Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Legal Alert: USERRA Expanded to Include Hostile Work Environment Claims

Ford & Harrison Legal Alert
1/30/2012
J. Evans, Terry Price

Executive Summary: On November 21, 2011, President Obama signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. The new law contains three main provisions: (1) amends and expands the protections under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); (2) amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide certain tax credits to tax-exempt companies that hire unemployed veterans; and (3) creates new and expanded education, training, and transition programs for veterans within the federal Departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs. The first provisions of the new law (amendment to USERRA) may make it easier for employees (including former, part-time and probationary employees) to sue their employers for discrimination related to their military status.

Full Story: http://www.fordharrison.com/shownews.aspx?Show=7973

AAAA Participates in Training Conference Hosted by the Office of Personnel Management

The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) will participate in a training conference for federal employees hosted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This conference follows the release of a Presidential Executive Order 13583 on Diversity and Inclusion signed by President Barack Obama on August 18, 2011. AAAA President Gregory T. Chambers, former President ReNee Dunman, AAAA Board Secretary Carmen Suarez, and members Debbie Seeberger (Towson State U.), Ilyce Murray (Campbell Soup Co.) and Marjorie Powell (University of Maryland, Baltimore) will be workshop presenters.

The AAAA workshop will consist of diversity and Equal Opportunity practitioners highlighting strategies they have utilized to create highly effective relationships between Equal Opportunity, Human Resource, and Diversity professionals.

AAAA Region V Hosts 16th Annual State of the State Conference

The American Association for Affirmative Action's Region V (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois) is hosting its 16th Annual "State of the State" conference. The conference will be held on March 22, 2012 at Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio. The theme is "Creating an Inclusive Environment for Many Forces." AAAA Executive Director Shirley J. Wilcher will be a luncheon speaker.

The mission of the conference is:

To provide Ohio’s residents with an annual high quality, affordable conference in which they are able to share and learn how Ohioans from public, private, non-profit, educational and corporate sectors are seeking to make their organizations and communities more inclusive and representative. By examining how our state is preparing for the dramatic demographic changes predicted for the decades ahead, it is our hope and belief that our conference will contribute positively to preparing Ohio’s institutions to effectively meet the challenges and opportunities presented by these changes.


For more information, contact Marshall Rose, AAAA Region V Director, at mrose@falcon.bgsu.edu. Tel: 419/557-2754

Feds Consider Taking Ex-Offenders Out of the Box

Workforce Management
by Heather O'Neill
December 7, 2011

When Tirzah Kemp was arrested in 1999, she was afraid of what she could lose. Taken into custody on first-degree assault charges after a domestic dispute with her then-boyfriend, Kemp, whose son was 2 at the time, was afraid she would go to jail and that her child would be taken away from her.

She never dreamed her livelihood might be permanently affected as well.

Kemp, who ultimately pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, is just one of about 65 million U.S. adults with a criminal record. She is also one of possibly millions of people whose record has come back to haunt her in her professional life after her sentence was served.

Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/article/20111207/NEWS02/111209957

Monday, January 30, 2012

Supreme Court okays ministerial exception to discrimination law

Lexology.com
Littler Mendelson
Jane Ann Himsel
USA

January 13 2012


In EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School, the United States Supreme Court approved a "ministerial exception" to federal anti-discriminations laws. The fact-specific opinion answers some questions, but leaves others – including the exact parameters of the exception – for future litigation.
Ministerial Exception Before Hosanna-Tabor

Both the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 contain exemptions that entitle religious institutions to discriminate on the basis of religion, but they do not entitle such institutions to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, disability, or any other legally protected category. Thus, when an employee of a religious organization sues his or her employer, alleging discrimination because of something other than religion, the first issue to resolve is whether the plaintiff fits within the First-Amendment-based "ministerial exception" originally articulated in McClure v. Salvation Army.1 Under this court-made doctrine, religious organizations must follow antidiscrimination laws with respect to their non-ministerial employees.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e27ef0f0-aaed-43ba-bde4-8e26899f08a4&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2012-01-25&utm_term=

EEOC expands company-wide scrutiny of hiring and job assignment practices

Lexology.com
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Barbara A. Lee
USA

January 24, 2012

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it plans to expand and devote additional resources to its “systemic discrimination enforcement initiative.” The EEOC’s Draft Strategic Plan for 2012-2016 builds on its “Systemic Enforcement Program,” initiated in 2008, whose purpose is to leverage limited EEOC resources to focus on “high impact” lawsuits that will “eradicate discriminatory policies and practices while obtaining relief for large numbers of individuals.” To that end, the EEOC has been scrutinizing, and will increase its attention to, the employment practices of regional and nationwide companies, entire industries, or large employers with operations in many states.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=011713a5-676c-44ab-882e-419121ae045d&utm_source=lexology+daily+newsfeed&utm_medium=html+email+-+body+-+federal+section&utm_campaign=lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=lexology+daily+newsfeed+2012-01-30&utm_term=

Tips on investigating discrimination and harassment complaints -- what every association should know

Lexology.com
Whiteford Taylor & Preston LLP
Tiffany M. Releford
USA
December 20 2011

An employee complains to the Human Resources Manager that he/she is being discriminated against by another employee. What happens next? What action should be taken to investigate the complaint?

Foremost, the key to investigating a complaint is to be consistent, have a predefined process in place, follow that process, and understand the objectives of the investigation. A good investigator is one that understands the policies of the organization and/or association, uses discretion and confidentiality in conducting an investigation, and is fair and impartial. The first thing to do is to determine what level of investigation is needed. Is it a matter of calling the affected parties and interviewing them by phone, or is further action required, such as consulting with legal counsel and having counsel conduct an investigation? If you decide no investigation is necessary, document the decision and the reasoning, and inform the complainant of the decision. If the complainant comes back with more information/detail, review the additional information and determine if an investigation should now be undertaken.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=743fd80b-bc57-4c26-ae38-26c294fbddb9&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2012-01-26&utm_term=

SODEXO : receives prestigious 2012 Catalyst Award in North America for Diversity and Inclusion

4traders.com
01/27/2012 | 09:08am

Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life Services, is pleased to announce it has received the prestigious 2012 Catalyst Award in North America, honoring exceptional business initiatives that advance women in the workplace.

Sodexo will be recognized at Catalyst's 50th anniversary celebration, in March 2012.

The Catalyst Award is attributed based on a rigorous year-long evaluation process. Award-winners are assessed against a robust set of criteria, including senior leadership support, employee engagement, innovation, business rationale, communication, accountability, and measurable results.

"The pioneering initiatives we honor with the Catalyst Award affect businesses and employees' lives, but their influence also extends beyond corporate walls to families, communities, and economies worldwide. Clearly, what's good for women is good for men, business, and society," said Ilene H. Lang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst.

