Category Archives: Discrimination

Reconsidering the Black-White Disparity in Federal Performance Ratings

Source: Gregory W. Baxter, Public Personnel Management, Volume 41 No. 2, Summer 2012
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The Office of Personnel Management and Merit Systems Protection Board attribute race disparities in federal employee performance ratings to rate bias. Those claims ignore research findings, particularly meta-analysis, consistently showing Black workers exhibiting worse absenteeism and other Organizational Delinquency Behaviors (ODB). Research also consistently shows blacks scoring lower than others on objective measures of job knowledge, work quantity and quality, and on work sample tests.

Research on rater race effects does not support claims that White supervisors rate Whites higher and Black supervisors rate Blacks higher. Generally, all raters rate Whites higher and Blacks lower, as predicted by the data on objective performance and ODB. Consistently, the Black-White ratings gap is narrower when raters’ subjective ratings substitute for or are combined with, objective performance measures.

Finally, the paper proposes a practical stepwise approach for applying recent research findings to allegations of rater racial bias in federal and other public agencies.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Employment: A Legal Analysis of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Source: Jody Feder, Cynthia Brougher, Congressional Research Service, R40934, June 8, 2012

Introduced in various incarnations in every congressional session since the 103rd Congress, the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA; H.R. 1397/S. 811) would prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring, discharge, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment. The stated purpose of the legislation is “to address the history and widespread pattern of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by private sector employers and local, State, and Federal Government employers,” as well as to provide effective remedies for such discrimination. Patterned on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the act would be enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Gender Differences in the Salaries of Physician Researchers

Source: Reshma Jagsi, DPhil; Kent A. Griffith, Abigail Stewart, Dana Sambuco, Rochelle DeCastro, Peter A. Ubel, Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 307 no. 22, June 13, 2012
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From the abstract:
..It is unclear whether male and female physician researchers who perform similar work are currently paid equally. The objective was to determine whether salaries differ by gender in a relatively homogeneous cohort of physician researchers and, if so, to determine if these differences are explained by differences in specialization, productivity, or other factors….Male gender was associated with higher salary…even after adjustment in the final model for specialty, academic rank, leadership positions, publications, and research time. Peters-Belson analysis… indicated that the expected mean salary for women, if they retained their other measured characteristics but their gender was male, would be $12,194 higher than observed…..Gender differences in salary exist in this select, homogeneous cohort of mid-career academic physicians, even after adjustment for differences in specialty, institutional characteristics, academic productivity, academic rank, work hours, and other factors….

Evidence of Persistent and Pervasive Workplace Discrimination against LGBT People: The Need for Federal Legislation Prohibition Discrimination and Providing for Equal Employment Benefits

Source: Jennifer Pizer, Christy Mallory, Brad Sears, Nan Hunter, Loyola Law Review, Vol.. 45 no. 3, Spring 2012

From the press release:
Millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers remain vulnerable to employment discrimination absent further federal protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, according to a new article by researchers at the Williams Institute published in the Loyola of Law Angeles Law Review….While courts and administrative agencies have recognized greater protections for LGBT workers under federal law in recent years, these protections remain incomplete. At the state level, sexual orientation discrimination is banned in only 21 states, 16 of which also ban gender identity discrimination. While there has been a surge in the number of LGBT-inclusive corporate policies, these private policies do not provide the protections of a state or federal law with an external enforcement agency and a clear private right of action to seek redress in court….
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Update on Complying with Nondiscrimination Provisions: Criminal Record Restrictions and Disparate Impact Based on Race and National Origin

Source: Jane Oates, Naomi Barry-Perez, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL), No.31-11, May 25, 2012

From the summary:
The purpose of this Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) is to provide information about exclusions based on criminal records, and how they are relevant to the existing nondiscrimination obligations for the public workforce system and other entities (including the “covered entities” listed above) that receive federal financial assistance to operate Job Banks, to provide assistance to job seekers in locating and obtaining employment, and to assist employers by screening and referring qualified applicants. As explained in this TEGL, restrictions based on criminal history records may have a disparate impact on members of a particular race or national origin, in violation of federal antidiscrimination laws. This guidance is being issued by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), in conjunction with the Civil Rights Center (CRC).

