Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fort Myer Construction will pay $900K to settle discrimination and harassment case involving 371 women and minorities

WASHINGTON — Fort Myer Construction Corp. has agreed to settle charges that it violated Executive Order 11246 by failing to provide equal employment opportunities to employees and job applicants at 413 construction sites in the D.C. metropolitan area.

An agreement reached by the federal contractor and the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs resolves allegations that between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010, the company discriminated against 27 qualified women and 136 qualified African Americans who applied for jobs as laborers, and unfairly terminated eight African American skilled laborers. It also resolves pay discrimination charges stemming from Fort Myer Construction's practice of assigning equally qualified workers performing the same jobs to projects paying different hourly rates, some with fewer work hours. This resulted in lower wages for 44 African American and 156 Hispanic laborers.

Read the press release here.

Data mining giant Westat to pay $1.5M to settle discrimination case with US Labor Department

More than 3,600 African American, Asian American, Hispanic and female applicants to benefit

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Federal contractor Westat Inc. has agreed to settle allegations that it failed to provide equal employment opportunities to 3,651 African American, Asian American, Hispanic and female job applicants at its Rockville headquarters and at field sites in California, Connecticut, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee. The conciliation agreement entered into by Westat and the department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs resolves these and numerous other violations, including a failure to maintain and internally audit its own records.

Read the press release here.

EEOC and Cabela’s Enter Into a Settlement in Collaborative Effort to Improve Hiring and Recruiting Practices

Agency Commends Employer for Cooperative Efforts During Investigation and Collaborative Efforts to Improve Hiring of Minority Applicants

CHICAGO - Cabela's Incorporated, a leading retailer of fishing, camping, and hunting equipment and apparel, has entered into a nationwide agreement to strengthen and improve its hiring and recruiting practices of minorities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today. These actions are based on a settlement agreement with the federal agency that resolves an EEOC Commissioner's Charge of Discrimination alleging that Cabela's failed to recruit and hire minorities.

Read the press release here.

EEOC Sues Labor Ready Mid-Atlantic for Sexual and Racial Harassment and Retaliation

Staffing Agency Fired Laborers Because They Complained About Harassment, Federal Agency Says

PITTSBURGH - Labor Ready Mid-Atlantic, Inc., a Tacoma-Wash.-based labor staffing firm, violated federal law when it subjected two female laborers to sexual and racial harassment and then retaliated against them for complaining about it, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

Read the press release here.

Florence Private Prison GEO Group Sued a Second Time by EEOC for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Female Correctional Officer Sexually Harassed and Retaliated Against for Participating in Previous EEOC Lawsuit, Federal Agency Charges

PHOENIX - The GEO Group, Inc., operators of the Central Arizona Correctional Facility in Florence, Ariz., violated federal law by sexually harassing a female correctional officer and then retaliating against her for having participated in a prior lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against GEO alleging systemic sexual harassment, EEOC charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

Read the press release here.

On Sight Violated Federal Race Discrimination Law, EEOC Charges in Lawsuit

Auto Detailer Fired Black Employees Due to Policy of 'Sprinkling a Little Salt' Into Workforce, Federal Agency Charges

OKLAHOMA CITY - A Midwest City, Okla., auto detailing company, On Sight K.C., LLC, dba DMS Onsite, LLC, violated federal employment discrimination law by demoting one employee and firing three others because they were African-American, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

Read the press release here.

How Sexism Shaped Corporate Culture

From condescending bosses to the perceived illegitimacy of catering and cleaning jobs, a notion of the workplace conceived nearly 100 years ago still influences how Americans interact with their superiors.

By Melissa Gregg, The Atlantic

When the real-estate startup WeWork recently terminated a contracting agreement to bring its cleaning staff in-house, the company claimed that “every employee is part of the WeWork family.” By using the word “family,” it invoked a longstanding management tradition whose problematic provenance it may not have been aware of. Family metaphors are assumed to have positive connotations, but, as revisionists have long pointed out, family dynamics do not map evenly onto labor justice. Indeed, many people got to work to escape their families.