Full Story: http://www.4-traders.com/SODEXO-4703/news/SODEXO-receives-prestigious-2012-Catalyst-Award-in-North-America-for-Diversity-and-Inclusion-13990193/

Tour for Diversity in Medicine, Aetna Foundation Launch Bus Tour to Attract Minority Students to Medicine

Aetna Foundation Press Release
Jan. 27, 2012, 9:00 a.m. EST

-- Doctors, Dentists to Visit Five Historically Black Colleges in South to Advise, Mentor Future Health Care Providers --

HARTFORD, Conn., Jan 27, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Tour for Diversity in Medicine, a new initiative from several young Boston- and Chicago-based physicians, has revved up for its inaugural bus tour in February to take 11 doctors, dentists and medical school students from minority populations to five historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the South to offer a full day of premedical enrichment activities to the schools' students.

Made possible with a $210,000 award from the Aetna Foundation, Tour for Diversity in Medicine aims to provide college students of color with a wide range of information and advice to plan for careers in medicine and dentistry and ultimately diversify the health care profession. Although minority populations comprise more than 26 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans combined represent only about 6 percent of practicing physicians and 5 percent of dentists.

Alden Landry, M.D., an emergency room physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and co-director of Tour for Diversity in Medicine, said, "Our goal is to increase interest in health care as careers for students from minority populations and help them overcome perceived barriers to medical and dental school, such as high tuition costs, long training and a challenging application process. By offering workshops with established health care practitioners from similar backgrounds to theirs, we believe we can open the pipeline for talented young people of color who can make a significant difference in improving health care in the U.S."

Full Release: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tour-for-diversity-in-medicine-aetna-foundation-launch-bus-tour-to-attract-minority-students-to-medicine-2012-01-27

Duke professor says paper misinterpreted

the Herald-Sun
By Neil Offen
noffen@heraldsun.com; 419-6646

DURHAM — The lead author of a research paper that has riled black students at Duke University says despite the finding that blacks disproportionally switch to what are considered easier majors, “this has absolutely nothing to do with African-American students having a worse work ethic or taking the easy way out.”

In fact, said Peter Arcidiacono, a professor of economics at Duke, “the remarkable finding of the paper is that there is no racial gap in switching out of these fields once we condition [for] academic preparation.”


Read more: The Herald-Sun - Duke professor says paper misinterpreted
http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/17279541/article-Duke-professor-says-paper-misinterpreted

Selling out the truth to thwart affirmative action

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Dr. Ibram Rogers, January 27, 2012


I admire the glorious intellectual endeavor to discover and reveal the ever-changing, ever-remaining, ever-complicated, ever-simple fountain of truth—the sociological truth, the economic truth, the biological truth, the historical truth (to name a few).

But too often, too many academics sell out the truth. They sell the truth for causes, for careers, for funds, for conservatism, for liberalism, for radicalism. They sell the truth and force us to buy spurious conclusions.

This is what is occurring at Duke University. An unpublished, yet circulating, study by economist Peter Arcidiacono, economics graduate student Esteban M. Aucejo, and sociologist Kenneth I. Spenner has riled up the Black Student Alliance at the private university in Durham, N. C.

Full Story: http://diverseeducation.com/blogpost/374/selling-out-the-truth-to-thwart-affirmative-action.html

U. seeks diversity in engineering faculty

the Brown Daily Herald
Alexander Kaplan
Contributing Writer
Published: Monday, January 30, 2012



As the School of Engineering expands, racial and gender diversity will be a priority in hiring new faculty, said Lawrence Larson, dean of the school of engineering. Part of this effort will involve collaboration with the Diversity Advisory Board, he said.



Of the 51 current faculty members, around 78 percent are white and around 90 percent are male, he said. The School of Engineering plans to add 12 new faculty members over the next decade, The Herald reported Oct. 13.

Full Story: http://www.browndailyherald.com/u-seeks-diversity-in-engineering-faculty-1.2691922

Advantages of Attending a Racially Diverse School?

AthensPatch
Visiting scholar says yes.
By Rebecca McCarthy
Email the author
10:12 am

In Athens, where most of the population is white, the public school system is more than 60 percent minority. This statistic routinely prompts some white families to flee to private school or into neighboring counties, like Oconee, which is less than five percent black.

Full Story: http://athens.patch.com/articles/advantages-of-attending-a-racially-diverse-school

Affirmative-Action Foe Is Facing Allegations of Financial Misdeeds

The New York Times
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Published: January 17, 2012

WASHINGTON — Ward Connerly, the black businessman who has been the face of the movement to end affirmative action for nearly two decades, is facing accusations from a prominent former ally that he has mismanaged — and exploited for his own benefit — donations to that cause made by fellow conservatives.

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/us/ward-connerly-faces-allegations-of-fiscal-misdoing.html?_r=1

OFCCP Declines to Extend Sec. 503 Comments Deadline

The Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC) reports that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has denied its request to extend the deadline on the comments regarding the OFCCP's proposed changes to the Section 503 disability regulations. Thus, the deadline for comments remains February 7, 2012.

AAAA members who are filing comments are urged to share them with AAAA so we can truly reflect the views of our members when we file comments on behalf of the association. Thank you!

Here’s a Different Way to Do Your OFCCP Veteran Outreach

ERE.net
by
John Zappe
Jan 19, 2012, 5:04 am ET

Does the name Thom Beers ring any bells? Try Ice Road Truckers or Deadliest Catch or Storage Wars. Beers is the man behind these shows, two of them Emmy winners, and a slew of others that have redefined reality TV.

His list of credits is a veritable compendium of the shows that turned the Discovery Channel from a repository of old-school science and nature documentaries and recycled European programming to the most widely distributed cable network in the U.S.

Full Story: http://www.ere.net/2012/01/19/heres-a-different-way-to-do-your-ofccp-veteran-outreach/

Federal Court Signs Order for Blockbuster Inc. To Pay Over $2m to Settle EEOC Suit for Sex, Race and National Origin Discrimination, Retaliation

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
12-14-11

EEOC Said Retailer Created Hostile Environment for Female and Hispanic Workers

BALTIMORE – Blockbuster, Inc. has entered into a consent judgment requiring it to pay over $2 million to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged the Dallas-based global entertainment retailer with subjecting female temporary employees to sexual harassment, retaliating against them for resisting sexual advances and complaining, and subjecting Hispanic temporary employees to national origin and race harassment and other discrimination. The litigation concerned events that occurred in 2004 and 2005 at a distribution center in Gaithersburg, Md.

In its suit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (EEOC v. Blockbuster Inc., Case No. RWT-07-CV-2612), the EEOC charged that the male supervisory staff engaged in and condoned the harassment of a class of seven female employees, four of whom are Hispanic. The EEOC charged that the incidents of harassment committed by Blockbuster supervisors included repeated requests for sexual favors; yelling; insults; threats; unwelcome sex-related questioning; offense racial remarks; touching women’s intimate body areas; and other discriminatory conduct. This pervasive and unlawful conduct culminated in the denial of work hours, discriminatory firings, forced resignations and other discriminatory actions, according to the EEOC.

Such alleged conduct 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.

Blockbuster filed a bankruptcy petition during the pendency of this case, which remains pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and it has discontinued its former business operations.

