Archive for the ‘Affirmative Action News’ Category

OFCCP Director Writes Blog Post on Good Faith

The White House Blog
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/06/06/good-faith


Good Faith
Posted by Patricia Shiu on June 06, 2011 at 04:41 PM EDT

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to join the White House’s monthly call with business and community leaders, grassroots advocates, researchers, policy makers, friends, family members and workers from the disability community. During the call, I spoke to nearly 750 participants about the important work we are doing at the U.S. Department of Labor to improve employment for people with disabilities.

As the Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, I have the responsibility of enforcing the civil rights of nearly one quarter of all workers in our country. My agency protects workers, promotes diversity and enforces the laws which require any company that does business with the federal government – contractors and subcontractors – to take affirmative action in employment and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability or status as a protected veteran.

One of the laws we enforce is the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which requires contractors to make “good faith” efforts to recruit, hire, promote, and fairly compensate people with disabilities, including many of our honored veterans who are returning from battle with service-related disabilities.

Good faith isn’t cutting it.

Even though the Rehab Act has been on the books for 38 years, the percentage of people with disabilities who are unemployed – or not even in the labor force – is incredibly high. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 20.6% of people with disabilities were in the labor force in April, compared to almost 70% of people without disabilities.

So, we at OFCCP are going to take some affirmative action of our own. A year ago, we asked the public to give us ideas on how we could strengthen our regulations and update the Rehab Act so that it reflects the realities, the challenges and the opportunities of the modern workforce.

We asked for input on a wide array of issues such as effective employment practices, data that could be used to establish hiring goals and ways to link federal contractors with organizations that seek to employ people with disabilities. Our goal is to provide a clear definition of what good faith means, not only for the benefit of workers, but also for employers who just want clarity on how to comply with the law.

This summer, we will propose new rules shaped by everything we heard from our stakeholders. Because it’s still being finalized, I can’t say much more right now, except that I’m excited about the potential of what we can do through this rulemaking process. At the end of the day, we want the law to fulfill its intended purpose: to open doors of opportunity for people with disabilities so that the reach for good jobs is truly within the grasp of everyone.

For more information about OFCCP, instructions on how to file a discrimination complaint or to be added to the agency’s mailing list, please go to www.dol.gov/ofccp.

Patricia Shiu is the Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor.

This item was cross posted on the DOL Blog at: http://social.dol.gov/blog/good-faith/

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AstraZeneca settles sales rep sex discrimination suit with feds for $250K

MM&MOnline.com
Lauren Folino
June 07, 2011

AstraZeneca agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the US Department of Labor on behalf of 124 women sales reps working out of the firm’s Philadelphia Business Center in Wayne, PA. The suit accused AstraZeneca of discriminating against female sales specialists by paying them salaries averaging $1,700 less than their male colleagues.
This was not the first documented case of the company negating to fairly pay its employees, the Department of Labor argued. According to a statement released by the agency in 2002, the organization’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) carried out a scheduled compliance review of the Wayne, PA office. AstraZeneca was found to have failed to meet its obligations as a contractor “to ensure employees were paid fairly without regard to sex, race, color, religion and national origin.” The company holds a contract with the US Department of Veteran Affairs – valued at more than $2 billion – which provides pharma products to hospitals and medical centers nationwide.

Full Story: http://www.mmm-online.com/astrazeneca-settles-sales-rep-sex-discrimination-suit-with-feds-for-250k/article/204736/

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Affirmative Action Is About Helping All of Us

The Chronicle of Higher Education
William Brown for The Chronicle
By Elizabeth Anderson

It’s no secret that race-based affirmative action in higher education faces a crisis of legitimacy. It has been banned in California, Florida, Michigan, Washington, Arizona, and Nebraska. Even as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action in 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger, the justices expressed an expectation that the policy would soon no longer be needed, practically inviting relitigation. Although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently upheld affirmative action at the University of Texas—in Abigail Fisher v. State of Texas—the forthcoming appeal may give the conservative Roberts court an opportunity to end it once and for all. One might expect colleges to rise to the challenge of forcefully articulating a clear case for their policies. Instead we find the same tired arguments on the left, and critiques of affirmative action on the right that reflect ignorance of the realities of race in America.
We need new arguments for affirmative action. We can find them by resurrecting the ideal of integration from the grave of the civil-rights movement.

