2012.
In addition to important changes to Title II of the ADA, which requires nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in governmental services, the amended Final Rule also changes Title III of the ADA, which covers private enterprises and facilities. Common examples of facilities covered by Title III include financial institutions, hospitals, doctors’ offices, restaurants, shopping centers, retail stores, hotels, movie theaters, private schools, convention centers, day care centers, fitness clubs, sports stadiums and other recreation facilities.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=bf0bb1b3-3d7b-4bdb-b79d-1258c7d88eb5&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-03-16&utm_term=

Are English-only policies a business necessity?

Lexology.com
Hunton & Williams LLP
USA
March 10 2011

During the past 50 years, the American workforce has changed drastically. One of the most noticeable changes has been the absorption of immigrants into the workforce who do not speak English as their first language.
In response to the increased linguistic diversity of the workforce, many employers have implemented policies that limit or completely prohibit their employees from speaking languages other than English while at work. These so called “English-only” polices may violate the national origin protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers that implement these policies are at risk of being sued not only by employees who feel wronged by the policy, but also by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Employers should be aware that for the past 10 years the EEOC has been targeting employers that implement English-only policies. In fact, the EEOC has made clear through numerous press releases and strategic litigation efforts that combating English-only policies is a priority.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=c416ed6e-bc37-4700-a8d0-1947d178fbeb&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Other+states+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-03-18&utm_term=

Employers should beware of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act when administering the FMLA

Lexology.com
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Frank P. Spada, Jr.
USA
March 15 2011

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finalized its regulations for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) on November 9, 2010. These regulations took effect on January 10, 2011 and they prohibit employers from gathering genetic information when certifying an employee’s own serious health condition for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The GINA regulations apply both to public and private employers with 15 or more workers. Accordingly, those employers subject to the FMLA, which covers employers with 50 or more workers within a 75-mile radius, all would be subject to the GINA regulations.
Certification Under the FMLA
Pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act or similar state laws, employers as a matter of course require that an employee’s health care provider complete certification forms to justify leave requests.
The EEOC regulations provide essentially a “safe harbor” for employers and suggest a model notice that should be included in all certification requests to health care providers for medical information to support an employee’s own serious health condition under the FMLA. The following is suggested as model language for employers to use:
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law. To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. ‘Genetic Information’ as defined by GINA includes an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.
The model notice is applicable to any situation in which medical information is requested, including those situations not covered by the FMLA.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=811f5f0e-fb9d-4fb5-af2d-ef44df61ebd9&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-03-18&utm_term=

Nation-Building and Affirmative Action in 19th Century America

The Huffington Post
Grant Calder, Teacher
Posted: March 21, 2011 01:24 PM

Why all Americans should learn about the Freedmen's Bureau

In February 1865, shortly before the Civil War ended, Congress established "a bureau of refugees, freedmen and abandoned lands."
The great African American scholar and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois described the "herculean task" delegated to this agency as nothing less than "the social uplifting of four million slaves to an assured and self-sustaining place in the body politic."
Had this been a time of peace and prosperity the bureau would still have faced monumental challenges. As it was the South lay in ruins; hunger was widespread; southern whites were determined to resist emancipation by any means; and there was absolutely no precedent for a multi-racial society on the scale being contemplated.

Full Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grant-calder/nation-building-affirmative-action-america_b_837923.html

SJW's Comment: Mr. Calder is making some very simplistic and superficial comparisons between the work of the Freedmen's Bureau and affirmative action programs in the modern era. Moreover, he brings in Afghanistan and Iraq as, implicitly, examples of unconstitutional actions in addition to affirmative action. Unfortunately, he fails to prove in what way the wars or affirmative action is unconstitutional, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the latter issue in Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003. The Labor Department in 2000 promulgated regulations that emphasize that quotas are illegal. It also did a study of reverse discrimination cases at the EEOC and found very few and even fewer that had merit. It is axiomatic that those who have enjoyed the benefits of preferences (i.e. owning slaves, being wealthy or being part of a majority white male-dominant culture) would resent the changes imposed by a Freedmen's Bureau or affirmative action. That is not a reason to ban the remedy, even if it is distasteful to the one who inflicted the injury or benefited from it.

