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DiversityInc Unveils the 2015 Top 50 Companies for Diversity

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Holds the Number One Spot for the Second Year in a Row

DiversityInc Top 50 Stock Index Significantly Outperforms the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500


New York, NY (April 24, 2015) – Diversity and inclusion's keystone event in America took place at Cipriani Wall Street Thursday evening, as DiversityInc announced the 2015 Top 50 Companies for Diversity in front of more than 900 senior executives. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation remained at the top of the rankings for their second year, while Kaiser Permanente jumped two spots to come in second. PricewaterhouseCoopers, EY, Sodexo, MasterCard Worldwide, AT&T, Prudential Financial, Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble rounded out the top 10. MassMutual Financial Group and Hilton Worldwide were both newcomers to the list this year.

“With more than 1000 companies participating, the competition for a spot on the DiversityInc Top 50 and Specialty Lists was up over 30% this year,” said DiversityInc Founder and CEO Luke Visconti. “Companies are recognizing the importance of diversity for corporate reputation - which directly effects millennial-generation recruiting and retention. And whether you’re talking about Silicon Valley, Ferguson, or Indiana, there’s no denying that stories about how far we still need to come regarding diversity have been dominating the headlines in 2015.”

DiversityInc Top 50 companies have significantly more diversity than average American corporations. Compared with EEOC statistics, Top 50 companies have 20% more Blacks, Latinos, and Asians in management, and 13% more women. In the Top 10 the contrast is even sharper, with 41% more Blacks, Latinos, and Asians, and 46% more women than US corporate average. This year, for the first time, the National Organization on Disability tracker was required for the Top 10 Disabilities list.

CNBC covered the DiversityInc Top 50 event and provided the stock market econometric evaluation. “The Top 50 list outperformed the market on a short and long-term basis - which has been the case over the past several years. This shows evidence of the link between excellence in diversity management and superior corporate governance,” said Visconti.

Any company with over one thousand U.S.-based employees is eligible to enter, and there is no cost to compete. Each company’s rank is based on objective analysis of 183 separate factors, based on data from a 300-question survey. The four equally weighted areas of measurement include Talent Pipeline, Equitable Talent Development, CEO/Leadership Commitment, and Supplier Diversity.

“We are extremely honored to be recognized by DiversityInc as the top ranked company for a second year in a row,” said Christi Shaw, President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and US Country Head, Novartis Corporation. “For us, Diversity & Inclusion are an important part of our culture and strategic business focus. Fostering an environment where authenticity and collaboration can flourish enables us to drive future breakthroughs and innovations that help patients live fuller, healthier lives.”

The announcement dinner included a keynote address from Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., whose Rainbow PUSH Coalition has been calling on the tech industry to embrace more diversity as a business opportunity.

DiversityInc also released 13 lists for the following select specialty areas:

• 25 Noteworthy Companies

• Top 10 Companies for LGBT Employees (Wells Fargo, No. 1)
• Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity (AT&T, No. 1)
• Top 10 Companies for People With Disabilities (EY, No. 1)
• Top 10 Companies for Recruitment (PricewaterhouseCoopers, No. 1)
• Top 10 Companies for Mentoring (EY, No. 1)
• Top 5 Utilities (Ameren, No. 1)
• Top 10 Regional Companies (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 1)
• Top 10 Companies for Veterans (Northrop Grumman Corporation, No. 1)
• Top 10 Companies for Global Diversity (IBM, No. 1)
• Top 10 Companies for Employee Resource Groups (Merck & Co., No. 1)
• Top 10 Companies for Diversity Councils (EY, No. 1)
• Top 5 Hospitals and Health Systems (Henry Ford Health System, No. 1)

For the entire Top 50 list, visit http://www.diversityinc.com/top50 or follow the conversation online with the hashtag #DITop50.

The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity Announcement Dinner was made possible thanks to the following sponsors: Abbott, ADP, AT&T, Caterpillar, Cox Communications, CVS Health, Deloitte, EMC, EY, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Marriott International, MasterCard, Monsanto, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prudential Financial, Sodexo, Target, TD Bank, Time Warner, Toyota Motor North America, and Wells Fargo.

