Archive for the ‘Affirmative Action News’ Category

Butterball Sued By EEOC For Harassment, Firing Of HIV-Positive Employee

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
12-1-11

Turkey Company Violated Federal Disability Law, Agency Charged

GARNER, N.C. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today that Butterball, LLC, a Garner, N.C.-based turkey processing company, violated federal law by subjecting an employee to a hostile work environment based on the fact that she has Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and firing her because of that disability.

According to the lawsuit, Butterball subjected Tracy Montgomery to harassment throughout her employment in October and November 2009. Specifically, three of Montgomery’s co-workers expressed to her on a daily basis that they did not want to touch her or work with her because she is HIV-positive. The three employees also referred to Montgomery using derogatory names to describe her HIV status. The EEOC further alleges that Montgomery complained to her supervisor about the harassment on a daily or near-daily basis, but the harassment persisted. Butterball’s plant manager was also aware of the harassment after conducting a meeting with Montgomery and one of her co-workers to address an altercation that the co-worker provoked. However, the next day, the plant manager fired Montgomery.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees with disabilities from being harassed, fired, or from other employment decisions based on disabilities that are covered under the act, such as HIV. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Western Division (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Butterball, LLC, Civil Action No. 5:11-cv-00685) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary damages for Montgomery as well as certain injunctive relief.

“Harassment that targets a person with an ADA-covered disability, is just as much a violation of federal law as harassment based on a person’s race, color, gender, age, religion, or national origin,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District. “HIV/AIDS has always been a sensitive health issue, and an employer has no excuse for failing to intervene when an employee complains of vicious harassment based on her HIV status.”

EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Tina Burnside added, “Employees have the right to work in an environment free from harassment, and Title VII prohibits both harassment and firing an employee because of her disability.”

President Barack Obama has charged federal agencies to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which includes addressing and preventing employment-related discrimination against people living with HIV.This case serves as an example of how the EEOC will strongly enforce federal laws to ensure that qualified people are not wrongfully deprived of an opportunity to earn a living simply because of their HIV status.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www1.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-01-11.cfm

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Conducting international employment-related investigations

Lexology
Fisher & Phillips LLP Celia M. Joseph Global,
USA November 29 2011

If you are a Human Resources or other manager at a multi-national company, it is likely that at times you receive complaints from employees and others requiring investigations to ensure your workplace environment is free from illegal harassment, discrimination, theft, defamation, violence and other violations of the law and/or company policies.However, those responsible for investigations for global organizations must be aware of statutes, policies, and guidelines in countries and regions outside of the United States that could impact the way investigations must be conducted, the actions that may be taken as a result of investigations, and the decisions regarding whether an incident violated applicable law or workplace policy.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=74a9c99f-12d3-4aca-8d68-533fae5589bf&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Body+-+Federal+section&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-12-02&utm_term=

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DOL Pressing for More Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

The Department of Labor, through the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, continues to press for more employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

“The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with disabilities, among other requirements. The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs invites public comment on this proposal, which will be published in the Dec. 9 edition of the Federal Register.

“OFCCP’s proposed rule would strengthen the affirmative action requirements established in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 obligating federal contractors and subcontractors to ensure equal employment opportunities for qualified workers with disabilities. The proposed regulatory changes detail specific actions contractors must take in the areas of recruitment, training, record keeping and policy dissemination — similar to those that have long been required to promote workplace equality for women and minorities. In addition, the rule would clarify OFCCP’s expectations for contractors by providing specific guidance on how to comply with the law.”

Click here to read the full press release:

http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20111614.htm

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U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity

The New York Times

By SAM DILLON

The Obama administration on Friday urged colleges and universities to get creative in improving racial diversity at their campuses, throwing out a Bush-era interpretation of recent Supreme Court rulings that limited affirmative action in admissions.

The new guidelines issued by the Departments of Justice and Education replaced a 2008 document that essentially warned colleges and universities against considering race at all. Instead, the guidelines focus on the wiggle room in the court decisions involving the University of Michigan, suggesting that institutions use other criteria — students’ socioeconomic profiles, residential instability, the hardships they have overcome — that are often proxies for race. Schools could even grant preferences to students from certain schools selected for, among other things, their racial composition, the new document says.

“Post-secondary institutions can voluntarily consider race to further the compelling interest of achieving diversity,” reads the 10-page guide sent to thousands of college admissions officials on Friday afternoon. In some cases, it says, “race can be outcome determinative.”