For more information about affirmative action, visit: www.affirmativeaction.org, the American Association for Affirmative Action.

Gains, and Drawbacks, for Female Professors

The New York Times
By KATE ZERNIKE
Published: March 21, 2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — When the Massachusetts Institute of Technology acknowledged 12 years ago that it had discriminated against female professors in “subtle but pervasive” ways, it became a national model for addressing gender inequity.
Now, an evaluation of those efforts shows substantial progress — and unintended consequences. Among other concerns, many female professors say that M.I.T.’s aggressive push to hire more women has created the sense that they are given an unfair advantage. Those who once bemoaned M.I.T.’s lag in recruiting women now worry about what one called “too much effort to recruit women.”

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/us/21mit.html?_r=1

Colleges Discriminate Against the Blind With Google Apps, Advocates Say

The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 15, 2011, 6:07 pm
By Marc Parry

Many colleges find Google’s free e-mail and word-processing services irresistible.
Blind professors and students find them to be something else: inaccessible.
That’s the accusation of a civil-rights complaint filed today against New York University and Northwestern, two institutions that recently adopted the suite of free software services known as Google Apps for Education. The National Federation of the Blind wants the Justice Department to investigate both universities for discriminatory behavior that allegedly violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.
In a series of online videos, the advocacy group lays out a range of problems that occur when blind users access Google’s products with assistive software that reads Web pages aloud. For example, Gmail lacks clear labels to alert users to the type of information that they should put in each text field, such as the message’s subject or the recipient’s e-mail address, says Christopher Danielsen, a spokesman for the blind federation.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/colleges-discriminate-against-the-blind-with-google-apps-advocates-say/30394?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Education Dept. Investigates Complaint of Anti-Semitism at UC-Santa Cruz

The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 15, 2011

By Peter Schmidt
The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has announced plans to investigate the University of California at Santa Cruz for anti-Semitism, based on a lecturer's complaint that administrators there had turned a deaf ear to her concerns that critics of Israel were creating a hostile climate for Jewish people on the campus.
The case marks the first major investigation of anti-Semitism on a college campus by the civil-rights office, known as OCR, since its decision last fall to step up its efforts against such discrimination in a manner that some civil-rights experts saw as likely to pull the agency into debates over campus speech critical of Israel or Zionism. The University of California system is now defending itself against allegations of anti-Semitism on several fronts, as its Irvine campus remains the subject of a separate OCR investigation, undertaken in 2008, and its Berkeley campus and system administration were named in a discrimination lawsuit filed by a Jewish student this month.


Full Story: http://chronicle.com/article/Education-Dept-Investigates/126742/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Civil-Rights Panel Suspends Inquiry Into Gender Bias in Admissions

The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Ticker

March 16, 2011, 11:51 am
The U.S. Civil Rights Commission has suspended its investigation into alleged gender discrimination in admissions at several liberal-arts colleges after Dina Titus, a recent Democratic appointee to the panel, proposed ending the effort. The inquiry aimed to discover if colleges were violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by favoring men in the admissions process, now that many colleges receive more applications from women, but the effort was stymied by the refusal of several colleges to hand over admissions data.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/civil-rights-panel-suspends-inquiry-into-gender-bias-in-admissions/31368?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Sunday, March 13, 2011

