Category Archives: Discrimination

Six Reasons Your Workplace’s Sexual-Harassment Training Will Fail

Source: Oliver Staley, Quartz, July 2, 2018

In the months since sexual harassment in the workplace exploded into the public consciousness, a growing range of organizations—from Fortune 500 companies to the Senate and the United Nations—are reconsidering their policies and procedures. Often, that means taking a new look at the training they provide employees, which may not have been updated in years or even decades.

In many cases, the training is sure to fail, says Patti Perez, an employment lawyer and vice president at Emtrain, which designs online training content. In a June 19 talk at the annual conference of the Society of Human Resources Management, Perez laid out six reasons corporate training doesn’t work:
– A tick-the-box mentality ….
– Focusing only on prohibited areas ….
– An overly legalistic approach ….
– Cheesy scenarios ….
– Scare tactics ….
– Blaming people ….

The Ties That Double Bind: Social Roles and Women’s Underrepresentation in Politics

Source: Dawn Langan Teele, Joshua Lalla, Frances Rosenbluth, American Political Science Review, Volume 112, Issue 3, August 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This paper theorizes three forms of bias that might limit women’s representation: outright hostility, double standards, and a double bind whereby desired traits present bigger burdens for women than men. We examine these forms of bias using conjoint experiments derived from several original surveys—a population survey of American voters and two rounds of surveys of American public officials. We find no evidence of outright discrimination or of double standards. All else equal, most groups of respondents prefer female candidates, and evaluate men and women with identical profiles similarly. But on closer inspection, all is not equal. Across the board, elites and voters prefer candidates with traditional household profiles such as being married and having children, resulting in a double bind for many women. So long as social expectations about women’s familial commitments cut against the demands of a full-time political career, women are likely to remain underrepresented in politics.

Late Retirements + Lawsuits = Need For Vigilance

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Vol. 35 No. 14, July 11, 2018
(subscription required)

If a recent survey is right, employers need to be extra vigilant about their attitudes and practices related to older workers. According to online recruiting site CareerBuilder, even though the economy is improving many U.S. workers are still putting their retirement plans on hold. In the survey, more than half of workers aged 60+ (53%) said they are postponing retirement. Four in 10 (40%) said they don’t think they will be able to retire until they are 70 years of age or older. …. Employers should take steps now to review their age discrimination policies with managers and shore up any gaps they find in their practices. Lawsuits aimed at big companies invariably receive media attention, which in turn can spark reflection among employees at other organizations about their own experiences. ….

Could An Emoji Bring You Down?

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Vol. 35 No. 14, July 11, 2018
(subscription required)

An employee complains a manager is making sexual overtures to her. When you ask her what he has said, she tells you it’s not what he’s said, it’s what he’s sent. She pulls out her phone and shows you an email exchange in which he included an emoji with a winking eye. While many people use that particular emoji as an indicator of humor, she has interpreted it as flirtatious and now you have a problem…..

Terminating A Depressed Employee

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Vol. 35 No. 14, July 11, 2018
(subscription required)

Is terminating an employee with depression a recipe for trouble? Do you need to go “above and beyond” to avoid any appearance of discrimination? …. While the Greenleaf case is just beginning its journey through the courts, it offers employers a reminder that depression can be a covered disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the many state laws that mirror it. This means employers are permitted to terminate employees with depression if they aren’t meeting performance standards, but only if the proper steps have been taken first….

Employer liability for third‐party sexual harassment

Source: Kevin J. Smith, Lindsay C. Stone, Employment Relations Today, First published: April 25, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
While most employers understand the scope of their responsibility to prevent sexual harassment between employees, the scope of an employer’s responsibility to prevent sexual harassment by third parties is often less clear. Such third parties may include customers, clients, sales representatives, vendors, investors, or anyone in the workplace who is not a member of the employer’s workforce. Although an employer may be unable to easily control non‐employee actions, it is legally obligated to respond to any third‐party sexual harassment of its employees that is brought to the employer’s attention. With proper safeguards and remedial action, however, an employer can keep its employees safe from third‐party sexual harassment and protect itself from liability in the process. This Q&A explains employer liability for third‐party sexual harassment, describes the ramifications of an employer’s failure to properly address or prevent it, and recommends strategies to reduce an employer’s legal exposure.