Full Story: (Subscription Required) http://chronicle.com/article/Affirmative-Action-Is-About/127632/

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Creating the Next Generation of Black Physicists

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 30, 2011, 2:34 pm
By Marybeth Gasman

According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), African-Americans earn only 1 percent of Ph.D.’s in physics. Given the changing and future demographics of our country and our nation’s need to be innovative and creative, this is a problem. We have an intellectual resource that we are ignoring.
This past week, I had the pleasure of attending an NSF workshop focused on collaboration in the sciences with the express purpose of increasing the participation of under represented minorities in the STEM fields. The workshop showcased some successful examples of collaboration and partnerships that currently exist with the hope of generating more partnerships among those invited to participate in the day’s events.

Full Story: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/creating-the-next-generation-of-black-physicists/29545?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Dr. Marybeth Gasman teaches a Pre-Conference Workshop on Faculty Recuitment and Retention at the AAAA Access, Equity and Diversity Summit and Annual Meeting, June 28, 2011 in Atlantic City. For registration information, go to: http://www.affirmativeaction.org/conference.html

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I-9 immigration compliance update: social security “no-match” letters and new USCIS "I-9 central” website

Lexology.com
Lane Powell PC
USA
May 25 2011

Best Practices for Employers in Responding to Social Security No-Match Letters

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has resumed issuing letters notifying employers of mismatches between an employee’s name and Social Security number (“SSN”), known as “No- Match” letters. A No-Match letter informs the employer that discrepancies exist between an employee’s name and Social Security number contained in SSA’s database against those on the employee’s W-2 form. The purpose is to enable the SSA to allocate Social Security funds correctly. Employers who receive No-Match letters should have a policy of checking records and following up with employees so they can avoid charges of hiring unauthorized workers.
SSA had stopped sending No-Match letters in 2007 and 2008 (tax years 2006 and 2007) in response to litigation surrounding a proposed Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) regulation, “Safe Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter.” DHS later rescinded the proposed regulation. SSA recently decided to resume sending No-Match letters in April 2011 for tax year 2010.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=51261ae1-0497-43b9-bac9-71e2b7841c1d&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Other+top+stories&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-06-03&utm_term=

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OFCCP’s proposed rule increases affirmative action obligations for veterans

Lexology.com
Hunton & Williams LLP
USA
May 27 2011

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) has issued a proposed rule to strengthen the current regulations that require federal contractors and subcontractors to engage in affirmative action efforts for veterans. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on April 26, 2011. Fed. Reg. 23,358 (Apr. 26, 2011). Public comments regarding the rule are due by June 27, 2011.
The OFCCP’s proposed rule would revise the regulations that implement the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistant Act (“VEVRAA”), 41 CFR Parts 60-250 and 60-300, which have generally remained unchanged since 1976. VEVRAA, its amendments and regulations prohibit contractors from discriminating against protected veterans and additionally require contractors to take affirmative action to recruit, employ, and advance the employment of protected veterans. VEVRAA also requires certain contractors to maintain a written Affirmative Action Plan.

Full Story: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=fa5b260b-3b51-4069-a8c7-83539d3c4c42&utm_source=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed&utm_medium=HTML+email+-+Other+top+stories&utm_campaign=Lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=Lexology+Daily+Newsfeed+2011-06-06&utm_term=

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Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise to Pay $290,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Press Release 5-31-11

Teens Among Victims of Wynantskill Store Supervisor’s Abuse, Federal Agency Charged