About DiversityInc
DiversityInc’s mission is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity. The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list began in 2001, at the same time many corporations were beginning to understand the business value of diversity-management initiatives. The 2015 Top 50 Companies for Diversity results are featured on DiversityInc.com and in DiversityInc magazine. For more information, log on to www.diversityinc.com, https://www.facebook.com/DiversityInc, https://twitter.com/DiversityInc or http://www.linkedin.com/company/26561.

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Infographic: 15 Dream Jobs That Pay Really Well


View Original
(via Savoo).




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    Getting Hired in One-Minute, Wow! New App Simplifies Job Search, Recruiting, and Hiring


     Wow  App



    PITTSBURGH -- WOWHire!, an innovative job search and hiring app from Founder and CEO, Samuel Boyer, and Co-Founder Phil Laboon, is literally turning heads.

    WOWHire! is a new mobile platform that allows employers to swipe their way through one- minute video resumes, created and uploaded by job seekers and potential candidates.

    It’s quick and easy to get started. Candidates sign up, log in, and use their cell phone’s camera to create a 60-second video resume, allowing for a quick and effective connection with employers like never before.

    Employers can browse through the database of video resumes, in their search for candidates to fill entry-level positions. The one-minute videos offer powerful insights into the personality, presentation and communication skills of the candidate. It’s quick and easy to swipe through dozens of candidates in just as many minutes.

    Candidates can see how many companies have viewed their video resume and which companies liked them. Employers can use filters to quickly look through thousands of potential hires, narrowing down their search by education, industry experience, or academic institution. Once they find a potential candidate, they can quickly save them to their ‘favorites’ and then easily follow up with potential hires for further evaluation.

    Unlike with traditional resumes, one-minute video resumes allow companies to make a more personal connection with potential hires, enabling them to better assess someone’s fit within the company’s culture before investing the time for a face-to-face interview.

    The WOWHire! network is rapidly expanding with national as well as global companies in financial services, hospitality, and technology signing up.

    The app can be downloaded for free at www.WOWHire.com (Apple iOS or Android).

     Wow  App



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    Grassroots & National Advocates Launch Initiative Calling on President Obama to Embrace Fair Chance Hiring Reforms

    Over 100 Localities and States Pave the Way for Federal Action


    New York, NY—Worker advocates, faith-based organizers, and the formerly incarcerated joined together today to launch an initiative urging President Obama to take executive action to ensure that employment opportunities with federal agencies and contractors are open to qualified job-seekers with arrests or convictions in their past. “Fair chance” hiring policies that reduce unfair hiring barriers against people with records and help employers tap into undiscovered talent have been adopted in more than 100 cities, counties, and states, paving the way for federal action.

    The initiative is being jointly organized by All of Us or None, a membership organization of the formerly incarcerated; the PICO National Network, the nation’s largest faith-based organizing network with more than 1,000 religious congregations in 200 U.S. cities; and the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group for low-wage and unemployed workers. The groups will partner on a series of activities and events over the coming months.

    In a report released today, “Advancing a Federal Fair Chance Hiring Agenda,” the National Employment Law Project (NELP) makes the case for federal action that builds on the momentum in the 13 states, the District of Columbia, and the 96 cities and counties that have adopted “ban the box” and other fair chance hiring measures.

    In support of the initiative, the three groups also released a sign-on letter for organizations around the country to urge President Obama to take immediate executive action. Early signers include the ACLU, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, actor/activist Danny Glover, Michael Hannigan, the president and co-founder of Give Something Back Office Supplies, JustLeadershipUSA, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and other notable individuals and organizations.

    Almost one in three adults in the United States has a criminal record that will show up on a routine criminal background check, which creates a serious barrier to employment for communities of color hardest hit by decades of over-criminalization, according to NELP’s report. Nearly one in four U.S. workers is employed either by a federal contractor, a subcontractor, or the federal government. With the labor market now recovering, the federal government should waste no time in ensuring that job applicants with past convictions can fairly compete for jobs.

    Dorsey Nunn, who has championed the rights of the formerly incarcerated as a founding member of All of Us or None, and serves as executive director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, stated: “What we are asking for comes down to the simple proposition that formerly incarcerated citizens should be entitled to the same active participation in the government, including our taxpayer-funded jobs, that belongs to everyone else. We pay taxes, too. It’s part and parcel of the process of achieving the full restoration of our rights.”

