Monday, April 30, 2012

OFCCP Observes Equal Pay Day

The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) observed Equal Pay Day, the day that marks the point where women have to work to earn as much as a man earns in the previous year. In observance of the day, OFCCP published on its website a list of tools to help to promote equity in compensation: For more on National Equal Pay Day, including tools, resources and recently announced Apps, see below: Read the Secretary's statement on National Equal Pay Day Read the Secretary's Blog Post A Guide to Women's Equal Pay Rights (PDF) An Employer's Guide to Equal Pay (PDF) Equal Pay Enforcement Fact Sheet (PDF) Learn more about the Equal Pay App Challenge winners Presidential Proclamation on Equal Pay Day (PDF) Highlights of Women's Earnings by Region Learn more about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the very first bill President Obama signed into law Read the White House Equal Pay Task Force Accomplishments Report: Fighting for Fair Pay in the Workplace (PDF) To view these tools, click here:

Little Rock Real Estate Company Settles EEOC Race Discrimination and Retaliation Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission PRESS RELEASE 4-18-12 Bankers Asset Management Will Pay $600,000 for Excluding Blacks for Jobs and Punishing Employees for Complaining About Bias Selected List of EEOC Systemic Hiring Resolutions and Filings Since 2005 (as of 4/18/12) LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Bankers Asset Management, Inc., a real estate company in Little Rock, will pay $600,000 to former employees and a class of applicants to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC’s suit, Civil Action No. 4:10-CV-002070-SWW, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division, alleged that the company excluded black applicants for jobs at the company’s Little Rock location based upon their race. The EEOC also alleged that the company retaliated against other employees and former employees for opposing or testifying about the race discrimination, by demoting and forcing one out of her job and by suing others in state court. The EEOC attempted to resolve this matter during conciliation prior to filing suit. Race discrimination and retaliation violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition to injunctive and monetary relief, the three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit requires that BAM: •provide mandatory annual three-hour training on race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII to all of its employees; •have its president or another officer appear at the training to inform staff of the company’s non-discrimination policy regarding race and retaliation; that the company will not tolerate such discrimination; and the consequences for discriminating in the workplace; •maintain records of complaints of race and retaliation discrimination; •provide annual reports to the EEOC regarding such complaints; •issue a memo to one of the hiring officials explaining that BAM does not discriminate on the basis of race and retaliation; and •post a notice to employees about the lawsuit that provides the EEOC’s contact information. “Excluding qualified individuals from job opportunities because of their race or in retaliation for exercising protected rights are fundamental violations of the laws we enforce,” said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. “As this case demonstrates, the EEOC is prepared to vigorously pursue such cases and resolutions that help ensure that workplaces will be free from discrimination. Recent cases we have filed alleging hiring discrimination, such as our suit against Bass Pro, demonstrate this continued commitment.” “We are pleased that this company worked with us to reach a satisfactory resolution in this matter to ensure black applicants will be judged based on their qualifications,” said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “The measures in the decree will work to ensure that African-American applicants are treated in the same manner as others, and that employees who have the courage to oppose race discrimination are protected against retaliation.” BAM is an Arkansas corporation engaged in real estate, real estate-owned properties, broker management and asset management in the Little Rock area. The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at

EEOC Asks for Teen Advice to Solve the Wage Gap

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission PRESS RELEASE 4-23-12 Agency’s Denver Field Office Invites Teenagers to Participate in Forum DENVER -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is asking teenagers to weigh in on the heavy issues of equal pay and wage disparity. On April 26, 2012, the EEOC will recognize the 20th anniversary of Take Your Child to Work Day by inviting teenagers to its Denver Field Office to participate in a dialogue for solutions on how to bridge the gender wage gap in America. Suggestions from this forum will be sent to the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force in Washington, D.C. EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien is a member of that body, which is headed by Vice President Joe Biden. “The EEOC believes that teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 represent an unbiased group that may have the ability to solve a problem that has plagued generations,” said Denver EEOC Field Director Nancy Sienko. “We want to hear what they have to say.” The forum will take place from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm at the EEOC’s Denver Field Office, 303 East 17th Avenue, Suite 410, Denver. Participants will be asked to sign their names to a registration sheet, which will be kept for historical purposes. All participants must register in advance at: The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. The EEOC’s Denver Field Office has jurisdiction for Colorado and Wyoming. Further information is available at

Updated EEOC Guidelines Make It Harder For Employers To Discriminate Against Former Criminals

The Huffington Post By SAM HANANEL 04/25/12 06:21 PM ET WASHINGTON -- Is an arrest in a barroom brawl 20 years ago a job disqualifier? Not necessarily, the government said Wednesday in new guidelines on how employers can avoid running afoul of laws prohibiting job discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's updated policy on criminal background checks is part of an effort to rein in practices that can limit job opportunities for minorities that have higher arrest and conviction rates than whites. Full Story:

Consumer bureau appointee to promote financial industry diversity

The Los Angeles Times By Jim Puzzanghera April 30, 2012, 8:26 a.m. WASHINGTON -- The new consumer watchdog agency on Monday appointed an outgoing member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to lead a new office to promote diversity at the agency and in the financial services industry. Stuart Ishimaru, who served as acting EEOC chairman from 2009-2010, will lead the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency and other federal banking regulators were required to create such offices as part of the 2010 financial reform law. Full Story:,0,2784842.story

Status, Not Race, Should Be Basis of Affirmative Action

The Huffington Posted: 04/30/2012 9:16 am Spencer Lindsay The Supreme Court of the United States is about to hear a case that may change the status quo on affirmative action. Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin is going to be heard this term and may cause constitutional interpretations to be changed such that any form of affirmative action is seen as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Race could cease to be a factor in college admissions and employment, as it currently is at countless universities and employers across the U.S., including the University of Wisconsin. While I believe that society may be far along enough to leave race in and of itself behind, I feel that rather than ending affirmative action, it should be adjusted to better fit the realities of society. Affirmative action should be focused on socioeconomic factors rather than race. Full Story:

Hispanics are worse off than whites under certain university admission policies Public release date: 10-Apr-2012 Contact: Alexander Brown 212-620-8063 Springer Science+Business Media Study suggests that racial quotas for college admissions remain the most efficient way to diversify campuses New York/Heidelberg, 10 April 2012 -- Changes to college admission policies in Texas have been detrimental to Hispanics, according to Dr. Angel Harris and Dr. Maria Tienda from Princeton University in the US. Their work shows that despite popular claims that the "top 10 percent law" has restored diversity to Texas' flagship universities, His-panics are more disadvantaged relative to whites under this policy. The top 10 percent law guarantees admission for students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Their calculations also show that affirmative action or the use of racial quotas for college admissions remains the most efficient policy to diversify college campuses, even in highly segregated states like Texas. The study is published online in Springer's journal Race and Social Problems. Full Story:

Financial Regulator Hires Diversity Monitor April 30, 2012, 12:22 pm Legal/Regulatory | Revolving Door By BEN PROTESS The nation’s consumer financial watchdog has set out to address another Wall Street problem: a lack of diversity. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new federal agency policing the financial industry, announced on Monday that it had hired a director for its Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. The unit will focus on promoting diversity at the bureau, its private contractors and the financial firms it oversees. Stuart J. Ishimaru, the former leader of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was selected to lead the office. Full Story:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

