Union to pay $6.2 million in historic race and national origin discrimination case

February 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association in New York City (Local 28) will have to pay $6.2 million to a class of black and Hispanic workers. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Local 28 provided them fewer job opportunities because of their race or national origin. The monetary part of the settlement will compensate minority members of Local 28 for lost wages for the years 1984 to 1991.
In addition to paying $6.3 million, Local 28 has agreed to significant changes in its job referral system and monitoring systems aimed at equalizing members’ access to job opportunities. Litigation continues on claims of union members who were targets of discrimination after 1991.
“We hope that these developments are an indication that, with the recent change in leadership, the union has decided, after many years of costly litigation, to work with the court and the plaintiffs in obeying the court orders and to begin to resolve the outstanding claims against it,” said Spencer Lewis, the district director of the EEOC’s New York office.
Last year, the EEOC introduced the E-RACE Initiative (Eradicating Racism And Colorism from Employment), a national outreach, education, and enforcement campaign focusing on new and emerging race and color issues in the 21st century workplace. Further information about the E-RACE Initiative is available on the EEOC’s web site at http://www.eeoc.gov/initiatives/e-race/index.html.
Ford, UAW agree to $1.6 million settlement
Ford Motor Co., two related companies, and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union will pay $1.6 million to a class of nearly 700 African Americans to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. Nonmonetary relief includes placement of 55 African-American test takers on the apprentice lists and the development of a new selection method for the apprenticeship programs together with detailed reporting and monitoring provisions.

The EEOC had charged that a written test used by Ford, Visteon, and Automotive Components oldings to determine the eligibility of hourly employees for a skilled trades apprenticeship program had a disproportionately negative impact on African Americans. The UAW also used the test to select apprentices. The settlement includes about $1.6 million for the class of nearly 700 African Americans who have taken the test since January 1, 1997, and weren’t place on the apprentice list at the former Visteon facilities.

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Categories: Legal News

Data Points: The Boomers @ 62

February 18, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

• The majority of Baby Boomers who turn 62 in 2008 plan to retire by age 65.

• The majority of Baby Boomers who are turning 62 this year have been married only once and have 2.4 children; however, only one in five say their children are living at home with them.

• Only 2% of 62 year-olds said they attended the Woodstock Festival in 1969.

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Categories: Data Points

From the Editor

January 22, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Welcome to the first issue of Diversity Insight. The topic of workplace diversity has never been more important than it is right now. Employers across the country are struggling to manage a new workforce that is becoming increasingly diverse and complex. As a result, HR is required to settle differences between ethnic groups, bring peace between generational workers, satisfy the unique needs of disabled employees, and avoid offending an employee’s religious commitment. Helping today’s HR practitioner understand how to manage this new set of challenges is why we’re launching this e-zine and what it’s all about.

Each month, Diversity Insight will provide business-focused strategies for understanding the cultural, communication, and the workplace needs of today’s diverse employee. You’ll receive the hard-hitting solutions that will help you address and manage the differences between generations, genders, ethnic groups, and other diverse employee populations.

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Categories: From the Editor

Spotlight on Millennials: Managing and motivating the iPod workforce

January 22, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 1 COMMENTS

Raised by Boomer parents on a diet of praise and self-esteem, Millennials are the next big thing, and they know it. They show up to work with lots of answers.

Hierarchy? Only if it helps us get the work done.

Need it yesterday? No problem.

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What to do if an employee objects (loudly) to diversity training

January 22, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

You’re headed for the cafeteria when George (a young, energetic manager with promise) stops you and says, “I hope you don’t expect me to show up for that class about gays tomorrow.” This is news. You didn’t know George had objections to the planned diversity seminar. George registers your surprise and ups the ante. “I believe in God and scripture,” he says, his voice growing louder. “I won’t go.” You notice that people have stopped to listen in. “Let’s talk about this in my office,” you say. George crosses his arms over his chest. “I’d rather talk here.”

What to do? Your lunch is a write-off. Adrenaline pours into your bloodstream. Fight or flight is your natural response, but it won’t help you now. What can you say to avoid a shouting match?

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Categories: Flashpoint

Team in Trouble: One word & two cultures = production problems

January 22, 2008 - by: Celeste Duke 0 COMMENTS

A team is missing its production deadlines, and a different cultural interpretation of the word “deadline” is the cause. Two experts offer solutions for fixing the problem.

