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Discrimination & Harassment Archives

Out of Prison, Out of a Job: "Ban the Box" Movement Seeks an End to Employers' Insidious Use of Criminal Background Checks to Reject Qualified Applicants

70 million Americans - one in every three adults in the United States - has a criminal record of some sort. for many of these people, however, the cost of their crimes imposes a death sentence on their ability to find work.

Racial Discrimination from the Time of "The Butler's Child" until Now

In The Butler's Child, Outten & Golden Senior Counsel Lewis Steel describes his career spent seeking racial justice as a civil rights lawyer. The book, to be released on June 14th, is a fascinating chronicle of many landmark cases, and a fitting reminder of the continuing fight against racial discrimination in employment, housing, criminal law, governmental services, and education.

From Knee-Jerk Reactions to Thoughtful Discussion: Using Mindfulness to Address Privilege, by Nina Frank

In a recent blog post, on Hamilton & Griffin on Rights, Outten & Golden LLP associate Nina Frank discusses recent studies which have found that anti-bias training and sexual harassment awareness training can not only be ineffective, but can actually backfire, resulting in defensiveness and a solidification of discriminatory beliefs. Mindfulness - and mindfulness meditation - should be taken seriously as a tool to combat our knee-jerk reactions to being confronted with our own privilege. Mindfulness can guard against the tendency to become defensive or guilt-ridden, two automatic reactions that can derail meaningful discourse and progressive change.

Hollywood Is Taking the Lead Role in Spotlighting Equal Pay Issues for Women

In a move fitting of her determined "House of Cards" character, actress Robin Wright demanded that she be paid the same salary as her co-star Kevin Spacey - or else she would go public with news of the disparity. Ms. Wright revealed the details of her ultimatum during a Rockefeller foundation event on Tuesday, later reported by the Huffington Post.

Beyond Ban the Box - Combating Black Underemployment and the Criminality Myth

Ban the Box legislation is an incredibly important tool in fighting black underemployment by removing employers' ability to use criminal history as a proxy for discrimination. However, it only attacks a symptom of the problem of race discrimination in hiring: criminal history is not the only way that employers use "race-neutral" criteria a proxy to discriminate against black job seekers. A holistic approach that acknowledges the omnipresent role that the black criminality myth continues to play in employment discrimination - and daily life in general - is necessary. 

Asking For It: Finding New Ways to Blame Women for Their Own Inequality

Outten & Golden LLP associate Nina Frank discusses the ways women are blamed and marginalized at work for everything from the way they talk to the way they dress. Ms. Frank suggests that women are harassed, ignored, and underpaid not because of any action or omission on their part, but as a result of a sexist system that touts its progress but has not initiated much meaningful change. For the full text of the article, click here.

EEOC Affirms Right to Gender-Appropriate Bathrooms and pronouns for Transgender Employees

On April 1st, the EEOC issued a groundbreaking ruling that found that the Army discriminated against a transgender civilian employee by denying her access to the women's restroom and created a hostile work environment by allowing a supervisor to intentionally misuse her former name and male pronouns.

New Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act

Effective January 1, 2015 the pregnancy discrimination and accommodation amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) became law, requiring many employers in the state to update or change their policies with respect to expecting and new mothers in the workplace.

Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.: The Supreme Court's Opportunity to Enforce Existing Anti-Pregnancy Discrimination Laws

Should a pregnant employee be treated the same as a non-pregnant employee with a similar work limitation?  The Supreme Court will hear argument on that simple yet hotly contested question on December 3, 2014 in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., on appeal from the Fourth Circuit.  707 F.3d 437, 441 (4th Cir. 2013)

NYC Council Passes Law Against Unemployed Discrimination

New York City is poised to protect the unemployed from discrimination. Recently, the New York City Council passed a law that would prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants because they are currently unemployed.

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