Category Archives: Discrimination

Equal Pay Day

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, April 2012

When the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President Kennedy in 1963, women were earning an average of 59 cents on the dollar compared to men. While women hold nearly half of today’s jobs, and their earnings account for a significant portion of the household income that sustains the financial well-being of their families, they are still experiencing a gap in pay compared to men’s wages for similar work. Today, women earn about 80 cents on the dollar compared to men — a gap that results in the loss of about $380,000 over a woman’s career. For African-American women and Latinas, the pay gap is even greater.

Each year, National Equal Pay Day reflects how far into the current year women must work to match what men earned in the previous year. On National Equal Pay Day, we rededicate ourselves to carrying forward the fight for true economic equality for all.

For more on National Equal Pay Day, including tools, resources and recently announced Apps, see below:

Read the Secretary’s statement on National Equal Pay Day
Read the Secretary’s Blog Post
A Guide to Women’s Equal Pay Rights
An Employer’s Guide to Equal Pay
Learn more about the Equal Pay App Challenge winners
Presidential Proclamation on Equal Pay Day
Highlights of Women’s Earnings by Region
Learn more about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the very first bill President Obama signed into law
Read the White House Equal Pay Task Force Accomplishments Report: Fighting for Fair Pay in the Workplace
Related:
The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap
Source: American Association of University Women (AAUW)
State-by-state wage gap data
Source: American Association of University Women (AAUW)

IAVA 2012 Member Survey

Source: Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America, 2012

2012 findings include:
– Our members’ unemployment rate was almost 17% – significantly higher than the 12.1% average unemployment rate for Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans in 2011
– Almost half (49%) of unemployed members did not feel that employers were open to hiring veterans
– More than 50% of our members are interested in starting a business in the next 3 to 5 or 6 to 10 years
– 37% of IAVA members personally know someone they served with or another Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who has committed suicide
– 2/3 of our membership do not think troops and veterans are getting the care they need for mental health injuries, including combat-related stress or military sexual trauma
– Almost 1/3 (31%) divorced or broke up with a long-term partner as a result of deployment and the return home
– 1/4 of IAVA members with children said their child had emotional problems (25%) or had problems in school (24%)
– 60% of our membership does not think the military/ Department of Defense is doing a good job of reaching out to troops and veterans regarding their mental health injuries and care, and less than half (49%) think the VA is doing a good job of reaching out to troops and veterans regarding their mental health injuries and care
See also:
Veteran unemployment up slightly in 2011
Source: Steve Vogel, Washington Post, March 21, 2012
Returning military members allege job discrimination — by federal government
Source: Steve Vogel, Washington Post, February 19, 2012
Berry calls for ‘zero tolerance’ for federal USERRA violations
Source: Steve Vogel, Washington Post, March 29, 2012

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Jobs: The Continuing Scandal of African-American Joblessness

Source: Andy Kroll, New Labor Forum, Vol. 21 no. 1, Winter 2012
(subscription required)

Like the country it governs, Washington is a city of extremes. In a car, you can zip in bare moments from northwest District of Columbia, its streets lined with million-dollar homes and palatial embassies, its inhabitants sporting one of the nation’s lowest jobless rates, to Anacostia, a mostly forgotten neighborhood in southeastern D.C. with one of the highest unemployment rates anywhere in America. Or, if you happen to be jobless…

Turning to Fairness: Insurance Discrimination Against Women Today and the Affordable Care Act

Source: National Women’s Law Center, March 2012

From the abstract:
Through our research we have found that women are continuously charged more for health coverage simply because they are women, and individual market health plans often exclude coverage for services that only women need, like maternity coverage. The report provides an in-depth analysis of these inequalities and explains how the Affordable Care Act explicitly removes these discriminations by 2014.

We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement

Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 2012

From the introduction:
In visiting the 49 places listed in the National Register for their association with the modern civil rights movement, as well as the Selma-to-Montgomery March route–a Department of Transportation designated “All-American Road” and a National Park Service designated National Historic Trail–two things will be apparent. First, although they had white supporters and sympathizers, the modern civil rights movement was designed, led, organized, and manned by African Americans, who placed themselves and their families on the front lines in the struggle for freedom. Their heroism was brought home to every American through newspaper, and later, television reports as their peaceful marches and demonstrations were violently attacked by law enforcement officers armed with batons, bullwhips, fire hoses, police dogs, and mass arrests. The second characteristic of the movement is that it was not monolithic, led by one or two men. Rather it was a dispersed, grass-roots campaign that attacked segregation in many different places using many different tactics. On this itinerary you will learn about the people and places associated with one of the most important chapters in our history.