Read the story here.

Anti-Asian Bias Claim Rejected

By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights -- concluding an investigation that started in 2006 and expanded in 2008 -- has cleared Princeton University of charges that it discriminates against Asian-American applicants. The OCR investigation found that Princeton considered race only in ways consistent with U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and without creating a quota system that limited Asian-American admissions.

The reason Asian-American applicants have such a tough time getting into Princeton, OCR concluded, was that everyone has a tough time getting into Princeton.

Read the story here.

This story can also be found at the Daily Princetonian and the Harvard Crimson.

The official OCR letter to the president of Princeton University can be found here.

Administrators: Institutions Must Continue to Push Diversity Efforts

By Autumn A. Arnett, Diverse Issues in higher Education

spite the country’s desperate desire to proclaim itself post-racial, higher education institutions have to continue to be conscious of race and proactive in their diversity efforts.

This is the message shared by experts at The Presidential Summit on the Challenges Facing Higher Education held Thursday at the George Washington University Law School.

“Look out the window, read the paper, go on the internet and tell me … how [the nation handles] race,” said current Hampden-Sydney College President and Robert Morris University President-elect Dr. Christopher Howard. “We [as a nation] still don’t have it right. You can go back and read some of the texts from 40, 50, 60 years ago and a lot of the same things are happening—we talk about Cincinnati, we talk about Ferguson, we talk about Charleston … as [President] Lincoln said it: ‘the Union is not yet perfected,’” he said.

Read the story here.

How Equal Is American Opportunity? Survey Shows Attitudes Vary By Race

By Brakkton Booker, NPR

A new survey shows a majority of Americans, regardless of race, agree that race relations have worsened nationally in the past year — but on questions of equality, opinions were split between white and African-American respondents.

According to a PBS Newshour/Marist Poll, a racial divide still persists on how Americans view a variety of issues, including whether blacks and whites have equal opportunities of getting hired for a job, receiving a quality education and earning equal pay for equal work

Read the story here.

Tech Diversity Gets Another Conference: Tech Inclusion 2015 Brings Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

By Salvador Rodriguez, International Business Times

SAN FRANCISCO -- A few weeks ago, Melinda Briana Epler and Wayne Sutton were unsure whether anyone would show up for Tech Inclusion, the technology industry diversity conference they’ve been planning for months. This week, they had to start turning people away after the event sold out, the latest sign that the tech industry’s diversity movement is quickly gaining momentum.

Although conferences focusing on women and specific ethnicities have been around a while, Tech Inclusion 2015 is the one of the first of its kind, focused on diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley for people of all ages, ethnicities, genders, sexualities or other kinds of backgrounds. It is also the latest effort by techies to bring more diversity to their industry, whose inclusion figures for women, Hispanics and African-Americans are embarrassingly low. Kicking off Friday morning, the conference has drawn more than 350 attendees and 120-plus speakers, including people from major tech companies such as Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Pinterest, Twitter Inc. and Yelp Inc.

Read the story here.

Students in South Africa Protest Slow Pace of Change

By Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times

CAPE TOWN — It was only when he landed at the University of Cape Town, a bastion of the fight against apartheid, that Ramabina Mahapa became truly conscious of his race.

Mr. Mahapa, 23, grew up in a village with only black South Africans, and he graduated at the top of his high school class. But when he got to the University of Cape Town, the gap between black and white students became clear to him: Of the 15 people who owned cars in his dorm, only one was black. When the first test results came in, the black students ranked at the bottom.

Read the story here.

Equal employment officer settles discrimination suit with city for $225,000

By Stephen Rex Brown, New York Daily News

A former city equal employment opportunity officer who said she was fired after investigating allegations of discrimination among high-ranking members of ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration has settled her suit for $225,000.

Special Hagan alleged in her Manhattan Federal Court suit she was retaliated against after aggressively investigating allegations in 2010 that Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, had fired qualified black and Hispanic employees and replaced them with unqualified white ones.

Read the story here.

