Category Archives: Discrimination

The Party of Lincoln and the Politics of State Fair Employment Practices Legislation in the North, 1945-1964

Source: Anthony S. Chen, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 112, No. 6
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
From 1945 to 1964, more than a score of northern states passed laws mandating non-discrimination in employment. Why did some states pass such fair employment practice (FEP) laws much more slowly than other states? This article presents archival and statistical evidence that partisan control of policy-making institutions – namely, Republican control of veto points in the legislative process – is associated with a substantial reduction in the likelihood that a state would pass FEP legislation, even when controlling for potentially confounding variables. This finding casts doubt on the leading account of the electoral realignment that began in the mid-1960s and culminated in the Reagan-Bush years. Well before the advent of affirmative action, key numbers of GOP office-holders – allied with organized business and motivated by a free-market, anti-regulatory ideology – worked successfully to block the adoption of color-blind laws mandating formal racial equality.

NCSL 50-State Legislative Tracking Web Resources

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, June 2008

At the request of NCSL’s Legislative Research Librarians (LRL) staff section, NCSL has developed this resource of 50-state compilations covering various issues that concern state legislators and legislative staff. Here you will find a topical, alphabetical listing of legislative and statutory databases, compilations and state charts/maps.

[NOTE: Some of these tracking services are currently out of date. PLEASE NOTE THE DATE of the item you are reviewing].

Labor & Employment

At-Will Employment
Day Laborer Laws (statutes)
Drugtesting in the Workplace
State Divestment Legislation
Equal Pay (statutes and legislation)
Family/Medical Leave Laws (statutes)
Living Wage (legislation)
Medical Donar Leave Laws (statutes)
Minimum Wage Laws (legislation and chart)
Minors – Employment Laws (statutes)
Non-compete Agreements (statutes)
Overtime Laws (statutes)
Sick Leave Laws (statutes)
Telecommuting (statutes and legislation)
Whistleblowers (statutes)
Workforce Development (legislation and resources)

Race, Ethnicity, and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Source: Economic Policy Institute, June 12, 2008

Presentations by:
Graciela Aponte, Debbie Bocian, Wilhelmina Leigh, Gregory Squires

The subprime mortgage crisis, with its links to the broader housing sector and to financial markets, is at the top of the national policy agenda. As Congress and the Federal Reserve consider proposals for reform, it is important to consider how and why this crisis came to have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. This panel discussed the reasons for this disparate impact and how policy reforms can be best tailored to serve the communities hardest hit by the crisis.

Full-length video and audio
Watch:
View part 1
View part 2
View part 3 (Q&A)
Listen:
Part 1: [listen/stream] [download MP3]
Part 2: [listen/stream] [download MP3]
Part 3 (Q&A): [listen/stream] [download MP3]

40 Years Later: The Unrealized American Dream

Source: Dedrick Muhammad, Inequality and the Common Good, April 2, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King recognized that the next phase in the African-American’s quest for civil rights and equality was one that would focus on the economic divide between the wealthiest Americans, the working class, and those in poverty. King’s analysis of economic inequality as the foundation of racial inequality remains as valid today as it was 40 years ago.

40 Years Later: The Unrealized American Dream examines the progress in and challenges to economic equality between African Americans and whites since April 4, 1968 using data from the US Census Bureau, the Economic Policy Institute, the Survey of Consumer Finances, and other sources. Findings conclude that despite educational advances, economic equality for African Americans is still a dream, not a reality.

Employers Should Take Care When Making Decisions About Caregivers

Source: Margaret M. Pinkham
Employee Relations Law Journal
Vol. 34, no. 1, Summer 2008

In this article, the author discusses an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforcement guidance, Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities, and provides suggestions as to how employer can use lessons from the past as a guide to prevent caregiver discrimination claims from being the next wave of discrimination cases in the future.

Family Responsibilities Discrimination: The EEOC Guidance

Source: C. W. VonBergen, William T. Mawer, and Robert Howard
Employee Relations Law Journal
Vol. 34, no. 1, Summer 2008

Family responsibilities discrimination, involving bias against workers based on their responsibilities to care for family members, is one of the newest 21st century workplace concerns. In response to this issue, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently published guidelines that document circumstances in which stereotypes or disparate treatment of employees with family responsibility may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This article explains these guidelines and what companies can do to avoid potential legal problems and accompanying liabilities with respect to family caregiving responsibilities.

Same Sex Marriage, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Quick facts on key states:
• Issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples: Massachusetts, California
• Recognizes same-sex marriages from other states: Rhode Island
• Allows civil unions, providing state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples: Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire
• Statewide law provides nearly all state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (Domestic Partnerships): California, Oregon
• Statewide law provides some state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (Domestic Partnerships): Hawaii, Maine, District of Columbia, Washington

Full report

A Major Setback for Pay Equality: The Supreme Court’s Decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Source: Norma M. Riccucci, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol. 28, no. 1, March 2008
(subscription required)

Pay inequities based on gender continue to pervade the public and private sector landscapes. Although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 proscribe unequal pay for equal work, the newly formed U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (2007) that ignores Court precedents as well as provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, making it more difficult for employees to file suit for pay inequities. Ultimately, the problem of pay disparities in the workplace can only worsen.
See also:
S. 1843 Fair Pay Restoration Act

Do Subprime Loans Create Subprime Cities? Surging Inequality and the Rise In Predatory Lending

Source: Gregory D. Squires, Economic Policy Institute, Briefing Paper no. 197, February 28, 2008

From the press release:
The development of a two-tiered system of financial services, driven by the rising economic inequality in the United States, is ushering in a new era of de facto redlining, according to a new paper from the Economic Policy Institute, “Do Subprime Loans Create Subprime Cities? Surging Inequality and the Rise in Predatory Lending.”

In the paper, published by EPI as part of its Agenda for Shared Prosperity, author, Gregory D. Squires, a George Washington University sociologist, contends that increasing economic inequality and diminishing access to conventional financial services have become inextricably linked.