The properties included in the itinerary are related to the modern civil rights movement, that is, with a few exceptions, the events of the post-World War II period, and especially the 1950s and 1960s. The focus of the itinerary is the African American freedom struggle, and does not include the attempts of other minority groups, such as Asians, Hispanics, or Native Americans, to obtain equality. The list of properties included in the itinerary does not represent all of the sites important in the civil rights movement; a number of these places have yet to be recognized by National Register listing. The 49 properties have been nominated by the States and listed in the National Register over the years, and do not represent a systematic effort to survey, identify, and list all important civil rights sites in the National Register.Visitors may be interested in Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, located near the places featured in this itinerary, including Boone Tavern Hall of Berea College.

This travel itinerary was prepared as a cooperative project between the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. Both agencies have formally recognized the historic significance of the Selma-to-Montgomery march of 1965. Congress has designated, and the National Park Service administers, the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail based on the route’s national significance in American history. The Federal Highway Administration has designated the march route as an All-American Road.
The Need For Change
The Players
The Strategy
The Cost
The Prize

Sisters in the Brotherhoods: Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City

Source: Jane LaTour/Talking History, 2012

This is the story of what it was like to go first.

The women’s movement of the mid-20th century inspired many women to seek new opportunities in the workplace. Beginning in the mid-1970s, pioneering young women sought to break down gender barriers in traditionally male, blue-color jobs. They faced daunting obstacles to entering these occupations. On the job they endured unrelenting, often vicious harrassment. They also received support from men who taught them their trades and helped them navigate unfamiliar territory.

Twenty years ago journalist and labor activist Jane LaTour began an oral history project dedicated to preserving their remarkable stories. The focus of her work is a group of women who entered the blue-collar workforce in New York City during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sisters in the Brotherhoods is their story, told in their own words and voices.

This website, produced by Talking History in partnership with LaTour, features audio and transcripts of the Sisters interviews as well as material from LaTour’s book Sisters in the Brotherhoods: Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City (2008).

Social Justice in the OECD – How Do the Member States Compare? Sustainable Governance Indicators 2011

Source: Daniel Schraad-Tischler, Bertelsmann Foundation, October 2011

The Social Justice Index compares 31 OECD states across six dimensions: poverty prevention, access to education, labor market inclusion, social cohesion/non-discrimination, health and intergenerational justice…. The United States (27), with its alarming poverty levels, lands near the bottom of the weighted index, ranking only slightly better than its neighbor Mexico (30) and new OECD member Chile (29).

Slavery by Another Name

Source: PBS, Air date: February 13, 2012

From the summary:
Slavery by Another Name is a 90-minute documentary that challenges one of Americans’ most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality. It was a system in which men, often guilty of no crime at all, were arrested, compelled to work without pay, repeatedly bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of masters. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century.

Title VII and the Public Sector Transgender Employee

Source: Leslie Paul Machado, IPMA-HR News, Vol. 78 no. 1, January 2012
(subscription required)(scroll down)

There is a tendency among many employers to think of transgender issues as “someone else’s problem,” an issue not likely to affect their own organizations. That’s a misconception, and it’s as prevalent among public sector organizations as it is among private businesses. Several recent cases bear witness to this fact….Rather than isolated decisions, these cases may be part of a larger trend in which courts are increasingly holding employers liable under Title VII for alleged discrimination against transgender employees.

A Fatter Butt Equals a Skinnier Wallet: Why Workplace Wellness Programs Discriminate Against the Obese and Violate Federal Employment Law

Source: Steven C. Sizemore, Wyoming Law Review, 2011
(subscription required)

This comment examines the complicated nature of obesity in America to ascertain whether workplace wellness programs requiring the disclosure of legally protected genetic information discriminate against the obese and violate federal employment law. To accomplish this, the background section discusses the facts behind America’s alleged obesity epidemic in an attempt to address some of the societal issues underpinning America’s growing concern with obesity and the workplace wellness program solution. Following a discussion of the relevant sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), this comment analyzes whether the ADA and GINA permit employers to provide discounts to the non-obese which results in charging the obese more for the same insurance benefits. This comment concludes Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) sanction of workplace wellness programs discriminates against the obese and violates the ADA and GINA by unequally allocating health insurance benefits among employees and requiring the disclosure of statutorily protected genetic information.

While workplace wellness programs provide a multitude of benefits for employers and their employees, ultimately such programs discriminate against the obese through the unequal distribution of health insurance premiums and violate federal employment law by compelling the disclosure of legally protected information. As a result, PPACA’s endorsement of workplace wellness through awarding grants to implement workplace wellness programs discriminates against the obese and violates federal employment law.