The nation’s cadre of mostly female flight attendants is facing a new threat – the idea that their job can be performed by college students at a fraction of the cost
Breeze Airways, a new airline operating out of Salt Lake City, Utah, is partnering with Utah Valley University to hire full-time college students to work as flight attendants while they pursue their degree through on-line classes. The airline offers “tuition reimbursement” and provides housing through the program, which is called Flight Academy.
Breeze was started by David Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue. It began operating with a fleet of 60 planes last month.
Breeze’s hiring plan is opposed by the Association of Flight Attendants – CWA, which notes that 70% of the student population at UVU is under the age of 30 and approximately 78% are Caucasian. CWA alleges Breeze’s hiring plan has a discriminatory impact on minorities and older workers.
Continue reading “Unions Say ‘Breeze Airways’ Blows An Ill Wind”
The EEOC has articulated an “analytical framework” for proving cases of intentional discrimination (also known as disparate treatment discrimination).
Unfortunately, the framework has a crater-sized hole – the Judge.
In a decision that recently was upheld by the EEOC Office of Federal Operations (OFO), an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) dismissed a 2011 age discrimination complaint involving a failure to hire by an agency of the Social Security Administration. There was clear evidence of collusion to cover-up of age discrimination by the hiring officer and his assistant, undisputed proof of interference by SSA attorneys in the investigation of the case by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer in clear violation of EEOC policy, and the novice, untrained hiring officer admitted that he based his selections entirely on subjective criteria and completely ignored the complainant’s superior qualifications. The judges agreed with the SSA that the hiring officer was within his rights to hire candidates that he deemed a good fit for the SSA’s “culture.” Specifically, the OFO upheld the ALJ’s ruling that reliance on subjective criteria is “appropriate and necessary when the selection, as here, involves the consideration of collegial, professional, teamwork and administrative abilities that do not lend themselves to objective measurement.”
The law and EEOC rules instruct employers to hire candidates based upon neutral and objective job-related criteria so as to avoid subjective decisions based on personal stereotypes or hidden bias.
Considerable research shows that hiring officers suffer from implicit bias and ageist stereotypes – what about judges?
Continue reading “The EEOC’s Analytical Framework Has a Hole”
The dance is over for Marymount Manhattan College.
The EEOC has announced that Marymount, a private liberal arts college in New York City, has settled a lawsuit filed by EEOC alleging that it refused to hire a choreography instructor for a tenure-track assistant professorship because of her age.
The EEOC prosecution appeared to be the first salvo by the EEOC in the war against rampant age discrimination in higher education.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Marymount passed over a 64-year-old applicant for an assistant professorship in dance composition who had been working at Marymount, and instead hired a 38-year-old applicant. The suit charged that this violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits age discrimination against employees and job applicants who are age 40 or older.
By the terms of the consent decree settling the suit, Marymount agreed to pay $125,000 to Patricia Catterson. Further, it agrees to comply with the requirements of the ADEA. The decree also requires monitoring and training on anti-discrimination law. The decree will last for four years.
Marymount initially selected Ms. Catterson and two other applicants as finalists for an assistant professorship in dance composition. After determining that the Ms. Catterson was the leading candidate, Marymount’s search committee expanded its search to include the less qualified younger applicant as a fourth finalist because it considered her to be “at the right moment of her life for commitment to a full-time position.”
New York District Director EEOC Kevin Berry said, “Under the law, age has no place in making hiring decisions – and tenure-track positions in academia are no exception.
Ms. Catterson had been teaching as an adjunct professor in MMC’s Dance Department for 10 years. She had also been on the faculty of The Juilliard School, Princeton University, and Manhattanville College.