    Pastor Michael McBride, who leads the PICO National Network’s Live Free campaign, which is committed to addressing gun violence and mass incarceration of young people of color, believes that the current state of America’s economic and justice systems contributes to racial discrimination that further erodes the moral character of our nation. “‘Ban the Box’ measures are a step forward in fixing a justice system that is inefficient and ineffective and that leaves us unwilling and unable to see the humanity and value of black and brown lives,” said McBride. “How can a child, a man, or a woman seek opportunity, act on their potential, or be optimistic about their future, if they are not also free and safe to strive for a better tomorrow?”

    “Nearly 50 years ago, Dr. King challenged our nation to recognize that ‘now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality,’” said Maurice Emsellem, director of NELP’s Access and Opportunity Program and co-author of the report. “Without opening up employment opportunities for the large numbers of Americans who have been unfairly locked out of the job market because of a conviction, the nation will never realize the promise of economic opportunity.”

    The NELP report comes on the heels of the State of the Union address in which President Obama talked about restoring the link between hard work and opportunity for every American. The report details a specific agenda for reform by the Administration, which includes an Executive Order extending model fair chance hiring to private employers that contract with the federal government and a Presidential Memorandum directing federal agencies to close major gaps in the hiring process that undermine the efforts of qualified workers with a record to access federal jobs.

    Elected officials across the political spectrum have embraced criminal justice reform and fair chance hiring measures specifically, mostly recently including ban-the-box legislation signed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie that extends to private employers. In 2014, four states and 38 cities and counties (42 jurisdictions) enacted fair chance reforms—more than double the jurisdictions that did so in 2013.

    Today, over 100 million people live in an area where fair chance hiring is in effect. Six states now extend their fair chance hiring reforms to private sector employers, and a growing number of major corporations, including Walmart, Target, and Home Depot—three of top five retailers in the nation—have adopted such policies as well. New campaigns are underway in key states, such as Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, and in major cities, including Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, Dallas, and Orlando.

    President’s Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force also endorsed fair chance hiring. The task force report recommended “implement[ing] reforms to promote successful reentry, including hiring practices, such as ‘Ban the Box,’ which give applicants a fair chance and allow employers the opportunity to judge individual job applicants on their merits as they reenter the workforce.”


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    EEOC TO PROBE HARASSMENT AT MEETING


    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a meeting on Wed., Jan. 14, at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time), at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington D.C. In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the open session of the meeting will be open to public observation of the commission's deliberations. EEOC staff will also live tweet from the public meeting using the @EEOCNews Twitter handle and the hashtag #EEOCmtg.

    The commission will hear from invited panelists on the persistent problem of workplace harassment as well as best practices for employers to prevent and address harassment. The commission is scheduled to hear from the following confirmed panelists during the meeting:

    • Carol Miaskoff, Acting Associate Legal Counsel, EEOC, Office of Legal Counsel

    • Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment, National Women’s Law Center

    • Patricia Wise, Partner, Niehaus Wise & Kalas Ltd

    • Laudente Montoya, Charging Party/Class Member, EEOC v. Dart Energy Corp. et al.

    • Sean Ratliff, Acting Supervisory Trial Attorney, EEOC Denver Field Office

    • Jane Kow, Employment Lawyer and HR Consultant/Trainer, HR Law Consultants

    Seating is limited, and the EEOC encourages visitors to arrive 30 minutes before the meeting in order to be processed through security and escorted to the meeting room. Visitors should bring a government-issued photo identification card to facilitate entry into the building.

    The commission meeting agenda is subject to revision. Additional information about the meeting, when available, will be posted at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/index.cfm.

    The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


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    New Resolution by National Black Caucus of State Legislators Calls for More Employment Diversity in the Tech Industry


    (DALLAS, TX) – The MinorityEye will hold a teleconference in Dallas to discuss a new resolution from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) that calls on tech giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter and others to diversify their workforces. The teleconference will be held after the NBCSL Annual Legislative Conference on Friday, December 12 at 5:00pm.

    The resolution comes on the heels of recently released statistics by these companies, showing unequal representation of minority communities in their workforces. The MinorityEye will be joined by the President of NBCSL and sponsor of the resolution, State Representative Joe Armstrong of Tennessee, District 15.