Up For Debate: Affirmative Action

Source: Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, Vol. 9 no. 2, Summer 2012
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From the introduction:
…The Up for Debate Section features Dennis Deslippe’s revisionist argument about labor’s response to affirmative action. Deslippe seeks a middle path between those scholars who have fixed the unions as a primary obstacle to affirmative action plans pushed by civil rights organizations and to those who have identified affirmative action as an unalterable stumbling block for collective (as opposed to individual) rights on the job…. The respondents give Deslipps mixed marks…

Debaters include:
On the Importance of Affirmative Action: Labor Liberals and the Recasting of “Contract Unionism” by Dennis Deslippe

Union Job Protection Equals Discrimination by Paul Moreno

Affirmative Action and the Unhappy Marriage of Union Rights and Equality Rights by Ava Baron

Details, Details: Unions, Affirmative Action, and the Deslippe Thesis by Joseph A. McCartin

Does the Exception Prove the Rule? By William P. Jones

Response by Dennis Deslippe

Affirmative Action and the Occupational Advancement of Minorities and Women During 1973-2003

Source: Fidan Ana Kurtulus, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Volume 51 Issue 2, April 2012
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From the abstract:
The share of minorities and women comprising high-paying skilled occupations such as management, professional, and technical occupations has been increasing since the 1960s, while the proportion of white men in such occupations has been declining. What has been the contribution of affirmative action to the occupational advancement of minorities and women from low-wage unskilled occupations into high-wage skilled ones in U.S. firms? I examine this by comparing the occupational position of minorities and women at firms holding federal contracts, and thereby mandated to implement affirmative action, and noncontracting firms, over the course of 31 years during 1973-2003. I use a new longitudinal dataset of over 100,000 large private-sector firms across all industries and regions uniquely suited for the exploration of this question obtained from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. My key findings show that the share of minorities and women in high-paying skilled occupations grew more at federal contractors subject to affirmative action obligation than at noncontracting firms during the three decades under study, but these advances took place primarily during the pre- and early Reagan years and during the decade following the Glass Ceiling Act of 1991.

The public-sector jobs crisis: Women and African Americans hit hardest by job losses in state and local governments

Source: Algernon Austin, David Cooper and Mary Gable, Economic Policy Institute, Briefing Paper #339, May 2, 2012

From the summary:
This briefing paper begins by providing background on the public sector’s commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action in employment, and then explores the degree to which women and African Americans are overrepresented in state and local government jobs. It next turns to a discussion of how state and local public-sector workers have significantly higher levels of education than their private-sector peers, yet are consistently underpaid relative to similar private-sector workers. Then, it compares racial- and gender-based wage disparities in the state and local public sectors and the private sector. The briefing paper next explains the disproportionate impact of state and local public-sector job cuts on women and African Americans, and concludes by contrasting the private sector’s slow jobs recovery with continued employment declines in the public sector.

Key findings include:
– Historically, the state and local public sectors have provided more equitable opportunities for women and people of color. As a result, women and African Americans constitute a disproportionately large share of the state and local public-sector workforce.
– Overall, the wage gap across genders is similar in the state and local public sectors and in the private sector. However, it is smaller for highly educated women employed in state and local government.
– State and local public-sector workers of color face smaller wage disparities across racial lines, and at some levels of education actually enjoy a wage premium over similarly educated white workers.
– The disproportionate share of women and African Americans working in state and local government has translated into higher rates of job loss for both groups in these sectors.
– Job losses in the state and local public sectors stand in contrast to the jobs recovery in the private sector.
See also:
Press release