ALBANY, N.Y. – College View Donuts, LLC, doing business as Dunkin’ Donuts, will pay $290,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. In its suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York (Civil Action No. 1:09-01320 TJM/RFT), the EEOC charged that the manager of a Dunkin’ Donuts store in Wynantskill, N.Y., sexually harassed female employees, some of whom were only 16 and 17 years old.
According to the EEOC, the manager engaged in unwanted touching and hugging and made lewd sexual comments to the female employees. The EEOC argued that College View Donuts allowed the manager’s illegal conduct to continue even after two employees had complained about it a year before. The manager was finally fired after the employees reported his conduct to the police and he was arrested. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to paying $290,000 to the former employees, the company will be bound by a six-year consent decree enjoining it from engaging in further discrimination or retaliation. The decree calls for the appointment of an equal employment opportunity coordinator and training for all employees and managers on sexual harassment prevention. The company will issue a letter of apology to the women; revise its anti-discrimination policies and complaint procedures; post a notice to employees about the resolution of the lawsuit; and never re-hire the manager responsible for the harassment.
“Sexual harassment is never acceptable, but it is especially troubling when the victims are teenagers,” said EEOC Trial Attorney Adela Santos.
EEOC New York District Office Regional Attorney Elizabeth Grossman added, “Companies must understand and fulfill their obligation to protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. We are very glad that this employer is taking steps to train its work force and remedy the problems that allowed this situation to happen.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-31-11.cfm

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EEOC to Examine Use of Leave As Reasonable Accommodation

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
6-3-11

Will Hold Public Meeting June 8 at Agency Headquarters
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, June 8, at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time), at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E., to examine the use of leave as a reasonable accommodation. In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the meeting is open for public observation of the Commission’s deliberations.
The Commission will hear from invited panelists on the appropriate use of disability leave as a reasonable accommodation and on complying with relevant regulations. The meeting agenda includes:
Panel 1: EEOC’s Current Position and Policy Statements
Christopher Kuczynski, Assistant Legal Council, EEOC
John Hendrickson, Regional Attorney, EEOC
Panel 2: How to Comply with the Law and Appropriately Permit Leave to Employees
Brian East, Senior Attorney, Texas Disability Rights
Claudia Center, Director, Disability Rights Program, Legal Aid Society — Employment Law Center
Ellen McLaughlin, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Edward Isler, Partner, Isler Dare Ray Radcliffe & Connolly, P.C.
A brief question-and-answer session with EEOC Commissioners will follow each panel discussion.
Seating is limited and it is suggested that visitors arrive 30 minutes before the meeting in order to be processed through security and escorted to the meeting room. The Commission agenda is subject to revision. Additional information about the hearing, when available, will be posted at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/index.cfm.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-3-11.cfm

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Dots To Pay Nearly A Quarter Million To Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
PRESS RELEASE
6-3-11

Merrillville, Ind., Store Denied Jobs to White Applicants on a Systemic Basis, Federal Agency Charged

INDIANAPOLIS – Dots, Inc., a national women’s off-priced clothing retailer, will pay $246,500 and furnish other relief to settle a class race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Dots’ Merrillville, Ind., clothing store denied jobs on a systemic basis to white applicants since at least April 1, 2007. During that time, the EEOC contended, Dots regularly hired black entry-level applicants for sales positions, but excluded white applicants who were equally or better qualified.
Race 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.
The consent decree settling the suit provides that the settlement proceeds will be distributed to 32 class members. The decree also requires Dots to notify class members of open sales positions for a period of 18 months and to offer them interviews if they are still interested in employment with the company. Dots agreed to cease any further discrimination against white applicants and not to retaliate against applicants or employees who exercise their rights to complain about discrimination or assist in an investigation or discrimination-related proceeding. Dots will post a notice of non-discrimination at each of its facilities in Indiana and Illinois under its District 11 and train its managers and employees involved in the hiring process. Dots will also report on all hiring at its Merrillville location for a three-year period and will submit reports to EEOC detailing its compliance with the decree.
“We hope that this is a wake-up call for Dots and other employers who believe that they are in compliance with the law if they hire minority applicants while excluding white applicants,” said EEOC Indianapolis Regional Attorney Laurie A. Young.
According to company information, Glenwillow, Ohio-based Dots has more than 400 stores in 28 states.
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 .
The EEOC’s Indianapolis Office is located at 101 W. Ohio Street, Suite 1900, Indianapolis, IN 46204. The EEOC’s Louisville Office is located at 600 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Place, Suite 268, Louisville, KY 40202. The EEOC’s Cincinnati Office is located at 550 Main Street, Suite 10019, Cincinnati, OH 45202, and the EEOC’s Detroit Office is located at 477 Michigan Avenue, Room 865, Detroit, MI 48226. The EEOC’s toll-free telephone number is (800) 669-4000, TTY: (317) 226-5162.

