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Total Articles: 14

Reversing Racial Discrimination Claims is Difficult, but Not Impossible

Despite the heightened scrutiny given to reverse racial discrimination claims, it is difficult but not impossible to prevail under the right circumstances.

“But You’re Not a Person of Color -- You’re Asian”

Growing up in an affluent, mostly white suburb of Detroit, I never really embraced my diversity. I knew that I was different from my schoolmates and friends, but I didn’t think much about it. Sure, I took Chinese lessons every week in Canada and had a cool mom who came in every year for show-and-tell to teach my elementary school class about Chinese traditions. Of course, I stood with far fewer classmates during a middle school exercise in which we were asked to identify different races and stand with students of similar races. And yes, I found it annoying to be constantly mistaken for my best friend (who is also Asian) or assumed to be her sister. Still, I couldn’t deny that when I was invited to participate in a “People of Color Conference” in high school, a part of me agreed with my friends, who insisted, “But you’re not a person of color—You’re Asian.” I wouldn’t say that I resisted the idea that I belonged to a minority group; I just didn’t think that being Asian really mattered that much.

Retail employers: protect against racial profiling charges

One of my favorite categories on Twitter is #firstworldproblems. As the name implies, it's a bunch of tweets about problems that don't amount to anything but that drive us crazy in our ridiculously affluent, spoiled-rotten world.

White Employee Lacks Title VII Race Discrimination Claim in Paula Deen Case

Although most of the media attention surrounding Jackson v. Deen has focused on Paula Deen’s admission during a deposition that she used racial slurs, the underlying case presents an interesting legal question: Can a white employee bring a Title VII discrimination claim on the basis that she was forced to endure a discriminatory and hostile working environment? A federal court in Georgia says no.

Ninth Circuit: Public Sector Independent Contractor Has No Property Interest and No Section 1983 Claim

42 U.S.C. Section 1983 allows public sector workers to challenge certain government employer action against public sector workers. The law permits state employees to challenge deprivations of due process or equal protection that amount to violations of the constitution. But to use Section 1983, the employee must demonstrate a property right or liberty interest that the government employer deprived. Many civil service workers are employed under conditions that virtually guarantee them a job that cannot end without sufficient cause. Section 1983 lawsuits involving employment actions often are predicated on that sort of employment relationship.

June 1963 - Civil Rights Act Introduced

On June 20, 1963, what became the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced as H.R. 7152, in the 1st Session of the 88th Congress. It was referred to the Judiciary Committee which was chaired by Rep. Emanual Celler (D-NY). He referred it to a sub-committee, which he also chaired.

A Doorway Stand and One Big Step Forward

On June 11, 1963, George Wallace made his famous "segregation forever" speech while standing in the door to block the integration of the University of Alabama. (Wonder what Coach Saban would think of that idea?). After President Kennedy nationalized the Alabama National Guard, Wallace stepped aside.

50 Years Ago...

In the summer of 1963, the summer between the 7th and 8th grade for me, my main concern was playing first base for Tapp's Pony League baseball team. (It was Tapp's the furniture store, not the funeral home, although I doubt that many in the small town new, or for that matter cared.) In other parts of the country, there were much more significant matters as the civil rights movement which had been building since the mid-1950's was beginning yet another significant and violent summer.

One Prediction That Had Some Legs

Forecasting is an art not a science, and truth be known luck is probably the most single important factor if one gets it right, still I could not help but think back to one of my first posts of this year, 2011 --- the Year of the Non-minority? where I thought that we might see

Patient's preference for white aides does not trump health care employer's duty to its employees to abstain from race-based work assignments.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a nursing home’s policy of complying with patients’ wishes to be treated only by white health care workers can form the basis of a racially hostile work environment for non-white employees.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Whether Scrapping Promotional Exam Violates Title VII.

On April 22, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the internal clash between Title VII’s disparate impact and disparate treatment provisions. Ricci v. DeStefano, U.S., No. 07-1428 (oral argument 4/22/09). The case is based upon the city of New Haven’s decision not to certify the results of two 2003 firefighter promotional exams - one for captain, and one for lieutenant – when 14 of the top 15 scores were earned by white candidates. The district court dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2004 on behalf of 17 white and one Hispanic firefighters; that decision was upheld by the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case was accepted for argument by the Supreme Court, primarily to address the issue of whether the city’s decision violated Title VII and/or the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Manager Fired For Violating Nonfraternization Policy Loses Appeal.

A federal appellate court recently dismissed a lawsuit brought by an African-American manager who claimed that his discharge was racially motivated because he dated (and subsequently married) a white hourly employee. According to the court, the worker failed to establish a prima facie case of race discrimination, and even if he could, there was no evidence that the company's explanation for his discharge was a pretext for unlawful bias.

Tenth Circuit Finds No Pretext In Hospital's Assertion That Disruptive Physician's Privileges Should Be Terminated.

Healthcare entities continue to monitor federal court decisions related to the relationship between hospitals and credentialed physicians to determine whether hospital bylaws are being viewed by the courts as contracts with the doctors. Recently, however, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals side-stepped the “contract” issue while addressing a race discrimination claim brought by a doctor against a hospital. Instead, it analyzed the case under the typical burden shifting framework generally applicable in federal discrimination cases. Under that analysis, the physician failed to show that race was a motivating factor in the hospital’s decision to terminate his privileges there, and his case was dismissed.

The EEOC's E-RACE Initiative.

In February, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) launched its "E-RACE" (Eradicating Racism and Colorism from Employment) Initiative. The E-RACE Initiative is designed to improve the EEOC's efforts to free the workplace of race and color discrimination. The EEOC intends to identify issues, criteria and barriers that contribute to race and color discrimination, explore strategies to improve the administrative processing and litigation of race and color discrimination claims, and enhance public awareness of race and color discrimination in employment.
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