EEOC Issues Enforcement Guidance

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission PRESS RELEASE 4-25-12 Commission Updates Guidance on Employer Use of Arrest and Conviction Records WASHINGTON — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued an updated Enforcement Guidance on employer use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Title VII). The Commission today voted 4-1 to approve the guidance document. The Commission also issued a Question-and-Answer (Q&A) document about the guidance. The Enforcement Guidance and Q&A document will be available on the EEOC’s website at “When the Commission met publicly to discuss this subject in July, 2011, I said that I hoped the meeting would help to inform the Commission’s consideration of revisions to existing EEOC guidance. We had excellent testimony from two public meetings and hundreds of written comments submitted by a diverse group of commenters to inform our deliberations concerning the new guidance,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. Chair Berrien added, “The new guidance clarifies and updates the EEOC’s longstanding policy concerning the use of arrest and conviction records in employment, which will assist job seekers, employees, employers, and many other agency stakeholders.” While Title VII does not prohibit an employer from requiring applicants or employees to provide information about arrests, convictions or incarceration, it is unlawful to discriminate in employment based on race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. The guidance builds on longstanding guidance documents that the EEOC issued over twenty years ago. The Commission originally issued three separate policy documents in February and July 1987 under Chair Clarence Thomas and in September 1990 under Chair Evan Kemp explaining when the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions may violate Title VII. The Commission also held public meetings on the subject in 2008 and 2011. The Enforcement Guidance issued today is predicated on, and supported by, federal court precedent concerning the application of Title VII to employers’ consideration of a job applicant or employee’s criminal history and incorporates judicial decisions issued since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The guidance also updates relevant data, consolidates previous EEOC policy statements on this issue into a single document and illustrates how Title VII applies to various scenarios that an employer might encounter when considering the arrest or conviction history of a current or prospective employee. Among other topics, the guidance discusses: •How an employer’s use of an individual’s criminal history in making employment decisions could violate the prohibition against employment discrimination under Title VII; •Federal court decisions analyzing Title VII as applied to criminal record exclusions; •The differences between the treatment of arrest records and conviction records; •The applicability of disparate treatment and disparate impact analysis under Title VII; •Compliance with other federal laws and/or regulations that restrict and/or prohibit the employment of individuals with certain criminal records; and •Best practices for employers. The materials for the public meetings held on the use of arrest and conviction records, including testimony and transcripts, are available at The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

Monday, April 23, 2012

Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less

PEW Hispanic Center Released: April 23, 2012 The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the U.S. has stopped and may have reversed. The standstill appears to result from the weakened U.S. job market, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, and changing economic and demographic conditions in Mexico. by Jeffrey Passel, D’Vera Cohn and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries. The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico. The report is based on the Center’s analysis of data from five different Mexican government sources and four U.S. government sources. The Mexican data come from the Mexican Decennial Censuses (Censos de Población y Vivienda), the Mexican Population Counts (Conteos de Población y Vivienda), the National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (Encuesta Nacional de la Dinámica Demográfica or ENADID), the National Survey of Occupation and Employment (Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo or ENOE), and the Survey on Migration at the Northern Border of Mexico (Encuesta sobre Migración en la Frontera Norte de México or EMIF-Norte). The U.S. data come from the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Full Story:

UCLA Report Links School Integration with Positive Leadership and Better Community Relations

Date Published: April 23, 2012 Teachers’ perceptions differ widely by the racial and socioeconomic makeup of their school 
*** NEWS RELEASE *** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 23, 2012 CONTACT Laurie Russman, UCLA Civil Rights Project: 310.267.5562 LOS ANGELES—A new report from The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA zeroes in on teachers’ perceptions of the everyday climate in schools and explains that teachers working in racially diverse and stable schools perceive their school and community environments in significantly different ways than do teachers working in either more homogeneous or less stable schools. At a time when statistics show a steady increase in the number of segregated schools, this study shows serious consequences for teachers, as well as for the parents and students who are part of segregated school communities. Spaces of Inclusion? Teachers’ Perceptions of Integrated and Segregated Schools is based on a large national survey of teachers designed to investigate teachers’ beliefs and practices related to racial diversity, which was disseminated to over 1,000 educators nationwide. Teachers were asked a variety of questions dealing with fair student discipline practices, non-discriminatory assignment to Special Education classes, whether students from different groups mixed together in extra-curricular activities and the strength of family and community support for a school. Teachers of all races viewed schools with high percentages of students of color and low-income students as less likely to have family and community support. In contrast, teachers in stable and diverse learning environments -- with or without a white student majority -- report more positive student relations and more support from parents and the community (with some variation according to the race of the teacher). Since the support of families is considered crucial to educational achievement, weak relationships between schools and parents in segregated minority environments highlight a critical disadvantage that racially and socioeconomically isolated schools must overcome, on top of a myriad of other well-documented deficits, including high teacher turnover. “We are in a period of intense national debate on issues of school performance, one that has been largely critical of our teachers,” said Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, co-author of the report. “This report shows that stable and diverse schools lead to more inclusive partnerships between teachers and communities and to better overall achievement. Isn’t it time that policymakers fostered these types of educational environments?” New figures from the 2010 Census show that more than half of the nation’s poor population now resides in the suburbs, and minority racial groups make up 35% of suburban communities. School districts in suburban areas are experiencing these rapid racial and socioeconomic changes at the ground level. Confronted with making critical decisions related to rising diversity in schools and classrooms, few of these school systems and the teachers working in them have prior training in how to foster positive, inclusive educational environments for their diverse student populations. Says Co-author Erica Frankenberg, “As the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act proceeds, this report reminds us that paying attention to the racial and socioeconomic integration of schools remains important—and that schools and teachers need support and guidance as their student populations continue to transform.” Civil Rights Project Co-Director Gary Orfield called on the Obama administration and state education officials to “provide leadership to help communities threatened with resegregation to use magnet schools and other methods to create and support integrated schools.” He said that the survey shows that “teachers of all races know how much better these schools work.” Key Findings Teachers in stable racially diverse and middle-class schools reported the most positive indicators of inclusivity, including that their administrators were capable of dealing with diversity issues effectively, discipline practices were fairer and tracking was not a critical issue. Nonwhite teachers across all school contexts reported more serious issues around racial disparities in Special Education assignments. Almost 17% of nonwhite teachers thought that there were significant Special Education disparities by race, versus roughly 9% of white teachers. In predominately white school settings, nearly 40% of teachers of color felt that disparities in Special Education assignments were significant, compared to just 6% of white teachers. Teachers in racially stable diverse environments were significantly more likely to say that students rarely self-segregated (13.8%) compared to teachers in non-stable settings (7.2%). Teachers in stably diverse schools were also less likely to report that tension between students of different races was significant (5.1%) than teachers in transitioning schools (10.5%). Less than 30% of teachers in segregated minority schools felt that their school was supported by the community. That figure is significantly lower than the 56% of all teachers responding to the survey who believed that the community is strongly supportive. The report stresses that these results have important implications for state, district and school-level policies. Policies that encourage teachers who stay and invest in creating a supportive and inclusive environment are sorely needed. Federal policy also could help foster productive external relationships by providing incentives for family and community involvement through the school assessment process. Preparation and technical support from local, state and federal agencies could also help address some of the concerning trends documented in the report. Spaces of Inclusion? is the final report in a three-part series based on a nationwide survey of teachers. The first report, The Segregation of American Teachers, documented serious patterns of racial isolation among the faculties of U.S. K-12 schools. The second report, Are Teachers Prepared for Racially Changing Schools?, analyzed the preparation and teaching practices employed by educators across different grade levels, finding a dearth of focused training for racial diversity. For a copy of this report, go to -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- About the Civil Rights Project at UCLA Founded in 1996 by former Harvard professors Gary Orfield and Christopher Edley Jr., the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles is now co-directed by Orfield and Patricia Gándara, professors at UCLA. Its mission is to create a new generation of research in social science and law on the critical issues of civil rights and equal opportunity for racial and ethnic groups in the United States. It has commissioned more than 400 studies, published 13 books and issued numerous reports from authors at universities and research centers across the country.

