Category Archives: Discrimination

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Anti-Harassment Complaint Process

Source: Jonathan A. Segal, HR Magazine, Vol. 63 no. 3, April 2018
(subscription required)

No complaints doesn’t mean no harassment. Here’s how to build trust in your reporting procedures. ….

…. Leaders at many organizations are taking a fresh look at their strategies for preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement. As you revisit your policies, don’t forget to also fine-tune your complaint procedures. Without a robust process that employees can trust, an anti-harassment policy has little value. 

1. Make Clear Who Can Bring Complaints. ….
2. Have Multiple Points of Contact. ….
3. Detail What Constitutes Prohibited Conduct ….
4. Provide Robust Protection Against Retaliation ….
5. Take Strong Corrective Action ….

When the Shadow Is the Substance: Judge Gender and the Outcomes of Workplace Sex Discrimination Cases

Source: Matthew Knepper, Journal of Labor Economics, Ahead of Print, April 10, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The number of workplace sex discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approaches 25,000 annually. Do the subsequent judicial proceedings suffer from a discriminatory gender bias? Exploiting random assignment of federal district court judges to civil cases, I find that female plaintiffs filing workplace sex discrimination claims are substantially more likely to settle and win compensation whenever a female judge is assigned to the case. Additionally, female judges are 15 percentage points less likely than male judges to grant motions filed by defendants, which suggests that final negotiations are shaped by the emergence of the bias.

Sexual Harassment and Title VII: Selected Legal Issues

Source: Christine J. Back, Wilson C. Freeman, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R45155, April 9, 2018

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) generally prohibits discrimination in the workplace, but does not contain an express prohibition against harassment. The Supreme Court, however, has interpreted the statute to prohibit certain forms of harassment, including sexual harassment. Since first recognizing the viability of a Title VII harassment claim in a unanimous 1986 decision, the Court has also established legal standards for determining when offensive conduct amounts to a Title VII violation and when employers may be held liable for such actionable harassment, and created an affirmative defense available to employers under certain circumstances.

Given this judicially created paradigm for analyzing sexual harassment under Title VII, this report examines key Supreme Court precedent addressing Title VII sexual harassment claims, the statutory interpretation and rationales reflected in these decisions, and examples of lower federal court decisions applying this precedent. The report also discusses various types of harassment recognized by the Supreme Court—such as “hostile work environment,” quid pro quo, constructive discharge, and same-sex harassment—and explores tensions, disagreements, or apparent inconsistencies among federal courts when analyzing these claims.

Finally, this report examines sexual harassment in the context of retaliation. Does Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision protect an employee from being fired, for example, for reporting sexual harassment? How do federal courts approach the analysis of a Title VII claim alleging that an employer retaliated against an employee by subjecting him or her to harassment? The report discusses Supreme Court and federal appellate court precedent relevant to these questions….

The Worst States for Women’s Lifetime Wage Gap

Source: Jasmine Tucker, National Women’s Law Center, April 10, 2018

Families depend on women’s wages now more than ever. But a woman working full time, year round is typically paid just 80 cents for every dollar her male counterpart is paid. This gap, which persists by educational attainment and occupation, amounts to a loss of $10,086 per year for the typical woman working full time, year round, and today, April 10th, is the day her pay catches up to men’s in 2017 alone.

For a typical woman, this wage gap adds up to a staggering loss of $403,440 over a lifetime of work. And depending on a woman’s race or ethnicity and where she lives, the situation can be much, much worse.
Here are the worst states for women’s earnings losses over a lifetime…..

The Economic Status of Women in the States

Source: Julie Anderson, Jennifer Clark, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Fact Sheet, IWPR# R532, March 2018

From the summary:
This Fact Sheet presents findings from analysis of the Employment & Earnings Index and Poverty & Opportunity Index of The Status of Women in the States series, a comprehensive project that presents and analyzes data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The state grades, rankings, and data provided on these two measures of women’s economic status provide critical information to identify areas of progress for women in states across the nation and pinpoint where additional improvements are still needed. The state-by-state grades are based on composite indices first developed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in 1996. For a complete discussion of data sources and methodology, and to find fact sheets on the economic status of women in each state, please visit the interactive Status of Women in the States website at statusofwomendata.org.