The Anti-Union Janus Ruling Is Going to Hit Black Women the Hardest

Source: Miles Kampf-Lassin, In These Times blog, June 27, 2018

…. Today’s ruling means that all public-sector unions could essentially operate under “right-to-work,” depriving labor of critical funding, increasing the problem of “free ridership” and potentially decimating union membership.

Unions are bracing for the aftermath of the ruling. And mainstream media outlets, which do not generally devote much ink to labor stories, have highlighted the case in headline after headline. Yet what many fail to mention is that Janus would be particularly devastating for one group in particular: African-American women.

Public sector unions have long been a source of economic power for African-American women, who are disproportionately represented in their ranks. A March brief from Celine McNicholas and Janelle Jones at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that African-American women have the highest share of workers in the public sector—17.7 percent, equaling about 1.5 million workers.

The public sector provides job opportunities for African-American workers, and women especially, at a rate much higher than the private sector. In 2015, African-American women made up 10 percent of government workers, compared to just 6 percent in private-sector employment. ….

How to talk about privilege so people will listen

Source: Futurity, June 12, 2018

If you benefit from an inequity, how you handle the situation could depend on its presentation, according to a new study. The study tested people’s willingness to surrender part of a bonus at work as a way of studying the presentation of an unjust imbalance or inequity….

Related:
Framing advantageous inequity with a focus on others: A catalyst for equity restoration
Source: Ashleigh Shelby, Rosettea Christy, Zhou Kovalb, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 76, May 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Prior research has found that framing inequity as an ingroup advantage, but not as an outgroup disadvantage, can lead the advantaged to be more supportive of redistributive policies towards disadvantaged groups. However, it is unclear whether these framing effects would occur in the same manner when inequity occurs between individuals. In two experiments, we test whether different inequity frames (self-focused vs. other-focused) can elicit different responses to advantageous inequity based on the level of inequity (individual-level vs. group-level) that is activated. In Study 1, we found that inequity frame and inequity level interactively predicted redistribution decisions, such that advantaged individuals engaged in more redistributive behaviors when the inequity was framed as another individual’s disadvantage than when the inequity was framed as another group’s disadvantage. These divergent effects occurred because individual-level inequity elicited less negative evaluation of others than group-level inequity in an other-focused frame (Study 2). These findings establish a boundary condition of previous research on inequity frame and highlight inequity level as an important moderator that affects advantaged individuals’ willingness to engage in restorative behavior.

Raise Anatomy: How to Ask for a Raise and Get It

Source: PayScale, Inc., June 2018

From the press release:
Today, PayScale, Inc., the world’s leading provider of precise, on-demand compensation data and software, released new research showing which employees are asking for pay raises and which employees are receiving them. This study is designed to educate both employees and employers about biases which may impact pay decisions in an effort to achieve equitable pay raises regardless of race or gender. One of the key findings from the “Raise Anatomy” report is that white men are far more likely to actually get a raise when they ask for it than a person of color. ….

Key findings from the report:
• The majority of employees (70 percent) who asked for a raise received at least some pay increase.
• Of those who asked for a raise, 39 percent of employees got the amount they requested, while 31 percent received a smaller raise than requested.
• People of color were significantly less likely than white men to have received a raise when they asked for one. Women of color were 19 percent less likely to have received a raise than a white man and men of color were 25 percent less likely. (Note: No single gender or racial/ethnic group was more likely to have asked for a raise than any other group.)
• The most common justification for denying a raise was budgetary constraints (49 percent). Only 22 percent of employees who heard this rationale actually believed it.
• One third of workers report that no rationale was provided when they were denied a raise.
• When workers don’t believe the rationale, or aren’t provided one, they reported lower rates of satisfaction with their employer and reported being more likely to quit.
• Of those who said that they did not ask for a raise, 30 percent reported their reason for not asking was they received a raise before they felt the need to ask their manager.
• Employees who are most satisfied with their work and their employers are those who agreed with the statement: “I’ve always been happy with my salary.” ….

Related:
How to boost your odds of getting a raise: Ask for one, and be a white man
Source: Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, June 6, 2018