9th Circuit: attendance is essential job function forNICU nurse under ADA

Lexology Stoel Rives LLP Ryan Gibson USA April 16 2012 This week the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals provided some help to employers seeking to balance the need to accommodate disabled employees with the need to enforce regular attendance policies. In Samper v. Providence St Vincent Medical Ctr, the Ninth Circuit held that the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) did not require an Oregon hospital to exempt a neo-natal intensive care unit (“NICU”) nurse, whose fibromyalgia caused frequent absences, from its attendance policy. The case helps illustrate both when employers should be flexible in accommodating disabilities that could affect attendance, and also when they may be entitled to require stricter adherence to attendance policies. Full Story:

States and feds moving to block employer access to social media

Lexology Foley & Lardner LLP John F. Birmingham Jr. USA April 16 2012 Employers are increasing the review of applicants’ social media sites as part of their standard hiring processes. A 2009 poll revealed that as many as 45 percent of employers regularly screen applicants through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and many of these employers have declined to hire candidates because the sites contained provocative or inappropriate photographs, drinking or drug use, negative comments about prior employers, discriminatory comments, and so forth. While laws like the Electronic Communications Privacy Act require permission to access sites and government organizations such as the NLRB have policed discipline based upon social media activity, no state has banned the review of applicants’ social media sites until now. Full Story:

For Gay Athletes, It's Getting Better

Inside Higher Ed April 23, 2012 - 3:00am By Allie Grasgreen CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- College athletics is gradually becoming more inclusive for gay students. But if athletes are ever able to participate openly without fear of discrimination, it will require coaches and administrators to foster a holistically welcoming environment, from initial meetings with recruits to the halftime pep talks in the locker room. "If" is the operative word. Read more: Inside Higher Ed

Next Commission Meeting Wednesday April 25

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission PRESS RELEASE 4-19-12 Next Commission Meeting Wednesday, April 25 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, April 25, at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time), at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E. In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the open session of the meeting will be open to public observation of the Commission’s deliberations and voting. The following matters are scheduled for consideration during the open session of the meeting: •Announcement of Notation Votes •Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and •Enforcement Guidance on Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. The remainder of the meeting will be closed. For the open session, 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. Any matter not discussed or concluded may be carried over to a later meeting. Additional information about the meeting, when available, will be posted at The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

Marymount Manhattan College Sued by EEOC for Age Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission PRESS RELEASE 4-18-12 College Refused to Hire 64-Year-Old as Assistant Professor, Federal Agency Charges NEW YORK – Marymount Manhattan College refused to hire a choreography instructor for a tenure-track assistant professorship because of her age, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. Marymount is a private liberal arts college in New York City. According to the EEOC’s suit, Marymount initially selected a 64-year-old choreography instructor and two other applicants as finalists for an assistant professorship in dance composition. After determining that the 64-year-old was the leading candidate, the EEOC said, Marymount’s search committee expanded its search to include a less qualified, 37-year-old applicant as a fourth finalist because it considered her to be “at the right moment of her life for commitment to a full-time position.” The suit charges that Marymount passed over the 64-year-old applicant and instead hired the 37-year-old applicant because of age. Age discrimination against employees and job applicants who are age 40 or older is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Civil Action No. 12-cv-2388 (JPO) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit was assigned to U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken. “Our suit charges that age was the deciding factor in this case,” said EEOC trial attorney Justin Mulaire. “Under the law, age has no place in hiring decisions — and tenure-track positions in academia are no exception.” Elizabeth Grossman, the regional attorney of the EEOC’s New York District Office, said, “Older workers have the right to be evaluated based on their abilities and not based on their age. The EEOC is committed to combating bias against older workers in all phases of employment and in all types of employment settings.” The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at

Statement on Equal Pay Day

Statement on Equal Pay Day April 17, 2012 Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Today is Equal Pay Day, which is the annual recognition of the date on which a woman’s average earnings equal a man’s average earnings in the prior year. Despite almost 50 years of enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, wage disparities between men and women have not yet been eliminated. When President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, he said that it “affirms our determination that when women enter the labor force, they will find equality in their pay envelope.” At that time, women accounted for less than 35% of the labor force and their median pay was approximately 58.9% of men’s. Today, women are nearly half of the workforce, and their wages have risen to roughly 78% of those of men. While the pay gap has narrowed, it persists for every age group and in every job category, including those dominated by women. This is true whether women hold advanced degrees or a high school diploma. The gap is particularly severe for women of color: African-American women receive 61 cents and Hispanic or Latina women earn just 52 cents for every dollar earned by men. For nearly 50 years, the EEOC has been at the forefront of the federal government’s effort to secure equal pay for women. As part of the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force created by President Obama, the Commission has undertaken important efforts to raise awareness and strengthen enforcement of wage discrimination laws in the past year: •During fiscal year 2011 the EEOC obtained $30.9 million in monetary benefits for victims of compensation discrimination and received 1,960 new charges alleging sex-based wage discrimination; •EEOC and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) revised their Memorandum of Understanding to streamline collaboration in enforcement, and entered into pilot programs in several regions to improve enforcement of laws prohibiting compensation discrimination and expand outreach; •The EEOC trained more than 2,000 intake workers, investigators and attorneys from the EEOC, OFCCP, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, and state and local Fair Employment Practice agencies on identification, investigation and remediation of compensation discrimination; and •Conducted informational programs and training on equal pay issues for nearly 3,000 members of the public, stakeholder groups and employer representatives in dozens of cities across the county. The EEOC’s mission is ending and remedying unlawful discrimination. That is why, although we commemorate Equal Pay Day today, we must work diligently every day to ensure that earnings are never depressed because of a worker or job applicant’s sex.

