October 29, 2005
EEOC General Counsel's FY 2004 Annual Report
The EEOC Office of General Counsel has released its fiscal year 2004 annual report. Of suits filed by the EEOC, 52.4% alleged sex discrimination, 37.9% retaliation, 15.3% race discrimination, 11.8% disability discrimination, 11.8% age discrimination, 9.7% national origin discrimination, 4.2% religious discrimination, and 1.3% equal pay discrimination. 75.6% of the sex discrimination cases filed were for sexual harassment.
October 27, 2005
Wage Effect of Training Programs
This paper empirically assesses the wage effects of the Job Corps program, one of the largest federally-funded job training programs in the United States. Even with the aid of a randomized experiment, the impact of a training program on wages is difficult to study because of sample selection, a pervasive problem in applied micro-econometric research. Wage rates are only observed for those who are employed, and employment status itself may be affected by the training program. This paper develops an intuitive trimming procedure for bounding average treatment effects in the presence of sample selection. In contrast to existing methods, the procedure requires neither exclusion restrictions nor a bounded support for the outcome of interest. Identification results, estimators, and their asymptotic distribution, are presented. The bounds suggest that the program raised wages, consistent with the notion that the Job Corps raises earnings by increasing human capital, rather than solely through encouraging work. The estimator is generally applicable to typical treatment evaluation problems in which there is non-random sample selection/attrition.
October 26, 2005
Wal-Mart Exec Suggests Hiring Young, Healthy, Part-Time Employees
A New York Times article reports today that an internal memo sent to Wal-Mart's board of directors proposes numerous ways to hold down spending on health care and other benefits while seeking to minimize damage to the retailer's reputation. Among the recommendations are hiring more part-time workers and discouraging unhealthy people from working at Wal-Mart.
In the memorandum, Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart's executive vice president for benefits, also recommends reducing 401(k) contributions and wooing younger, and presumably healthier, workers by offering education benefits. The memo voices concern that workers with seven years' seniority earn more than workers with one year's seniority, but are no more productive.
One of Wal-Mart's "challenges," as described in the memo, is that "[g]rowth in benefit costs is unacceptable (15 percent per year) and driven by fundamental and persistent root causes (e.g. aging work force, increasing average tenure)."
To discourage unhealthy job applicants, Ms. Chambers suggests that Wal-Mart arrange for "all jobs to include some physical activity (e.g., all cashiers do some cart-gathering)."
EEOC Issues Q&A Re: Blind / Visually Impaired Employees
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a question-and-answer document on the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to people in the workplace who are blind or who have vision impairments.
"This publication will help eliminate unfounded fears and stereotypes that lead to employment discrimination against so many people who are blind or visually impaired," said EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez. "As with prior ADA fact sheets, our goal is twofold: first, to make clear that all people with disabilities are protected from workplace discrimination and, second, to educate employers and promote access and inclusion."
October 25, 2005
Joel Friedman Back in the Saddle
Joel Friedman, of Tulane, has resurfaced in Pittsburgh. Here's an excerpt from his message to Marion Crain, which he has given permission to circulate:
My family and I are residing in Pittsburgh, where my mother and sister live. Our kids were immediately enrolled in public school here and I began teaching two sections of Evidence at U of Pitt Law School. So things are pretty good. Our house in New Orleans has some damage, but the adjuster is coming out today and I believe it will all be repaired in about two or three weeks. Tulane intends to open for the spring semester and so we expect to return in the middle of December, when our kids finish the fall semester. Hope all is well with you.
Surveys and studies over the past several decades conclusively demonstrate that there is little difference between the leadership styles of male and female bosses. The problem, however, is that both men and women believe there are such differences. A new study of male and female bosses released by the New York research group Catalyst found that men tend to believe that women are better than men at supporting and rewarding, but that men are better than women at problem-solving, inspiring, delegating, and "influencing upward" (having an impact on superiors in the corporate hierarchy). Women tend to believe they are better than men at supporting and rewarding, but that men are better at networking, delegating, and influencing upward. In other words, both sexes "perceive women leaders as better at caretaker behaviors and men as better at take-charge behaviors" says Ilene Lang, president of Catalyst, as quoted in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. The complete report is at the website of Catalyst.
October 24, 2005
Reconceptualizing Affirmative Action
Recent findings in implicit social cognition (ISC)—a science that measures people’s subconscious biases—can provide a scientific basis for justifying and revising affirmative action, according to Jerry Kang, a UCLA law professor who explained his “behavioral realist” model of affirmative action at an Oct. 21 talk sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race and Law.
Behavioral realism, Kang explained, takes into account the scientific findings of ISC and uses them to understand how people’s subconscious biases affect their behavior in different situations. With this information, lawmakers can craft policies to address current discrimination.
“Officially, we say we’re colorblind,” Kang said. “What I’m searching for is colorblindness to the infrared frequencies that lurk beneath.”
For a summary of his talk, see Kang Proposes Behavioral Realist Revision of Affirmative Action.
Guns at Work
Oklahoma and Kentucky have enacted laws prohibiting employers from excluding guns from the workplace. A bill has been introduced in Utah to do the same thing; a bill introduced in Florida would allow employees to keep guns in their cars even when the cars are at the workplace. This creates an obvious concern about workplace violence, since "[a]llowing employees to keep weapons in their cars cuts down on the 'cooling off' period of a disgruntled employee who has to go home to
get a weapon." For more, see Dee McAree's article in the National Law Journal.
Scholarship published in the last week focused on two things: sports and the Ninth Circuit.
Jason R. Marshall, Fired in the NBA! Terminating Vin Baker's Contract: A Case-Study in Collective Bargaining, Guaranteed Contracts, Arbitration, and Disability Claims in the NBA, 12 Sports Lawyers J. 1 (2005).
Marc Sushner, Are Amateur Sports Officials Employees?, 12 Sports Lawyers J. 123 (2005).
Jeremy C. Rice, Casenote, Federal Preemption and State Labor Regulation in the Ninth Circuit: Chamber of Commerce v. Lockyer, 41 Willamette L. Rev. 525 (2005).
Matthew P. Bock, Casenote, A Few Circuit Citys Back, One Giant Luce Forward: A Review of the Ninth Circuit's Interplay With the National Policy Favoring Arbitration in the Employment Contract Setting, 41 Willamette L. Rev. 535 (2005).
Daniel Hultzenbiler, Comment, Judicial Review of the Employment Relationship: An Overview of Important Ninth Circuit Employment Law Decisions of 2004, 41 Willamette L. Rev. 551 (2005).
October 23, 2005
Top-5 SSRN Employment / Labor Downloads
1. Katherine Van Wezel Stone, Flexibilization, Globalization, and Privitization: Three Challenges to Labor Rights in Our Time.
2. Archon Fung, Mary NMI Graham, David Weil, Elena Fagotto, The Political Ecomomy of Transparency: What Makes Discolsure Policies Effective?
3. Bernard Hoekman & L. Alan Winters, Trade and Employment: Sstylized Facts and Research Findings.
4. William D. Henderson, Effective of Single-Tier Versus Two-Tier Partnership Tracks at Am 200 Law Firms: Theory and Evidence.
5. Michael Selmi, Sex Discrimination in the Nineties, Seventies Style: Case Studies in the Preservation of Male Workplace Norms.