“This case should act as a warning to all employers who use staffing agency personnel,” said EEOC Philadelphia Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence, whose jurisdiction includes Maryland. “Employers who are customers of staffing agencies have a responsibility to protect their temporary workers from unlawful discrimination. Too frequently, such employers fail to create systems to prevent and detect abuse of temporary workers and fail to respond forcefully to it. Those employers do so at their peril.”

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/12-14-11b.cfm

EEOC Seeks Input on FY 2012-2016 Strategic Plan

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
1-18-12

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released for public comment a draft of its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012 - 2016. The draft plan can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/strategic_plan_12to16_DRAFT.cfm. Comments must be submitted by 5:00 pm ET on February 1, 2012 at strategic.plan@eeoc.gov or by mail to Office of the Chair, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street, NE, Washington, DC 20507. This draft plan has not been approved by the Commission and is still under review.

The Strategic Plan serves as a framework for the Commission in achieving its mission by focusing on strategic law enforcement, education, and outreach, and efficiently serving the public. The EEOC has served as the nation’s lead enforcer of employment antidiscrimination laws and chief promoter of equal employment opportunity (EEO) since 1965. Every four fiscal years, Congress requires Executive departments, government corporations, and independent agencies to develop and post a strategic plan on their public website. These plans direct the agency’s work and lay the foundation for the development of more detailed annual plans, budgets, and related program performance information in the future. The EEOC is currently operating under the Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2007 - 2012, as modified in July 2008.

The process for developing this plan has been highly inclusive and collaborative. The plan was created by work groups comprised of staff from the EEOC’s headquarters and field offices, with a broad range of internal and external expertise and understanding of the programs and activities conducted within the agency. We are now continuing this inclusive effort by soliciting comments from our public partners, including advocacy groups and individuals. Your input is vital to our efforts to ensure accountability to our nation’s workers, employers, and taxpayers in general.

For general inquiries about the plan, please email strategic.plan@eeoc.gov or call (202) 663-4070/(TTY: 202-663-4494). For press inquiries, please contact the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs at (202) 663-4191 or newsroom@eeoc.gov. If you are private citizen seeking EEOC information, please call (202) 663-4900 or e-mail info@eeoc.gov. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/1-18-11a.cfm

Private Sector Bias Charges Hit All-Time High

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
1-25-12

Pending Inventory Reduced for First Time in 10 Years, Record Amount of Relief Obtained in FY 2011, EEOC Reports

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received a record 99,947 charges of employment discrimination and obtained $455.6 million in relief through its administrative program and litigation in Fiscal Year 2011, the agency announced today. For the second year in a row, despite a record number of receipts, the Commission resolved more charges than it took in with 112,499 resolutions (7,500 more resolutions than FY 2010—an increase of 7%)—leaving 78,136 pending charges, a ten percent decrease in its inventory, the first year the agency has seen a reduction since 2002.

The FY 2011 data also show:

•Due to EEOC’s enforcement programs in both the private and federal sectors, 5.4 million individuals benefitted from changes in employment policies or practices in their workplace during the past fiscal year.
•Through its combined enforcement, mediation and litigation programs, the EEOC was able to obtain a record $455.6 million in relief for private sector, state, and local employees and applicants, a more than $51 million increase from the past fiscal year and continuing the upward trend of the past three fiscal years.
•The mediation program reached record levels, both in the number of resolutions – 9,831 – which is 5% more than in FY 2010 (9,362), and benefits -- $170,053,021-- $28 million more than FY 2010.
•The Commission filed 300 lawsuits and its litigation efforts resulted in $91 million of relief, representing the third year in a row that the relief obtained was greater than in the preceding year. Continuing to build on its commitment to systemic litigation, 23 of the lawsuits filed involved systemic allegations involving large numbers of people and an additional 67 had multiple victims (less than 20).
•The Commission also filed 261 “merits” (merits suits include direct suits and interventions alleging violations of the substantive provisions of the statutes enforced by the Commission and suits to enforce administrative settlements) lawsuits.
•EEOC’s public outreach and education programs reached approximately 540,000 persons.
•In the federal sector, where the EEOC has different enforcement obligations, the Commission resolved a total of 7,672 requests for hearings, securing more than $58 million in relief for parties who requested hearings. It also resolved 4,510 appeals from final agency determinations.

“For the second year in a row, the EEOC received a record number of new charges of discrimination,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien. “Nevertheless, the hard work of our employees, combined with increased investments in training, technology and staffing in 2009 and 2010, and strategic management of existing resources made 2011 a year of extraordinary achievements for the EEOC.”

The total number of charges received was up slightly from last fiscal year’s record total. Once again, charges alleging retaliation under all the statutes the EEOC enforces were the most numerous at 37,334 charges received, or 37.4 percent of all charges, closely followed by charges involving claims of race discrimination at 35,395 charges or 35.4 percent. While the numbers of charges with race and sex discrimination allegations declined from the previous year, charges with the two other most frequently-cited allegations increased:

•Disability discrimination--25,742
•Age discrimination—23,465

The agency’s enforcement of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) produced the highest increase in monetary relief among all of the statutes: the administrative relief obtained for disability discrimination charges increased by almost 35.9 percent to $103.4 million compared to $76.1 million in the previous fiscal year. Back impairments were the most frequently cited impairment under the ADA, followed by other orthopedic impairments, depression, anxiety disorder and diabetes.

For the first full fiscal year of enforcement, the EEOC received 245 charges under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information, including family medical history. So far, none of these charges has proceeded to litigation.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.


The fiscal year 2011 enforcement and litigation statistics, which include trend data, are available on the EEOC’s website at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/index.cfm. More information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/1-24-12a.cfm

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another federal contractor hiring quota? Say it ain't so!

Lexology.com
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC
USA
December 30 2011

Just several months after the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that sought significant revisions to the regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) of 1974, the OFCCP issued another NPRM. This new NPRM will drastically affect federal contractors' affirmative action obligations to individuals with disabilities. The most significant revisions are discussed briefly below.

Seven Percent Utilization Goal

The NPRM seeks to establish a seven percent utilization goal for each job group of a contractor's workforce. Thus, in addition to the utilization percentages that contractors establish for minorities, females and (if adopted) veterans, contractors will also soon be tasked with meeting a seven percent utilization goal for individuals with disabilities.

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=c173fe3a-bb0b-4768-9ff5-9a5f41166b08&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Other+top+stories&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2012-01-16&utm_term=

Affirmative action suit gets Brown's support

San Francisco Gate
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More than 15 years after California voters approved a ban on affirmative action based on race or gender preferences, a new challenge to Proposition 209 has reached a federal appeals court - and the challengers this time include Gov. Jerry Brown.

Prop. 209 "imposes unique political burdens on minorities" and violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, Brown's lawyers from the attorney general's office told the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which will hear arguments Feb. 13.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/16/BAG01MQ7P3.DTL#ixzz1jk0MeSpW

Former head of IU program files EEOC complaint

Chicago Tribune
Associated Press
6:35 a.m. CST, January 17, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— The former director of an Indiana University scholarship program has filed a federal complaint accusing IU of gender and equal pay discrimination.

