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ICYMI: Our Social Media Posts This Week – Sept. 3-9, 2017

Below is a review of the posts (on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) from the past week.  You can check out the full posts by clicking on the links.

In the post on Sunday 9/3/17 we saw that Ford Motor Company pays $10M to settle sexual harassment charges at its Chicago plants. Big bucks! The EEOC sued, alleging race discrimination (against African-Americans) and sexual harassment (of women) by co-workers, along with retaliation after they filed complaints. Terms of the settlement are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Don’t wait for the lawsuit to knock on your door – do the right – and legal – thing from the start. Don’t discriminate against any employee for any reason; look solely at qualifications and job performance.

The post on Monday 9/4/17 was about Labor Day – a reminder to say thank you and celebrate at home or in the workplace.  

TAKEAWAY: Sometimes you should stay on the surface – just remember the reasons we have the freedoms we do in our workplaces and the business world, and say thank you.

In the post on Tuesday 9/5/17 we saw that B&H Photo settles sex and race discrimination suit for $3.2M. That’s a lot of snapshots! Over 1300 employees at the warehouse filed suit, alleging B&H only hired Hispanic men for entry-level jobs and did not pay them properly. See the post for more background details.

TAKEAWAY: You may think you can game the system, but you can’t – and it will be far more costly to you in the long run than just doing it legally from the start.

The post on Wednesday 9/6/17 asked: How should we respond to Charlottesville? This post was an editorial, but raises some interesting, thought-provoking issues and questions. It challenges us all to fight systemic racism with more than words alone. Five steps are suggested. The first is to confront unconscious bias. The post has a link to find out your unconscious biases – what you need to know to start down the road. Another suggested step is to desegregate your life. Make sure to include people of different races and socio-economic strata, shop in local (including minority) businesses, and join diverse groups. The other three suggested steps are in the post.

TAKEAWAY: Yes, our society still sees discrimination in various forms every day – but there are steps you can take in your life and in your workplace to make that discrimination disappear.

In the post on Thursday 9/7/17 we noted that white lies could not prevent a bankruptcy discharge. Then we asked where the line is. So what happened? The person who filed for bankruptcy protection (the debtor) did not list a prior lawsuit or that she had owned a business. The Judge said they were “white lies” that didn’t hurt anyone, so he let her get her discharge (what happens at the end of an individual bankruptcy case and removed the debtor’s legal liability to repay makes most of the listed debts). The post explains the judge’s rationale. I wonder if the outcome would have been the same if the amounts at issue had been larger.

TAKEAWAY: When filing for bankruptcy, the debtor must list all assets and all debts within the referenced timeframes – if not, then creditors (persons or entities to whom the debtor owes money) can take action to ensure their debt survives the bankruptcy.

The post on Friday 9/8/17 showed us everywhere in the US you can still get fired for being gay or trans. Yep, it’s a majority of states. And the current Trump Justice Department filed a brief asserting LGBT Americans have no protection from discrimination on the basis of sex (contrary to the EEOC’s position). But even at the state level, there is little protection for LGBT employees. The post contains a map showing which states have what employment protections. Almost all states adjoining Pennsylvania to the north, east and south prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Check out the map to see where PA and other states stand on the issue.

TAKEAWAY: In PA, employees can still be legally fired for being LGBT. But that doesn’t make it right or help build a dedicated workforce.

Finally, in the post yesterday 9/9/17 we saw the EEOC siding with a black chair umpire alleging the USTA discriminated against him. The US Tennis Association is the premier tennis organization in this country – one would think it would be above discrimination, but that’s not what the EEOC thinks. Tony Nimmons is a highly-qualified African-American chair umpire – see the post for more about him. He filed 2 charges with the EEOC in 2015. Some text from the later filing is in the post and identifies other women and minorities who supposedly filed charges of discrimination. The irony is that Nimmons alleges that he was initially hired to bring diversity to the USTA and help it work toward inclusion. Details about some of the things that happened – and that are in one of his filings – are in the post along with the USTA’s responses. The EEOC found probable cause, so conciliation is the next step.  

TAKEAWAY: Even if an employer has the best of intentions, discrimination within its ranks may still exist and may be illegal – be careful this isn’t your business.

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