The Age-Old Problem of Age By Steven HarperAll Articles The American Lawyer April 23, 2012 Although Kelley Drye & Warren recently settled the age discrimination complaint that the EEOC had filed against it on behalf of a 79-year-old former equity partner, the question remains: Can law firms adopt mandatory retirement policies? The conventional wisdom is that such policies are a bad idea -- and may even constitute unlawful age discrimination. The policy argument is that people live longer these days, that those who are productive should be able to keep working, and that everyone should be compensated according to the value they add. Full Story:

Obama's Record on Women's Pay: So-So

Bloomberg Business Week By Elizabeth Dwoskin on April 18, 2012 As the Obama and Romney campaigns continue to snipe at each other over so-called women’s issues, it seems like a good time to take a look at the administration’s record on the wage gap, the persistent disparity between men’s and women’s pay that exists across all sectors of the economy. On average, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a male counterpart makes. Over the course of her career, that gap contributes to hundreds of thousands of dollars in diminished earning potential. So how does the Obama administration, which claims that it has championed women’s rights, stack up? Not bad, not great. Full Story:

Reconsider Proposition 209 decision, minority students ask federal court By Howard Mintz Posted: 04/17/2012 03:40:59 PM PDT April 18, 2012 5:51 AM GMTUpdated: 04/17/2012 10:51:47 PM PDT Civil rights lawyers have asked a federal appeals court to reconsider a ruling earlier this month upholding California's voter-approved ban on affirmative action in public programs. In court papers filed late Monday, attorneys for minority students challenging Proposition 209 asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case with an 11-judge panel. Full Story:

Voice for corporate diversity

The Charlotte Post BB&T's Stover speaks up for underrepresented Published Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:09 pm by Ryanne Persinger Idris Stover is fighting for women, minorities, veterans and the disabled. As vice president of affirmative action and diversity programs manager at Branch Banking & Trust Company in Charlotte, her job is to lobby for underrepresented segments in the workforce. “I think a lot of organizations have come to the realization of the importance of diversity and inclusion because we no longer live in a homogeneous society,” Stover, 31, said. “The minorities are moving into the majority. There is diversity in thought, opinion and beliefs and those are all factors as to how we think in the workforce as well.” Full Story:

California Affirmative Action: Campus Diversity Suffers Under Race-Blind Policies

Complex Sports By Jose Martinez | Apr 21, 2012 | 5:00 pm At the young age of 15, Michael Rodriguez had dreams of one day competing in NASCAR. Through the Drive for Diversity program, which focused on giving opportunities to minority drivers, Michael saw it as the perfect chance for him to break into the sport. Seven years later, Rodriguez is suing both NASCAR and the organization that ran the program, Access Communications, for denying him a spot because he was "too Caucasian." Full Story:

California Affirmative Action: Campus Diversity Suffers Under Race-Blind Policies

The Huffington Post By TERENCE CHEA 04/21/12 03:28 PM ET BERKELEY, Calif. -- Fifteen years ago, California voters were asked: Should colleges consider a student's race when they decide who gets in and who doesn't? With an emphatic "no," they made California the first state to ban the use of race and ethnicity in public university admissions, as well as hiring and contracting. Since then, California's most selective public colleges and graduate schools have struggled to assemble student bodies that reflect the state's demographic mix. Full Story

UT to pay outside counsel nearly $1 million By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF Published: 8:57 p.m. Saturday, April 21, 2012 The University of Texas has agreed to pay a law firm nearly $1 million to defend its undergraduate admissions program before the U.S. Supreme Court. Latham & Watkins LLP, based in Los Angeles, will receive a flat fee of $977,000, plus up to $10,000 for expenses, for a maximum of $987,000, according to the contract between the university and the firm. The American-Statesman obtained a copy of the contract Friday under the Texas Public Information Act from the state attorney general's office, which approved the agreement. Full Story:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Despite ethnic tensions, counting voters by race remains taboo in French presidential campaign

Washington Post World
By Associated Press, Published: April 16

PARIS — Ahead of France’s presidential elections, you might find polls showing how factory workers or university students are likely to vote — but you’d be hard-pressed to find data on which candidates black or Muslim voters prefer.

A 1978 law forbids anyone, from government census-takers to private researchers, from counting citizens based on their ethnic, racial or religious background. Though the law allows a few exceptions, it makes it virtually impossible for pollsters or political parties to measure nationwide support for candidates among those various constituencies, a situation that would be unimaginable in a U.S. presidential election.

Full Story:

Arkansas hired Petrino’s mistress under fast track requested by athletic director, Petrino

Washington Post Sports
By Associated Press, Published: April 13

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The former mistress of Bobby Petrino was hired over 158 other applicants after a fast-tracked interview process that athletic director Jeff Long requested at the behest of the now-fired coach, according to a review of university personnel documents by The Associated Press.

Jessica Dorrell submitted a single-page resume expressing her interest in becoming the football program’s student-athlete development coordinator job. She was among three finalists interviewed and was hired by Petrino in late March at a salary of nearly $56,000.

Full Story:

Monday, April 16, 2012

UCSD, feds agree on racial harassment settlement

UT San Diego
Karen Kucher
10:45 a.m., April 13, 2012
Updated 6:36 p.m.
Complaints involving noose, KKK-style hood sparked federal probe

UC San Diego has voluntarily agreed to take steps to prevent racial harassment on the La Jolla campus after federal officials launched an investigation into several complaints, including the public display of nooses and a Ku Klux Klan-style hood in 2010.

Under terms of the agreement, which was announced Friday, the university will maintain an office to receive, investigate and resolve complaints of harassment and discrimination; revise its campus policies regarding racial harassment to ensure they are consistent with federal civil rights law; and provide training for staff and students.

Full Story:

Texas Affirmative Action Ban: Study Finds Hispanics Are More Underrepresented In Texas Universities

Huffington Post
Latino Voices
Posted: 04/12/2012 1:36 pm Updated: 04/12/2012 5:35 pm

Changes to college admission policy in Texas may be leaving some out - namely Hispanics, according to a study conducted by Princeton researchers Dr. Angel Harris and Dr. Maria Tienda.

Under Texas's new Top 10 Percent program, public universities must enroll students based on their performance in comparison to their high school classmates, rather than with all applicants. The new policy ensures that high school students at the top of their class are admitted, with aims to enroll more students from "poor communities."

But some argue that this policy is not as effective as the prior affirmative action at selecting a racially and ethnically diverse student body.

Full Story:

Employers Say OFCCP Disabilities Proposal Would Be Overly Burdensome and Ineffective

BNA Bloomberg Report
April 16, 2012

OFCCP Proposed Rule Under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act

Key Development: OFCCP receives approximately 400 comments of support and concern in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise contractors' EEO and affirmative action obligations for individuals with disabilities.

Next Steps: OFCCP currently is reviewing the comments and working to draft the final rule, a release date for which has yet to be scheduled.

By Jay-Anne B. Casuga

Full Story:

OFCCP Issues Announcement on Tri-Care coverage

OFCCP Public Announcement
(issued via email)

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) contains a provision relating to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program's (OFCCP) jurisdiction over TRICARE subcontractors. Please join OFCCP Director of Program Operations Tom Dowd and Counsel Consuela Pinto for a webinar to explain how OFCCP will enforce the law regarding such subcontractors in light of this provision.

Because the NDAA does not address OFCCP coverage unrelated to TRICARE, the webinar will explain how OFCCP is moving forward with compliance evaluations of entities that participate in TRICARE and also hold another federal contract or subcontract. The webinar also will explain how OFCCP is putting compliance evaluations of those entities for which a TRICARE subcontract is the only basis of jurisdiction “on hold,” in light of the fact that this issue is currently being litigated in the Florida Hospital case.

This event requires registration -

Topic: Status of Pending Compliance Evaluations of Entities that Participate in TRICARE Networks
Date and Time:
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 3:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time

To register for the online event
1. Go to
2. Click "Register".
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click "Submit".

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.

For assistance
You can contact Brenda Williams Stewart at:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, discuss your concerns with the meeting host prior to the start of the recording or do not join the session. Please note that any such recordings may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation.