Full Story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-in-iu-discrimination,0,4534889.story

NLRB postpones date employers must post NLRA rights poster

Lexology.com
Fox Rothschild LLP
Matthew R. Porio and Brian A. Caufield
USA

On December 23, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) agreed to postpone the date employers nationwide are to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act from Jan. 30, 2012, to April 30, 3012. This decision was at the request of the federal court in Washington, DC, that is currently hearing a legal challenge regarding the rule.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=49b1eb8a-c262-46f1-8729-57228523a60d&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2012-01-17&utm_term=

DOL issues fact sheets on retaliation

Lexology.com
Littler Mendelson PC
Ilyse Schuman
USA

January 4 2012

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has issued three new fact sheets on unlawful retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA).

Fact Sheet number 77A: Prohibiting Retaliation Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), briefly discusses the prohibitions, coverage and enforcement issues related to section 15(a)(3) of the FLSA, which makes it a violation for any person to “discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this Act, or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding, or has served or is about to serve on an industry committee.” The fact sheet explains that covered complaints may be made orally or in writing, and that most courts have concluded that the FLSA’s retaliation protections extend to internal complaints as well.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=3fe26731-5287-44bd-a662-403d91599b0e&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Other+top+stories&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2012-01-17&utm_term=

US Labor Department settles charges of racial discrimination with Houston-based defense contractor JacintoPort

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
OFCCP News Release: [01/12/2012]
Contact Name: Elizabeth Todd or Juan Rodriguez
Phone Number: (972) 850-4710 or x4709
Release Number: 12-0015-DAL

Agreement includes $219,000 in back wages and interest for 69 African-American and Caucasian applicants plus job offers for some

HOUSTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs today announced that government contractor JacintoPort International LLC has agreed to settle allegations of hiring discrimination on the basis of race involving 48 African-American and 21 Caucasian job applicants who were rejected for longshoreman positions at the company's cargo facility in Houston.

"In this day and age, it is shocking that any company would allow race to be a factor in determining who gets hired," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "This settlement should put all federal contractors on notice that, in the Obama administration, we will be persistent when it comes to rooting out workplace discrimination and will vigilantly monitor employers who violate the law until they get it right."

OFCCP previously cited JacintoPort for violating requirements of Executive Order 11246 by failing to implement an applicant tracking system for new hires, and to develop and execute action-oriented programs to recruit women and African-Americans. That matter was settled on June 6, 2006, with a conciliation document in which JacintoPort agreed to correct the violations and produce semiannual reports on the company's progress in employing women and minorities.

In reviewing those progress reports, OFCCP investigators found that the company was giving preferential treatment to Latino applicants and systematically discriminating against African-Americans and Caucasians seeking longshoreman jobs. Under the terms of the latest conciliation agreement, JacintoPort will pay $219,000 in back wages and interest to the affected individuals, and make 17 job offers to members of the original class as longshoreman positions become available. In addition, JacintoPort has agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law, including record-keeping requirements.

JacintoPort, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shawnee Mission, Kan.-based Seaboard Corp., currently holds more than $1.2 million in contracts to store and transport cargo for the Defense Commissary Agency.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
Read this news release en EspaƱol.


http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20120015.htm

Pepsi to Pay $3.13 Million and Made Major Policy Changes to Resolve EEOC Finding of Nationwide Hiring Discrimination Against African Americans

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
1-11-12

Company’s Former Use of Criminal Background Checks Discriminated Based On Race, Agency Found



MINNEAPOLIS – Pepsi Beverages (Pepsi), formerly known as Pepsi Bottling Group, has agreed to pay $3.13 million and provide job offers and training to resolve a charge of race discrimination filed in the Minneapolis Area Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The monetary settlement will primarily be divided among black applicants for positions at Pepsi, with a portion of the sum being allocated for the administration of the claims process. Based on the investigation, the EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that the criminal background check policy formerly used by Pepsi discriminated against African Americans in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The EEOC’s investigation revealed that more than 300 African Americans were adversely affected when Pepsi applied a criminal background check policy that disproportionately excluded black applicants from permanent employment. Under Pepsi’s former policy, job applicants who had been arrested pending prosecution were not hired for a permanent job even if they had never been convicted of any offense.

Pepsi’s former policy also denied employment to applicants from employment who had been arrested or convicted of certain minor offenses. The use of arrest and conviction records to deny employment can be illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when it is not relevant for the job, because it can limit the employment opportunities of applicants or workers based on their race or ethnicity.

“The EEOC has long standing guidance and policy statements on the use of arrest and conviction records in employment,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “I commend Pepsi’s willingness to re-examine its policy and modify it to ensure that unwarranted roadblocks to employment are removed.”

During the course of the EEOC’s investigation, Pepsi adopted a new criminal background check policy. In addition to the monetary relief, Pepsi will offer employment opportunities to victims of the former criminal background check policy who still want jobs at Pepsi and are qualified for the jobs for which they apply. The company will supply the EEOC with regular reports on its hiring practices under its new criminal background check policy. Pepsi will conduct Title VII training for its hiring personnel and all of its managers.

“When employers contemplate instituting a background check policy, the EEOC recommends that they take into consideration the nature and gravity of the offense, the time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence, and the nature of the job sought in order to be sure that the exclusion is important for the particular position. Such exclusions can create an adverse impact based on race in violation of Title VII,” said Julie Schmid, Acting Director of the EEOC’s Minneapolis Area Office. “We hope that employers with unnecessarily broad criminal background check policies take note of this agreement and reassess their policies to ensure compliance with Title VII.”

“We obtained significant financial relief for a large number of victims of discrimination, got them job opportunities that they were previously denied, and eradicated an unlawful barrier for future applicants,” said EEOC Chicago District Director John Rowe. “We are pleased that Pepsi chose to work with us to reach this conciliation agreement and that through our joint efforts, we have been able to bring about real change at Pepsi without resorting to litigation.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws against employment discrimination. The EEOC issued its first written policy guidance regarding the use of arrest and conviction records in employment in the 1980s. The Commission also considered this issue in 2008 and held a meeting on the use of arrest and conviction records in employment last summer. The EEOC is a member of the federal interagency Reentry Council, a Cabinet-level interagency group convened to examine all aspects of reentry of individuals with criminal records.

The Minneapolis Area Office is part of the EEOC’s Chicago District. The Chicago District is responsible for investigating charges of discrimination in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/1-11-12a.cfm

University of Michigan Study Finds Gender Differences in Participation in Extracurricular Activities

Women in Academia (WIA) Report
Posted January 11, 2011

Data from the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan finds vast gender differences in participation in extracurricular activities for high school seniors. For example:

• Slightly more than 11 percent of women were involved with the high school newspaper or yearbook. This is about double the rate for male high school seniors.

Full Story: http://www.wiareport.com/2012/01/university-of-michigan-study-finds-gender-differences-in-participation-in-extracurricular-activities/?utm_source=Women+In+Academia+Report&utm_campaign=bbbe0ad4a7-Women_in_Academia_Report_6_14_116_13_2011&utm_medium=email

Monday, January 9, 2012

AAAA Issues Call for Presenters for 2012 Conference






AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
SEEKS PRESENTERS FOR
38TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND ANNUAL MEETING
JUNE 13-15, 2012

CALL FOR PRESENTERS

Washington, DC January 9, 2012- The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) invites professionals, groups, organizations and others with expertise on equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, or diversity to submit a proposal to speak at the 38th National Conference and Annual Meeting at the Downtown Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC from June 13-15. The theme for the 2012 conference is: “The Fierce Urgency of Now: The Economic Case for EEO, Affirmative Action and Diversity.”