Brazil's Colour Bind

By Stephanie Nolen, The Globe and Mail

Brazil is combating many kinds of inequality. But one of the world’s most diverse nations is still just beginning to talk about race.

...Brazil has two kinds of universities: There are private ones, which are either exceedingly expensive or of very poor quality. And there are public ones, run by the federal and state governments, which tend to be of a much higher calibre – and are free. But because competition for spots in the public schools is fierce, only applicants who have had a private-school education, and the benefit of months or even years of private coaching for the entrance exam, can pass the entrance test.

But in 2004, UFBA introduced a new policy: 36 per cent of seats would now be reserved for black and mixed-race students. For years, black activists had been targeting the universities, as the ultimate symbols (and purveyors) of the elite, for a first effort at affirmative action. In 2002, university administrations began to adopt ad hoc strategies, reserving spots for non-white students. The quotas, as they are baldly called here, applied to every faculty, but they had an outsized impact on the prestigious schools of law, medicine and engineering, which, even in majority-black Bahia, had long graduated all-white classes, year after year.

Read the full report here.

Click here for a related Diverse article about race and access to higher education in Latin America.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dept. of Education: U-Va. violated federal rules for responding to sexual violence

By Nick Anderson and T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post

The University of Virginia violated federal rules on sexual violence issues several times in recent years, failing to provide “prompt and equitable” responses to allegations of sexual assault, the U.S. Education Department said Monday.

Virginia’s flagship public university fell short in its handling of 22 of 50 reports of sexual harassment from 2008 to 2012, the department said. Twenty-one of those reports alleged “sexual assault, some including rape and gang rape.”

Read the article here.

Read the official U.S. Department of Education press release here.

Related content:

Complete Maintenance Janitorial Service Sued By EEOC for Sexual Harassment

Female Employee Sexually Harassed, Assaulted and Threatened by Supervisor, Federal Agency Charged

NEW ORLEANS - A Dallas/Fort Worth commercial janitorial service doing business in the New Orleans Metropolitan area violated federal law by creating a sexually hostile work environment and sexually assaulting a female employee, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a recently filed lawsuit. EEOC charged Complete Maintenance, Inc., with vicarious liability for the severe unlawful sexual harassment created by one of the company's supervisors.

Read the press release here.

EEOC Charges Dunkin’ Donuts Franchisee With Sexual Harassment, Retaliation Against Teens

Store Manager Torments Young Female Staff and Terminated Worker Who Opposed Sexual Harassment, Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK - A franchisee of Dunkin' Donuts with multiple stores and one office/kitchen in Westchester County, N.Y., violated federal law by subjecting young female workers to sexual harassment by a manager since at least 2011, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today. EEOC also charged the company with unlawfully firing a female worker for opposing the sexual harassment and calling the police.

Read the press release here.

EEOC Sues Nestlé Waters North America for Sex Discrimination

Female Employee Denied Promotion and Terminated Because of Her Gender, Federal Agency Charged

TAMPA, Fla. - Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA), a Stamford, Conn.-based division of Nestlé Waters, the world's largest bottled water company, violated federal anti-discrimination law when it refused to promote a highly qualified female employee and then laid her off because of her gender, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed Sept. 21, 2015.

Read the press release here.

Affirmative-Action Lessons From India's Castes

By Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View

Think affirmative action is controversial in the U.S.? The American debate is nothing compared with the fight over caste-based preferences in India, where police smashed heads in the aftermath of last week's 500,000 strong anti-preference rally in Gujarat.

In both countries, the debate centers on the national constitution, but in subtly different ways. In the U.S., the Constitution guarantees equal protection of the laws, and the question is whether affirmative action is compatible with this command. In India, the constitution affirmatively enshrines preferences in employment and education for members of historically disfavored castes, and amendments to the original constitution have entrenched and intensified the practice.

Read the story here.

Nearly 1 in 4 women say they have been sexually assaulted, survey finds

By Jake New, Inside Higher Ed

Nearly one-quarter of female undergraduate students who responded to a survey created by the Association of American Universities said they have experienced a sexual assault of some kind since enrolling in college. While the survey includes a broader definition of sexual assault than some researchers on the topic advocate using, it also breaks down types of sexual assault and found that 11 percent of female students reported that the sexual assault involved penetration.

