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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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FMR Proposes Dalton Street Post Office Be Renamed

Randy Freking

Freking Myers & Reul proposes that the Dalton Street Post Office should be renamed.  If the Bengals win tomorrow night our suggestion would be “McCarron Drive Post Office”.   Who Dey!!photo 3

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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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Duke Settles Fraud Class Action- An Update for Ohio Class Members

Randy Freking

As announced publicly on October 21, and reported in various media outlets, Duke Energy has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging a pattern of fraudulent behavior by Duke and its predecessor, Cincinnati Gas & Electric beginning in 2004. After seven years of litigation – even an attempt by Duke to have the U.S. Supreme Court intervene – the utility agreed to pay $80.875 million to electric customers who paid bills between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008.

The settlement amount represents seven million plus dollars more than Duke was accused of paying in bribes to 22 “favored” customers in an elaborate scheme discovered by an employee who subsequently became a whistleblower.  $50 million of the settlement will be paid directly to residential and non-residential customers who submit claims to the Class Action Administrator, chosen and overseen by the two law firms who served as class co-counsel in the litigation: Freking Myers & Reul and Markovits, Stock, and DeMarco.

At least another $8 million will be spent on energy efficiency programs administered by a five person board that will report to federal district court Chief Judge Edmund J. Sargus, who will also decide the amount of attorneys’ fees to award class counsel. After payment of fees and expenses, any excess settlement amount will be added to the fund for energy efficiency programs.

If you are a class member, and can be located as a Duke customer between 2005-2008 from available information, you may receive a postcard in the mail describing the settlement and the Claims Procedure by December 31, 2015. (Given the lapse in time between 2005-2008 and the settlement, not all Class Members may be located.) You may also find the same information available at dukeclassaction.com, so even if you don’t receive a Notice, you may still complete a Claim, which is easy to do. Claim forms will also be available at https://fmr.law/duke-settlement/.

Chief Judge Sargus will conduct a Fairness Hearing on April 18, 2016 in Cincinnati, after which he will finally approve or disapprove the settlement.

If you have questions, please contact Susan Hartung at Freking Myers & Reul by email: shartung@fmr.law.

 

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