Washington, DC

U.S. Supreme Court takes up questions of workplace harassment

March 26, 1998
The Supreme Court on March 25 took up for the first time the question of when an employer should be held financially responsible for the groping, vulgar language or other sexual harassment by its supervisors. The two cases argued before the justices ultimately could affect how both private companies and government employers respond to sexual misconduct, what they do to stop it and how vulnerable they are to victims seeking money damages.

Report:  D.C. lenders discriminate against black and Hispanic borrowers

March 25, 1998
Washington, D.C.,-area lenders discriminate against two out of five black and Hispanic mortgage applicants, according to a study released on March 24 by the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington.

High court rules same-sex harassment violates employment law

March 04, 1998
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that sexual harassment in the workplace can violate Title VII, the federal law that prohibits employment discrimination, even if it occurs among members of the same sex. The harassment, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, must be the product of sex-based discrimination to be prohibited by federal law. In other words, the victim must have been treated in a way that a member of the opposite sex would not have been treated.

Gingrich calls job discrimination testing "entrapment" in budget hearing

March 04, 1998
House Speaker Newt Gingrich told a House subcommittee he would support President Bill Clinton's request for a budget increase for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as long as it pledged not to use any of the funds for testing of allegedly discriminatory employers. The use of testers would waste time and resources for companies interviewing candidates who were not interested in being employed and would put a government agency "in the business of entrapment," Gingrich said. "It assumes guilt where there has been no indication of discriminatory behavior."

USDA head says civil rights fight in his agency is not over

March 02, 1998
U.S. Department of Agriculture head Dan Glickman says that while the agency's civil rights record is improving, it still has a long way to go. One of the largest blemishes on the USDA's record has been the more than 800 discrimination complaints from black farmers, some of which go back 40 years, that are still being contested. The farmers claim local USDA officials have unfairly denied loans to black farmers for years.

Fair housing group settles with news chain over discriminatory ads

February 25, 1998
Journal Newspapers Inc., which publishes six newspapers in Washington, D.C., suburbs, has agreed to prohibit customers from placing classified ads that violate federal fair-housing laws by soliciting renters who are white, Christian or single women, a practice that has occurred in the past two years.
     The company said earlier this month it would monitor the advertising as part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought against the company by the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington.

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