    For more information contact: media@theminorityeye.com

    WHO: President Joe Armstrong (TN)

    WHEN: Friday, December 12, 2014 5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

    DIAL-IN: 866-952-1906; CONFERENCE ID: Diversity

    About The MinorityEye's "Campaign for Equality in Technology": The campaign for Equality in Technology seeks to raise awareness of the startling minority employment gap in the US technology sector. Equality in Technology is asking that industry leaders in technology enact reasonable accommodations to remove employment barriers faced by members of the three designated minority groups, women, African Americans and Hispanics. Employers are also asked to institute positive policies for the hiring, training, retention, and promotion of members of these marginalized groups. http://www.theminorityeye.com/equality-in-technology/


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    New Research Links Income Inequality to a Marriage Gap Between the Wealthy and Poor


    In advance of the December 11 publication date, the Russell Sage Foundation will host a press call with Johns Hopkins sociologist Andrew Cherlin to present new research on economic inequality, marriage, and family trends from Cherlin’s forthcoming book, Labor’s Love Lost (Russell Sage Foundation, 2014). A national expert on work and family issues, Cherlin will be joined by other experts in the field, including author and professor Stephanie Coontz, to discuss the implications of his research.

    In documenting two centuries of work and family trends, Labor’s Love Lost examines how:

    · The male-breadwinner family is a historical anomaly—not the American norm: Despite its outsized place in the American imagination, the idea of the middle class male-breadwinner family is an anomaly in American history.

    · Economic inequality and the marriage gap go hand-in-hand: Cherlin documents how the marriage gap between the well-to-do and working-class Americans expands during times of high income inequality, drawing new connections between the present day and the “Gilded Age” of the late nineteenth century.

    · American children experience the highest rates of family turnover in the developed world: Large numbers of American children today live with single parents or with parents in cohabitating unions of short duration and high breakup rates. As a result, American children experience parents, parents’ partners, and stepparents moving in and out of their households far more than in other developed countries.

    · High school-educated Americans raise children in patterns more similar to high-school dropouts than college graduates: The percentage of children who are aren’t living with two biological parents has increased sharply among the moderately-educated. It is now common for high-school-educated women to have at least one child outside of marriage.

    · African American employment and family trends are distinct from the marriage gap among whites: As African American men did not fully share in the wage gains of the post-war period, Cherlin traces how marriage rates among African Americans did not rise as high as whites during the 1950s and 1960s, and how they have fallen further in the most recent period.

    · New educational and labor market policies are needed to stabilize working-class families: Cherlin argues that the U.S. must improve the educational opportunities for working-class children, including placing greater emphasis on apprenticeships and internships as pathways to steady employment for high school graduates—rather than promoting college education for all. In addition, he argues that labor market interventions—such as subsidizing low wages through tax credits and raising the minimum wage—are needed to foster stability.

    ABOUT THE RUSSELL SAGE FOUNDATION
    The Russell Sage Foundation is the principal American Foundation devoted exclusively to research in the social sciences. The Foundation is dedicated to strengthening the methods, data, and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of improving social policies. The Foundation is a research center for a select group of Visiting Scholars each year, a funding source for studies by scholars at other academic and research institutions, and an active member of the nation's social science community. The Foundation also publishes, under its own imprint, the books that derive from the work of its grantees and Visiting Scholars.


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    Here Are All the Black People


    In a video promoting the upcoming Here Are All the Black People event in September, iconic comedian Jerry Seinfeld lets us know where all the black people are. You can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JePaUVV1B5w

    Here Are All the Black People is a creative career fair promoting diversity. There are a lot of initiatives raising awareness for the need for diversity but Here Are All the Black People delivers on its promise, having attracted thousands of attendees, including mentors, students, recent graduates and professionals, in the last few years. Thousands of connections were made and hundreds of job opportunities were created as a result of the career fair.

    Last year, Dr. Cornel West keynoted the event. Here is a video with highlights from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AHqIbYDT5k

    Check out the website: http://herearealltheblackpeople.com/


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    DIVERSITY JOBS REPORT & INDEX RELEASED

    “Young, black, educated and… unemployed?” July Diversity Jobs Report reveals unemployment for African Americans is double the national average - in spite of education level.