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/03/education/us-urges-campus-creativity-to-gain-diversity.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

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Coalition Asks FCC to Focus on Diversity in Quadrennial Ownership Rule Review

Broadcasting and Cable

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights says FCC has no meaningful policies to address racial and gender inequalities in media ownership

By John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 12/2/2011 4:55:34 PM

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has written the FCC to ask that it focus on diversity in its quadrennial ownership rule review. In addition to the congressional mandate for the review, the FCC is also taking a fresh look on orders from the Third Circuit, which remanded its last rule changes back to the commission in July for a better explanation of the diversity efforts as part of its last rule revision in 2007.

Full Story: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/477409-Coalition_Asks_FCC_to_Focus_on_Diversity_in_Quadrennial_Ownership_Rule_Review.php

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OCR and Justice Release Joint Guidance on Voluntary Efforts to Promote Racial Diversity

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights have just released new guidance on how educators can lawfully pursue voluntary policies to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation.

The Dear Colleague letter can be reached at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201111.html. As Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez stated, “Diversity is a remarkable source of strength.”

A copy of the joint guidance follows.

Dear Colleague Letter
OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
U.S. Department of JusticeCivil Rights Division
U.S. Department of EducationOffice for Civil Rights
More Resources
Dear Colleague LetterPDF (136K)
Guidance ESEPDF (290K)
Guidance PSEPDF (124K)

December 2, 2011

Dear Colleague:

Today, the United States Department of Education (ED) and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) are jointly issuing guidance that explains how educational institutions can lawfully pursue voluntary policies to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation within the framework of Titles IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and current case law. The guidance is presented in two documents, one for elementary and secondary schools and the other for postsecondary institutions. This guidance replaces August 2008 letters titled “The Use of Race in Assigning Students to Elementary and Secondary Schools” and “The Use of Race in Postsecondary Student Admissions” issued by ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Concurrent with the issuance of this guidance, the August 2008 letters are withdrawn.
The new guidance documents review three key Supreme Court rulings on the use of race by educational institutions, and provide examples of options that schools and postsecondary institutions may wish to consider in structuring programs that lawfully further diversity or reduce racial isolation. Both guidance documents provide examples of different educational contexts within which institutions may permissibly consider race to pursue their compelling objectives. For example, the elementary and secondary guidance discusses school districts’ options in areas such as student assignment, student transfers, school siting, feeder patterns, and school zoning. Similarly, the postsecondary guidance provides examples of how colleges and universities can further diversity in contexts including admissions, pipeline programs, recruitment and outreach, and mentoring, tutoring, retention, and support programs.
OCR and DOJ are available to provide technical assistance, and welcome questions about the application of this guidance to educational institutions. To submit questions or receive technical assistance, please contact the OCR regional office for your state or territory at http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm. To contact DOJ for assistance, please contact the Educational Opportunities Section at (202) 514-4092, (877) 292-3804, or education@usdoj.gov.
Sincerely,
/S/
/S/
Russlynn Ali
Assistant Secretary
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Thomas E. Perez Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice
Attachments

http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201111.html

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CRP Announces New Book published by UNC Press

The Civil Rights Project-UCLA
Date Published: November 29, 2011

The Civil Rights Project announces the publication of Integrating Schools in a Changing Society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation, a new book of cutting-edge scholarship on the forces shaping the future of school integration policy following the Supreme Court’s 2007 PICS decision.

The book is designed “to reinvigorate the movement for equality in our multiracial society,” says Co-editor Erica Frankenberg. “It furthers the case for how education policies can be adopted in tandem with other social policies to create a more integrated and equitable society.”Integrating Schools in a Changing Society enhances the discussion already underway about immediate and long-term policy options legally available to the nation’s school districts, many of which remain committed to the ideal of integration as a tool for improving educational opportunity and achievement.

Full Announcement: http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/news/news-and-announcements/2011-site-news/crp-announces-new-book-published-by-unc-press?utm_source=CRP+Mail+Dump+11.21.2011&utm_campaign=0e48b818ed-template_2_for_announce11_22_2011&utm_medium=email

This Book is Available on the AAAA Bookstore: http://www.affirmativeaction.org/bookstore.html

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US Labor Department files complaint against Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co. for sex discrimination at Minnesota manufacturing plant

News Release
OFCCP News Release: [12/01/2011]
Contact Name: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke

More than 200 women applicants affected; complaint seeks back wages, job opportunities

