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Job Agency Story 'Biased'

August 20, 1989

The July 16 article, "Covert Bias: Discrimination remains a problem at some job agencies, but it's hidden and hard to fight," was in fact one of the most blatant examples of "overt bias" it has ever been my misfortune to read. The story took totally unfounded allegations from a complaint in a lawsuit and phrased them in such a manner that they appear to be proven facts. Conspicuously absent from the story were any references to documents or witnesses supporting Audrey Quintero's claims. In fact there are none.

Temporaries Inc. prides itself on its strong equal opportunity policy. We train our personnel counselors to discuss with clients the importance of equal opportunity placement of temporary personnel. Our policy is to refuse to make placements on those rare occasions when a client insists on a discriminatory restriction on filling a temporary vacancy. Thus we have made a concerted effort to educate our own personnel, and ultimately our clients, about our commitment to equal opportunity employment. Far from being a part of "the dirtiest little secret of the personnel industry," Temporaries Inc. is part of the solution, not the problem.

Our equal opportunity policy was described to Quintero. She was terminated by Temporaries Inc. for one reason: her failure, after two attempts, to complete the Temporaries Inc. personnel counselor training course. It had nothing to do with our equal opportunity employment policy.

All of these facts were stated to the author of the article, Jim Schachter, in a conversation between him and the lawyer who is representing Temporaries Inc. in the lawsuit. However, your article devotes a total of one line to our side of the story. I guess, at least in Los Angeles, the truth doesn't sell many newspapers.

I firmly believe in the First Amendment. However, I also believe that newspapers have an obligation, at least when they are representing something as "news," to give a balanced presentation of both sides of an issue. Unfortunately, Schachter chose not to do this. Fortunately, this case will ultimately be decided in a courtroom and not in the pages of your newspaper.

James L. Donahue

Houston

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