    While the report explores the employment situation for ALL diverse groups (women, minorities, LGBT, veterans and the disabled,) this month's data highlights the job disparities among African American college graduates, including those with degrees in STEM majors.

    Key points include:

    · The unemployment rate for African Americans is 11.38%, which is nearly double the national average at 6.12%

    · The unemployment rate for all diverse candidates is slightly higher than the national average at 7.04%

    · African Americans account for 22.38% of the total unemployment population, the highest rate among all segments.

    To review methodology or access previous reports, please click here.

    Professional Diversity Network, Inc.
    Professional Diversity Network (PDN) develops and operates online networks dedicated to increasing employment opportunities for women and minority candidates. Headquartered in Chicago, the company’s professional networking communities include: iHispano.com, BlackCareerNetwork.com, WomensCareerChannel.com, Military2Career.com, ProAble.net, OutProNet.com and AsianCareerNetwork.com. For more info visit prodivnet.com.


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    APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS JURY VERDICT AND ALL RELIEF AWARDED AGAINST A.C. WIDENHOUSE IN EEOC RACE HARASSMENT CASE

    - Trucking Company to Pay $243,000 for Subjecting African-American Employees to Racial Slurs and Nooses, Retaliation -


    WASHINGTON – In the latest of a series of successes in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) challenges to workplace racial harassment, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the EEOC’s victory in obtaining a jury verdict and more than $243,000 and injunctive relief for victims of racial harassment and retaliation perpetrated by A.C. Widenhouse, Inc., a Concord, N.C.-based trucking company, the agency announced today.

    “Fifty years ago, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which transformed the nation by removing discriminatory barriers that impeded human potential and productivity,” said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez. “Unfortunately, as the facts of this case and others brought by the Commission show, racial discrimination persists. Yet this case also highlights the vitality of the law as a Winston-Salem jury, acting as the conscience of the community, took less than one hour to send the unanimous message that race discrimination, in this case overt and unfiltered, is unacceptable. Then, the appellate court took less than a month to affirm this important verdict.” Lynette A. Barnes, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District, which litigated the case on behalf of the agency, said, “The court’s affirmation of this verdict sends a strong message to employers. First the jury, and now the appellate court, spoke to this employer loud and clear – racial harassment will not be tolerated.”

    According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Contonius Gill and Robert Floyd, Jr., African-Americans, worked as truck drivers for A.C. Widenhouse. From as early as May 2007 through at least June 2008, Gill was repeatedly subjected to unwelcome derogatory racial comments and slurs by the facility’s general manager, (who was also his supervisor), the company’s dispatcher, several mechanics and other truck drivers, all of whom are white. The comments and slurs included the “N” word, “monkey” and “boy.” Gill testified that on one occasion he was approached by a co-worker with a noose and was told, “This is for you. Do you want to hang from the family tree?” Gill further testified that he was asked by white employees if he wanted to be the “coon” in their “coon hunt.”

    Floyd testified that he also was subjected to repeated derogatory racial comments and slurs by the company’s general manager and white employees. Floyd testified that when was hired in 2005, he was the only African-American working at the company. According to Floyd, the company’s general manager told Floyd that he was the company’s “token black.” Floyd testified that on another occasion the general manager told Floyd, ”Don’t find a noose with your name on it,” and talked about having some of his “friends” visit Floyd in the middle of the night. Gill repeatedly complained about racial harassment to the company’s dispatcher and general manager and Floyd complained to an owner of A.C. Widenhouse, but both men testified that the harassment continued.

    Gill intervened in the lawsuit and in addition to the EEOC’s claim of racial harassment, Gill alleged that his employment with A.C. Widenhouse was terminated based on his race and in retaliation for complaining about racial harassment.

    A Winston-Salem jury of eight returned a unanimous verdict finding that Gill and Floyd, Jr. had been harassed because of their race, and that Gill had been fired because of his race and in retaliation for complaining about racial harassment.