Read the story here.

U.S.: Georgia illegally segregating students with disabilities in inferior buildings with inadequate instruction

By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

The U.S. Justice Department is accusing the state of Georgia of segregating thousands of students with behavior-based disabilities from their peers in inferior buildings that formerly served as schools for black students back in the years of legal segregation. Furthermore, the students are receiving unequal educational opportunities but instead many are getting only computer-based lessons rather than direct instruction from a certified teacher.

Read the story here.

What It's Like To Be Black at Google

Black employees at the tech giant are building their own community in an industry known for its lack of diversity.

By Nigel Roberts, The Root

It’s a challenge for African Americans working in California’s Silicon Valley to have a sense of community. Clennita Justice has worked for several technology companies there over the past 25 years.

At many of those companies, you could go for days without seeing another black person,” says the senior engineering program manager, who now works at Google.

Read the story here.

CBC Panel Takes Aim at Disparity in College Degree Attainment

By Catherine Morris, Diverse Issues in Higher Education

At the start of the Congressional Black Caucus’ annual legislative conference, a panel, Access to Opportunity: Propelling Black Students, explored the disparity in college degree attainment between Black students and students of other races.

The panel, which was moderated by Autumn Arnett (a senior staff writer at Diverse), identified a number of the key issues that are preventing Black students from earning postsecondary degrees. An NCES survey found that, in 2013, overall 40 percent of 25 to 29 year olds had a college degree, but only 20 percent of Black 25 to 29 years olds did.

Read the story here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dialysis Clinic To Pay $190,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Clinic Fired Nurse Due to Clinic's Medical Leave Policy, Federal Agency Charges 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Nationwide healthcare provider Dialysis Clinic, Inc. has agreed to pay $190,000 to a former employee with breast cancer and furnish other relief to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Read the press release here.

Orion Energy Systems To Pay $160,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Energy-Efficient Lighting Manufacturer Fired Employee in a Wheelchair After He Requested Automatic Door Openers, Federal Agency Charged 

MILWAUKEE -- Energy-efficient lighting designer and manufacturer Orion Energy Systems will pay $160,000 and furnish other relief to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Read the press release here.

VXI Global Solutions To Pay $600,000 For Sexual Harassment Of Call Center Staff

EEOC Settlement Resolves Claims for African American and Latino Employees Who Were Targets of Constant Sexual Propositions, Graphic Pictures, & Foul Language 

LOS ANGELES - VXI Global Solutions, a provider of call center services for major nationwide companies, will pay $600,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

 Read the press release here.

Con Edison To Pay $3.8 Million To Resolve Sex Discrimination / Harassment Charges Filed With New York A.G. And U.S. EEOC

Class of Female Blue-Collar Workers Charged Sexual Harassment, Unequal Treatment Because of Sex 

NEW YORK - Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. will pay $3.8 million and furnish other relief to resolve charges by a class of women workers that Con Edison subjected them to sexual harassment and/or various forms of sex discrimination, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

Read the press release here.

BMW to Pay $1.6 Million and Offer Jobs to Settle Federal Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Company's Criminal Background Policy Disproportionately Affected African-American Logistics Workers, EEOC Charged 

GREENVILLE, S.C. - The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina today entered a consent decree ordering BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC (BMW) to pay $1.6 million and provide job opportunities to alleged victims of race discrimination as part of the resolution of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The lawsuit, filed by EEOC's Charlotte District Office, alleged that BMW excluded African-American logistics workers from employment at a disproportionate rate when the company's new logistics contractor applied BMW's criminal conviction records guidelines to incumbent logistics employees.

Read the press release here.

Why Do Black Graduates Make Less Money?

Can higher-ed policy help close the racial wealth gap? Not on its current path.

