February 9, 2013 |
VICCO, Ky. - Johnny Cummings grew up gay in this faded coal town, the son of a miner. He likes to joke that he didn't know he was gay until people around town told him he was. Now 50, Cummings is the mayor of Vicco, population 334. He's Mayor Johnny in the mornings. In the afternoons he styles hair at his salon, Scissors, a few steps from the storefront Town Hall. On Jan. 14, at the mayor's urging, Vicco's commissioners discussed an ordinance to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, "real or perceived.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2013 |
Even if discrimination plays a role in a worker's firing, an employer will not be liable for back pay or other compensation if the employee would have been fired anyway for poor performance, the California Supreme Court decided Thursday. The 6-0 ruling, with one justice recused, is likely to change the way most discrimination cases are handled in California, lawyers in the case said. In the past, employees could receive compensation, including back pay and damages, and win reinstatement if they could prove that discrimination was "a motivating factor" in a firing.
January 15, 2013 |
A Christian employee was wronged when British Airways insisted she remove the small cross she wore around her neck, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday. But judges rejected claims by three other British Christians who claimed they had been discriminated against in the workplace, including two who had refused to provide their services to couples of the same sex. Religious freedom is “one of the foundations of pluralistic, democratic societies,” the European court wrote, but religious freedom can nonetheless be restricted where it “impinges on the rights of others.” Judges decided 5-2 in favor of Nadia Eweida, who was sent home without pay for violating the British Airways uniform code more than six years ago. At the time, its rules banned any visible jewelry.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 2013 |
It was a reign of terror that reeked of rednecks and white hoods. Tires were slashed, rocks hurled through windows and acid pellets fired at the car of a black family, who finally fled their neighborhood in November after months of attacks and racial taunts. They were the sort of family you might like to have as neighbors: The husband and wife are law enforcement officers; they have two well-mannered sons. And the Orange County city of Yorba Linda is the sort you might like to live in, where the median income is $115,000 a year and almost half the adults have college degrees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 2012 |
I knew I'd be navigating a minefield in my Saturday column, which dealt with two combustible topics: race and politics. I said that the Republican campaign, in the run-up to Tuesday's presidential vote, has resorted to a not-so-subtle nativist appeal that relies on racial animus and fears. All that "It's time to take our country back" rhetoric you hear at GOP rallies makes me wonder just whose country they think this is. I know race-baiting when I hear it. INTERACTIVE: Battleground states map The response to the column on public comment boards tended toward the ugly - as anonymous forums often do. But the hundreds of emails I received revealed a divided but thoughtful populace, harboring fears and resentments as real as my own. My column accused the campaign's rhetoric of creating a haven for prejudice, promoting Barack Obama's other-ness as a socially acceptable proxy for racial prejudice.
October 11, 2012 |
We make hundreds of decisions every day, and many times we can't fully explain why we choose one option over another. Now a new study reveals at least one reason why we make the choices we do: Because of the way our memories work, the context in which we have positive experiences can bias our decision-making later. Our brains allow us to remember things in part because they make associations between different things that occur together: Between a speaking face and words, between a location and what happened there, between dates and facts.
September 22, 2012 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. lost a bid to dismiss an 11-year-old gender discrimination lawsuit brought on behalf of workers in California after the U.S. Supreme Court barred a lawsuit representing Wal-Mart employees nationwide. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco said in an order Friday that the plaintiffs have proposed a reduced class size to between one and several hundred thousand members. The reduced class could be certified, Breyer wrote, if it made a showing consistent with the Supreme Court's decision that a nationwide class action isn't appropriate.
September 19, 2012 |
A lawsuit filed in 2010 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and Santa Ana Mater Dei against the CIF Southern Section lives on, and attorney fees for the CIF have exceeded $109,000, CIF Executive Director Roger Blake said Monday. A status conference is scheduled for Nov. 5 in Orange County Superior Court. No trial date has been scheduled after a previous date last February was vacated. The status conference will come just days after a scheduled Oct. 29 vote at the CIF State Federated Council, where Mater Dei and the Trinity League are supporting a proposal that would remove the wording "athletically motivated transfer" from all CIF rules.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2012 |
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is again extending its reach onto University of California campuses, raising questions about the limits of free speech and how welcome Jewish and Muslim students feel at their schools. But this time, the controversy does not spring from the kind of direct confrontation that occurred two years ago when Muslim protesters tried to shout down the Israeli ambassador during a speech at UC Irvine and then faced criminal prosecution. Instead, the current debate is being stirred by studies UC commissioned about how to cool tempers and whether anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bias are serious problems on the system's 10 campuses.
September 12, 2012 |
Luther Burbank Savings has agreed to spend $2 million to settle a federal government lawsuit accusing the real estate lender of practices that resulted in too few home loans for African American and Latino borrowers from 2006 to 2010. The Santa Rosa-based thrift , with $3.6 billion in assets, did not admit wrongdoing. It lends mainly to owners of apartments, many of them in minority neighborhoods -- a business the government did not challenge. The allegations instead related to a $400,000 minimum loan amount Luther Burbank had set for a smaller business line that issued jumbo mortgages through independent brokers to low-risk borrowers.