EEOC Seeks Public Comment on Plan To Review its Significant Regulations

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE 3-8-11

EEOC Seeks Public Comment on Plan To Review its Significant Regulations
WASHINGTON--The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is inviting the public to comment as it develops a plan to review its significant regulations pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” 76 Fed. Reg. 3821 (Jan. 21, 2011).
Executive Order 13563 directs each federal agency to develop "a preliminary plan, consistent with law and its resources and regulatory priorities, under which the agency will periodically review its existing significant regulations to determine whether such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded or repealed to make the agency's regulatory program more effective and/or less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives."
The EEOC is soliciting public comment to assist in the development of its plan to periodically review existing significant regulations, including input on factors the Commission should consider, the process it should use, and the specific regulations that should be reviewed in the next two years.
Public comments may be submitted to Public.Comments.RegulatoryReview@eeoc.gov through March 22, 2011. For more information regarding EEOC’s plan for retrospective analysis of significant regulations pursuant to EO 13563, see http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/comment_retrospective.cfm.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information about the EEOC can be obtained at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-8-11.cfm

Commission to Meet Tuesday on Employment of People with Mental Disabilities

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
3-10-11

Commission to Meet Tuesday on Employment of People with Mental Disabilities
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public meeting on employment of people with mental disabilities on Tuesday, March 15, at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E. In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the meeting is open for public observation of the Commission’s deliberations.
The Commission will hear from invited panelists on the employment rates of people with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric disabilities and the challenges they face in the workplace, as well as why it makes good business sense to employ people with disabilities. The meeting agenda includes:
Panel 1: Employment Rates of People with Mental Disabilities
Sharon Lewis, Commissioner, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. William Kiernan, Director, Institute for Community Inclusion
Dr. Gary Bond, Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center
Ruby Moore, Executive Director, The Georgia Advocacy Office, and Founder, New England Business Associates
Panel 2: Requirements of the ADA, Strategies to Comply and Outcomes for People with Mental Disabilities
Samuel Bagenstos, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Jack Eaton, Manager, Giant Supermarket
Tenesha Abbott, Employee, Giant Supermarket
Anupa Iyer, EEOC Intern, Law Student, Seattle University
Panel 3: Litigation to Enforce the Rights of People with Mental Disabilities
Markus Penzel, EEOC Senior Trial Attorney
Donna Malone, Plaintiff, EEOC v. Land Air Express
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 http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/index.cfm.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

February 2011 Disability Employment Statistics Released

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

In February 2011, the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force was 20.6. By comparison, the percentage of persons with no disability in the labor force was 69.5.
The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 15.4 percent, compared with 9.3 percent for persons with no disability, not seasonally adjusted.
Read about the February Disability Employment Statistics
Retrieve Historical Disability Employment Data
Read Commonly Used Terms in BLS Employment Statistics

http://www.dol.gov/odep/

The Pyramid Problem

The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 9, 2011

By Mary Ann Mason
We know that women now receive slightly more than 50 percent of the Ph.D.'s awarded by American universities. So is it just a matter of time before women move through the faculty ranks and achieve gender equality with men in academe?
Regrettably not. Consider the pyramid problem. We measure gender equity in three important ways: representation on the faculty, pay, and family formation. Put simply: There are far fewer women than men at the top of the academic hierarchy; those women are paid somewhat less than men, and they are much less likely then men to have had children. At the bottom of the academic hierarchy—in the adjunct and part-time positions—there are far more women than men, and they are disproportionately women with children. Women in adjunct jobs have children at the same rate as men but receive the lowest wages in academe.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/article/The-Pyramid-Problem/126614/?sid=ja&utm_source=ja&utm_medium=en

Saturday, March 12, 2011

AAAA is Seeking an Office Administrator


AAAA OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR
The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) is looking for a candidate to fill a part-time Office Administrator position. The primary responsibilities are to provide office management and administrative support for the Washington, D.C. office of AAAA. The successful candidate will provide support to the AAAA board of directors and the AAAA membership. The Office Administrator will report to the Executive Director of AAAA.

