June 2017 Issue Number 203
Is a monthly electronic newsletter which links current events and issues to the daily challenges faced by fire and emergency services managers. Current topics in the areas of leadership development, workplace diversity, change management, and conflict resolution will be discussed.
We hope that you find the information here useful and provocative.
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Firewomen Colorado is holding a conference June 7-10 in Westminster, just north of Denver. The event will include training and networking opportunities, including hands-on training.
Now available! On
the Line: Women Firefighters Tell Their Stories by Linda
F. Willing. This book features interviews with over 35 women
firefighters from the United States and Canada. The book is available
from major online booksellers, and signed copies may be ordered through this website.
A recent lawsuit filed in New Jersey by a deputy fire chief is being characterized as "reverse discrimination" because the plaintiff is white and the defendant fire chief is black.
It is not the first time this term has been used to describe litigation filed by white male plaintiffs, and it certainly won't be the last. But every time I hear it, my blood pressure rises.
Why? Because from a legal standpoint, there is no such thing as reverse discrimination. Under Title VII employment law, you are either discriminated against or you're not. There is no special category for so-called reverse discrimination. Title VII says if you are experiencing employment discrimination because of race or gender, you have the right to file a complaint. The law does not say, "race other than white" or "sex other than male."
This is an important point because the use of the term "reverse discrimination" implies that there are two different legal systems out there-- one for minorities and women, and some other system for aggrieved white men. The implication is that Title VII is a law to benefit women and minorities only.
It's not true and it never has been. Since the beginning, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act has protected everyone in the workplace, because everyone is a member of a listed protected class. These categories currently include, at the federal level: race, sex, ethnicity or national origin, religion, color, age, and disability.
It's true that EEO claims for race or sex discrimination by white men are less common than other types of complaints. But they do exist, and when they are litigated, the law that determines the outcome is exactly the same as for anyone else.
Source: mycentraljersey.com May 11, 2017