    The district court ruled that the EEOC should recover $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of Floyd, and that Gill should recover $193,509 in compensatory and punitive damages, back pay, and pre-judgment interest. The court further enjoined A.C. Widenhouse from discriminating against any person on the basis of race or in retaliation for opposing practices unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The three-year injunction also requires A.C. Widenhouse to imple¬ment a written anti-discrimination policy; conduct training on Title VII to all employees and to all owners involved in the company’s operations; post the anti-discrimination policy and a notice to employees regarding the lawsuit; and provide the EEOC with periodic reports regarding complaints about racial harassment.

    Although the jury took less than an hour to reach its unanimous verdict, A.C. Widenhouse appealed to the Fourth Circuit, arguing that the trial court had committed errors in instructing the jury and in ruling on the admissibility of evidence.

    The court of appeals firmly rejected these arguments, saying that the company’s challenges to the EEOC’s case were without merit and that the trial court had not abused its discretion in any way in its conduct of the trial. Although the jury was not instructed in accordance with subsequently announced Supreme Court standards on Gill’s retaliation claim, the court of appeals said that A.C. Widenhouse had not demonstrated any prejudice from that error, and upheld the verdict on that claim as well.

    The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.


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    Report: Unfair Background Checks Shut Out Californians from Fast-Growing Health Care Jobs

    - Sensible Background Check Reforms Needed So All Qualified Job-Seekers Can Share in Promise of Quality Health Care Jobs -


    Oakland, CA—California has been a national leader in the effort to meet the unprecedented demand for health care jobs by hiring from diverse communities most in need of quality care, but a new report by the National Employment Law Project finds that far too many qualified job-seekers from these communities are still shut out of these jobs because of unfair criminal background check policies that also fail to advance patient safety or security.

    The report,A Healthy Balance: Expanding Health Care Job Opportunities for Californians with a Criminal Record While Ensuring Patient Safety and Security, documents the employment barriers imposed by state laws regulating health care occupations and recommends reforms and model employer practices to help ensure that the one in four Californians with a criminal record are able to share in the promise of health care employment opportunities and give back to their communities.

    “Fulfilling the promise of quality health care jobs for all Californians is one of the state’s top priorities, but we can’t get there if we don’t also tackle the criminal background check issues that especially affect communities of color—the people hardest hit by unemployment and over-criminalization,” said Madeline Neighly, staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project and the report’s lead author. “We hope that this report helps lay the groundwork for a more informed debate of this critical issue.”

    The report documents several key findings that reinforce the need for fairer criminal background checks for workers seeking health care jobs. Half of the state’s 20 fastest-growing fields are in health care and related occupations, including home health aides, personal care aides, paramedics and other entry-level occupations. Yet, these and other high-growth occupations, such as certified nurse assistants, are not covered by the basic worker protections that govern most occupations requiring a criminal background check by the state. Applicants for these entry-level jobs face lifetime disqualification for more than 50 specified convictions, including misdemeanors.

    The report found that California conducted over half a million criminal background checks for employment in health care jobs during the 18-month period from July 2011 to December 2013. Eight million Californians have a criminal record on file with the state—a by-product of the failed War on Drugs and decades of over-criminalization in low-income communities of color. People of color, and especially African American youth, are disproportionately represented in the numbers of Californians with a criminal record, which severely undermines their job search even though more than 75 percent of their arrests are for non-violent crimes.

    The report also profiles some of the most promising efforts in the state to expand health care job opportunities for people with criminal records. The Emergency Medical Service Corps program in Alameda County, for example, provides rigorous training and paid internships for underserved youth in the community.

    The push to reduce unwarranted barriers to employment for people with records comes at a time when both the federal government and the state of California have taken strong steps to reduce such barriers. The Obama Administration has adopted strong new guidelines to enforce the civil rights and consumer laws that regulate criminal background checks for employment. The President’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force just released a 90-day progress report that calls for “reforms to promote successful reentry, including hiring practices, such as ‘Ban the Box . . . .” And in July, California’s new “ban the box” law will take effect, prohibiting public employers, including county hospitals and other health care facilities, from inquiring into an applicant’s conviction history on the initial job application.

    The report builds on these positive developments and offers action recommendations for the California Legislature, state licensing boards and agencies, and California employers:

    The California Legislature should remove unnecessary barriers to certification and licensing of health care occupations, including eliminating lifetime disqualifications and ensuring consideration of rehabilitation and other mitigating circumstances, as recommended in the recent National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers report. A bill currently pending (SB 1384) would apply such changes to certified nurse assistants. Another bill, AB 2060, would establish a fund for vocational training and stipends that could support model health care training programs, like Alameda County’s EMS Corps.

