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Historical Hire In NFL

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are historical figures in the NFL and the game yesterday was another good one. Last week though, a woman made history in the NFL. Kathryn Smith became the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position in the NFL. The Buffalo Bills hired her as a special teams coach. Smith began her NFL career as an intern with the New York Jets in 2003. She has spent the last 7 years working with Bills and former Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Ryan said Smith “deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment.” Women broke into the full-time coaching ranks in the NBA in 2014.

Kathryn Smith Makes History As NFL’s First Female Full-Time Coach

 

Failing To Identify Gifted African-American Students

In previous weeks I’ve written about various social-science research studies. Here’s another one. A recent national study found that African-American students are put on a gifted track at a much lower rate than white students who have comparable test scores. The researchers in this study looked only at schools with gifted programs so their findings can’t be accounted for by where kids go to school. The researchers found one factor that eliminated the disparity in being identified as gifted – whether the teacher was African-American. The study found that teachers who are not African-American identify African-American students as gifted in reading 2.1 percent of the time compared to 6.2 percent of the time for white students. African-American teachers identify African-American and white students as gifted at the same rate – 6.2 percent of the time. The researchers say that they can’t tell from their study what is causing the disparity. Further study is needed.

To Be Young, ‘Gifted’ And Black, It Helps To Have A Black Teacher

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Physical Attractiveness And Class Performance

Jon Allison

Your looks influence the grades you receive, unless you take an online course.  Those are the findings of researchers at Metropolitan State University of Denver.  They looked at records of tens of thousands of college students.  They grouped the students by ACT scores and then compared their grades and their physical attractiveness which was rated by looking at student ID cards.  They found that the women rated least attractive received significantly lower grades than their peers.  The women rated most attractive received higher grades and male teachers were more likely than female teachers to give higher grades to better looking female students. However, when these same students took online courses the grade disparity disappeared.  There are numerous studies that show there are advantages to being good looking in various aspects of life, including in employment.  This study serves as yet another reminder that people need to be mindful of their own internal biases and how those biases impact their views and their decision
making.   This nprEd post goes in to more detail.

 

 

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Social Media Profiles And Muslim Job Applicants

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Two researchers at Carnegie Mellon University recently conducted a study on the use of social media in hiring decisions and found a negative impact on those belonging to the Muslim faith.

The researchers created Facebook profiles for fictional job applicants making them similar in almost every way with the exception of information indicating religious affiliation. The fictional individuals were either Christian or Muslim. The researchers then sent out applications to more than 4,000 employers. There was no indication of religion affiliation in the application materials. The employers had to search the social media profiles of the applicants to obtain that information.

According to the study approximately 33% of employers looked at the applicants’ social media profiles. In more politically conservative areas of the country there was a significant difference in offers for an interview between Christian and Muslim applicants. In the 10 most politically conservative states, 17% of Christian applicants received offers for interviews compared to 2% of Muslim candidates.

Notably, the researchers also looked for any differences in the interview offer rate between gay and straight individuals and found no statistically significant difference.

Discrimination on the basis of religion in hiring decisions is illegal. Studies, including this one, show that it happens. Employers need to be challenged on their hiring practices. Job applicants should be aware of their social media profiles and the fact that prospective employers may look at those profiles before making hiring decisions. If you think you’ve been the victim of discrimination, you should consult a lawyer.

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Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Law Banning Employment Due To Criminal Record

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Last week, just before the New Year, the Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania found unconstitutional a law that banned those convicted of crimes from ever working at nursing homes or long-term-care facilities. The Older Adults Protective Services Act specifically prevented anyone who had been convicted of any crime, no matter how long ago, from ever being employed full-time at a nursing home or long-term-care facility. The Court unanimously ruled that the law violated the due process rights of law abiding citizens who had been in trouble in many cases several decades earlier. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit had convictions between 15 and 35 years prior for drug possession, writing bad checks, disorderly conduct, assault and theft. All of them had clean records since their convictions. Many had, in addition to being prevented from finding work, been fired from multiple jobs due to their criminal records.  Find more information in this NPR article.

 

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Papa Don’t Preach

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Shipley’s Donuts, a Katy, Texas franchise violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act when it ordered an employee it suspected of being pregnant to certify that she could continue working or take an unpaid leave of absence and by firing her when she refused the order. Shipley’s owner and general manager learned that a Shipley’s employee, Brooke Foley, might be pregnant. Shipley’s then ordered Foley to obtain a doctor’s release stating that her pregnancy was not “high-risk” and that she could continue performing her duties. Foley had not asked for any pregnancy-related accommodation. She refused the order and told Shipley’s that it could not require her to get such a certification. Shipley’s then terminated Foley’s employment. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an employer cannot require a pregnant employee (or in this case an employee suspected of being pregnant) to provide medical certification of the ability to continue working unless the employee requests an accommodation in connection with the pregnancy. Shipley’s learned this the hard way. Foley filed suit and the case settled earlier this month for $45,000 and other nonmonetary remedies.

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