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Gender and Race Discrimination By Nick Fillo WFO Shreveport, LA 2009 Shreveport Diversity Workshop Taking you through the learning experience of someone.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender and Race Discrimination By Nick Fillo WFO Shreveport, LA 2009 Shreveport Diversity Workshop Taking you through the learning experience of someone."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender and Race Discrimination By Nick Fillo WFO Shreveport, LA 2009 Shreveport Diversity Workshop Taking you through the learning experience of someone who has never experienced this

2 Goals of this presentation: Define discrimination. Discuss the motives for discriminatory acts in the workplace. Investigate our nation’s past in dealing with race and gender. Examine what laws are in place to prevent discrimination. Go over a few scenarios. What do you think? In the melting pot society of the USA, will discrimination ever go away? - If yes, when and how? - If no, why not? How can we reduce discrimination?

3 Definition: what is discrimination? According to Webster’s Dictionary, discrimination is: 1.a: the act of discriminatingdiscriminating b: the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently 2. the quality or power of finely distinguishing 3. a: the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individuallydiscriminating b: prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment (Applies to this presentation) Source:

4 Main Focus of This Presentation: Racial Discrimination: The act of treating a person or group of people differently because of (a) characteristic(s) of their race. Skin color – most commonly thought of Nation of origin Speech, accent Sexual Discrimination: The act of treating a person or group of people different based on their gender. Assumptions based on traditional roles

5 Types of Discrimination Age Disability Sexual Racial Religious

6 Characteristics of Discrimination Intimidation Harassment Parent / Pregnancy Unequal Pay Preferential Treatment Skewed Recruiting

7 Question for Discussion: Why would somebody choose to discriminate against a person of another race or gender?

8 Question for Discussion: Why would somebody choose to discriminate against a person of another race or gender? Hate / Dislike – Either learned or from personal experience. Tradition – A qualified person may be excluded because the position has always been held by a person from another group. Financial / Productivity – Some groups may be easier to intimidate, may work for less money or reduced benefits.

9 Here we are at this diversity workshop: Share experiences of diversity initiatives that have worked, as well as those which did not in our ever-changing society. Gain the perspective of people of different race, gender, age, religious beliefs, etc. Work to eliminate discriminatory practices in the workforce though education. But how did we get to this point? It was very difficult journey. America has a shameful past to overcome when it comes race and gender relations.

10 Historical Problems with Discrimination: Discrimination Unchecked Before the early 1960’s, there was little which could be done legally to combat discrimination. It was a fact of life. The few laws in place to fight discrimination (for example, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which gave rights and citizenship to freed slaves) were infrequently or loosely enforced. Several laws were enacted, called the Black Codes or Jim Crow laws, which severely limited the rights of freed slaves. Through the early 1900’s, women’s rights were limited as well. Women were not afforded the right to vote until 1920 thanks to the 19 th amendment to the constitution.

11 Historical Problems with Discrimination: The Civil Rights Movement Late 1950’s laid the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Led to a peaceful boycott of the Montgomery public transportation system. Other protests included sit-ins and freedom rides – meant to peacefully protest segregation laws and discrimination. Law enforcement many times responded brutally. Also were several violent protests, including race riots in several cities.

12 Law Enacted to Combat Discrimination Equal Pay Act of 1963: Ensures equal pay for employees for an equal amount of work, regardless of employees gender. Merit systems, seniority systems are exempt. Civil Rights Act of 1964: Prohibited discrimination based on race, sex, religion and nation of origin in employment, public places, and in government. Invalidated the Jim Crow Laws. Created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978: Protects expectant mothers or women wishing to become pregnant from being fired or from not being hired. Ensures same medical benefits as those offered to other employees.

13 Law Enacted to Combat Discrimination Civil Rights Act of 1991: This was basically a major revision of the Civil Rights Act of This revision was in response to several Supreme Court decisions which limited employees rights due to wording of the CRA of 1964.

14 Sexual Discrimination: Unfair Pay The Lilly Ledbetter Case Lilly Ledbetter sued employer Goodyear Tires for unequal pay compared to most male counterparts, even a few with lower seniority. Unequal pay continued for several years Lawsuit by Ledbetter was filed in 1998, which she won. Goodyear appealed under Title VII of the CRA of 1964: Ledbetter didn’t file complaint in the 180 day period after 1 st unfair pay. An appeals court erased the verdict and, after 9 years, the case went the Supreme Court. May 2007: Supreme court sided with Goodyear 5-4, stating that while unfair, law was interpreted correctly.

15 Sexual Discrimination: Unfair Pay The Lilly Ledbetter Case The majority of Supreme Court Justices argued that while the interpretation of the law seems unfair, it is correct. The minority of Justices argued that the ruling does nothing to curb the thousands of acts of unequal pay across the country. Justice Ruth Ginsburg encouraged congress to fix the law.

16 Sexual Discrimination: Unfair Pay The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 While Lilly Ledbetter ultimately lost, she became a champion for the cause of equal pay. A bill to amend the CRA was introduced, which passed the House, but was defeated in the Senate in April Several opponents stated the change would flood the courts with too many frivolous lawsuits. The bill was reintroduced in January 2009, this time easily passing both the House and Senate. President Obama signed the amendment into law – nicknamed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of New law now starts the 180 period back at zero for each instance of unfair pay. Other limits remain unchanged.

17 What do you think? Jane is applying for a job with a company. According to the requirements presented in the job advertisement, she is well-qualified for the position. During the interview, in addition to questions about her work experience and education, Jane is asked about her family life. Questions include whether or not she is married, has any children, and plans on having any more. She answers that she does have children and may want more in the future. Ultimately the job is awarded to somebody else. Does Jane have a case for discrimination?

18 What do you think? Jane does have a case. She is protected under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which prohibits discrimination against women who wish to have children. It is now up to the company to prove the reasons for not hiring Jane had nothing to do with her desire to become pregnant sometime in the future. The company can avoid problems in the future by not asking questions about an applicant’s family life. It is better to stick to questions relating to an applicant’s skills and abilities as opposed to question which may be biased racially, sexually, etc.

19 What do you think? John, who is white, is a section manager of a company. He is very adamant that employees report to work on time. In the past, he has fired repeat offenders of this policy. John recently fired James, a black man, for repeatedly violating the company’s time and attendance policy. James is claiming racial discrimination and is suing the company. Does James have a case for discrimination?

20 What do you think? James does have a case. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1991, John will have to prove that James’ race was not a factor when he was terminated. Managers will have an easier time proving their case, regardless of race, gender, age, etc. if they maintain strict documentation on the number of times employees have been counseled or fired for violating the policy.

21 Final Question: Will discrimination in our society ever go away? - If yes, when and how? - If no, why not? How can we reduce discrimination?

22 Questions? or Comments?


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