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First Lawsuits Asserting Sexual Orientation Discrimination Filed By EEOC

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog
Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the first two lawsuits it has ever filed taking the position that sexual orientation discrimination is covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division.
In EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center, the EEOC is alleging that a gay male employee was subjected to harassment because of his sexual orientation when his manager repeatedly referred to him using a number of anti-gay epithets and made offensive comments about his sexuality and sex life. When the employee complained to a supervisor the supervisor said the harasser was just doing his job. The supervisor refused to take any action to stop the harassment. After weeks of harassment, the employee resigned.
In EEOC v IFCO systems, the EEOC is alleging that a lesbian employee was harassed by her boss because of her sexual orientation. The employee’s boss made numerous offensive comments and sexually suggestive gestures. The employee complained to management and called the employee hotline. Days later she was fired.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of sex. As the federal law enforcement agency charged with interpreting Title VII, the EEOC has concluded that harassment and other discrimination because of sexual orientation is prohibited sex discrimination. We’ll see how these lawsuits play out.
EEOC Files First Suits Challenging Sexual Orientation …

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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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