Ted Scheinman, Pacific Standard

On June 29th, their last day before summer vacation, the nine Supreme Court Justices declared they would hear arguments in case number 14-981, Fisher v. University of Texas, this fall, with a decision to follow in early 2016. Abigail Fisher, the plaintiff, filed her suit in 2008 after the University of Texas–Austin denied her admission. Fisher, a white woman who had failed to make the GPA cutoff for automatic admission, decided that race must have been the decisive factor. Fisher has since graduated in good standing from Louisiana State University. Nonetheless, she presses her case, which could outlaw affirmative action altogether and further homogenize the already dispiriting socioeconomic conformity of most campuses.

Read the story here.

Stuck on Simple: The Challenge of Moving Beyond Diversity to Inclusion

By Deborah Archer, The Huffington Post

This fall, the United States Supreme Court will, for the second time, hear a challenge to the University of Texas at Austin's race-conscious admissions program in Fisher v. University of Texas. In the earlier case, the United States Supreme Court ruled that colleges and universities could continue to consider race or ethnicity as one of several factors in an admissions policy that seeks to achieve broad diversity goals. But, advocates for a white woman denied admission to the University of Texas continue to question the value of diversity and the constitutionality of allowing colleges and universities to consider race or ethnicity in creating diverse classrooms and institutions.
Read the story here.

Ghana Women's Manifesto Coalitions Calls for Quick Action on Affirmative Action Bill

The Women’s Manifesto Coalition has called for quick action on the passage of the Affirmative Action Bill to enable women to have fair representation in governance and decision making processes.

The coalition also urged the government to give a clear roadmap to the processes for the passage of the bill for effective monitoring and coordination, stressing that the passage of the bill will be a positive step to increase women’s representation in public office by 2016 and beyond.

Read the story here.

Why We Still Need Affirmative Action Policies In College Admissions

By Casey Quinlan, ThinkProgress

The U.S. Supreme Court will rehear the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, which is bad news for supporters of affirmative action. Abigail Fisher, a white woman, had a very good academic record, but she did not place in the top 10 percent of her class. She was still considered for limited spaces but she had to be evaluated based on both a combination of factors such as grades and test scores and more personal qualities, such as leadership, family background, socioeconomic factors and race. The reasons for her rejection are well-documented in ProPublica. The case was narrowly decided in favor of the university and handed down to Fifth Circuit court.
Read the story here.

Race or Class? The Future of Affirmative Action

Focusing college-student recruitment on poor neighborhoods can overlook middle-class African Americans entitled to affirmative action. 

By Richard Rothstein, The American Prospect 

Chief Justice John Roberts says that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” In university admissions, this means becoming “colorblind,” taking no affirmative action to favor African Americans. Apparently intimidated by Roberts’s Supreme Court plurality, many university officials, liberals, and civil-rights advocates have exchanged their former support of affirmative action for policies that appear closer to Roberts’s.

Read the story here.

Japan Begins Affirmative Action for Women

By Justin Streight, Inquisitr

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his “womenomics” policy to get more women working and into decision-making positions. The move could alleviate some of Japan’s gender inequality issues, but the overarching goals are purely economic.

Japan currently has less women in Parliament than even Saudi Arabia or Bangladesh, according to Bloomberg. Likewise, women hold fewer management positions than in other developed countries, even though they make up the majority of part-time and contract workers.

Read the story here.

Higher Support for Gender Affirmative Action Than Race

67% of Americans support affirmative action for women
Slightly fewer, 58%, support affirmative action for minorities
Women more likely than men to support both programs

By Rebecca Riffkin, Gallup

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A majority of Americans say they favor affirmative action programs. However, support is a bit higher for programs aimed at helping women (67%) than for those focused on helping racial minorities (58%).

Read the story here.

UC Berkeley Launches African American Initiative

By Ronald Roach, Diverse Issues in Higher Education

In a move largely aimed at stepping up the recruitment and support of Black students, the University of California-Berkeley has announced that it is seeking to launch a privately-run African-American student scholarship fund and is taking steps toward making the flagship campus a more welcoming environment for African-American students, faculty, and staff.

Read the story here.

Click here for campus information about the UC Berkeley African American Initiative.