The association encourages presenters to address the theme and consider the impact of the economy on AA/EEO or diversity. Proposals should also seek to discuss the theme from the unique perspectives of private businesses, federal government, or higher education. Proposals must be submitted electronically by February 24, 2012 to Matthew J. Camardella camardem@jacksonlewis.com .

READ MORE: AAAA ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2012 CALL FOR PRESENTERS

For more information about AAAA or the Conference, please contact us at:
AAAA 38th National Conference and Annual Meeting
888 16th Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 355-1399 * (800) 252-8952 * Fax: (202) 355-1399
aaaaconference2012@affirmativeaction.org
www.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.

EEOC: High school diploma requirement might violate Americans with Disabilities Act

The Washington Times
David Boyer
January 1, 2012

Employers are facing more uncertainty in the wake of a letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warning them that requiring a high school diploma from a job applicant might violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The development also has some wondering whether the agency’s advice will result in an educational backlash by creating less of an incentive for some high school students to graduate.


Full Story: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/1/eeoc-high-school-diploma-might-violate-americans-w/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

AAAA Hosts Conference Call on OFCCP's Sec. 503 Proposed Regs





SAVE the DATE!

The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) will host a conference call on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' proposed regulations to revise its affirmative action and nondiscrimination requirements for individuals with disabilities. The ninety-minute conference call will take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM EST. The discussion will be led by Matthew Camardella, AAAA General Counsel and partner with Jackson Lewis LLP. This is an opportunity for AAAA members to learn what is being proposed and to provide input into the potential implications of the regulations on EEO administration and enforcement in the workplace.

The number of phone lines will be limited. Call-in information will be sent out soon. SAVE the DATE!

Bank of Albuquerque Discriminated on the Basis of Age and Sex, EEOC Alleges in Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
1-4-12

Older Women Fired or Disciplined, Federal Agency Charges

PHOENIX -- BOK Financial Corporation, doing business as the Bank of Albuquerque, unlawfully discharged managers Elizabeth Morantes and Yolanda Fernandez because they were women over 40 years of age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed today. The EEOC’s lawsuit also alleges that another employee, Betty Brewer, was disciplined because of her sex and age.

The lawsuit alleges that the two managers—who were long-time employees of the bank—were discharged and Brewer was disciplined for reasons not applied to younger male managers and employees. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which bars discrimination on the basis of age above 40.

The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. BOK Financial Corporation dba Bank of Albuquerque, (CV 11-01132-ALB-KBM-LFG), in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico in Albuquerque, after first attempting reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement. The agency is seeking monetary relief for the three victims as well an injunction prohibiting the bank from engaging in any further discriminatory practices.

EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill said, “Longtime employees should not be jettisoned because of their age and sex. Discrimination on the basis of age and sex violates federal law.”

Rayford O. Irvin, District Director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, added, “Women over the age of 40 constitute a protected subclass of workers. We will continue to vigorously pursue our mission of fighting employment discrimination on all fronts, including discrimination based on both age and sex.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the nation’s laws prohibiting employment discrimination. EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction over Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and part of New Mexico (including Albuquerque). Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/1-4-12.cfm

Matrix L.L.C. Will Pay $450,000 to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
1-6-12

Cleaning Company Fired African-American Employees and White Employee Who Refused to Discriminate, Federal Agency Said

PHILADELPHIA – Matrix, L.L.C., one of the region’s largest cleaning companies, will pay $450,000 to a class of 15 former employees and provide significant relief to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In the lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that Matrix officials told white supervisor Barbara Palermi not to hire any more black cleaners to work at a client’s site in Concordville, Pa. When Palermi hired additional black cleaners based on their qualifications to do the job, Matrix dismissed her in retaliation for opposing the company’s racial discrimination. The EEOC alleged that Matrix management officials also discriminated against the African-American cleaners, telling them to sit in the back of the cafeteria during break times and later disallowing them from using the cafeteria at all for their breaks. Matrix later fired all of the employees at the worksite and replaced them with an entirely non-black cleaning crew, the EEOC said in its lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-06183.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, and makes it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for opposing discrimination, including opposing instructions to make hiring decisions based on race. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary relief to the class of fifteen, the three-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit bars Matrix from engaging in any further race discrimination or retaliation. Matrix is required to train its supervisors and managers about the prohibitions against racial discrimination and retaliation, report to the EEOC regarding against complaints of discrimination or retaliation at the Concordville, Pa., work site and post a remedial notice. The consent decree was approved by the court on January 4, 2011.

“We commend the company for its agreement to carry out the significant equitable relief provided in the consent decree, including providing expansive annual training, which will benefit all company employees,” said District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office.

EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, “We appreciate Matrix’s cooperation and diligence throughout the negotiation process to resolve this case quickly without engaging in protracted and costly litigation.”

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/1-6-12.cfm

House and Senate overrule OFCCP on TRICARE subcontractors

Lexology.com
Littler Mendelson PC
Robert Wolff
USA

December 21 2011

TRICARE is the federal government’s healthcare program for active duty and retired military members and their families. For many years, healthcare systems reasonably assumed that their subcontracts to provide services or benefits to federal employees under TRICARE would not invoke the jurisdiction of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and thus would not mandate federal equal employment and affirmative action obligations. This assumption seemed particularly rational where the subcontract expressly provided that the healthcare system was not a federal contractor. In addition, the OFCCP's own March 2003 directive stated that healthcare providers that have a relationship with participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) are not covered under OFCCP's programs based solely on that relationship and thus are not subject to OFCCP’s federal contractor requirements.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=c873e34b-449f-4219-8863-e06f80c2e722&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2012-01-05&utm_term=

Five mistakes to avoid when conducting workplace investigations

Lexology.com
Bond Schoeneck & King
Richard G. Kass
USA

December 26 2011

Workplace investigations are golden opportunities to resolve problems and avoid litigation. If an investigation is done right, the employer will be in a position to counsel or discipline employees who have committed misconduct, thus minimizing the likelihood of litigation. If litigation comes anyway, a good investigation can provide the employer with an affirmative defense to legal liability.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=99b15a54-3343-4590-a377-a4b8268d6cd3&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2012-01-05&utm_term=

Careful maintenance of employee medical records may help avoid needless litigation

Lexology.com
Foley & Lardner LLP
John L. Litchfield
USA

January 3 2012

Employers often find themselves in possession of medical information about their employees, particularly when making determinations regarding leaves of absence, disability accommodations, or when implementing employee wellness programs. Recent developments in federal law, however, and guidance from the EEOC have taught that the manner in which this information is maintained can be a ticking litigation time bomb if not diffused correctly.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=48a45671-185b-478d-83e8-8ab46e93b8c8&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2012-01-09&utm_term=