    In addition, the Executive Branch can take immediate action to address key concerns identified in the report. The state licensing boards and agencies should provide clearer and more transparent information on their criminal record application and appeal processes and publish information on processing delays, while the Employment Development Department and Department of Fair Employment and Housing should take steps to enforce the civil rights laws that regulate criminal background checks.

    Employers should adopt the best practices of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and train and monitor their hiring managers to ensure compliance with federal and state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws that regulate criminal background checks. Employers should also work with community groups, including reentry programs and other job training providers, to ensure equitable access to jobs for all Californians.

    Download the Full Report or the Executive Summary: A Healthy Balance: Expanding Health Care Job Opportunities for Californians with a Criminal Record While Ensuring Patient Safety and Security

    ###


    The National Employment Law Project is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts research and advocates on issues affecting low-wage and unemployed workers. For more about NELP, visit www.nelp.org.


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    Nebraska Becomes 1st Red State to “Ban the Box”; 11th State to Endorse Fair Hiring of People with Records

    - Georgia’s Republican Governor Pledges to Issue Executive Order, While Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, and 4 more states debate measures to give qualified applicants with convictions a fair chance to work -


    Washington, DC—Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman today signed a significant criminal justice reform bill that includes a “ban the box” fair-hiring provision, making Nebraska the 11th state in the nation to remove questions about an applicant’s criminal record from state job applications. The move postpones such inquiries so that job-seekers can be reviewed on their qualifications first. The bill, which aims to reduce the prison population while improving public safety, passed the legislature 46-0.

    Also this week, Republican Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia signed legislation to help the formerly incarcerated get back to work, while also pledging to issue an executive order offering job applicants with records a fair chance to be judged on their merits, not just their records. The Governor’s spokesperson stated that, “The governor will implement ban the box on the state level, and hope that the private sector follows suit. This will afford those with blemishes on their record a shot at a good job, which is key to preventing a return to crime.”

    Seven other states, including Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida, and many cities around the country also are considering “ban the box” fair-hiring policies (the “box” refers to the check-box asking about convictions). Governors Heineman and Deal are not the first Republican governors to support a fair chance for workers with records. Governors Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Arnold Schwarzenneger of California adopted such policies in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The policy does not prohibit background checks, but only defers the inquiry to later in the hiring process.

    To help advocates and policymakers tap into this national momentum and initiate fair-chance campaigns in their communities, today NELP released a comprehensive online toolkit.

    As more jurisdictions pursue “smart on crime” approaches and seek ways to expand economic opportunity, support for these fair-hiring policies is growing around the country, even among conservatives in an increasing number of red states.

    In addition, the Louisiana Civil Service Commission is considering whether to remove the conviction question from most state job applications. Legislation is also pending in South Carolina, Florida, Delaware, Illinois, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. At the local level, the Louisville Metro Council unanimously passed a new law in March to remove the conviction question from job applications for the city and many of its 26,000 vendors. The bipartisan victory was praised as “compassionate legislation” by the mayor.

    In Indiana, another red state, an Indianapolis ordinance applying to the city and vendors passed 26-2 in late February with the support of Republican Mayor Greg Ballard. In Nebraska, capturing the sentiment of fair-hiring supporters, Republican Mayor Jean Stothert of Omaha stated, “Many of these applicants want and deserve a second chance and have the potential to be good employees.” The tally of jurisdictions that have adopted the fair-hiring policy is now up to 11 states (with a few more on the verge) and almost 60 cities and counties. All told, NELP estimates that more than one third of the U.S. population now resides in a community where these fair-chance polices are in effect.

    “This growing support in red states like Nebraska and Georgia to give workers a fair chance at employment is a breakthrough that should convince any elected official that it’s not just good policy, but it’s also good politics to find common ground in ways that strengthen our economy,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project.

    Last year, the states of California, Maryland, Minnesota, and Rhode Island enacted legislation, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued an executive order removing the background-check question from state applications. NELP’s comprehensive new web-based resource for fair-chance campaigns includes best practices, sample public education materials, model legislative language, media coverage, and other campaign resources.

