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News and Announcements

NYC Lawsuit says Census Bureau Ignored Employment Commission Warning, Discriminated in Hiring

Aug 6, 2010 / Media Coverage
Civil rights groups on Thursday accused the U.S. Census Bureau of discrimination in its hiring of more than a million temporary workers to conduct the 2010 census, saying it ignored a warning from a federal agency that its hiring practices might violate the Civil Rights Act. The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Public Citizen Litigation Group were among groups that sued the secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce in April to end the hiring practices and obtain back pay for plaintiffs. They beefed up the lawsuit Thursday with new...
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Federal EEOC Warned Census bureau of Likely Discrimination, Lawsuit Claims

Aug 5, 2010 / Press Release
NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2010 — New evidence in a federal lawsuit shows the U.S. Census Bureau ignored a pointed, detailed warning by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that its screening process for hiring more than one million temporary census workers could result in massive racial and ethnic discrimination. A coalition of civil rights organizations today filed an Amended Complaint in a class action lawsuit against the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Census Bureau’s parent agency, citing the EEOC’s warning along with other newly uncovered evidence in a...
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Is the Census Bureau Discriminating Against Minorities?

May 3, 2010 / Media Coverage
In America, you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Tell that to some of the four million people seeking jobs with the US Census, who say they were rejected for crimes they didn't commit. With the unemployment rate close to 10 percent, relatively high-paying census jobs are much sought after. Census-takers can earn more than $17 an hour for going door-to-door to gather data; other employees make even more. But there's a problem with the process. The Census Bureau runs every applicant's name through an FBI database. If the database shows the job seeker has ever been arrested, the...
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2010 Census: It's Not in Everybody's Hands

Apr 30, 2010 / Media Coverage
Census 2010's door-to-door phase begins across the country May 1. In what began as an attempt to accurately count America's population, has resulted in a class-action complaint against the Department of Commerce. The complaint says the background check denies employment to some Americans who have been arrested but not convicted as well as significantly filtering out minority applicants. Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce chose to kick off the Census in the Alaskan village of Noorvik. Samuel Miller, an attorney at Outten Golden who filed the complaint, calls the move "ironic." "It...
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We Can’t Tell You Why

Apr 20, 2010 / Media Coverage
The Census Bureau is hiring a million or more people to assist with the 2010 count. It is temporary work, but it pays well. With national unemployment at nearly 10 percent, it looks like an excellent opportunity. That is unless you are one of the nearly 50 million Americans with any arrest or conviction on record. A new class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of applicants who say they were unfairly turned down for census jobs based on an opaque screening policy that relies on F.B.I. checks for any criminal histories. Those checks are notoriously unreliable. A 2006 federal report found...
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Criminal Background Checks Under Fire

Apr 18, 2010 / Media Coverage
And now some good news for ex-offenders: Pressure is heating up again on employers who use criminal background checks for job screening. In recent days, two major discrimination lawsuits have been filed alleging conviction and arrest records were used inappropriately to deny employment. The first, a class action against Accenture Inc. , holds the consulting firm discriminated by using a 10-year-old conviction record to automatically disqualify Roberto Arroyo from a full-time job even after he’d proven himself. The second alleges the U.S. Census Bureau’s requirement that all applicants be run...
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Census Bureau Sued for Hiring Discrimination

Apr 15, 2010 / Media Coverage
Many of us just received the Census reminders in our mailbox. It's probable many Phoenecians considered taking a part time job with the Cencus Bureau for extra income. Well read on and you might change your mind. Thousands of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have been rejected for jobs by the U.S. Census Bureau during the federal government's massive hiring campaign for this year's census because of systematic discrimination, according to a class action filed today in New York federal court. Filed on behalf of plaintiffs Eugene Johnson, 48, of New York, and Evelyn Houser, 68,...
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Three Suits Claim Labor-Law Violations

Apr 14, 2010 / Media Coverage
It has been a busy couple of days for lawsuits alleging unfair workplace practices. Here is a roundup: * Former employees at a prominent dim sum restaurant in Flushing, Queens, led a protest outside the restaurant, Guang Zhou on 37th Avenue, on Wednesday, the day after filing a collective-action suit charging that the restaurant grossly underpays its workers and that they were fired for complaining and for trying to organize. One worker in the suit, Li Rong Gao, a server, states that he was paid $400 a month, about $1.68 an hour. The other, Xiao Hong Zheng, a captain, states that he was paid...
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Applicants file suit against the census

Apr 14, 2010 / Media Coverage
Two applicants rejected for census jobs have filed a federal class action suit charging the U.S. Census Bureau's screening practices amount to discrimination. Eugene Johnson of New York and Evelyn Houser of Philadelphia say they were unfairly rejected for census jobs because they were unable to provide records of their minor criminal cases, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. The two say they are among thousands of census applicants who couldn't get hired because records are no longer available for misdemeanor offenses committed long ago. Johnson and Houser, who are both African-American...
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Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Census Bureau

Apr 14, 2010 / Media Coverage
Thousands of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have been rejected for jobs by the U.S. Census Bureau during the federal government’s massive hiring campaign for this year’s census because of systematic discrimination, according to a class action filed today in New York federal court. Filed on behalf of plaintiffs Eugene Johnson, 48, of New York, and Evelyn Houser, 68, of Philadelphia, by Outten & Golden LLP and a coalition of leading public interest organizations, the suit is the first of its kind to be filed against a federal agency. The lawsuit alleges the Census Bureau...
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