The Office Administrator responsibilities include but are not limited to:
· Providing assistance to the AAAA Board and Executive Committee for quarterly and annual meetings and the AAAA annual conference including assembling board reports and other materials, securing a location for meetings, making travel arrangements and other coordination, logistical, and accommodation requirements.
· Handling office administration including filing, maintenance and archival of electronic and paper records, mail sorting, space and facilities logistics, and temporary and internship staffing.
· Serving as first point of contact by answering telephone calls and other inquiries from the membership and the public, including the media.
· Processing membership registrations and benefits; work with Membership Chair to distribute membership satisfaction surveys and collect survey analysis.
· Handling AAAA bills and collections.
· Assisting with the maintenance of the AAAA’s listserv and website.
· Assisting the chair of the Professional Development and Training Institute to deliver training by identifying locations for the training, assembling the materials, arranging travel, marketing, developing online registration site and processing registrations, coordinating onsite logistics, providing technical support for webinar training, and other logistical support.
· Providing assistance to the AAAA Executive Director and AAAA Board to increase AAAA’s membership and raise the visibility of the organization.

QUALIFICATIONS:
Minimum of two years of office management experience and an exposure to event or conference planning. Excellent written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail. The ability to work independently, develop schedules, manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines is essential. Undergraduate degree required. Willingness to travel to board meetings, professional development training and annual meetings. Familiarity with Microsoft Office, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel and database use.
Qualified candidates should submit a resume to Officeadministrator@affirmativeaction.org.

AAAA is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dr. James Johnson Releases New Report on "Disruptive Demographics"

Dr. James H. Johnson, Jr., and Dr. John D. Kasarda, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have released a new report entitled "Six Disruptive Demographic Trends: What Census 2010 Will Reveal." Dr. Johnson was a keynote speaker at the AAAA Access, Equity and Diversity Summit and Annual Meeting, July 1, 2010 in Raleigh, NC. He spoke about immigration, the "Browning of America" and "Graying of America." See a video of his speech on the right side of this blog.

We thank Dr. Johnson for sharing his report with AAAA.

For a copy of the "Disruptive Demographics" report, go to: http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/ki/documents/UNC_KenanInstitute_2010Census.pdf

U.S. Supreme Court rules that human resources departments no longer insulate employers from discrimination claims

Lexology.com

Jackson Walker LLP
Lionel M. Schooler and Courtney T. Carlson
USA
March 3 2011

INTRODUCTION. On March 1, 2011, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Staub v. Proctor Hospital. Staub, a case brought under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), is the first U.S. Supreme Court decision addressing the “cat’s paw” line of cases, that is, cases involving an adverse employment action which give the appearance that the action is being taken by a neutral party when in reality it is motivated, at least partly, by a biased supervisor.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND. Vincent Staub worked as an angiography technician at Proctor Hospital until 2004, when he was fired. While employed there, Staub was a member of the Army Reserve, which required him to attend training one weekend per month and to train full time for two to three weeks per year. His supervisors were hostile to his military obligations (i.e., scheduled him for additional shifts without notice as “pay back,” made comments that his military obligations amounted to “a bunch of smoking and joking,” and asked others to help “get rid of him.”). In January 2004, Staub’s immediate supervisor issued a “Corrective Action” disciplinary warning against him for allegedly violating a company rule requiring him to stay in his work area when not working with a patient. The directive required him to report to his supervisor when he had no patients and when his work was completed. Staub claimed the company had no such rule and, even if it did, he had not violated it.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=809867ca-46bb-43ce-ba1e-eda58b40d057&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-03-11&utm_term=

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Are whites racially oppressed?

CNN.com
By John Blake, CNN
March 4, 2011 9:01 a.m. EST

(CNN) -- They marched on Washington to reclaim civil rights.
They complained of voter intimidation at the polls.
They called for ethnic studies programs to promote racial pride.
They are, some say, the new face of racial oppression in this nation -- and their faces are white.
"We went from being a privileged group to all of a sudden becoming whites, the new victims,'' says Charles Gallagher, a sociologist at La Salle University in Pennsylvania who researches white racial attitudes and was baffled to find that whites see themselves as a minority.
"You have this perception out there that whites are no longer in control or the majority. Whites are the new minority group."
Call it racial jujitsu: A growing number of white Americans are acting like a racially oppressed majority.