    The National Employment Law Project is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts research and advocates on issues affecting low-wage and unemployed workers. For more about NELP, visit www.nelp.org.


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    EEOC AND FTC OFFER JOINT TIPS ON USE OF EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND CHECKS

    - User-Friendly Documents for Employers, Job Applicants, and Employees Explain Laws Governing the Acquisition and Use of Personal Background Information -


    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today co-published two technical assistance documents that explain how the agencies’ respective laws apply to background checks performed for employment purposes. One document is for employers; the other is for job applicants and employees. This is the first time that the two agencies have partnered to create resources addressing concerns in this key area. The documents are available on the EEOC’s website: Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know and Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know

    The agencies emphasize that employers need written permission from job applicants before getting background reports about them from companies in the business of compiling background information. Furthermore, they reaffirm that it is illegal to discriminate based on a person’s race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information, including family medical history, when requesting or using background information for employment, regardless of where the information was obtained.

    At the same time, the agencies want job applicants to know that it is not illegal for potential employers to ask about their background, as long as the employer does not unlawfully discriminate. However, when people are turned down for a job or denied a promotion based on information in their background reports, they have the right to review the reports for accuracy.

    “The laws enforced by the EEOC and the FTC intersect on the issue of employment background checks, so this was a unique opportunity for the agencies to work together to provide user-friendly technical assistance to our stakeholders,” said EEOC Legal Counsel Peggy Mastroianni. “The No. 1 goal here is to ensure that people on both sides of the desk understand their rights and responsibilities.”

    “The FTC is pleased to work with the EEOC to help ensure that employers and potential employees have a solid understanding of their rights and responsibilities,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

    The EEOC enforces federal laws against employment discrimination; more information is available at www.eeoc.gov. The FTC enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law that protects the privacy and accuracy of the information in credit reports. More information is available at www.ftc.gov.


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    (BPRW) Walmart Provides Greater Access to Opportunities, Helps African Americans Pursue Higher Education, Job Training and Placement

    - $1.75 million in grants to three leading nonprofits help students and adults in 20 U.S. communities -


    (BLACK PR WIRE) – BENTONVILLE, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, Walmart furthers its commitment to provide greater access to opportunities across 20 U.S. communities with the announcement of $1.75 million in grants from the Walmart Foundation to three of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban League (NUL) andUnited Negro College Fund (UNCF). The grant to UNCF will fund a program to help assure historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) continue as a source of quality degrees for African American students. In addition, the grants to NUL and NAACP will fund programs to help individuals receive the support they need to secure and build meaningful careers through training and placement assistance, and help businesses create more job opportunities.

    Walmart



    There is an increase in demand today for diverse talent in the workforce, according to the inaugural Diversity Jobs Index and Report from the Professional Diversity Network, Inc. To meet this demand, Walmart continues to help African Americans access career opportunities through work with strategic partners and by fostering diversity and inclusion among its associates and suppliers.

    “With today’s economic climate there is a growing need to empower individuals in communities nationwide with access to opportunities that will help them live better. Part of this work will come from helping businesses understand and unlock the powerful results that a more diverse workforce has to offer,” said Tony Waller, senior director, corporate affairs, Walmart. “By helping one individual at a time build a successful career, we are growing a more competitive work environment. A competitive environment ignites innovation, which helps build stronger communities and, ultimately, a stronger America.”

    “Since 2006, we have been able to increasingly grow our workforce training program through ongoing support from the Walmart Foundation and subsequently have exceeded expectations of the number of individuals we’ve been able to serve,” said Marc H. Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League. “This new grant will help us further strengthen our workforce development programs, and continue helping African Americans and other communities of color across the United States secure economic independence and empowerment.”

    The Walmart Foundation grant of $500,000 to UNCF will help 16 historically black colleges and universities achieve long-term financial stability so they can continue providing African American students with access to higher education. In addition, a $1 million grant to NUL and a $250,000 grant to NAACP will fund programs to provide career counseling and job placement support, and help businesses evaluate current hiring policies.

    Learn more about the Walmart commitment to career opportunities. For more information about the Walmart Foundation visit foundation.walmart.com.

    About Philanthropy at Walmart
    Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Together, they have donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.

    Source: Walmart


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