Obama Won’t Order Ban on Gay Bias by Employers

The New York Times
Published: April 11, 2012

The executive order, which activists said had support from the Labor and Justice Departments, would have applied to gay, bisexual and transgender people working for or seeking employment from federal contractors. Current law does not protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and legislation to do so, which Mr. Obama endorses, lacks sufficient votes in Congress.

“While it is not our usual practice to discuss executive orders that may or may not be under consideration, we do not expect that an executive order on L.G.B.T. nondiscrimination for federal contractors will be issued at this time,” said an administration official who would speak about the controversy only if provided anonymity. “We support legislation that has been introduced and we will continue to work with Congressional sponsors to build support for it.”

Full Story:

Stuart J. Ishimaru to Resign from Commission

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

WASHINGTON — Stuart J. Ishimaru, a member of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) since 2003, announced that he will resign his position as Commissioner this month. Mr. Ishimaru was nominated by President George W. Bush and is currently serving his second term that expires July 1, 2012.

Mr. Ishimaru worked to reinvigorate the agency's emphasis on race discrimination issues. He also was instrumental in the Commission's adoption of groundbreaking guidance and “best practices” to help employers avoid engaging in gender and disability discrimination against workers who have caregiving responsibilities. In addition, Mr. Ishimaru spearheaded the first public Commission meeting in years to focus on age discrimination, examining the effect of the recent recession and of adverse Supreme Court decisions on the rights of older workers to secure equal employment opportunity. He served as Acting Chair from January 20, 2009 until April 7, 2010.

During his tenure as Acting Chairman, Mr. Ishimaru worked to rebuild the EEOC, which had become under-funded and under-staffed. He dedicated substantial agency resources to a multi-million dollar training effort—the largest the agency had conducted in at least a decade—to equip EEOC employees with essential skills and knowledge they need to investigate and litigate large and complex discrimination (systemic) cases to bring about positive change in entire companies and industries.

Among other achievements, Mr. Ishimaru was the first Administration official to testify before Congress in support of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He also testified before the Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act (an Act to reinvigorate and bolster the protections against gender-based wage discrimination provided by the Equal Pay Act of 1963).

EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien said: "I thank Commissioner Ishimaru for his outstanding service to this agency and to the nation. His accomplishments as a member of the Commission and Acting Chairman have been exceptional. He has been a tremendous colleague, and we will miss his fervent commitment to civil rights law enforcement and myriad contributions to the work of the Commission."

Mr. Ishimaru previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice between 1999 and 2001, where he served as a principal advisor to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, advising on management, policy, and political issues involving the Civil Rights Division. He supervised the Division's attorneys in high-profile litigation, including employment discrimination cases, fair housing and fair lending cases, criminal police misconduct, hate crime and slavery prosecutions, and enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. From 1994-1999, Mr. Ishimaru served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and provided advice on a broad range of issues.

In 1993, Mr. Ishimaru was appointed by President Clinton to be the Acting Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and from 1984-1993 he served on the professional staffs of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights and two House Armed Services Subcommittees of the U.S. Congress.

The EEOC enforces the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at

New York Law Firm Settles EEOC Age Discrimination Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Kelley Drye & Warren Agrees To End Mandatory Retirement Policy, Pay $574,000 To Partner Forced to Give Up Ownership Interest in Order to Continue Working

NEW YORK- Kelley Drye & Warren, a law firm with over 300 attorneys, has agreed to end its policy of requiring partners to give up their equity in the firm once they reach 70 years of age and to pay $574,000 to an attorney who continued to practice at the firm after he turned 70, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

The EEOC’s lawsuit, Civil Action No. 10-CV-0655 (LTS)(MHD), filed in the Southern District of New York, charged that under Kelley Drye’s former policy, attorneys who wanted to practice after reaching 70 could only do so by giving up all ownership interest in the firm and instead be compensated through discretionary bonuses. This resulted in significant under-compensation of Eugene T. D’Ablemont, who has continued to practice law full-time at the firm since he turned 70 in 2000. Such conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination based on age, including in compensation.

"There is no reason why attorneys who are capable of continuing to practice at 70 either should be forced to retire or otherwise be dissuaded from continuing to work in their chosen profession just because of their age,” said EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez. "Our strong enforcement of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is critical to ensuring that workplaces are free from discrimination."

“As Kelley Drye has recognized by its policy change, it simply does not make business sense to arbitrarily force out attorneys with the skill and energy to continue to practice law at a high level even though they are over 70 years old. I urge other law firms to assess their retirement policies,” said Jeffrey Burstein, EEOC Trial Attorney in the EEOC’s New York District Office.

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

AAAA Region III co-hosts discussion about OFCCP's policy initiatives and the Fisher v. University of Texas case

Please join the D.C. Bar Labor & Employment Section and the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) for an Affirmative Action Compliance update addressing both the Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court as well as comments received by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs(OFCCP) on several regulatory proposals, including Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRMs) on regulations relating to disability, compensation, veterans, and the scheduling letter.

This Off the Record Brown Bag Program is sponsored by the Labor and Employment Law Section.

Remarks made during “Off the Record” programs may not be used for publication.


Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
1111 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Conference Room 201


Debra Carr, Director of the OFCCP Division of Policy, Planning & Program Development

Shirley Wilcher, Executive Director of the American Association for Affirmative Action and former OFCCP Director

CLE Credit


This event is free of charge. Space is limited, so please RSVP to AAAA DC State Coordinator, Marilynn Schuyler via

Diversity Symposium: Tatum on Conversations About Race

Swarthmore College
Daily Gazette
By BaLeigh Harper
April 10, 2012

While teaching the psychology of racism at University of California Santa Barbara, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum recognized a crucial gap in college curricula. Though she was teaching at a college level, Tatum realized that prior to taking her class, many of her students had not had a chance to talk about the impact of race and diversity on their lives.

With this knowledge, Tatum dedicated herself to race relations and education, becoming a renowned scholar, author and teacher. She shared her experiences last Thursday with a full audience of Swarthmore students, faculty and staff, as the keynote speaker for “Cultivating a Diverse and Inclusive Community: A Diversity Symposium at Swarthmore College.”

Full Story:

What constitutes “reasonable factors other than age”? The EEOC’s final regulation raises the bar for employers to establish defense to ADEA claims

Constangy Brooks & Smith LLP
Jill Cox
April 2 2012
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Tips for complying with the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Briggs and Morgan
Michael J. Moberg
April 2 2012

The Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was passed in 2008 and it prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees. While the law became effective in 2009, many employers are still unaware of GINA and what it requires. Here are some tips to help employers comply with GINA:
Do Not Use Genetic Information for Employment Decisions: GINA prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, wages, promotions, layoffs, work assignments, benefits, and the like. As the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated, “An employer may never use genetic information to make an employment decision because genetic information is not relevant to an individual’s current ability to work.”
Avoid Asking Questions About an Employee’s or Applicant’s Medical History: Genetic information that is covered by GINA generally includes any information about a genetic test for a person or the person’s family members. Employers need to be aware that an individual’s medical history is considered protected genetic information.

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Senators propose amendments to ADEA

Stoel Rives LLP
Todd A. Hanchett
April 3 2012

On March 12, several senators introduced Senate Bill 2189, known as the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, which would overturn a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court case, Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc, that had made it more difficult for older workers to prove claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). Under the new bill, it would be much easier for employees to prove age discrimination in many cases.

