Source: U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and Labor, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, Press release, February 12, 2008
An increasing number of military service members and U.S. contractors working abroad are being discriminated against on the job and are left with little ability to hold their employers accountable for it, witnesses told the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions today.
“If a worker is wronged while on the job, then that employee should have every opportunity to be made whole under the law,” said Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), chairman of the subcommittee. “Unfortunately, there are too many loopholes in the law today and we have the responsibility to not allow any instance of discrimination to go unchecked.”
Reserve troops returning home from active duty in places like Iraq and Afghanistan are finding it difficult to get their jobs back, government statistics show. According to a U.S. Defense Department report, more than 33,000 reserve service members from 2001 to 2005 have complained to the agency that their employers failed to give them their jobs back – as required by law – or received a reduction in pay and benefits.
▪ Witness testimonies from hearing
Source: Michael B. Katz and Mark J. Stern, Dissent, Winter, 2008
In November 2007, two reports by distinguished research centers turned African American inequality into national news. Their startling and discomfiting data highlighted both the fragility of African American success and the widening fault lines that divide African Americans from each other. Impressive and authoritative as the reports are, they nonetheless remain incomplete because they do not explain how and why African American inequality has changed during the last several decades or the place of gender and publicly supported work in the new black inequality. … Public and state-related employment, thus, have proved the most powerful vehicles for African American economic mobility and the most effective antipoverty legacy of the Great Society. This dependence on publicly funded work also left African Americans vulnerable. Reductions in public employment and spending strike them with special ferocity and undermine their often fragile achievements.
Source: Amaad Rivera, Brenda Cotto-Escalera, Anisha Desai, Jeannette Huezo, and Dedrick Muhammad, United for a Fair Economy, January 15, 2008
This report finds that due to racial bias, people of color are being hit especially hard by the current subprime lending crisis. As homes are foreclosed and families of color find themselves in financial ruin, the racial and economic equality that Martin Luther King, Jr. once envisioned is moving even further out of reach. We found the estimated total loss of wealth for people of color to be between $164 billion and $213 billion for subprime loans taken during the past eight years. This breaks down to losses of between $71 billion and $92 billion for Black/African-American borrowers, and between $75 billion and $98 billion for Latino borrowers for the same period.
Source: Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol. 27, No. 4
By Roddrick A. Colvin
Whereas efforts that prohibit employment discrimination based on factors such as race or sexual orientation require certain organizational changes, creating a transgender-inclusive workplace requires organizational changes that include personnel, policy, legal, and medical issues unique to transgender people. At present, it is not clear whether communities are actually implementing these organizational changes, even after adopting transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws. This research project surveyed 74 municipalities with transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination employments laws, in order to assess and better understand the state of transgender-inclusive public workplaces. The initial results of the survey suggest that although innovation continues to increase, implementation and enforcement remain low, affecting managers’ and employees’ abilities to operate in a transgender-inclusive environment. Recommendations are made to improve implementation and enforcement of transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws.
Source: Vadim Liberman, Conference Board Review Magazine, September/October 2007
From the press release:
What happens when an employee’s freedom of religion crosses paths with a company’s interests? A recent article in The Conference Board Review looks to answer this question. In “Workers’ Rites,” TCB Review explores how expression of religion in the workplace often challenges businesses to find appropriate solutions to employees’ requests.
“Obviously, you can’t fire someone just because her faith differs from yours,” writes associate editor Vadim Liberman. “But what happens when you face situations that aren’t so black and white-when the beliefs and practices of customers and co-workers come into play, not to mention the intricacies of employment law?” As religion increasingly collides with corporate policies and practices, companies are asking what is and isn’t permissible behavior — for workers and for themselves.
Last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 2,541 claims of religious discrimination in the workplace — almost 50 percent more than a decade ago. And according to the New York-based Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, 66 percent of employees report “evidence of religious bias at work.”
Source: ACORN, September 5, 2007
Over the last two years, Americans have increasingly recognized the harm done to homeowners (both families who refinance their homes and new buyers) and neighborhoods by the sharp increase of the issuance of subprime loans. Perhaps most damaging among subprime loan products are Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), exploding ARMs, no-document loans and other products that do not require lenders to take into account the loan’s long-term affordability for the borrower. ACORN’s report on the 2005 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, “The Impending Rate Shock,” demonstrated that unaffordable loans disproportionately impact minority and low- and moderate- income families and neighborhoods. Now these high-cost loans – many of which are exploding ARMs – have led to the foreclosure crisis that we hear about daily.
National Tables 2007 HMDA Report
2007 Subprime Study National Map
Metro area data by state (scroll down)
Home Insecurity: A set of reports on neighborhoods in trouble due to foreclosures
Of the wretched and the reckless
Source: The Economist, Vol. 384 no. 8545, September 6, 2007
Source: January Angeles and Stephen A. Somers, Center for Health Care Strategies, Issue Brief, August 2007
Despite improvements in the overall health status of Americans, minorities continue to lag behind whites in health status and access to care. Since the 2002 release of the Institute of Medicine report, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care (purchase required), a significant amount of analytic work has enhanced our understanding of the scope and causes of disparities in health and health care. It is now time to move beyond documenting disparities and to focus our efforts on actionable steps to eliminate them.
A comprehensive, multi-stakeholder strategy is needed to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care delivery. Progress in this area requires the engagement of the entire health care stakeholder community — purchasers, managed care organizations, providers, consumers, and community- based organizations. This brief outlines innovative, practical strategies that states and Medicaid managed care organizations nationally are implementing to address documented gaps in care.
Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Vol. 24, no. 15, July 19, 2007
New guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) means employers must be extra cautious when it comes to employees with care giving responsibilities. While no federal law specifically bans discrimination against caregivers, the EEOC says Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) extend protections to individuals caring for children, parents and others.
Source: M.V. Lee Badgett, Holning Lau, Brad Sears, Deborah Ho, The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, June 2007
This report reviews more than 50 studies over the last decade and demonstrates a disturbing and consistent pattern: sexual orientation-based and gender identity discrimination is a common occurrence in many workplaces across the country. Surveys of GLBT individuals, studies of the sexual orientation earnings gap, and controlled experiments all provide evidence of discriminatory treatment.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Annual Report on the Federal Work Force, Fiscal Year 2006
From press release:
Naomi C. Earp, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), today released the Annual Report on the Federal Work Force for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, covering October 2005 through September 2006. The comprehensive report, which informs and advises the President and the U.S. Congress on the state of equal employment opportunity (EEO) government-wide, is available on the agency’s web site.
The 58-page annual report follows the structure of the requirements set forth in the EEOC’s Management Directive (MD)-715 and includes practical tips for improving EEO performance. Data in the report are presented both in individual agency profiles and in government-wide aggregate form. MD-715, which became effective in October 2003, is an extensive guidance document for federal agencies promoting EEO principles and best practices.
The report shows that in FY 2006, federal employees and applicants filed 16,723 complaints alleging employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability and reprisal – down seven percent from just over 18,000 complaints in FY 2005 and nearly 20,000 complaints in prior years.