Full Story: http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/21/white.persecution/?hpt=T2

AAAA Observes 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Executive Order on Affirmative Action



NEWS
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
OBSERVES THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 10925

THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL ORDER MANDATING
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN EMPLOYMENT



For Immediate Release: March 10, 2011
Contact: Shirley J. Wilcher, 202-349-9855

Washington, DC - March 10, 2011 - The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), an organization of affirmative action, equal opportunity and diversity professionals, acknowledges the first presidential order mandating affirmative action in federal contractor workplaces. Executive Order 10925 was signed by President John F. Kennedy on March 6, 1961.

Executive Order 10925 imposed on all covered contractors a general obligation requiring positive steps designed to overcome obstacles to equal employment opportunity. In the order, the President incorporated two fundamental concepts: nondiscrimination and affirmative action.

SECTION 301. Except in contracts exempted in accordance with section 303 of this order, all government contracting agencies shall include in every government contract hereafter entered into the following provisions:

"In connection with the performance of work under this contract, the contractor agrees as follows:

"(1) the contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin. The contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin. Such action shall include, but not be limited to, the following: employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training, including apprenticeship. The contractor agrees to post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=58863

In signing the order, President Kennedy implemented the recommendations of President Eisenhower’s Committee on Government Contracts, headed by Vice President Richard M. Nixon. The committee wrote:

Overt discrimination, in the sense that an employer actually refuses to hire solely because of race, religion, color, or national origin is not as prevalent as is generally believed. To a greater degree, the indifference of employers to establishing a positive policy of nondiscrimination hinders qualified applicants and employees from being hired and promoted on the basis of equality.

“Affirmative action was, at its inception, a bi-partisan issue, supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. It was also a call to take positive steps in removing the barriers to equal employment opportunity,” said Gregory T. Chambers, president of AAAA.

In fifty years there has been much progress for women and minorities in the workforce, higher education and in contracting. In 2011, we have more diversity in all of these sectors and in the White House itself. Much remains to be done, however, as evidenced in the nearly one-hundred thousand charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year.

Since 1961, affirmative action policies have become law both in the United States and throughout the world. While controversial in some sectors, it remains one of the most effective means of removing barriers in hiring, promotions and pay, from the entry level to the executive suite.

Executive Order 10925 was modified by President Johnson’s Executive Order 11246 and subsequent laws that are now enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). “We acknowledge the foresight and courage of President John F. Kennedy in signing Executive Order 10925 in 1961,” added Mr. Chambers. “We must continue the legacy of the Kennedy Order and work to achieve the vision of equity and fairness through positive action in employment, education and government contracting.”
American Association for Affirmative Action
888 16th Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 355-1399 * (800) 252-8952 * Fax: (202) 355-1399
www.affirmativeaction.org.

For information about the AAAA Access, Equity and Diversity Summit
Atlantic City Convention Center, June 28 – 30, 2011
Email: aaaa2011summit@affirmativeaction.org

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. AAAA assists its members to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action to enhance access and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Five Keys to Creating an Effective, Engaged and Value-Added Diversity Office on Campus

HigherEdJobs
by Anthony Walesby

The diversity office 1 on any college campus can and should be a vital resource for everyone in the campus community. While there are many factors that contribute to a successful office, I believe there are five key elements consistently present in diversity offices that are highly valued and relied upon by their institutions. Institutional Commitment The first and most important key to an effective and successful diversity office is institutional commitment. Without commitment from the top, it can be difficult for any diversity office to be effective. When the president and other leaders make it known that they value diversity, then diversity becomes valued. Commitment from leadership can take many forms, including top leaders embedding diversity into their speeches, high-level administrators asking each dean to be accountable for and report on their diversity efforts, and staff managers supporting attendance at events celebrating diversity. The placement of the diversity office in the organizational structure can also reflect the level of institutional commitment. Adequate funding, appropriate staff levels and job titles are also important signs of support and commitment. Moreover, having adequate resources, even in these difficult financial times, demonstrates institutional commitment. We see today, as difficult as the economy has been, the rise of Chief Diversity Officer positions on campus. The commitment to hiring these expert professionals, along with providing the appropriate resources, sends a powerful message. It tells the community that despite economic challenges, diversity, in all of its forms, is about every member of the community. While diversity offices should not be immune from shared sacrifice during difficult times, they also should not suffer disproportionally when compared to other offices. During times of crisis, whether financial or otherwise, institutional values provide clarity and guidance, and institutional resolve is demonstrated.