OFCCP’s proposed revisions to regs require increased obligations and affirmative action regarding disabled individuals

Lexology.com
Ogletree Deakins
Maria Greco Danaher
USA
December 19 2011

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973, as amended (“Section 503”), prohibits employment discrimination by federal government contractor and subcontractor employers against individuals with disabilities. It also includes affirmative action provisions that relate to both hiring and advancement of disabled individuals by those same employers. The provisions of Section 503 apply to government contractors with contracts/subcontracts of over $10,000 for the purchase, sale, or use of personal property or non-personal services, specifically including construction services. Contractors/subcontractors that have a contract/subcontract of at least $50,000 and at least 50 employees are required to prepare and maintain an Affirmative Action Program (AAP) to document efforts to comply with Section 503.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=76c72af6-c471-4082-82c4-f058bde300fc&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2012-01-09&utm_term=

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Affirmative Action Alert - Congress Grants Relief To TRICARE Providers

JDSupra
By:
Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP on 1/5/2012

In a move aimed to divest the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs of jurisdiction over hundreds of potential federal subcontractors, Congress passed Section 715 of the National Defense Authorization Act on December 15, 2011, and President Obama signed it into law on December 31, 2011. This portion of the NDAA provides as follows:

For the purpose of determining whether network providers under [TRICARE] provider network agreements are subcontractors for purposes of the Federal Acquisition Regulation or any other law, a TRICARE managed care support contract that includes the requirement to establish, manage, or maintain a network of providers may not be considered to be a contract for the performance of health care services or supplies on the basis of such requirement.

Full Story: http://www.jdsupra.com/post/documentViewer.aspx?fid=57ceada8-0ca0-4d8e-bad4-c7b909102fde

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Robert L. Carter, an Architect of School Desegregation, Dies at 94

The New York Times
By ROY REED
Published: January 3, 2012

Robert L. Carter, a former federal judge in New York who, as a lawyer, was a leading strategist and a persuasive voice in the legal assault on racial segregation in 20th-century America, died on Tuesday morning in Manhattan. He was 94.
The cause was complications of a stroke, said his son John W. Carter, a justice of the New York Supreme Court in the Bronx.

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/nyregion/robert-l-carter-judge-and-desegregation-strategist-dies-at-94.html?_r=1&hpw=&pagewanted=all

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

OFCCP Sends out scheduling letters for FY 2012

OFCCP Blog Spot
Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The OFCCP Blog Spot reports that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released the Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter (CSAL) for its scheduling of the FY2012 compliance evaluations. The letters were sent out on or about December 20, 2011.

Full Story: http://ofccp.blogspot.com/search?q=csal

Economist Examines the Trend in the Gender Wage Gap

WIA Report
Posted on Dec 29, 2011

A study by Catherine J. Weinberger, an economist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, finds that the gender gap in earnings begins at the early stages of the careers of men and women and the gap stays constant as they get older and move up the career ladder. Weinberger examined salary data for a large group of women over a 10-year period from 1989 to 1999.

Dr. Weinberger states, “All the [economic] models say that women fall behind men in terms of salary, and, as they get older, they get farther behind. But that’s not the case. And it goes against everything I was expecting to find when I started looking at the data.”

Full Study: http://www.wiareport.com/2011/12/economist-examines-the-trend-in-the-gender-wage-gap/?utm_source=Women+In+Academia+Report&utm_campaign=26d541d552-Women_in_Academia_Report_6_14_116_13_2011&utm_medium=email

AAAA Announces Election Results for 2012 - 2014 Leadership Team

AAAA Announces Election Results for 2012 – 2014 Officers


AAAA is pleased to announce that the election for the AAAA National Officers of 2012 – 2014 has been conducted. Members were given from November 29, 2011 until 11:59 PM EST on December 16, 2011 to vote. The results are as follows:

PRESIDENT:
Gregory T. Chambers, Region 3

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT:
Joni Baker, Ph.D., Region 6

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT:
Myron R. Anderson, Ph.D., Region 8

TREASURER:
Melvin Williams, Region 6

SECRETARY:
Carmen Suarez, Ph.D., Region 9

Congratulations to all who participated in the elections process. The swearing in of the new officers will take place on June 15, 2012 at the Business Meeting, AAAA 38th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Shirley J. Wilcher
AAAA Executive Director

AAAA ESTABLISHES “SENIOR CAAP” CREDENTIAL PROGRAM

AAAA ANNOUNCES OTHER CHANGES IN ASSOCIATION’S
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING INSTITUTE

AAAA’s Professional Development and Training Institute (PDTI) announces the Senior Certified Affirmative Action Professional credential. EEO/AA/Diversity professionals who want to enhance their knowledge will be able to earn the “Sr. CAAP” credential beginning in 2012.

Establishment of the Sr. CAAP credential is one of several changes that AAAA has announced for 2012. In addition, PDTI will offer a certification in Title IX sexual harassment/sexual assault investigations and a certificate program in development and implementation of affirmative action programs. These new educational program offerings build on AAAA’s status as the predominant force in training professionals working in the areas of equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and diversity. AAAA has offered the basic CAAP-level certification since 1991.

How To Earn the Sr. CAAP Credential
EEO/AA/Diversity professionals may earn the Sr. CAAP in one of two ways. First, professionals with 10 years of demonstrated experience in the field may earn the Sr. CAAP credential by participating in a one-day intensive seminar on emerging issues in the profession. This seminar will be offered only in 2012 and 2013 in conjunction with AAAA’s national conference. The 2012 seminar will be held on June 13, 2012 at the Renaissance hotel in Washington, D.C.

EEO/AA/Diversity professionals who do not qualify for the experienced-based program may earn the Sr. CAAP credential through PDTI course offerings. EEO/AA/Diversity professionals must first earn the Certified Affirmative Action Professional (CAAP) credential before they will be eligible to earn the Sr. CAAP credential. The Sr. CAAP credential requires 40 hours of classroom instruction: three required courses and two electives. To learn more, view the 2012 PDTI Catalogue on the AAAA website.
Continuing Education Requirement for Sr. CAAP and CAAP Professionals
The Sr. CAAP certification will be valid for three years. In order to maintain the Sr. CAAP credential, EEO/AA/Diversity professionals must earn 36 hours of recertification credits during the subsequent three-year period in order to recertify and to maintain the Sr. CAAP certification. Continuing education credits may be earned by attending seminars, workshops, and on-line programs; by teaching or presenting at seminars, workshops or on-line programs; and by participating in professional associations either by membership, service on committees, or in leadership roles. Recertification will be subject to a processing fee.
Effective October 1, 2012, professionals who earn the CAAP credential will be required to recertify every three years to ensure that they remain current in the equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and diversity profession. Professionals who earn the CAAP credential prior to October 1, 2012 are not subject to the recertification requirement.

Certification, Title IX Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Investigations
Also new for 2012 is a certification in Sexual Harassment /Sexual Assault Investigations. Professionals may earn this credential by attending a 12-hour, two-day seminar titled “Title IX – Complying with OCR’s “Dear Colleague” Letters.”

