Diversity Insight

February 21, 2010

In this Issue

It Can Pay to Challenge Assumptions

By J. Robert Brame

Social critics routinely criticize Western culture as being racist, sexist, xenophobic, and more recently, ageist and "lookist," the latter being the widely asserted preference within our society for the more attractive over the less attractive, especially regarding women. Some of these "problems," including racism, xenophobia, and ageism, have been enshrined in legislative findings, and others such as lookism are beginning to work their way into agency regulations or enforcement guides.

Rather than accept these tendencies, it sometimes pays to examine underlying assumptions (especially those that have not yet become law). Two recent news reports raise the question of whether apparent discriminations are factual or whether other, less invidious factors are at work.

Read on

Employee Network Groups

National Origin Discrimination
and  English-Only Rules

By Troy D. Thompson

In fiscal year (FY) 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 11,134 charges involving claims of national origin discrimination -- an approximate 57 percent increase since 1999. Although the EEOC has not yet disclosed its statistics for FY 2010, all indications are that these claims continue to rise.

Given that trend, along with increased attention the EEOC has directed toward national origin discrimination claims, it's important to consider measures you may take now to avoid and/or prepare to successfully defend against these claims in the future. This article briefly discusses the legal framework relating to national origin discrimination claims under federal law and provides a few suggestions on how you can minimize your risk of liability.

Read on

A Seat At The Table

EEOC Complaints Reach All-Time High

The EEOC recently released its statistical data on fiscal year 2010 filings. The data indicated that workplace discrimination complaints against private sector firms reached an all-time high in 2010.

The EEOC reported that filings with the federal agency nationwide totaled 99,922 during fiscal year 2010, which ended on September 30, 2010. That was a seven percent increase over fiscal year 2009. The Commission reported that in fiscal year 2010, it received more employment discrimination complaints than any other year in the 45-year history of the commission. The Commission stated that the nearly 100,000 complaints it received in fiscal year 2010 resulted in over $400 million in payments from employers.

Read on

Legal News

Employee's Own Testimony Sinks Her Case

Not all lawsuits are filed because an employee has evidence of discrimination or believes she was discriminated against. Rather, sometimes they're filed because the employee thinks she was treated unfairly. That concept is illustrated in a recent case out of Durham, North Carolina.


Iretha Lawrence, an African American female, worked for North Carolina Neuropsychiatry (NCN) as a billing specialist. Shortly after she began work, she had a series of disputes with several coworkers. Additionally, she ran afoul of NCN's absenteeism and tardiness policy, which requires an employee to notify her supervisor of an absence, late arrival, or early departure no later than one hour before the start of her shift unless she has previous written approval. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Read on


Accommodating Employees with Cancer

Nearly 40 percent of the 12 million cancer survivors living in the United States are aged 20 to 64 -- working age. So it's likely that an employer will have to deal an employee or an employee's family member who has cancer.

Learn legal and practical solutions for accommodating employees with cancer by participating in the interactive HR Hero audio conference Employees with Cancer: Responding to ADA, FMLA, Privacy & Policy Issues.

Coming Tuesday, March 8.
For more information call (800)
274-6774 or visit: www.hrhero.com
Please mention Seminar Code HLT when calling.

Master ADA compliance in just one day
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02/22/2011 - Accommodating Medical Marijuana at Work: New Legal Challenges for HR

03/03/2011 - 2011 Merger Readiness: HR's Role in Blending Missions, Cultures, & People

03/08/2011 - Employees with Cancer: Responding to ADA, FMLA, Privacy & Policy Issues

03/09/2011 - GINA Now a Reality: How to Comply with New Genetic Discrimination Regs

03/10/2011 - Talent Retention 2011: Rekindling Employee Loyalty with Career Conversations

03/15/2011 - Success You Can Measure: Using Data to Improve HR Functions and Add Bottom Line Value

03/16/2011 - Ready, Set, Lead: Transitioning Doers into New Supervisors

Basic Training for Employees & Supervisors

Help your employees and supervisors make workplace decisions that won't place your organization in legal peril with the Basic Training series. From ethical dilemmas to discriminatory behavior, your staff will learn how to make the right call every time with these brief, plain English booklets on basic employment law.

Basic Training for Supervisors and Employees: Diversity Teach your employees and supervisors how to guide or work in a group filled with differing backgrounds, perspectives, and opinions and help them understand diversity, why it’s so important, and how to accommodate cultural differences on the team.

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