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Backwards on Racial Understanding

Inside Higher Ed
April 10, 2012 - 3:00am
Scott Jaschik

One stereotype about college is that the experience encourages students to be more interested in diversity and promoting racial understanding. To some this is a great virtue of higher education; to critics, this suggests academe is too focused on diversity. What if they are all wrong?
A new study being presented at this year's annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association suggests that as undergraduates progress in higher education, they become less interested, on average, in promoting racial understanding. The study finds that this is true across racial groups -- although it finds some characteristics of the college experience that may make students more interested in racial understanding as they proceed from freshman to senior year.

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Affirmative action is dead: What should rise in its place?

Red, Black and Blue
the Grio
By Sam Fulwood III
9:37 AM on 04/05/2012

For all intents and purposes, affirmative action is dead.

Case in point: A federal appeals court this week rejected a legal challenge in California to bring back race-based policies in student admissions at the University of California. By a 3-0 vote of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, arguably the most liberal appeals court in the nation reaffirmed Proposition 209, a voter-endorsed ban on affirmative action.

Later this year, the Supreme Court will take up Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that challenges whether applicants' race can be used as a factor in granting admission in an effort to diversify the student body. And it's entirely possible the Court will rule against Texas, effectively sealing the coffin shut on affirmative action programs for colleges and universities.

Full Story:

Contra Costa Times Your Turn: Removing race-based considerations does little to improve complex issue

Contra Costa Times
By Patrick Mattimore
Contra Costa Times Your Turn
Posted: 04/07/2012 04:00:00 PM PDT
April 8, 2012 12:30 AM GMTUpdated: 04/07/2012 05:30:03 PM PDT

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide an affirmative action case from the University of Texas this fall. The court is considering whether to overturn or significantly modify earlier decisions that permit public universities to consider race as one factor in an applicant's favor.

While the issue of racial preferences has been a hot-button topic in the United States for many years, America is by no means alone in grappling with how best to come to terms with the affirmative action issue.

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What does the Baylor Law data leak tell us about affirmative action?

Point of
By Ted Frank on April 9, 2012 2:46 PM

The Baylor Law admissions office had a bit of an oopsy recently: they sent an email to every incoming student disclosing all of their admissions data: name, address, phone number, GPA, LSAT, admissions acceptance date, race, and scholarship money, a treasure trove of data rarely available to researchers. If you believe Elie Mystal at Above the Law, the data shows that affirmative action isn't such a big deal:

Eyeballing the numbers (and I haven't done a full statistical analysis on this data because I think it's kind of missing the point), I see about a three to four point bump for African-American or Hispanic students. By "bump," I mean to say that if you were a white student, you had a fighting chance to get into Baylor with a 161 or 162 LSAT score. If you were black or Latino, you were in the running with a 159 or 158. There are some outliers, of course -- a black kid with a 156, a white kid with a 158 -- but, in general, I'm eyeballing the mode for white students at 162, and the mode for blacks and Hispanics at 159 or 158.

This is wrong for a couple of reasons. First, there's an iceberg effect; the spreadsheet doesn't have the data of the people who were rejected for admission. If a 3.7 GPA/162 LSAT gets a white a 30% chance of admission, but an African-American a 90% chance of admission (or vice versa), then there's racial bias with real adverse effects on the disfavored race, even if the averages in the admitted student body doesn't show a lot of disparity.

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One French School's Secret for Making Affirmative Action Work

The Atlantic
Apr 9 2012, 10:01 AM ET
Before Richard Descoings died suddenly and scandalously last week, he made controversial -- and surprisingly successful -- changes to how one of France's most elite universities builds its student body.

France's Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, known colloquially as Sciences Po, has trained two out of the past three French presidents, four out of the past six prime ministers, countless other assorted politicians and diplomats, and a significant chunk of Europe's top CEOs and financiers. Until 2001, the students who came in were just as socially élite as the graduates who came out.

In 2001, that began to change. The man at the heart of the change was Richard Descoings, who was found dead in a Manhattan hotel last week. And though questions remain about the circumstances of his death, it's his work leading Sciences Po that will surely determine his legacy. He has left promoters of social mobility in education -- both French and American -- plenty to think about.

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James Bovard: The Wrong Way to Help the Disabled

The Wall Street Journal
Opinion April 8, 2012
A 7% hiring quota for government contractors is unfair and unwise.

The Obama administration is on the verge of compelling most of the largest corporations and universities, as well as many smaller businesses, to adopt a 7% hiring quota for disabled job applicants—lest they be debarred from doing business with the federal government. This radical personnel policy could raise costs and slash the productivity of almost 200,000 companies with U.S. government contracts.

Full Opinion:

EEOC seeks rehearing in trucker harassment case

Business Week
The Associated PressApril 9, 2012, 5:39PM ET
by Ryan J. Foley


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission asked a federal appeals court Monday to reconsider a ruling that could hurt its ability to pursue class-action discrimination lawsuits on behalf of workers in the Midwest.

The agency filed a petition asking the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a February ruling that dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 100 women who claimed they were sexually harassed by male drivers at an Iowa trucking company.

Full Story:

OFCCP Director Shiu Speaks at Disability Association Meeting

OFCCP News Article:



Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs - U.S. Department Of Labor
International Trade Center - 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW - Washington, DC
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 7:15 PM [EDT]

Thank you Mark and thanks to all the leadership and staff of AAPD.

It's a great honor for me to speak with you this evening.

Here's what I know:

I know that disabled doesn't mean unable.

I know that there are qualified workers with disabilities all over this country who simply want a fair shot to find, compete for, secure and succeed in good jobs.

I know that too many of these workers are unemployed, underemployed and discouraged from seeking meaningful work. It's an issue we confront at the Department of Labor every day.

I know that we've "admired" the problem for too long. We've analyzed it and fretted over it enough.

I know that it is a persistent, intractable and insidious problem. But it is also an eminently solvable one.

In the 2 ½ years since President Obama appointed me to this job, I've come to know that this town can be – let's be honest – a little dysfunctional. But I know that where there is political will and civil discourse, we can close the disability employment gap.

Full Story:

Civil Rights Groups Want EEOC Discrimination Complaint Guidance Corporate Counsel
by Shannon Green
April 10, 2012

Stakeholders in the civil rights community have been waiting almost a decade for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to clarify its position on lawyers at federal agencies getting involved in the federal discrimination complaint process. Now, some of those stakeholders are saying they’ve waited long enough for the EEOC to act.

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Judge Approves Guam Aircraft Company’s Settlement of EEOC Religious Discrimination Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Federal Agency Says Aviation Concepts Fired Jehovah’s Witness for Not Raising Flags

HAGATNA, Guam – A federal judge has approved the settlement by Aviation Concepts, Inc., an aircraft retailer and service provider in Guam, of a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. Aviation Concepts will pay $51,000 and furnish extensive relief to settle the EEOC’s suit.

The federal agency originally filed suit against Aviation Concepts in September 2011, charging that the company fired Armando Perez, an assistant mechanic and practicing Jehovah’s Witness, after he informed his supervisor that he did not wish to perform certain acts that conflicted with his religious beliefs (EEOC v. Aviation Concepts, Inc., Case No. 11-00028). Specifically, the EEOC alleged that a manager ordered Perez to raise the U.S. and Guam flags at the worksite in June 2010. Although he explained that raising the flags would violate his religious beliefs, the manager ordered Perez to go home and fired him that same day for insubordination.