Related:
The Economic Status of Women in the U.S.: What Has Changed in the Last 20 – 40 Years
Source: Heidi Hartmann, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Presentation, March 28, 2018

Wage Gap Will Cost Millennial Women $1 Million Over their Careers

Source: Jeff Hayes, Heidi Hartmann, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Quick Figures, IWPR# Q069, April 2018

From the summary:
Millennial women are the most educated generation of women in the United States and are now more likely than men to have a college degree. At the same time, progress on closing the gender wage gap has stalled for nearly two decades, indicating that unequal pay continues to be a challenge to new generations of women workers.

The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2017 and by Race and Ethnicity

Source: Ariane Hegewisch, M.Phil., Emma Williams-Baron, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Fact Sheet, IWPR# C467, April 2018

From the summary:
Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. Data for both women’s and men’s median weekly earnings for full-time work are available for 121 occupations. The occupation with the largest gender wage gap is ‘personal financial advisor;’ in 2017, the median weekly earnings of women ‘personal financial advisors’ were only 58.9 percent of those of men’s, corresponding to a gender wage gap of 41.1 percent….

The Promised Land Is Still Not Here

Source: Robert Greene II, Jacobin, April 4, 2018

Fifty years after Martin Luther King’s assassination, the Left struggles to speak with the kind of moral clarity King exemplified — but that shouldn’t stop us from trying.

Related:
Dr. King Knew That Labor Rights Are Human Rights
Source: John Nichols, The Nation, April 3, 2018

The civil-rights leader was proud to rally with public workers and to connect their struggle with the struggle for a fair and equitable economy.

Martin Luther King and the battles that outlived him
Source: David A Love, Al Jazeera, April 4, 2018
50 years on, the three evils MLK talked about -racism, militarism and economic exploitation – still plagues the US.

50 Years On, King’s Fight Against Racism and Poverty Remains Our Fight
Source: Brittany Alston, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, April 3, 2018

On April 4th, 1968, 50 years ago tomorrow, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated amidst the struggle for workers’ rights in Memphis, Tennessee. After longstanding tensions mounted between Black sanitation workers and the City of Memphis, workers refused to report to work. The men used nonviolent tactics in protest of low wages and dangerous working conditions. They etched their cause in the minds of millions with signs that read “I Am A Man”. Organizers called on clergy, including Martin Luther King Jr., to amplify the voices of the workers. King told workers that they were “reminding, not only Memphis, but [they were] reminding the nation that it is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.”…

50 years since his death, Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophical work is all but forgotten
Source: Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, April 4, 2018

In the 50 years since the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., the memory of the transformative civil rights leader has undergone a “Disneyfication.” Textbooks, movies, and TV shows often suggest that King’s quest for racial and economic equality was ultimately successful. Yet half a century since his assassination, King would be dismayed by the ongoing inequality and racism in the US. And the complexities of his ideas are often overlooked.

King was not simply a compelling speaker, but a deeply philosophical intellectual. The syllabus from his social and political philosophy course while he was a visiting professor at Morehouse College includes works by Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Bentham, and Mill. King’s own writing engages with Nietzsche and Marx extensively; Hegel was one of his favorite thinkers…..

Commemorations in Memphis Show That How We Remember Martin Luther King Jr. Is Changing
Source: Simon Balto, Time, April 4, 2018

….On the day he was killed, King was writing a Sunday sermon entitled “Why America May Go to Hell.” “America is going to hell,” he wrote, “if we don’t use her vast resources to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life.” As historian Vincent Harding (King’s friend and sometime speechwriter) put it, King died in Memphis “in the consciously chosen company of the poor.” That is also how he spent much of his final years.

This is the King — capacious in his critiques, radical in his politics, and who suggested that America was quite possibly hell-bound over its militarism, materialism and failures to care for “the least of these” — that animates many of the most significant commemorations unfolding in Memphis this week surrounding the anniversary of his death…..