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Posts about Discrimination

App helps travelers report profiling

Posted by: Alejandra Matos Updated: November 27, 2013 - 3:41 PM

The Sikh Coalition is updating its mobile app that allows travelers to report complaints about the Transportation Security Administration from the airport after concerns were raised about the handling of the complaints, according to an article published Wednesday by USA Today.

The Coalition is updating its FlyRights app to forward each complaint to the traveler’s U.S. House member and both senators, in addition to the TSA, to ensure that the complaints are being fully investigated.

The Sikh Coalition created the app in April 2012, along with TSA, because of concerns that TSA officials were profiling travelers, particularly Sikhs who often wear turbans.

In addition to basic information, such as name and address, the app asks for the grounds for discrimination, the airport and if the passenger was required to go through extra screening.

The update will also keep a running total of complaints for each airport.

EEOC sues Pine City business again

Posted by: Jane Friedmann Updated: July 28, 2011 - 6:06 PM
Product Fabricators, Inc. has been hit with its second federal discrimination lawsuit.
In 2009, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the sheet-metal fabricator for requiring employees to report prescription medication use and then firing an employee for disclosing his prescription for Vicodin. The EEOC said the company wrongly perceived that the narcotic made him unfit for work.
Shortly after that lawsuit was filed, a second employee of the Pine City company was allegedly fired for inquiring about taking time off for surgery for a work-related injury. The most recent EEOC lawsuit contends that Product Fabricators filed the second employee partly because he provided information to the commission in the prior case.

"Old coot's" complaint costs company $75,000

Posted by: James Eli Shiffer Updated: May 17, 2010 - 9:59 AM

Sunday's Whistleblower column (by my colleague Lora Pabst) described how Ziplocal, a Utah phone book company, agreed to pay $75,000 to settle a complaint by a Virginia, Minn. man that he was essentially forced to quit because of age discrimination. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights chose this complaint as its "case of the month" and the questions it raises have sparked an informative and remarkably even-tempered discussion about what it means to be an older worker.

The perp walk for corporate misconduct

Posted by: Updated: September 9, 2009 - 11:15 AM

By James Eli Shiffer

Our story today about the hefty penalty slapped on mega-retailer Abercrombie & Fitch for discriminating against an autistic teenaged customer originated not with a Whistleblower tip, but with our regular review of state agency enforcement actions. Some of those agencies make it virtually impossible to find out about who it's punishing. They treat their fines and violation notices as essentially a private matter between them and the misbehaving institution or individual.

Not the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Each month, it chooses an enforcement action and puts it on the home page, complete with a detailed description of its investigation. It's a conscious effort to use its power to punish violators to deter future misconduct. It's also a welcome example of transparency that clearly benefits both the agency and the public.

Abercrombie & Fitch, by contrast, wants to keep the fitting room fracas within the walls of the courtroom. Eric Cerny, a company spokesman, told me today, "I'm not going to able to comment regarding this, due to the fact that it's not our policy to comment on pending litigation." The "pending" aspect of it involves an appeal of the penalties and corrective actions ordered by the state. Whistleblower will check back in with the company once the saga, now in its fourth year, finally ends.

The perp walk for corporate misconduct

Posted by: Updated: September 9, 2009 - 11:15 AM

By James Eli Shiffer

Our story today about the hefty penalty slapped on mega-retailer Abercrombie & Fitch for discriminating against an autistic teenaged customer originated not with a Whistleblower tip, but with our regular review of state agency enforcement actions. Some of those agencies make it virtually impossible to find out about who it's punishing. They treat their fines and violation notices as essentially a private matter between them and the misbehaving institution or individual.

Not the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Each month, it chooses an enforcement action and puts it on the home page, complete with a detailed description of its investigation. It's a conscious effort to use its power to punish violators to deter future misconduct. It's also a welcome example of transparency that clearly benefits both the agency and the public.

Abercrombie & Fitch, by contrast, wants to keep the fitting room fracas within the walls of the courtroom. Eric Cerny, a company spokesman, told me today, "I'm not going to able to comment regarding this, due to the fact that it's not our policy to comment on pending litigation." The "pending" aspect of it involves an appeal of the penalties and corrective actions ordered by the state. Whistleblower will check back in with the company once the saga, now in its fourth year, finally ends.

      

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