Religious discrimination 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.

Aviation Concepts and the EEOC ultimately entered into a two-and-a-half year consent decree, effectively settling the lawsuit. Aside from the monetary relief for Perez, the company agreed to appoint an equal employment opportunity consultant; revise its policies and procedures to include the reasonable accommodation of sincerely held beliefs; effectively handle requests for religious accommodation and complaints of discrimination or retaliation; and provide annual anti-discrimination training to all employees with additional training for management and human resources officials on how to handle complaints and accommodation requests. Aviation Concepts will also post a notice on the matter at each of its facilities, and the EEOC will monitor compliance with the decree.

“Workers have the right to request an accommodation or exception to work tasks or practices that conflict with their religious beliefs,” said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office. “We are hopeful that the terms Aviation Concepts has agreed to will promote a workplace culture that is inclusive of workers irrespective of religion.”

Timothy Riera, local director for the EEOC’s Honolulu Local Office, which has jurisdiction over Guam, added, “Employers cannot ignore or summarily dismiss religious accommodation requests by workers. Companies who fire, discipline or otherwise negatively impact workers who exercise this right violate federal law.”

According to the company’s website, Aviation Concepts provides private jet charter, aircraft sales and acquisition, business aviation consulting and aircraft management services from its 50,000-square-foot hangar facility in Guam.

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

Beehive of Vernal to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Case

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Federal Agency Charges Two Women Discharged Over Pregnancies

PHOENIX – Beehive of Vernal, Inc., which operates nursing homes in Vernal, Utah, has agreed to pay $22,000 and furnish other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Beehive’s owner offered an assistant manager’s job to a replacement upon learning of the assistant manager’s pregnancy, repeatedly asked her when she planned to stop working, and subjected her to closer scrutiny, ultimately compelling her to quit. The EEOC also charged that Beehive’s owner repeatedly asked another assistant manager when she planned to stop working upon learning of her pregnancy, demoted her, and ultimately stopped scheduling her for work, effectively terminating her.

Pregnancy discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. Beehive of Vernal, Inc., 11CV00919SA, in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah in Salt Lake City on Sept. 29, 2011, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary settlement, Beehive has agreed, among other things, to provide its employees, supervisors, managers and human resources employees with annual training for three years on pregnancy discrimination, and to make periodic reports to the EEOC.

“Beehive is to be commended for addressing this case in a direct fashion and for working with our Denver Field Office to institute measures to modify its practices and prevent discrimination based on pregnancy,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the Phoenix District, which includes Utah. “The EEOC also appreciates Beehive’s commitment to better train and educate its management team and work force. We believe this agreement will help promote a discrimination-free workplace going forward.”

EEOC Phoenix District Director Rayford Irvin added, “Pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. The EEOC is steadfast in its commitment to assist victims of all forms of employment discrimination.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The Phoenix District Office covers Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and part of New Mexico. Further information is available on the EEOC’s website at

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Failing: The Public Will for Equity in Education

Education Week
By Anthony Jackson on April 5, 2012 5:11 AM

Nations strive for high academic performance and low variance from student to student and school to school.

Why? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data has shown that nations who hit that sweet spot will in turn score major points economically in the years to come. In other words, excellence and equity in education is a major economic indicator.

Full Story:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Quest to Ask the Right I-9 Questions

Workforce Week
Failing to ask for enough information exposes employers to penalties under the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Asking impermissible questions about an employee's ethnic heritage or national origin exposes employers to damages under the discrimination laws. With the number of government investigations steadily increasing, what should employers do to strike the proper balance?

By Maxiel Gomez
March 23, 2012

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires all employers to verify the employment eligibility of employees and imposes significant penalties for the employment of unauthorized workers.

The challenge for employers is that they may neither ask too many questions nor too few. Failing to ask for enough information exposes employers to penalties under the act. Asking impermissible questions about an employee's ethnic heritage or national origin exposes employers to damages under the discrimination laws. With the number of government investigations steadily increasing, what should employers do to strike the proper balance?

Full Story:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Court upholds Calif. affirmative action ban

the Sacramento Bee
The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Apr. 2, 2012 - 11:25 am

LOS ANGELES -- A federal appeals court on Monday upheld California's ban on using race, ethnicity and gender in admitting students to public colleges and universities.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state's landmark voter initiative, Proposition 209, does not violate students' constitutional rights.

Read more here:

Trayvon Martin: Leading Black Colleges Back to Their Roots

The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 28, 2012, 5:30 pm

By Marybeth Gasman

Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26. People across the country have rallied to support this young man’s family and call for the apprehension of his killer, George Zimmerman. People from all different racial and ethnic backgrounds have marched together, signed petitions, donned hoodies, and expressed their hurt, outrage, and dismay over this young man’s death. Anyone with a heart can understand the utter pain felt by Trayvon’s parents. To lose a child is perhaps the most devastating thing that can happen in one’s life.

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Three Myths About Affirmative Action

The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 29, 2012, 4:42 pm

By Richard Kahlenberg

With the nation focused on the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of President Obama’s health-care legislation this spring, many in higher education are talking about another blockbuster case: the challenge to a racial affirmative-action program at the University of Texas, to be considered this fall. Some of the early commentary, however, is creating misconceptions about what is at stake in the Fisher v. Texas litigation. Here are three recent myths that have surfaced.

California state colleges weigh asking students about sexual orientation

Los Angeles Times
By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
March 30, 2012

The voluntary poll would come in response to a law that seeks to gauge the size of LGBT populations and whether they are being adequately served. But some question how the data would be used.

California's state colleges and universities are laying plans to ask students about their sexual orientation next year on application or enrollment forms, becoming the largest group of schools in the country to do so. The move has raised the hopes of gay activists for recognition but the concerns of others about privacy.

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One Signature Can Stop Discrimination: President Obama should sign an ENDA Executive Order to save U.S. taxpayer money and protect LGBT Americans’ fre

Freedom to Work
One Signature Can Stop Discrimination: President Obama should sign an ENDA Executive Order to save U.S. taxpayer money and protect LGBT Americans’ freedom to work for federal contractors.

Why? If a federal contractor unjustly fires an aerospace engineer just because she is lesbian or just because she is transgender, and then replaces that engineer with someone who is less qualified, there are two big losers: 1) the victim of the anti-gay discrimination who is out of a job; and 2) the American taxpayers who are paying for the lesser-quality services of the discriminatory federal contractor.

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Harassment policies help limit employer liability

Masuda Funai Eifert & Mitchell Ltd
Brian Caster
March 26 2012

Companies should make sure they have in place preventive or corrective policies for handling harassment in the workplace. As the Eighth Circuit recently reaffirmed in Crawford v. BNSF Railway Company, an employer with an effective preventive harassment policy can use this as a shield to vicarious liability for an employee’s harassment.

In Crawford, several employees allegedly suffered sexual and racial harassment at the hands of a supervisor. The employees did not report the supervisor’s behavior to their employer, BNSF, nor did they take advantage of BNSF’s “zero tolerance” harassment policy. Once BNSF found out about the supervisor’s behavior, it took remedial measures, eventually terminating the supervisor.

