Aging Workers Present Golden Opportunities

September 20, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

By Gary Jiles

A wise employer recognizes that with age comes solid work experience. Thus, it is beneficial to both you and the employee to accommodate the needs of your aging employees. While an older workforce may trigger a few considerations, flexibility and additional training can ensure that your employees (and business) continue to prosper.

Baby Boomers are all grown up and represent a large portion of today’s workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 40 percent of people age 55 and older consider themselves part of the workforce. Before the recession, many companies were becoming increasingly aware of the needs of older workers. However, many initiatives aimed at meeting those needs have been scrapped because of tumultuous financial times. Labor experts now fear that employers are woefully unprepared to meet the needs of the aging labor force.

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Categories: Boomers

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Protection Considered

September 20, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

By Stephen J. Stine

The categories of persons entitled to legal protection under federal antidiscrimination law have remained the same for almost 20 years. The last major expansion of federal antidiscrimination protection occurred in 1990, when Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act to protect individuals with an actual or perceived disability or a history of a disability.

Now, Congress appears poised to extend federal antidiscrimination law to a whole new level — sexual orientation and gender identity. Let’s look at the proposed legislative measure designed to prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination and the potential impact on your business if passed.

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Categories: Legal News

AT&T Pays $1.3 Million for Religious Discrimination

September 20, 2009 - by: Celeste Blackburn 0 COMMENTS

On July 31, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas entered a judgment against communications giant AT&T, Inc. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of two male customer service technicians who were suspended and fired for attending a Jehovah’s Witness convention. AT&T paid $1,307,597 to satisfy the judgment.

In October 2007, a jury of nine women and three men awarded Jose Gonzalez and Glenn Owen $296,000 in back pay and $460,000 in compensatory damages for their Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claim. During the four-day trial, the jury heard evidence that both men had submitted written requests to their manager in January 2005 for one day of leave to attend a religious observance scheduled to take place Friday, July15, through Sunday, July17.

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Categories: Legal News

AT&T Pays $1.3 Million for Religious Discrimination

September 20, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

On July 31, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas entered a judgment against communications giant AT&T, Inc. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of two male customer service technicians who were suspended and fired for attending a Jehovah’s Witness convention. AT&T paid $1,307,597 to satisfy the judgment.

In October 2007, a jury of nine women and three men awarded Jose Gonzalez and Glenn Owen $296,000 in back pay and $460,000 in compensatory damages for their Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claim. During the four-day trial, the jury heard evidence that both men had submitted written requests to their manager in January 2005 for one day of leave to attend a religious observance scheduled to take place Friday, July15, through Sunday, July17.

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Categories: Legal News

In Future, Hispanics Will Be Key to Older Workforce

August 16, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

According to the Urban Institute report “50+ Hispanic Workers: A Growing Segment of the U.S. Workforce,” Hispanics make up one of the fastest growing segments of the country’s older population, making them an important demographic for employers. In the report, Richard W. Johnson and Maurcio Soto examined the contributions these workers make to employers and the economy, determining that the overall characteristics of the group should make them very appealing to employers.

Johnson and Soto begin the report by asserting that as Baby Boomers age, the traditional labor pool — made up of workers ages 25-54 — is “stagnating.” The best way to combat that problem, they say, is to look to older workers: “Older adults, whose numbers are soaring, provide a potential solution to employers who seek the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to get through these tough times. By ensuring that their workforces include experienced and knowledgeable older workers, employers could prevent the loss of key skills and institutional knowledge that could damage their organization’s current and future competitiveness.”

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Categories: Diversity Trends

Age Discrimination Filings Jump During Recession

August 16, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

Highlighting what it says is the “devastating impact” of age discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public hearing on July 16 addressing recent developments under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), including the effect of widespread layoffs on older workers, threats to employee benefits, and recent controversial U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

The testimony at the hearing sent a clear message that the EEOC is gearing up to handle more age discrimination claims. Most alarming to the agency is the nearly 30 percent increase in age discrimination charges filed last year — exceeding all other types of bias claims. The numbers led Stuart J. Ishimaru, acting chair of the EEOC, to wonder aloud whether “the public generally realizes that age discrimination is illegal.” Acting vice chair Christine M. Griffin echoed that view, stating, “It’s fair to anticipate age discrimination charges will rise as the financial crisis plays out.” The following is a summary of what was discussed at the hearing and why you should take steps now to avoid what has been termed the “coming avalanche” of age discrimination claims.

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Categories: Legal News

Gender Stereotyping Not Grounds for Termination

August 16, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

If there’s a critical time to watch what you say in the workplace, it’s when you terminate an employee. If an employee is accused of sexual harassment or other misconduct, ensure that you conduct a fair and comprehensive investigation. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the allegations are true just because a complaint was made. A recent case decided by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose decisions are binding on Connecticut, New York, and Vermont federal courts, touches on both of these issues and serves as a useful lesson.

I Demand a Recount

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Categories: Legal News

Older Hispanics in the United States

August 16, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Here are some facts about the older Hispanic population from the Urban Institute’s report “50+ Hispanic Workers: A Growing Segment of the U.S. Workforce” by Richard W. Johnson and Maurcio Soto:

There were 5.6 million Latinos ages 50 to 69  living in the U.S. in 2007.

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8 Ways Supervisors Can Foster Diversity

July 19, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

There’s an unfortunate truth HR professionals must deal with: It only takes one errant supervisor to undo all the hard work put into creating and perfecting polices and initiatives. Your company’s diversity initiative is no different.

According to diversity consultant and founder of QUEST Diversity Initiatives LLC Natalie Holder-Winfield, you can’t just write up your diversity initiative or policy and hand it to your supervisors and expect them to fully understand and integrate it into their daily routine. As with any other program or policy you want to initiate, you should provide your supervisors with training and even directions for how they should engage in the initiative.

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Categories: Feature

Same-Sex Benefits: A Growing Issue under Obama

July 19, 2009 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Same-sex marriage and benefits for same-sex partners are issues that appear to be gaining momentum.  A number of state legislatures and state supreme courts have recently addressed these issues and same-sex marriage is now legal in six states.  President Barack Obama also recently extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, promising that the extension was “a historic step towards the changes we seek.”

The Presidential Memorandum

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Categories: Diversity Trends

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