Certificate, Affirmative Action Program Development and Implementation
Finally, AAAA has established a certificate program for professionals with responsibility for Executive Order 11246 affirmative action programs. The certificate will be awarded to professionals who complete the following two courses: Developing and Implementing an Affirmative Action Program for Women and Minorities (16 hours) and Developing and Implementing an Affirmative Action Program for Veterans and the Disabled (8 hours).

For more information, visit the AAAA website at: www.affirmativeaction.org

Labor Department's VETS Extends the VETS100 Filing Deadline

The Department of Labor's Office of Veterans Employment and Training has extended the filing deadline for the VETS 100/100A forms to January 15, 2012. For more information see the VETS notice below and on its website at: http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/fcp/main.htm


VETS100-100A Federal Contract Reporting

Special Announcement:

VETS100 FILING DEADLINE EXTENDED

2011 VETS 100 Filing Cycle

The filing deadline for VETS-100 reports in the 2011 cycle has been extended to January 15, 2012. At that time the VETS-100 application will be removed from public service until further notice.

Any users experiencing difficulty processing their reports in the application are encouraged to send their data to the VETS-100 Service Desk in paper or in the batch upload electronic file format. The maximum number of paper submissions a company can submit has been increased to 30. All paper reports and electronic files received at the Service Desk by January 15th will be included as part of the 2011 filing cycle and will not be considered late.

Contracting Officers should not withhold from obligating funds to contracts because a contractor has not filed a report for the 2011 filing cycle because the 2011 filing cycle is still open. Any report submitted after January 15, 2012 for the 2011 filing cycle may be handled by a contracting officer according to VETS 100/100A regulations.

http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/fcp/main.htm

Achieving Diversity in Graduate-Student Admissions

The Chronicle of Higher Education
December 19, 2011, 3:56 pm
By Marybeth Gasman

December 19, 2011, 3:56 pm

By Marybeth Gasman

At major research institutions around the country, faculty members are getting ready to read graduate-student applications for admission. This year, they not only have their own intuition and experience to guide their decisions, but guidelines from the Obama administration. With regard to ensuring diversity within higher education, they recommend that:

An institution could consider an applicant’s socioeconomic status, first-generation college status, geographic residency, or other race-neutral criteria if doing so would assist in drawing students from different racial backgrounds to the institution.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/achieving-diversity-in-graduate-student-admissions/31164?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

NH law bans preferential treatment

boston.com
December 31, 2011

Preferential treatment or discrimination in recruiting, hiring, promotion or admission by New Hampshire agencies, colleges or universities is prohibited under a new law taking effect Sunday.

Supporters argued that affirmative action policies hurt the people they try to help by putting less-qualified people in jobs they cannot do, thus setting them up to fail.

Full Story: http://articles.boston.com/2011-12-31/news/30577261_1_preferential-treatment-new-law-affirmative-action-policies

EEOC approves new age bias regulation

Lexology.com
Ogletree Deakins
USA
December 16 2011

Federal Agency Also Experiences Record-Breaking Year

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently approved a draft final regulation that clarifies the Age Discrimination in Employment Act's (ADEA) "reasonable factors other than age" test. The new standard will make it easier for workers to establish disparate impact claims and will put a heavier burden on employers in defending such claims.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=17f2e29f-9878-4063-ab4a-9ca9917ff60c&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-12-21&utm_term=

First Circuit rules that interviewing an applicant is not an admission that the applicant is qualified for the position

Lexology.com
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
USA
December 14 2011


In Goncalves v. Plymouth County Sheriff’s Dep’t, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that allowing an applicant to proceed through the stages of a hiring process is not an admission that the applicant was qualified for the position or similarly situated to other applicants for purposes of state and federal anti-discrimination laws.

Plaintiff Joy Goncalves was a 49 year old Cape Verdean woman who worked for the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department and had applied for a promotion to two different information technology (IT) positions. Both positions called for an associate’s degree in a computer-related field, at least three years of relevant work experience, and three or more years of experience using certain web development and interface software. The Sheriff’s Department considered a number of applicants for each position, including two white applicants who were younger than the plaintiff. The application process involved several stages, including a panel interview and an examination that tested the applicants’ IT knowledge. Although the plaintiff was allowed to complete all stages of the application process, she scored considerably lower than the two white applicants at both the interview and the examination stages. As a result, the Sheriff’s Department hired the two white applicants rather than the plaintiff.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=60a78dda-5435-401d-b488-082e0dcd6ddd&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-12-22&utm_term=

Employers' selection criteria must undergo a reasonable accommodation analysis even if justified by business necessity

Lexology
Husch Blackwell LLP
USA
December 14 2011

On November 17, 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an informal opinion letter in response to an inquiry by the State of Tennessee concerning students who cannot obtain jobs requiring a high school diploma or equivalent because of learning disabilities that prevented them from meeting end-of-course assessment standards. The EEOC, citing the Americans With Disabilities Act, As Amended (ADAAA) and its regulations, imposed a two-step process the employer must follow in order to comply with the statute: First, the employer must prove that the high school diploma requirement is justified by business necessity, and secondly, even if it is so justified, prove that the applicant could not perform the job with a reasonable accommodation.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=ef49983a-9bc6-4e5a-93cf-95d44620d0c2&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-12-23&utm_term=

EEOC Retaliation Case Against Cognis to Proceed, Federal Judge Orders

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
12-16-11

Chemical Company Unlawfully Forced Hires to Waive Charge Rights, Federal Agency Charged

URBANA, Ill. – Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey of the Central District of Illinois issued an opinion on Dec. 12, denying the motion by chemical company Cognis Corporation for summary judgment in a retaliation case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC v. Cognis Corp., 10-CV-2182, C.D. Ill.).

In its lawsuit filed Aug. 18, 2010, the EEOC charged that Germany-based Cognis retaliated against a longtime employee, Steven Whitlow, at its Kankakee, Ill., facility, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As a condition of his continued employment, Cognis required Whitlow to sign a “last-chance agreement” (LCA) that prohibited Whitlow from filing a charge of employment discrimination with the EEOC – even based on conduct that had yet to occur. Thus, Cognis essentially conditioned Whitlow’s employment on Whitlow’s agreement to give up his right to make any federal complaint of employment discrimination. When Whitlow refused to be bound by that agreement, the company fired him, the EEOC said.

The EEOC’s lawsuit also alleges that a class of employees who signed similar last-chance agreements was retaliated against because Cognis forced those employees to make a choice between termination and signing LCAs that stripped employees of their right to file charges and seek relief for future discriminatory conduct -- or at least deterred them from doing so.

On Aug. 29, Cognis filed a motion for summary judgment alleging that it was entitled to immediate judgment in its favor without trial because, it contended, there were no disputed issues of fact, and that Whitlow and the class of employees for whom EEOC sought relief were not entitled to damages. But according to the court’s opinion, “there is no question” that EEOC presented sufficient direct evidence that Cognis terminated Whitlow because he revoked the LCA, which precluded the court from granting summary judgment in Cognis’s favor as to Whitlow. (Opinion, No. 10-CV-2182, C.D. Ill., J. McCuskey, entered 12/12/2011.) As for the EEOC class members, the court held that “there is sufficient legal support for this court to reach the conclusion that Cognis’s threat of retaliation contained in the LCAs constitutes a retaliatory policy under Title VII.” (Id.)

