Showing posts with label race discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label race discrimination. Show all posts

Thursday, July 11, 2024

What is "implicit bias" and how to combat it in your business


Dwight Jackson, a Black man, claims that the Shinola Hotel denied him a job interview because of his race. He knows this, he says, because he reapplied for the same job at the same hotel with the same resume ... with one key difference. He changed his name to John Jebrowski. While the hotel didn't offer Jackson an interview, it did offer one to Jebrowski. That, Jackson says in his recently filed lawsuit, is race discrimination.

Inherent bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that unconsciously affect our understanding, actions, and decisions. These biases can silently influence hiring decisions, leading to discrimination based on characteristics such as race. Name bias is one example of how inherent biases manifest themselves.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Should jury verdict forms in discrimination cases include the McDonnell Douglas factors?


Jury trials are often won or lost based on the instructions and verdict forms the court provides the jury.

Jury instructions outline the legal standards that the jury must use to decide the case. Verdict forms allow the jury to record its decisions on the issues in the case and typically include specific questions that the jury must answer reflecting their findings on claim.

In Craddock v. FedEx Corp. Servs.Craddock v. FedEx Corp. Servs., the plaintiff — a Black woman fired after an altercation at work — complained on appeal about an alleged inconsistency in the jury's verdict.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

This should constitute a racially hostile work environment; the court says it didn't


15 different Black employees complain that their health-care employer maintains a racially hostile work environment. The allegations include several being exposed to the N-word at work, patients refusing treatment by Black employees and calling them "colored" and other slurs, and other race-based incidents.

Nevertheless, in EEOC v. Village at Hamilton Pointe, the 7th Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the agency's racial harassment lawsuit. "In sum," the court wrote, "the evidence of record does not support, under established principles of law, a case for racial harassment that was so severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of employment for any of these claimants."

I disagree.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Does DEI training create a hostile work environment?


"You can't force me to sit through DEI training! I'm White. It creates a racially hostile work environment."

That's what one employee recently argued in a racial harassment lawsuit he filed against his employer, a state department of corrections, which had mandated DEI training for all employees.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of this lawsuit, concluding that this training could not constitute a hostile work environment because it only occurred one and lacked any race-based ridicule or insults.

But all is not roses for employers and their efforts to offer DEI training to better their workplaces. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

“DEI” is not a 4-letter word


"DEI" is not a 4-letter word … no matter what some people want you to believe.

Companies such as Sherwin-Williams are scrapping their internal use of the words "Diversity," "Equity," and "Inclusion," and are replacing them with words such as "Belonging" and "Culture."

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

A DEI smackdown


It's a DEI heavyweight battle of epic proportions that played out of X over the past week.

In the blue corner, hailing from Big D, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban: 

I've never hired anyone based exclusively on race, gender, religion. I only ever hire the person that will put my business in the best position to succeed. And yes, race and gender can be part of the equation. I view diversity as a competitive advantage.

And in the red corner, hailing from our nation's capital, EEOC Commissioner Andrea Lucas: 

Unfortunately you’re dead wrong on black-letter Title VII law. As a general rule, race/sex can't even be a "motivating factor" — nor a plus factor, tie-breaker, or tipping point.… This isn't an opinion; reasonable minds can't disagree on this point. It's the plain text of Title VII.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

DEI programs continue to be a lawsuit target


Major League Baseball. NASCAR. Starbucks. McDonald’s. Morgan Stanley, American, United and Southwest Airlines. America First Legal, a conservative group led by Stephen Miller, has targeted each of these for their “illegal” practices of hiring non-Whites and females.

In its most recent letter to the EEOC, urging it to investigate American Airlines, AFL cited the following as evidence of “unlawful employment practices” —

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Despite what SCOTUS said about collegiate affirmative action, corporate DEI efforts are still legal


Last week, a federal court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a conservative shareholder against Starbucks challenging the company's diversity, equity, and inclusion policies. He called the lawsuit "frivolous."

In 2020, Starbucks decided that it needed a greater representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) employees. As a result, it announced a policy that aimed to increase company-wide BIPOC representation to at least 30% in five years. Its efforts included implementing a leadership accelerator program for BIPOC employees, linking executive compensation to meeting DEI goals, and granting funds to community nonprofits.

National Center for Public Policy Research, which owns around $6,000 in Starbucks stock, sued, claiming those policies require the company to make race-based decisions in violation of state and federal civil rights laws. Explaining the lawsuit, the NCPPR said that setting "goals for the number of 'diverse'—meaning not-white—employees it hires … is outright racial discrimination."

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Managing an overly sensitive employee


Floyd Sesson, a Black UPS parts mechanic, saw race discrimination in every turn within his workplace.

When UPS changed its policy to prohibit overtime for all parts mechanics, Sesson claimed that the policy unlawfully targeted him because of his race.

When Sesson complained to management about the overtime cuts, he claimed he further lost overtime in retaliation for his complaints.

When supervisors tried to manage Sesson, he claimed they were harassing him because of his race.

The 6th Circuit had little difficulty in affirming the dismissal of Sesson's discrimination, retaliation, and harassment lawsuit.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Uber suspends DEI exec over “Don’t Call Me Karen” events


Uber has suspended its longtime head of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Bo Young Lee, after Black and Hispanic employees complained that an event she ran — titled "Don't Call Me Karen" — was insensitive to people of color.

