Avoiding reverse disability discrimination claims

February 15, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Andy Rodman

Q As part of my company’s diversity efforts, I would like to reach out to some disability advocate groups to try to fill a few vacant positions. I’m afraid that by doing so, I may be opening up the company to reverse discrimination claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Are my fears justified?  Able to Work

A First off, I applaud your company’s diversity efforts, particularly with respect to the disabled — a group that sometimes is forgotten when it comes to outreach efforts. As for your fears, they are justified only to the extent that there is little (or nothing) you can do to stop a rejected nondisabled applicant from filing a failure-to-hire claim based on perceived reverse disability discrimination. Unfortunately, as many companies see from time to time, some disgruntled applicants and employees will sue for almost anything — even if the claims have no legal basis.

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Tribal hiring preference not national origin discrimination

February 15, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Nancy Williams

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allows employers on or near an Indian reservation to give preferential treatment to Indians living in the vicinity. But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the position that this provision doesn’t permit preference for members of a particular tribe. In the continuing saga of a case that has dragged on for years, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal (whose rulings apply to all Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington employers) recently issued its third decision, finally ruling against the EEOC.  The Right Candidate

Coal company leases have Navajo hiring preference

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Tech giants exploring gender gap within their ranks

January 18, 2015 0 COMMENTS

What gives? The number of women graduating from college each year passed the number of men marking the same achievement years ago, but women remain underrepresented in the college majors sought by technology employers. That surely accounts for part of the gender gap afflicting tech employers, but corporate culture also is often seen as a culprit.

While it’s still largely a man’s world at the big tech companies in Silicon Valley and beyond, those employers are at least becoming self-conscious about the gender gap in their ranks. Last summer, tech leaders including Yahoo, Facebook, and Google joined the list of tech companies releasing figures showing how they lack diversity.  Gender gap

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Putting tests to the test: Exploring personality assessments and discrimination

November 16, 2014 0 COMMENTS

A quest to find and hire the best applicants prompts many employers to look for ways to quickly eliminate all but the most promising candidates. When online job postings unleash a flood of applications, many employers turn to software that includes personality testing as a way to reduce the amount of valuable time needed to pore over resumes.  Personlaity Tests

A recent report in The Wall Street Journal exploring whether personality tests discriminate against applicants with disabilities is garnering a lot of attention. And in the face of lawsuits and an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), some employers are changing their tests or rejecting them altogether.

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Military downsizing presents opportunity, challenge for employers

March 16, 2014 0 COMMENTS

A thread running through a succession of news stories is sending a clear message to employers: The military is shrinking its ranks and the pressure is on civilian employers to hire more veterans.  VeteransAtWork

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced new downsizing plans for the nation’s armed forces in February, explaining that budget cuts are going so deep and coming so quickly that “we cannot shrink the size of our military fast enough.”

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Finding a way to drive gender diversity in STEM fields

August 18, 2013 0 COMMENTS

Most employers would agree that STEM careers—jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—are on the upswing in both numbers and importance. Most also would agree that there are far more men than women in STEM jobs.

A 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation,” signals a promising future for women in STEM careers since statistics show they earn an average of 33 percent more than their non-STEM colleagues. The problem, though, is a lack of women in those lucrative jobs. The report shows that the percentage of STEM jobs held by women stood at just 24 percent in 2009. An October 2011 report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce in puts the figure at 23 percent.

So the fact that women seem to have some catching up to do is a wake-up call for employers interested in cultivating and retaining women for STEM jobs. read more…

Resources help employers bring veterans to workplace

June 16, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

It’ll soon be July 4th, a day many employers mark by declaring a holiday so employees can have time for patriotic celebrations. But many of those people so fervently celebrated – the nation’s veterans – would be happier to be earning a paycheck than to be feted with a parade.

Recent statistics show improvement in the employment rate for veterans over the last year, but officials note more progress is needed. Figures compiled by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University show that the unemployment rate for all veterans in May 2013 was 6.6 percent. That’s down from 7.8 percent in May 2012 but up from 6.2 percent in April 2013. The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans isn’t quite so favorable. It was 7.3 percent in May 2013, compared to 12.7 percent in May 2012.

Despite relatively low unemployment numbers, the picture isn’t all positive. The unemployment rate for the youngest post-9/11 veterans is still well into double digits. The rate for those ages 20-24 was 17.7 percent in May 2013, down from 22.1 percent in May 2012. The rate for nonveterans ages 20-24 was 13.4 percent in May 2013 and 13.2 percent in May 2012. read more…

Can I ask that question on a job application?

April 14, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Toni Everton

An increasing number of unsuccessful job applicants are filing discrimination charges, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state enforcement agencies are taking a close look at job applications for evidence of unlawful bias. So the question is, what can you ask on a job application? This article doesn’t contain an all-inclusive list of what to ask on a job application; rather, it provides guidance on a couple of issues the EEOC and state enforcement agencies have recently questioned.  read more…

Long-term unemployment seen holding back jobseekers

November 18, 2012 3 COMMENTS

No law specifically says employers are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants who have been out of work for months or even years. The long-term unemployed don’t have protections spelled out in any antidiscrimination laws – or do they?

When jobseekers are part of a protected class that has a disproportionate number of people unemployed, they can begin to wonder if they’re stuck in unemployment because of their race, age, gender, disability, or some other characteristic protected under discrimination laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been wondering the same thing. read more…

No gender confusion means no discrimination

November 18, 2012 0 COMMENTS

It has been said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. That certainly applies to the following case involving the employment application of a biological female who identifies as a male. While the scenario might be somewhat unusual, the legal issue is one that has been around for decades: Can you discriminate on the basis of a protected classification of which you are unaware?

Who are you?

The Minneapolis facility of United Parcel Service (UPS) hires approximately 40 of the 200 to 300 applicants who seek a part-time package-handling job every month. Each applicant must complete the online job application and tour a sorting facility to observe the heavy physical work required of the job before he is given an interview. Because of the high turnover rate, interviews last only 10 to 15 minutes and focus mostly on whether the applicant is likely to stay with the company. Afterward, the interviewer codes the candidate’s application as “ready for a second interview” or “rejected” for specific established reasons (e.g., “poor interview responses” or “poor job history”). The company’s electronic records system allows only one code to be entered, even if more than one might apply. read more…

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