In addition to denying Cognis’s motion for summary judgment, the court invited the EEOC to move for summary judgment on the issue of whether Cognis retaliated against Whitlow and the class members who signed LCAs. The court granted the EEOC leave to file such a motion until January 6, 2012.

“All employees have the right to file charges with the EEOC,” said EEOC’s Chicago District Director John Rowe. “Employers cannot attempt to create two unequal classes of employees, with one group covered by civil rights laws and the other left without the protections those rights provide.”

The EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago, John Hendrickson, added, “Mr. Whitlow was a savvy employee who came forward to protect himself. It’s not just any employee who will quit his job in order to protect himself – and that’s what employers like Cognis are banking on. But employers doing business in the United States should take heed. Duping your employees into believing their rights are waived is a risky and illegal proposition, and the EEOC is on the lookout for cases like this where employees are most vulnerable to employer excess.”

The EEOC’s litigation team is led by Supervisory Trial Attorney Gregory M. Gochanour and trial attorneys Deborah Hamilton and Brad Fiorito of the Chicago District Office.

Cognis was acquired by BASF, a multinational chemical company, in December 2010. According to company information, BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, N.J., is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 16,400 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.7 billion in 2010. Cognis maintains facilities in at least 30 countries worldwide, employing approximately 5,500 people. Cognis has its U.S. headquarters in Cincinnati.

EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-16-11a.cfm

RCC Consultants, Inc. Sued for Disability Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
12-29-11

Company Failed to Hire an Applicant Because of his Disability, EEOC Charges

RICHMOND, VA – RCC Consultants, Inc. (RCC Consultants) violated federal disability discrimination law when it refused to hire an individual at its mid-Atlantic regional office located in Glen Allen, Virginia because of his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today. RCC Consultants, a New Jersey-based company, is an international telecommunications engineering, consulting and integration firm that has regional offices throughout the United States.

According to the EEOC’s complaint, RCC Consultants failed to hire Stanton Woodcock for a managing consultant position because of his disability, ocular albinism. Ocular albinism is an inherited condition in which the eyes lack melanin pigment. Because of the lack of melanin pigment in his eyes, Woodcock has a variety of vision problems which substantially limit his ability to see. On or about October 17, 2007, Woodcock interviewed for a managing consultant position at RCC Consultant’s Glen Allen, Virginia facility. Woodcock was offered the position. According to the EEOC’s complaint, around late-October 2007, when RCC Consultants learned that Woodcock did not have a driver’s license and does not drive because of his disability, RCC Consultants rescinded the offer of employment. Although Woodcock was fully qualified to perform the duties of the managing consultant position, RCC Consultants unlawfully failed to hire him for the position because of his disability, the complaint alleges.

Such alleged conduct violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits private employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. RCC Consultants, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:11-cv-00864), after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court. The suit seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for Woodcock, as well as injunctive and other non-monetary relief.

“It’s unfortunate that twenty years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, some employers still react to applicants and employees based on myths, fears or stereotypes about a certain impairment that the individual may have and how that impairment might affect the individual’s ability to perform a job,” said Lynette A. Barnes, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District office. “This suit should remind employers that the EEOC will not waiver in enforcing the ADA.”

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

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-29-11.cfm

OFCCP Publishes PowerPoint Presentation on Sec. 503 Proposed Regs

The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has made available its webinar presentation on the proposed Section 503 disability regulations. The presentation may be found at: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/Presentation/Webinar_503_December_20_and_21_2011.htm

The deadline for submitting comments on the proposed regulations is February 7, 2011. If you or your organization submits comments, please share them with AAAA by emailing them to execdir@affirmativeaction.org.

Thank you!

Federal Judge Dismisses Texas A&M International Discrimination Suit

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
by Eric Freedman , January 3, 2012

A federal judge in Houston has tossed out a civil rights lawsuit by an untenured faculty member who claimed his university was getting rid of Asian faculty members to replace them with Hispanics.

Full Story: http://diverseeducation.com/article/16736/

OFCCP Proposal Requires Contractors to Set Hiring Goal for Employing Disabled Workers

Bureau of National Affairs
Monday, December 12, 2011
from Human Resources Report

By Kevin P. McGowan

The Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has issued a proposed rule that would require federal contractors to set a hiring goal of having 7percent of their workforces be people with disabilities.

Published in the Dec. 9 Federal Register (76 Fed. Reg. 77,056), OFCCP's proposal would strengthen affirmative action requirements under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires federal contractors and subcontractors to provide equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.


Full Story: http://www.bna.com/ofccp-proposal-requires-n12884905858/

EEOC to Employers: Requiring H.S. Diploma May Violate Disabilities Act

The New American
Written by Brian Koenig
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 09:09

Employers across the country are facing new concerns related to federal oversight in hiring, as a letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) warns that requiring a high-school diploma from a job applicant might infringe on the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The revelation has some employment analysts concerned that the commission’s guidance will generate an educational backlash by shackling the incentive for students to graduate from high school, as well as subjecting employers to frivolous lawsuits and spawning a new industry for lawyers.

Full Story: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/10409-eeoc-to-employers-requiring-hs-diploma-may-violate-disabilities-act

The Age of the Less-Ambitious Employee

Workforce Management
December 19, 2011

Here's another casualty of the anemic economy: employee ambition.

Thanks to stock market gyrations and more-difficult management jobs, employees today care less about climbing the corporate ladder.

In 2006, career opportunities ranked as the sixth-most important factor (out of 38 possibilities) in terms of promoting employee engagement, according to advisory firm the Corporate Executive Board Co. By 2011, career opportunities had fallen to 12th place.


Full Story: http://www.workforce.com/article/20111219/BLOGS05/111219963/the-age-of-the-less-ambitious-employee#

Appeals Court Revives Political Bias Suit Against U. of Iowa

Inside Higher Ed

January 3, 2012 - 3:00am

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit last week revived a lawsuit against Carolyn Jones, a University of Iowa law professor who was dean at the time of the incidents in the suit, by a woman who says she was not hired for several faculty jobs because of her political views. The woman who sued, Teresa R. Wagner, is a conservative who has worked with an anti-abortion group.


Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/01/03/appeals-court-revives-political-bias-suit-against-u-iowa#ixzz1iPGgvu9C
Inside Higher Ed

Monday, January 2, 2012

Vincent H. Cohen, prominent D.C. lawyer, dies at 75

The Washington Post
By Matt Schudel, Published: December 31

Vincent H. Cohen, a prominent lawyer who worked at the Justice Department and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before becoming the first African American partner at his Washington law firm, died Dec. 25 at Washington Hospital Center. He was 75 and had a pulmonary embolism, his daughter Robyn Cohen Hudson said.

Full Story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/vincent-h-cohen-prominent-dc-lawyer-dies-at-75/2011/12/31/gIQA3up2SP_story.html?socialreader_check=0&denied=1