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Employers requesting Facebook access may face federal consequences

Greenberg Traurig LLP
Peter N. Hall
March 26 2012

Add the United States Senate to the growing list of legislative bodies considering new laws that would ban employers from requiring job applicants to turn over their Facebook usernames and passwords as part of the background investigation process. As the number of stories of applicants rejected or employees being “Facebook-fired” has grown, savvy social media users have adapted by increasing their privacy settings to the point where approximately 3 out of 4 Facebook pages hide information from public view.

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Lessons learned from Acting General Counsel reports on social media

Baker & Hostetler LLP
Ellen J. Shadur
March 27 2012

The Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board ("Board") has now released two reports compiling Board decisions addressing work-related communications by non-supervisory or managerial employees via the Internet or social media. While it is impossible to discern the full contours of the Board's approach, there are some clear lessons that can be learned.

Full Story:

FedEx to deliver $3 million settlement to OFCCP

Fox Rothschild LLP
Christina A. Stoneburner
March 23 2012

The Department of Labor announced that it had reached a $3 million settlement with two FedEx Corp. subsidiaries to address discriminatory hiring practices. The settlement also requires FedEx to change its hiring practices and provide anti-discrimination training.

As we have noted in several prior posts, the OFCCP is ramping up its enforcement efforts. This is the latest big money settlement achieved by the OFCCP in a matter of months. (10/11 Cavines Beef $600,000 settlement and 9/11 Tyson Foods $2.25 million settlements to name a few).

Full Story:

Eleventh Circuit affirms sex discrimination in transgender termination case

Ford & Harrison LLP
Aisha S. Sanchez
March 28 2012

Executive Summary: The Eleventh Circuit recently held that a governmental entity's termination of a transgender employee based on her non-conformity with gender stereotypes constituted sex discrimination in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. See Glenn v. Brumby. Although the facts were limited to a government employee, this decision impacts both public and private employers because it clarifies that while the 14th Amendment and Title VII do not specifically recognize transgender or transsexual individuals as members of their own protected class, the law still affords them workplace protections based on sex and gender if their employers subject them to adverse employment action because their appearance and/or behaviors do not align with gender stereotypes.

Vandy Beth Glenn (formerly Glenn Morrison) was born as a biological male, identified as a female, and was diagnosed in 2005 with the medically recognized mental disorder, Gender Identity Disorder ("GID"). Shortly thereafter, Glenn decided to transition from male to female under medical supervision. Part of this transition required Glenn to live as a female prior to undergoing sex-reassignment surgery.

Full Story:

EEOC Issues Final Rule on "Reasonable Factors Other than Age" Under the ADEA

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Regulation Concerns Discrimination Against Employees 40 and Older

See Also

Questions and Answers on EEOC Final Rule on Disparate Impact and “Reasonable Factors Other Than Age” Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued the “Final Regulation on Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other than Age” (RFOA) under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). The final rule was coordinated with other federal agencies and reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The rule was posted for public inspection today and will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, March 30.

The final rule clarifies that the ADEA prohibits policies and practices that have the effect of harming older individuals more than younger individuals, unless the employer can show that the policy or practice is based on a reasonable factor other than age. The rule explains the meaning of the RFOA defense to employees, employers, and courts, and makes EEOC’s regulations consistent with Supreme Court case law. The rule applies to private employers with 20 or more employees, state and local government employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations. The final rule strikes the appropriate balance between protecting older workers from discriminatory, unreasonable business decisions and preserving an employer’s ability to make reasonable business decisions.

The ADEA prohibits employment discrimination against people who are 40 years of age or older. The purpose of the ADEA is to promote the employment of older persons based on their ability, rather than age. Congress enacted the ADEA in 1967 because of its concern that older workers were disadvantaged in retaining and regaining employment.

The Commission held public meetings focused on age discrimination and older worker unemployment in 2009 and 2010 because of concerns that older workers frequently were unfairly laid off during downsizing, had particular problems regaining employment after losing their jobs, and were barred from employment by some common employment practices that were unrelated to job performance. The number of age discrimination charges filed with the Commission increased by 50% since 2000. On November 16, 2011, the Commission voted 3-2 to approve the final rule.

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

EEOC Sues ATT for Disability Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Employee With Hepatitis C Fired for Taking Approved Disability Leave, Federal Agency Charges

INDIANAPOLIS -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today filed suit against AT&T Corp., a leader in telecommunication services, for failing to reasonably accommodate a long-term employee’s disability and then firing her because of that disability.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Lupe Cardona, who worked for AT&T Corp. as a customer service representative in Indianapolis from 1984, requested a reasonable accommodation in the form of a finite leave of absence in order to receive interferon treatment for Hepatitis C. Without the treatment, her disease could have eventually been fatal. Upon learning of Cardona’s disability and need for a leave of absence, AT&T granted her leave request. Thus, Cardona was on an approved, paid medical leave of absence from June 24 to Oct. 24, 2010, when her physician determined the treatment was successful and released her to return to work without restriction. Two days later, AT&T fired her, claiming her use of approved leave to receive life-saving treatment violated its attendance policy. AT&T refused to provide Cardona a reasonable accommodation by exempting her leave of absence from its no-fault attendance policy.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (EEOC v. AT&T Corp., Civil Case No.: 1:12-cv-0402-TWP-DKL) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC’s lawsuit seeksback pay, compensatory and punitive damages and reinstatement or front pay for Cardona as well as injunctive relief, including a court order prohibiting AT&T from failing to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled employees by counting absences caused by their disability as “chargeable,” or unprotected, absences under its attendance policy.

“The refusal of AT&T to make a perfectly reasonable exception to its draconian attendance policy to accommodate the known disability of an employee violated federal law as well as common sense and common decency,” said EEOC trial attorney Patrick Holman.

Barbara A. Seely, regional attorney of the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office, added, “This employer’s conduct is precisely what Congress had in mind when enacting the ADA. The very essence of reasonable accommodation is making exceptions to hard-and-fast rules in circumstances like this when to do so causes no undue hardship to the employer – and failing to do so might cause grave harm. AT&T’s actions here were not only baffling, but downright cruel.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at

Advocacy group urges affirmative action for veterans

The Daily Caller
By Caroline May
Published: 12:33 AM 03/31/2012

One of the country’s foremost veterans groups is encouraging legislators to make veterans a protected class and candidates for affirmative action.

“All we are asking, basically, is for the [Federal Equal Employment] Law to be extended to say the two words ‘and veterans.’ It doesn’t have to be a big 3,000-page bill,” Stewart Hickey, executive director of AMVETS, told The Daily Caller. “All they have to do is add the words ‘and veterans’ to all those other protected classes.”

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To Enroll More Minority Students, Colleges Work Around the Courts

The New York Times
April 1, 2012


With its decision to take up racial preferences in admissions at public colleges, the Supreme Court has touched off a national guessing game about how far it might move against affirmative action and how profoundly colleges might change as a result.

But no matter how the court acts, recent history shows that when courts or new laws restrict affirmative action, colleges try to find other ways to increase minority admissions.

The aggressiveness of those efforts, and the results, vary widely by state, but generally they increase minority enrollment — though not as much as overt affirmative action once did. And they have tended to help Hispanic applicants far more than blacks, at least partly because of the demographics of the states where they have been tried.

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