"Karen," in case you've lived an a cave without WiFi for the past half-decade, is slang for an entitled white woman who often complains to a management and the authorities about Black people and other minorities.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

When you offer a reason for something, you better be really, really sure it’s correct


It is with great sadness that we announce that the Founders Detroit Taproom will be permanently closing its doors today.

Unfortunately, our Detroit location has not been immune to the struggle to regain foot traffic after temporary Covid closures that have impacted restaurants and bars across the nation.

That was the message that Founders Brewing Company posted across its social media channels earlier this week.

There is no doubt that the bar and restaurant industry has struggled throughout the pandemic and, in pockets, continues to struggle. Consider, however, that less than three hours before Founders announced its Detroit taproom closure, it was sued by a Black employee claiming that the brewery promoted her "purely for optic reasons" and subjected her to "egregious racial harassment" that was "so objectively racially hostile that she had no choice but to resign" last week.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

What does an employer have to do to lose $366 million?!


$366 million dollars. That's how much a jury awarded Jennifer Harris, a Black sales manager targeted and then fired by FedEx after she complained to human resources that her boss discriminatorily demoted her. 

That's $1.16 million in compensatory damages and $365 million in punitive damages. 

The trial judge recently rejected FedEx's motion to reduce the punitive verdict as excessive and a violation of its due process rights.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Dr. King’s struggle has not ended


“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Paper plant settles case of egregious racial harassment with EEOC for $385,000


Packaging Corporation of America has agreed to pay the EEOC $385,000 to settle the racial harassment claims of two African American employees. 

The allegations are egregious (per the EEOC's news release).

Monday, November 7, 2022

Would you fire this employee?


Over the weekend, I asked a simple question on LinkedIn: "Would you fire this employee?"

The employee in question took to LinkedIn to celebrate Elon Musk's dismantling of Blackbirds. Blackbirds was an Employee Resource Group for Black Twitter employees to support them, foster their development, and provide them a safe space within the company.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Accountability starts at the top, even for the NFL


NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson has suspended Deshaun Watson for six games for his violation of the league's personal conduct policy based on allegations by four masseuses that he solicited prostitution by paying for sex acts.

Some see six games as a slap on the wrist. I don't, at least in the environment that bound Judge Robinson and her ruling.

While I don't in any way condone Watson's misconduct, the NFL would place itself in serious legal jeopardy by imposing a suspension that encourages Watson or his union to litigate.

Don’t be mad at Watson for getting off light; be mad at the NFL for its long history of giving white male owners a free pass for their own sexual misconduct. The league created the legal environment that let Watson (a Black player) off.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Court dismisses employees’ race discrimination claims against Whole Foods based on prohibition of BLM masks


A group of Black and non-Black Whole Foods employees claimed that their employer unlawfully discriminated against them because of their race and their association with people because of their race based on their employer's prohibition of the wearing of "Black Lives Matter" face masks starting in June 2020 following the death of George Floyd.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Court upholds termination of employee for off-duty Facebook posts critical of Black Lives Matter


"Black lives" matter causes segregation. Have you ever hear[d] of "white lives" matter or "[J]ewish" lives matter[?] No. Equal opportunity.
That's what Heather McVey posted to her personal Facebook account in the wake of George Floyd's murder and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests.

An administrator of the hospital at which McVey worked as a nurse discovered her post, and, following an investigation the hospital fired her. Its stated reason was that "she posted on her social media a clearly racist dog whistle post, which was inconsistent with the vision and the mission and the core values of AtlantiCare."

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

How do you handle employees talking about “replacement theory” at work?


The "Great Replacement" is a conspiracy theory that certain leftist political forces are bringing non-whites into the United States and other Western countries to "replace" white voters to achieve their political agenda. It is often tied to anti-immigration groups and white supremacists. It's also the motivation that caused Payton Gendron to shoot 13 Black individuals in a Buffalo supermarket this past weekend, killing 10.

It's also way more mainstream than you might think or want to believe, with certain mainstream media outlets substituting its traditional racist and antisemitic underpinnings, including the use of terms of "white genocide" and "Jewish cabal," with a more politically focused narrative. Indeed, one in three Americans believe in "replacement theory."

How do you handle it if an employee complains that co-workers are promoting the Great Replacement? 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Coronavirus Update 9-15-21: Do mandatory vaccination policies have an adverse impact on minority employees?


With President Biden's announcement of his plan to vaccinate all employees of employers with 100 or more employees, the nation is keenly focused on workplace mandatory vaccination policies. This has led some to question whether the President's plan unlawfully discriminates against minority employees.

There is little doubt that vaccination rates among Blacks and Hispanics lags behind that of Whites (which isn't that great to begin with). At the latest count, only 43% of Black Americans and 48% of Hispanic Americans are vaccinated, compared with 52% of White Americans. The reason for this greater vaccine hesitancy within minority communities is understandable and well documented, particularly when the government is promoting or flat-out requiring the vaccine. See the Tuskegee Experiment (one of our nation's greatest embarrassments … and that's saying a lot).

All of this begs the question — is a mandatory vaccination policy discriminatory against Blacks and Hispanics. Or, more technically speaking, does such a policy adversely impact them?