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Judges Face Age Discrimination Too

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Judge Peter O’Connell (67 years of age) filed a lawsuit last week in Michigan challenging a Michigan rule that prevents judges 70 years of age or over from running for re-election. The age restriction was put in place in 1955. In 2014, the age restriction prevented 24 Michigan judges from seeking re-election (4% of sitting judges were 70 or older at the time). Currently, judges are the only state employees with an age restriction in Michigan. Last year two joint resolutions were introduced in the State Legislature (one in the House and one in the Senate) that would allow voters to either raise the age restriction to 75 or remove it completely. The Michigan Judges Association supports the removal of the age restriction entirely. The reality is people are living longer and are able to be productive later in life. Age restrictions like this just don’t make sense.  Find out more here.

 

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A New Rule To Address The Pay Gap

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Last week President Obama proposed a new rule which would require companies with more than 100 employees to provide salary data by race, gender and ethnicity.  Despite efforts to address the problem, a substantial pay gap between men and women (minority women in particular) remains.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission already collects data from larger employers about the racial, ethnic and gender makeup of their workforces.  Collecting pay data will assist in the enforcement of equal pay laws.

 To Shine A Light On Salary Gaps, Obama Wants Companies To Disclose Pay Data

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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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