The Problem:
Don is production manager in a printing company that produces books for major publishers. Five years ago, the company added binding to its services, and Don began staffing that department with workers from Mexico. Everything went smoothly until four months ago when Mauricio became supervisor of the binding team. One of the first Hispanic workers Don hired, Mauricio is bight and capable. But since his promotion, the binding group has missed three deadlines. Books had to be shipped at special rates and high costs! Each time Mauricio apologized and vowed to set more reasonable completion dates; but Don has noticed that during production meetings, Mauricio continues to promise tight deadlines. Mauricio is experienced. He knows the equipment and his men. Why does he promise deadlines he cannot deliver, and what should Don do to ensure he does?

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Categories: Team in Trouble

Team in Trouble: One word & two cultures = production problems

January 22, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

A team is missing its production deadlines, and a different cultural interpretation of the word “deadline” is the cause. Two experts offer solutions for fixing the problem.

The Problem:
Don is production manager in a printing company that produces books for major publishers. Five years ago, the company added binding to its services, and Don began staffing that department with workers from Mexico. Everything went smoothly until four months ago when Mauricio became supervisor of the binding team. One of the first Hispanic workers Don hired, Mauricio is bight and capable. But since his promotion, the binding group has missed three deadlines. Books had to be shipped at special rates and high costs! Each time Mauricio apologized and vowed to set more reasonable completion dates; but Don has noticed that during production meetings, Mauricio continues to promise tight deadlines. Mauricio is experienced. He knows the equipment and his men. Why does he promise deadlines he cannot deliver, and what should Don do to ensure he does?

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Categories: Team in Trouble

Ideas for Leaders: New AARP study offers blueprint for training older employees

January 22, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2014, 21% of America’s workforce will be at least 55 years old. According to AARP estimates, that number could be even higher. As a result, you need to prepare for an aging workforce. With a wave of baby boomers set to retire and a consequent looming worker shortage, many employers are now considering the role of the older employee in their organizations. On one hand, these employees have the benefit of experience. On the other hand, there is some trepidation that they might not adjust to new technologies and processes as well as their younger counterparts.

The AARP Public Policy Institute Issue paper, “Workplace Issues: Older Worker Training: What We Know and Don’t Know,” summarizes what’s currently known about the ability of older adults to learn new skills and adapt new environments and highlights the issues and questions that need to be addressed to promote healthy and productive employment for older adults. The report includes analyses of today’s older workers, relevant research on older adults and learning, the “healthy worker phenomenon,” and factors influencing learning and skills acquisition.

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Categories: Ideas for Leaders

Lockheed Martin settles race discrimination case for $2.5 million

January 22, 2008 - by: Celeste Duke 0 COMMENTS

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest military contractor, will have to pay former employee Charles Daniels $2.5 million. The African-American electrician was subjected to a racially hostile work environment at several job sites nationwide. This is the largest amount ever obtained by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for a single person in a discrimination case. In addition to paying Daniels, the company has agreed to terminate the harassers and make significant policy changes to address any future discrimination.Daniels was the target of persistent verbal abuse by coworkers and a supervisor whose racial slurs and offensive language included calling him the “N-word” and saying “we should do to blacks what Hitler did to the Jews” and “if the South had won then this would be a better country.” After Daniels reported the verbal harassment, his coworkers also made physical threats, including lynching and other death threats. Lockheed didn’t discipline the harassers and allowed the discrimination to continue.

The litigation and consent decree were filed by the EEOC under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S. Court for the District of Hawaii (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Lockheed Martin, CV-05-00479).

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Categories: Legal News

Lockheed Martin settles race discrimination case for $2.5 million

January 22, 2008 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest military contractor, will have to pay former employee Charles Daniels $2.5 million. The African-American electrician was subjected to a racially hostile work environment at several job sites nationwide. This is the largest amount ever obtained by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for a single person in a discrimination case. In addition to paying Daniels, the company has agreed to terminate the harassers and make significant policy changes to address any future discrimination.Daniels was the target of persistent verbal abuse by coworkers and a supervisor whose racial slurs and offensive language included calling him the “N-word” and saying “we should do to blacks what Hitler did to the Jews” and “if the South had won then this would be a better country.” After Daniels reported the verbal harassment, his coworkers also made physical threats, including lynching and other death threats. Lockheed didn’t discipline the harassers and allowed the discrimination to continue.

The litigation and consent decree were filed by the EEOC under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S. Court for the District of Hawaii (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Lockheed Martin, CV-05-00479).

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Categories: Legal News

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