Monday, October 31, 2005
The EEOC released today a Report on the efforts of nine states to employ more disabled individuals in government jobs. The study, Final Report on Best Practices for the Employment of People with Disabilities in State Government, examined nine states that voluntarily allowed the EEOC to review a wide range of practices affecting disabled state government employees or applicants. The practices related to recruiting and hiring, retaining, advancing, and providing reasonable accommodations to disabled employees, as well as the employment of disabled individuals more generally in both public and private sector jobs.
On the positive side, the Report notes that several states have established training and hiring programs specifically for individuals with disabilities, and that states have made significant efforts to increase the number of qualified disabled applicants for jobs available to the general public. The Report also found that individuals involved in the hiring process have access to more than adequate training on subjects such as interviewing people with disabilities and preparing job descriptions in ways that do not inadvertently screen out qualified disabled individuals.
On the negative side, however, the Report found little evidence of mentoring programs or training opportunities specifically aimed at promoting the advancement of disabled employees after they are hired, or evidence that the states have tried to determine the distribution of disabled employees among the various levels of the state government workforce.
ABSTRACT: Data collected from 1,295 employers on 15,293 law firm associates who graduated from law school between 2001 and 2003 were used to develop a “total quality score” for every ABA-accredited law school, both nationally and for nine geographic regions. Quantitative methods were then used to identify factors to help explain the variation in a law school’s national career placement success at elite law firms. The findings revealed that while a law school’s academic reputation is the single biggest predictor of placement, several other factors were also highly significant. Differences in grading system, class rank disclosure policies, and the number of first year courses required were responsible for significant variation. Numbers grading systems, such as those used at the University of Chicago, and honors/pass/fail grading systems, such as those used at Yale, both have a strong negative impact on placement when all else is held equal. This is likely because both systems impair the middle of the class’s job prospects relative to traditional letter grade systems. Law schools that do not disclose class rank to students or employers place better than schools that do disclose rank, when all else is held constant. It is unclear whether this is due to employer preferences or due to disparate psychological effects on students that impact their career placement strategies. Law schools that require a greater number of first year classes, however, can make up for deficiencies in these other areas.
And the winners are:
Richard Victor-Schmidt Luna, Caveat Fiduciarius: Unions, Pension Fund Investments, and the Capital Pre-Recognition Agreement Exchange, 54 Catholic U. L. Rev. 1313 (2005).
Anthony Ciolli, The Legal Employment Market: Determinants of Elite Firm Placement and How Law Schools Stack Up, 45 Jurimetrics 413 (2005).
And, from St. Louis University Law Journal, a series of lectures, responses, and articles examining the continuing development of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
Drew S. Days, III, “Feedback Loop”: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its Progeny, 49 St. Louis U. L.J. 981 (2005).
Samuel R. Bagenstos, Trapped in the Feedback Loop: A Response to Professor Days, 49 St. Louis U. L.J. 1007 (2005).
George Rutherglen, Controversy, Consensus, and the Concept of Discrimination, 49 St. Louis U. L.J. 1021 (2005).
Sheryll D. Cashin, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Coalition Politics, 49 St. Louis U. L.J. 1029 (2005).
Melissa Cole Essig, Gimp Theory and the ADA’s “Feedback Loop,” 49 St. Louis U. L.J. 1047 (2005).
Harold S. Lewis, Jr., Walking the Walk of Plain Text: The Supreme Court’s Markedly More Solicitous Treatment of Title VII Following the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 49 St. Louis U. L.J. 1081 (2005).
Joel K. Goldstein, Constitutional Dialogue and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 49 St. Louis U. L.J. 1095 (2005).
Gerald N. Rosenberg, The 1964 Civil Rights Act: The Crucial Role of Social Movements in the Enactment and Implementation of Anti-Discrimination Law, 49 St. Louis U. L.J. 1147 (2005).
Saturday, October 29, 2005
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.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
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.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
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)."
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."
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
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.
Monday, October 24, 2005
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.
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).
Sunday, October 23, 2005
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.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., a faculty member in the English Department at University of Arkansas - Little Rock , will speak on "Black Indians and Blood Quantum: Lawful Racism. " The lecture is presented as a part of the “Crossings of Breath: Indigenous & Black Relations in North America” conference co-sponsored by the University of New Mexico School of Law. It will be held November 9 at the law school.
Friday, October 21, 2005
A conference on Diversity in the Workplace will be held Nov. 4, 2005, in Memphis, Tenn. The conference is hosted by the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
The event will feature as keynote speaker the Honorable Naomi C. Earp, vice chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Also speaking will be the Honorable Tu Pham, U. S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court in Memphis, as well as high-level representatives from Sara Lee Foods, FedEx and International Paper. Some subjects to be discussed include: how diversity differs from affirmative action, designing a meaningful policy and plan, its role in employment sectors, building a business case for diversity, and sharing best practices.
Neil French, the worldwide creative director at WPP Group, resigned yesterday over remarks he made about women at an industry event on October 6. A female audience member asked him why there weren't more high-ranking women in creative agency positions. Mr. French replied that women "don't make it to the top because they don't deserve to," saying their roles as caregivers and childbearers prevented them from succeeding in top positions. For more, see the New York Times article by Julie Bosman.
Motorola has sued its former president and chief operating officer Mike Zafirovski for allegedly breaching his noncompete agreement when he accepted the position of CEO at Nortel. The suit alleges that Zafirovski "cannot perform his job at Nortel without inevitably disclosing or utilizing Motorola's trade secrets and proprietary information." For more, see Reuters' Update-1.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Northern Kentucky Law Review will present a Symposium on Employment Law Ethics on November 11, 2005. Cynthia Nance (U. Arkansas School of Law) will speak on "What makes employment law and ethics unique?" Susan Katz Hoffman (Pepper Hamilton - Philadelphia) will speak on ethics in employee benefits. Sam Marcosson (Louisville/Brandeis School of Law) will speak on client counseling. The kenote speakers will be joined by panels of distinguished local practitioners. The Symposium is sponsored by Strauss & Troy and Ohio Casualty Group. Extensive CLE credit for ethics and professionalism is available in OH and KY.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Congratulations to Catharine A. MacKinnon, University of Michigan Law School, for her induction as a Fellow into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences class of 2005.
Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Health and Retirement Study, we provide a set of facts about vacation leave and its relationship to hours worked, hours constraints, wage rates, worker characteristics, spouse's vacation leave, labor market experience, job tenure, occupation, industry, and labor market conditions. We show that on average vacation time taken rises 1 to 1 with paid vacation but varies around it, that annual hours worked fall by about 1 full time week with every week of paid vacation, that the gap between time taken and time paid for is higher for women, union members, and government workers, that hourly wage rates have a strong positive relationship with paid vacation weeks both in the cross section and across jobs, and that nonwage compensation is positively related to vacation weeks. We provide evidence that vacation leave is determined by broad employer policy rather than by negotiation between the worker and firm. In particular, it is strongly related to job seniority but depends very little on labor market experience, and for job changers it is only weakly related to the amount of vacation on the previous job.