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is suing federal contractor Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary. In an administrative complaint filed today with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, OFCCP asserts that the companies systematically discriminated against more than 200 women who applied for entry-level positions at Lund’s boat manufacturing plant in New York Mills, Minn.
“Representatives from Lund have argued that women were less likely to be hired than men because of a preference for workers with manufacturing experience,” said Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith. “However, OFCCP’s investigation found that even women with this type of experience were less likely to be hired than men without it. That’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law.”
Under Executive Order 11246, federal contractors are required to ensure that qualified job applicants receive equal consideration for employment without regard to their sex. OFCCP’s complaint requests that Lund and Brunswick provide financial remedies — including lost wages, interest and benefits — to the women affected by the discriminatory practices. Furthermore, the agency asks that job offers be extended to at least 27 women in the original group of applicants. Finally, the suit asks that the companies be prohibited from extending or modifying current government contracts and from entering into future contracts until they have remedied these violations.
“Brunswick’s Chairman and CEO, Dustan McCoy, has stated a commitment to acting ethically,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “By his own words, ‘Acting ethically simply means that we do what is right in all situations.’ So, we ask him now to do what is right for the women who sought a fair shot at employment with his company and for the taxpayers who deserve to know that their money is never used to discriminate.”
Based in Lake Forest, Ill., Brunswick is a leading provider of marine, athletic and recreational products. Lund serves as the corporation’s boat manufacturing division. In the past two years alone, Brunswick held federal contracts totaling almost $23 million with agencies including the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, among others.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 1-800-397-6251 or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

OFCCP v. Lund Boat Co. and Brunswick Corp.Case Number: 2012-OFC-00002

http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20111625.htm

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Adopting the U. of Maryland-Baltimore County Way

The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 30, 2011, 11:12 am

By Marybeth Gasman

On November 13, Freeman Hrabowski III, the president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), was profiled on 60 Minutes. Under Hrabowski’s leadership, UMBC has become a powerhouse in the sciences for racial and ethnic minorities (and many others). Although the 60 Minutes reporter marveled at Hrabowski’s success, when I watched the interview, the strategies and successes made sense. Hrabowski earned his bachelor’s degree at Hampton University—one of the nation’s premier black colleges and liberal-arts colleges. He learned how to love math in a cooperative, supportive environment and had role models that looked like him teaching his classes. This makes a huge difference.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/adopting-the-u-of-maryland-baltimore-county-way/30963?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

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Butterball Sued By EEOC For Harassment, Firing Of HIV-Positive Employee

US Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionPRESS RELEASE12-1-11Turkey Company Violated Federal Disability Law, Agency ChargedGARNER, N.C. – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today that Butterball, LLC, a Garner, N.C.-based turkey processing company, violated federal law by subjecting an employee to a hostile work environment based on the fact that she […]

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Conducting international employment-related investigations

LexologyFisher & Phillips LLP Celia M. Joseph Global, USA November 29 2011 If you are a Human Resources or other manager at a multi-national company, it is likely that at times you receive complaints from employees and others requiring investigations to ensure your workplace environment is free from illegal harassment, discrimination, theft, defamation, violence and […]

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DOL Pressing for More Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

The Department of Labor, through the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, continues to press for more employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. “The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with […]

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U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity

The New York TimesBy SAM DILLONThe Obama administration on Friday urged colleges and universities to get creative in improving racial diversity at their campuses, throwing out a Bush-era interpretation of recent Supreme Court rulings that limited affirmative action in admissions. The new guidelines issued by the Departments of Justice and Education replaced a 2008 document […]

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Coalition Asks FCC to Focus on Diversity in Quadrennial Ownership Rule Review

Broadcasting and CableLeadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights says FCC has no meaningful policies to address racial and gender inequalities in media ownershipBy John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 12/2/2011 4:55:34 PMThe Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has written the FCC to ask that it focus on diversity in its quadrennial ownership […]

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OCR and Justice Release Joint Guidance on Voluntary Efforts to Promote Racial Diversity

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights have just released new guidance on how educators can lawfully pursue voluntary policies to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation.The Dear Colleague letter can be reached at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201111.html. As Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez stated, “Diversity is a remarkable […]

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CRP Announces New Book published by UNC Press

The Civil Rights Project-UCLADate Published: November 29, 2011The Civil Rights Project announces the publication of Integrating Schools in a Changing Society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation, a new book of cutting-edge scholarship on the forces shaping the future of school integration policy following the Supreme Court’s 2007 PICS decision.The book is […]

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US Labor Department files complaint against Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co. for sex discrimination at Minnesota manufacturing plant

News ReleaseOFCCP News Release: [12/01/2011]Contact Name: Scott Allen or Rhonda BurkeMore than 200 women applicants affected; complaint seeks back wages, job opportunitiesWASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is suing federal contractor Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary. In an administrative complaint filed today with the […]

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Adopting the U. of Maryland-Baltimore County Way

The Chronicle of Higher EducationNovember 30, 2011, 11:12 amBy Marybeth GasmanOn November 13, Freeman Hrabowski III, the president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), was profiled on 60 Minutes. Under Hrabowski’s leadership, UMBC has become a powerhouse in the sciences for racial and ethnic minorities (and many others). Although the 60 Minutes reporter marveled […]

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