Senator Gillibrand Announces Support for a Federal Ban on Hair Discrimination

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced co-sponsorship of the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act that would ban discrimination of hairstyles and textures.

The legislation would federally ban race-based discrimination against natural and protective hairstyles associated with people of African descent, including hair that is tightly coiled or tightly curled, locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros.

“For far too long, discrimination and prejudice against Black hair has been used as another tool to create barriers and disenfranchise Black people. No one should ever be criticized, harassed, or punished for their natural hair and heritage,” said Gillibrand. She added, “The CROWN Act would help combat and correct deeply ingrained social biases against Black hair and ensure our children grow up learning to love themselves and their individual beauty.”

Read the source article at Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

A Philadelphia Discrimination Case Ends With a $600,000 Settlement

Amid the thunderous pounding of punch presses and other factory equipment, employees of white, Pakistani, Hispanic and Vietnamese descent stamped out and assembled HVAC equipment at the Lloyd Industries plant in Montgomeryville. Among them in late October 2015 were three Black workers.

Two would soon be laid off and the third had his hours slashed so he quit, leaving no Black workers at the 65-employee plant by early November 2015.

A lawyer later said the company had “whitewashed” the plant of Black employees.

Ronald Watson, who earned $23,800 a year, was one of the laid-off Black workers. And he sued Lloyd Industries for racial discrimination, saying in the litigation that he wasn’t the lowest man on the seniority list. He could do other jobs in the plant and should have been protected by union rules from the layoff. When Watson asked the new plant manager why the manager was choosing him, the plant manager responded: “Because I can.”

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A Veteran Pilot Claims Gender Discrimination Following Her Dismissal

A protest was held outside the Orange County Fire Authority’s headquarters Thursday in support of a veteran woman chopper pilot, the agency’s first, who was terminated during her probationary period.

“She is the best fire pilot I ever flew with,” retired firefighter Boschko Ikovic, who last flew with Desiree Horton in a Bell 205 helicopter above the Colby Fire, said. “We depended on her with the water underneath the helicopter, whether it was a Bambi bucket or a belly tank, and when we flew on our missions, I was cutting the fire line and Desiree never missed.”

For 30 years, Horton has been a trailblazer in the sky, including a 10-year stretch with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the first woman to ever fly for CAL FIRE, and now she’s claiming gender discrimination.

Read the source article at CBS Los Angeles

Montana Tribes Sue Over the Teachings of Native American Heritage and Culture

Montana tribes and the parents of 18 students filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging state education leaders are violating a constitutional requirement to teach about the unique culture and heritage of Native Americans.

The lawsuit, filed in District Court in Great Falls, seeks an order to require the Board of Public Education to create specific educational standards for the Indian Education for All program and to require the superintendent of public instruction to ensure schools meet those standards and accurately report how they are spending money allocated for the program.

“We need state education administrators to create a system of accountability to ensure every educator teaches this subject in a way that preserves American Indians’ cultural integrity and to ensure the money Montanans voted to invest in Indian Education for All, benefits every student,” Shelly R. Fyant, chair of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, said in a statement.

Read the source article at Associated Press News

Disability Rights Activists Worry That AI Recruitment Tools Will Be Discriminatory

Making recruitment technology accessible means ensuring that candidates can use the technology and that the skills it measures do not unduly exclude candidates with disabilities. Increasingly, says Alexandra Givens, CEO of the Center for Democratic Technology, an organization focused on civil rights. Digital era.

AI-powered recruitment tools often cannot include people with disabilities when generating training data, she says. Such people have long been excluded from the workforce, so algorithms modeled on the company’s previous employment do not reflect their potential.

Even if the model can explain the outliers, the way in which the failure appears varies greatly from person to person. For example, two people with autism can have very different strengths and challenges.

Read the source article at Texas News Today

The Colorado Supreme Court Dismisses Proposal to Address Jury Discrimination

In June 2020, as people across the United States and in communities like Denver and Aurora were protesting the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, the Colorado Supreme Court sent a letter to judges and court employees pledging its continued commitment to equal justice and the marginalized. 

“We have been starkly reminded that confidence in our system of justice is fragile and not universal — and cannot be taken for granted,” the letter began. 

That, to Colorado defense attorneys, signaled an opening to tackle a long-standing problem in trials across the country and that has been acknowledged by high courts in states including Washington, California and Connecticut: an inadequate, decades-old legal standard that has made it easy for attorneys to exclude people of color, especially African Americans, from serving on juries. 

Read the source article at Eminetra Today

An Ex-Employee With Down Syndrome Will Receive $125 Million From Walmart

A former Walmart employee with Down syndrome has been awarded $125 million in a discrimination lawsuit which determined her dismissal violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Marlo Spaeth, of Wisconsin, worked at a Walmart store in Manitowoc for about 16 years before she was fired in July 2015 for excessive absenteeism after she asked for her start and end times to return to normal following an adjustment to her longstanding work schedule.

The adjustments meant Spaeth would have to work later and longer shifts, which she found difficult to adapt to, but rather than acting on her request Walmart instead fired her.

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A Lawyer Alleges That Human Trafficking Contributed to a Teen’s Death on a Construction Site

A Nashville judge ruled that evidence of human trafficking would be allowed in the case of a 16-year-old who died in a construction-related accident in downtown Nashville last year. 

Gustavo Ramirez had been working on a scaffold without a harness during construction of La Quinta Inn on Interstate Drive when he fell 120 feet to his death on June 23, 2020.  Reports later showed that Ramirez had been certified as having received training to build scaffolds, despite being a minor. His family subsequently filed a lawsuit against subcontractor Stover & Sons Contractors, Inc., general contractor D.F. Chase, Inc. and EZ Distributing, Inc., accusing the companies of reckless behavior leading to the death of a juvenile. 

On Friday, attorneys for the Ramirez family said that Ramirez and other children were recruited to construction jobs through a youth program by Higinio Sanchez-Gonzalez, a pastor at Casa de Oracion, where the family attended church. Attorney Karla Campbell, who represents the Ramirez family,  alleged that churches were being used for recruiting minors to work for Stover, adding that three other juveniles had been brought from Mexico to work at construction sites. 

Read the source article at Home – Tennessee Lookout

A Black House Staffer Alleges Discrimination and a Hostile Environment

A Black staffer for Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) has sued her employer, saying her supervisor made a comment about lynching to her and that reporting the problem resulted in race-based retaliation against her.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Patrice Campbell, who serves as a constituent services representative, said her supervisor Karyn Davidman “created an intolerable hostile work environment” against Campbell because of her race.

According to Campbell’s lawsuit, at the beginning of March, Davidman was telling a story about constituents using lanyards to keep face masks around their necks and followed it by telling Campbell, “You are going to have to get a rope and put it around your neck.” Campbell, who is the only Black staffer in Schneider’s office, said her comments were an inappropriate reference to lynching, and Davidman responded that the “rope” was in fact a “lanyard” for masks.

Read the source article at Politics, Policy, Political News

A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Yale Has Been Resolved

A settlement has been reached in a wide-ranging sexual harassment lawsuit filed by six women who were doctors at Yale University last year when they accused a male physician at the Ivy League school of repeated incidents of forced and unwanted kissing, groping and retaliation.

Details of the agreement ending the lawsuit against Dr. Manuel Lopes Fontes, Yale and Yale New Haven Hospital were not disclosed. U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven revealed there was a settlement in a court document filed June 30.

Fontes, a now-former anesthesiologist and professor at Yale, and lawyers for the school denied the lawsuit’s allegations. In a court document filed in April, Fontes said he was removed from his positions at Yale because of the allegations.

Read the source article at Associated Press News