10 Updates

Appeals Court Slaps Down EEOC Over Disparate-Impact Suit

Apr 9 2014, 9:55pm CDT | by

A federal appeals court delivered a sharp rebuke to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission today when it upheld the dismissal of the agency’s lawsuit against Kaplan for using credit histories...

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15 weeks ago

Appeals Court Slaps Down EEOC Over Disparate-Impact Suit

Apr 9 2014, 9:55pm CDT | by

A federal appeals court delivered a sharp rebuke to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission today when it upheld the dismissal of the agency’s lawsuit against Kaplan for using credit histories to screen job candidates — the same method the EEOC uses for 87% of its positions.

A lower court dismissed the case because the EEOC’s expert flunked the test most courts use to decide whether an expert has the credibility to testify. A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati agreed, saying the expert’s method for proving racial discrimination, which included hiring “race raters” to examine drivers’ license photos of applicants to determine their race, was “not a reliable means to demonstrate disparate impact.”

Disparate impact is a method of analysis favored by the Obama administration for identifying and suing employers who engage in discrimination, whether or not they intend to do so. Employers complain  that they can be held liable for millions of dollars in damages and back wages based simply upon the statistical makeup of their work force, without any evidence they intended to discriminate. Conservative groups are hoping to put the concept to the test before the U.S.Supreme Court, but the Obama administration has killed such attempts so far, first by settling a potentially damaging case in Minnesota, and later with the help of the George Soros-backed Open Society Institute to squelch a similar challenge involving the city of Mount Holly, N.J.

In this case, the EEOC accused Kaplan of using credit scores to reject a disproportionate number of African-American candidates for jobs. The appeals-court decision , penned by Judge Raymond Kethledge, doesn’t begin well for the government: “In this case the EEOC sued the defendants for using the same type of background check that the EEOC itself uses.”

The EEOC considers credit scores as an important indication of whether an applicant might be tempted “to commit illegal or unethical acts as a means of gaining funds to meet financial obligations,” as stated in federal regulations, Kethledge noted. Kaplan uses them to for similar reasons. The company began the practice after discovering some of its financial-aid officers were stealing money from students, and executives were engaging in self-dealing by hiring relatives as vendors.

The government relied upon an expert named Kevin Murphy, an industrial psychologist by training, who devised his own method for determining whether the credit checks had a disparate impact on African-Americans. Murphy obtained some 4,600 records from one of Kaplan’s several credit-check vendors, and since those records didn’t have race data, he used subpoenas to pull drivers’ license records from 47 states plus the District of Columbia. Eleven states provided racial data, and for the rest he used a team of five “race raters” to examine photographs of the job applicants and determine their race.

The EEOC didn’t provide further details on how these raters could determine the race of an applicant from a digital headshot, although the agency said they each had experience in “multicultural, multiracial, treatment outcome research.” But Murphy’s raters apparently found discrimination: Out of 1,090 applicants whose race the raters had determined, 23.8% of African-Americans (or people identified as such by the raters) had been flagged for review because of a subpar credit record, compared with 13% of the entire pool of 4,600 applicants.

The trial judge didn’t think much of this methodology as a means for determining whether Kaplan is a racist organization liable for millions of dollars in damages, and neither did Kethledge.

Not only did Murphy use a subset of a subset of applicants to “prove” discrimination, but he didn’t disclose an error rate or any of the other markers, such as peer-reviewed results, that judges are supposed to consider before allowing expert testimony. Since a disparate-impact suit hinges upon such testimony, getting it right is important.

In conclusion, Kethledge said, this was a waste of time.

We need not belabor the issue further. The EEOC brought this case on the basis of a homemade methodology, crafted by a witness with no particular expertise to craft it, administered by persons with no particular expertise to administer it, tested by no one, and accepted only by the witness himself. The district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding Murphy’s testimony.

Gerald Maatman of Seyfarth Shaw argued for Kaplan, a unit of Graham Holdings.

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat ...
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7 weeks ago

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Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robber ...
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Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakya ...
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Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hisham ...
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Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern state ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in compensatio ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister D ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involvin ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Sche ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex) today ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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