Special Issue on Diversity

Source: Critical Sociology, Vol. 37 no. 5, September 2011
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From From Affirmative Action to Diversity: Erasing Inequality from Organizational Responsibility:
Over the last several decades, the term ‘diversity’ in the USA increasingly stands for American tolerance, equality, and respect for cultural differences. At the same time, the reality of racial, ethnic and gender inequalities within American institutions have been increasingly obscured in the name of diversity. Our authors make an important contribution to our understanding of the diversity ideology and issues of equity in the 21st century. Authors here explore the shifting stance toward inequality in the USA measured in work settings (Sharon Collins, David Embrick, and Marlese Durr and Adia Wingfield), in the dynamics of higher education (Ellen Berrey, Wendy Moore and Joyce Bell), and in white racial attitudes (Amir Marvasti and Karyn D. McKinney, Nancy Ditomaso). Exploring the issue of diversity as it relates to contemporary forms and maintenance of racial and gender inequalities the authors empirically illustrate the fact that the concept and practice of diversity does not necessarily translate into racial and gender equality. Independently, they show how diversity is constructed in American business and educational institutions and used in the everyday beliefs of mainstream Americans. As a collective, they expose diversity as an ideological counter-point to the race-based policy and practice of affirmative action in an era of color-blind racism. This issue examines the conundrum of diversity in the post-civil rights era….

Articles include:
The Assault on Workers’ Rights – David Fasenfest –
From Affirmative Action to Diversity: Erasing Inequality from Organizational Responsibility – Sharon M. Collins
Diversity in the Post Affirmative Action Labor Market: A Proxy for Racial Progress? – Sharon M. Collins
The Diversity Ideology in the Business World: A New Oppression for a New Age – David G. Embrick
Keep Your ‘N’ in Check: African American Women and the Interactive Effects of Etiquette and Emotional Labor – Marlese Durr and Adia M. Harvey Wingfield
Why Diversity Became Orthodox in Higher Education, and How it Changed the Meaning of Race on Campus – Ellen C. Berrey
Maneuvers of Whiteness: ‘Diversity’ as a Mechanism of Retrenchment in the Affirmative Action Discourse – Wendy Leo Moore and Joyce M. Bell
White Attitudes toward Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action – Nancy DiTomaso, Rochelle Parks-Yancy, and Corinne Post
Does Diversity Mean Assimilation? – Amir B. Marvasti and Karyn D. McKinney
Minority, Black and Non-Black People of Color: ‘New’ Color-Blind Racism and the US Small Business Administration’s Approach to Minority Business Lending in the Post-Civil Rights Era – Tamara K. Nopper
Roots of Civil Rights Politics in Northern Churches: Black Migration to Saginaw, Michigan 1915 to 1960 – Willie McKether

The New Breadwinners: 2010 Update

Source: Sarah Jane Glynn, Center for American Progress, April 16, 2012

From the summary:
In 2009 the Center for American Progress released “The New Breadwinners,” a chapter in The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything. The report describes how women’s movement out of the home and into the paid labor force has changed everything about how our families live and work today. While our lives have changed as a result of this dramatic transformation, the institutions surrounding us have not necessarily kept up. In “The New Breadwinners,” CAP Senior Economist Heather Boushey illustrated how women have made great strides and are now more likely to be economically responsible for themselves and their families, but there is a still a long way to go.

In this brief we update the numbers from “The New Breadwinners” to reflect the most recent data available based on family income, race, age, and motherhood, and show how the trends identified in the 2009 piece have only grown stronger in the ensuing years.

We find that there are more wives, and women generally, supporting their families economically now than ever before–and there could not be a more important time to ensure that working women receive the pay they deserve. The typical woman only earns an average of 77 cents to the male dollar. It is not difficult to imagine how many more women would be breadwinners–and how much better off our families would be–if the gender wage gap were closed.
See also:
Two-paycheck couples, working because they must
By E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post, April 18, 2012