Full Story: http://www.higheredjobs.com/Articles/articleDisplay.cfm?ID=261&utm_source=IU%2B3%2F9%2F2011&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Diversity%2BOffice%2BArticle

Report Calls for Greater Diversity in the Military's Leadership

The Root
By: Nsenga Burton Posted: March 8, 2011

The Associated Press is reporting that an independent report commissioned by Congress says that the U.S. military is too white and too male at the top and needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat. Seventy-seven percent of senior officers in the active-duty military are white, while only 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women, the report by an independent panel said, quoting data from September 2008.
One barrier that keeps women from the highest ranks is their inability to serve in combat units. Promotion and job opportunities have favored those with battlefield leadership credentials. Among recommendations is that the military eliminate policies that exclude women from combat units, phasing in additional career fields and units that they can be assigned to as long as they are qualified.

Full Story: http://www.theroot.com/buzz/report-calls-greater-diversity-militarys-leadership

Monday, March 7, 2011

Center for Women Policy Studies Releases Papers on Women and Girls with Disabilities

Center for Women Policy Studies

2011 online series of new Barbara Waxman Fiduccia Papers On Women and Girls With Disabilities
In 2011, the Center launched an online series of new Barbara Waxman Fiduccia Papers On Women and Girls with Disabilities. The 2011 Barbara Waxman Fiduccia Papers will present the self-defined perspectives of women with disabilities – both in the USA and globally – on such topics as: access to health care, reproductive rights and health, violence against women and girls, women and AIDS, educational equity, family life and parenting, employment and economic development, balancing work and family, participation in Government at every level – from local to national to international.February 2011
Bringing Together Feminist Disability Studies and Environmental JusticeAuthor: Valerie Ann Johnson
The Rights of Women With Disabilities in Africa: Does the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa Offer Any Hope?Author: Serges Alain Djoyou Kamga
What’s A Leg Got To Do With It?: Black, Female and Disabled in AmericaAuthor: Donna R. Walton, Ed.D.

http://www.centerwomenpolicy.org/programs/waxmanfiduccia/2011OnlineSeriesBarbaraWaxmanFiduccia.asp

Labor Department Administrative Judge Rules for OFCCP in Scheduling Letter Case

On February 29, 2011, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Daniel A. Sarno, Jr. issued a recommended decision and order in favor of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and against federal contractor United Space Alliance in a case involving the use of Item #11 of the OFCCP Scheduling Letter. United Space Alliance (USA) provides services for the Space Shuttle and has its headquarters in Houston, Texas. USA was informed on August 7, 2009 that its Cape Canaveral facility was scheduled for a compliance review pursuant to Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and other laws enforced by the agency. The "Scheduling Letter" sent by the OFCCP contained an item #11 which requested compensation data. USA provided the information requested including the Affirmative Action Program (plan).

The Compliance Officer conducted a desk audit of the information provided, including an analysis of the contractor's compensation data. Her initial test was a "Threshold Indicator" test and revealed no indicators of possible pay disparities between women and men. She conduced a subsequent test called a "pattern analysis." This test contained no thresholds, but did indicate possible pay disparities. The Assistant District Director (ADD) also conducted a test called a "30 and 5" test to establish a more refined means of assessing the data. As a result of this test, he decided to request additional information from USA.

