• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

In Winston-Salem case, ‘non-Asian’ isn’t protected

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A Department of Labor administrative law judge has shot down a discrimination complaint against Winston-Salem-based VF Jeanswear Limited Partnership, claiming it discriminated against “non-Asians” in its hiring practices in violation of Executive Order 11246, which forbids racial discrimination in hiring for government contractors.

The apparel manufacturer moved to have the case dismissed, claiming “non-Asian” is not a protected class under 11246. The judge agreed that a class action was tailor-made for this case—but was a bad fit for the law. Employees may allege bias against “non-whites” under the Civil Rights Act and 11246, but no other “non” class is recognized.

The class—made up of whites, His­­panics and blacks—tried to allege a pattern of favoritism toward Asians.

The judge found Hispanics were over-represented in the workforce, whites underrepresented and blacks were present in proportion to their population in the area. That, he de­­cided, meant the workers had no case.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tad Cook November 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm

The term “protected class” is never used in Executive Order 11246, and in the Civil Rights Act it never refers to a particular group of people.

Rather, a protected class merely defines the coverage of the act, according to classifications or classes such as “race, color, ***, or national origin.”

So the law doesn’t protect Asians but not non-Asians, it prohibits discrimination based upon race.

The decision of the administrative law judge reflects a common misunderstanding of the law, that it only protects certain races. If it did, it would be unconstitutional, because we are all afforded equal protection under the law.

The confusion may stem from other uses of the word “class”, such as middle class, upper class and working class. These refer to specific groups of people. But in the Civil Rights Act the usage of the term “class” is completely different.

Reply

Leave a Comment