http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/6-3-11a.cfm

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OFCCP Director Writes Blog Post on Good Faith

The White House Bloghttp://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/06/06/good-faithGood FaithPosted by Patricia Shiu on June 06, 2011 at 04:41 PM EDTLast Thursday, I had the opportunity to join the White House’s monthly call with business and community leaders, grassroots advocates, researchers, policy makers, friends, family members and workers from the disability community. During the call, I spoke to nearly 750 […]

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AstraZeneca settles sales rep sex discrimination suit with feds for $250K

MM&MOnline.comLauren FolinoJune 07, 2011AstraZeneca agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by the US Department of Labor on behalf of 124 women sales reps working out of the firm’s Philadelphia Business Center in Wayne, PA. The suit accused AstraZeneca of discriminating against female sales specialists by paying them salaries averaging $1,700 […]

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Affirmative Action Is About Helping All of Us

The Chronicle of Higher EducationWilliam Brown for The ChronicleBy Elizabeth AndersonIt’s no secret that race-based affirmative action in higher education faces a crisis of legitimacy. It has been banned in California, Florida, Michigan, Washington, Arizona, and Nebraska. Even as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action in 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger, […]

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Creating the Next Generation of Black Physicists

The Chronicle of Higher EducationMay 30, 2011, 2:34 pmBy Marybeth GasmanAccording to the National Science Foundation (NSF), African-Americans earn only 1 percent of Ph.D.’s in physics. Given the changing and future demographics of our country and our nation’s need to be innovative and creative, this is a problem. We have an intellectual resource that we […]

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I-9 immigration compliance update: social security “no-match” letters and new USCIS "I-9 central” website

Lexology.comLane Powell PCUSAMay 25 2011Best Practices for Employers in Responding to Social Security No-Match LettersThe Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has resumed issuing letters notifying employers of mismatches between an employee’s name and Social Security number (“SSN”), known as “No- Match” letters. A No-Match letter informs the employer that discrepancies exist between an employee’s name and […]

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OFCCP’s proposed rule increases affirmative action obligations for veterans

Lexology.comHunton & Williams LLPUSAMay 27 2011The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) has issued a proposed rule to strengthen the current regulations that require federal contractors and subcontractors to engage in affirmative action efforts for veterans. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on April 26, 2011. Fed. Reg. 23,358 (Apr. 26, […]

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Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise to Pay $290,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionPress Release 5-31-11Teens Among Victims of Wynantskill Store Supervisor’s Abuse, Federal Agency ChargedALBANY, N.Y. – College View Donuts, LLC, doing business as Dunkin’ Donuts, will pay $290,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. In its suit, filed in […]

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EEOC to Examine Use of Leave As Reasonable Accommodation

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionPRESS RELEASE6-3-11Will Hold Public Meeting June 8 at Agency HeadquartersWASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, June 8, at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time), at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E., to examine the use of leave as a reasonable accommodation. In accordance […]

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Dots To Pay Nearly A Quarter Million To Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionPRESS RELEASE6-3-11Merrillville, Ind., Store Denied Jobs to White Applicants on a Systemic Basis, Federal Agency ChargedINDIANAPOLIS – Dots, Inc., a national women’s off-priced clothing retailer, will pay $246,500 and furnish other relief to settle a class race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced […]

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