Using the Fourth Amendment's "reasonable suspicion" standard, USA challenged the authority of the agency to seek additional information during the desk audit stage of the investigation or to pursue an on-site compliance review. USA did not submit the requested information, leading to a subsequent letter from the ADD and a notice that an on-site investigation would be conducted to explore further the questions raised in the desk audit. USA was also informed that veterans' (VEVRAA) and disability (Section 503) issues would be reviewed as well while on site. The Department of Labor subsequently filed an administrative complaint seeking access to USA and to enforce the laws within its jurisdiction.

USA argued that since the Threshold test revealed no indicators that OFCCP should have ended the review at that point. It also argued that the Threshold analysis was superior to the other tests that had no thresholds. The court was unpersuaded and agreed that the information requested by the ADD would have enabled him to conduct a regression analysis called the "gold standard" The court also emphasized that the agency had not established a violation but was seeking more information on which to base a decision. The court concluded:

District Directors are tasked with the Agency mission of ensuring that
Federal contractors comply with the regulations dealing with Affirmative Action
Programs and Equal Employment Opportunity as it relates to race, gender,
religion, national origin, disability and veteran‟s status.They are given broad
discretion in carrying out this mission. I think it is quite reasonable for
the District Director to use additional analyses to test the results of the
threshold analysis.


The ALJ's recommended decision is submitted to the Administrative Review Board for a final ruling. To see the ALJ's recommended decision and order, go to: http://op.bna.com/dlrcases.nsf/id/jaca-8ejpmn/$File/United%20Space.pdf

Jury Awards over $1.5 Million in EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Case Against Mid-American Specialties

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
3-4-11

MEMPHIS, Tenn. A U.S. District Court jury brought in a verdict of over $1.5 million for sexual harassment and retaliation in the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) lawsuit against Mid-American Specialties (Mid- American), a Memphis-based company that distributes promotional products and office supplies, the agency announced today. The verdict came after a trial presided over by Chief Judge Jon P. McCalla. The actual jury award included more than $400,000 in compensatory damages and back pay to three women and $1.1 million in punitive damages.“The jury verdict is an important vindication of the EEOC’s long-standing commitment to securing fair and equal treatment for all women in the work place,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “The EEOC will continue to be vigorous in its enforcement of the federal laws protecting workers from sexual harassment and retaliation.”The EEOC’s lawsuit, Civil Action No. 2:09-cv-02203-JMP, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, charged Mid-American with subjecting three former female employees in Memphis to sexual harassment, and retaliating against two of the women for reporting the harassment. This conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits harassment based on sex and retaliation against those who protest it.
“We hope for amicable resolutions but are prepared to try cases to vindicate legal violations,” said EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez. “Recent sexual harassment cases such as this one as well as the large verdict we received against Paul’s Big M in New York, demonstrate that juries support the EEOC’s continued vigorous enforcement.” The jury found that two male managers at Mid-American subjected female subordinates to severe, unwelcome sexual harassment. According to trial testimony, one manager exposed his genitals and forced one of the women to place her hand on his private parts. There was further testimony that another manager made demands for women to participate in a “kissing” or “smooching” club in order to receive the sales leads and accounts necessary for the women to earn commissions.The trial evidence further showed that as a result of their rejection of managers’ sexual advances and complaints about the harassment, Mid-American fired two of the women. During the two years that the harassment took place, Mid-American had no sexual harassment policy, no training on sexual harassment, and no reporting procedures. Company officials testified that they did not think that such policies and procedures were necessary, so the complaints of the women fell on deaf ears. The human resources manager testified that she did not even know the definition of sexual harassment at the time of the events."This jury verdict sends the strongest possible message to employers that sexual harassment and retaliation should never be tolerated in the work place,” said Faye A. Williams, EEOC regional attorney in Memphis. “The jury award further shows that employers without sexual harassment policies and procedures for handling complaints promptly and effectively are taking major risks.”"Three women displayed tremendous courage in confronting egregious sexual harassment by their supervisors. The jury's verdict vindicates their courage and sends a message to the defendant that complaints about sexual harassment should never result in termination," said Kenneth Anderson, EEOC lead trial attorney.The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-4-11.cfm