(49) Job preferences face a new test
Terry Eastland (08/25/02)
Adversity.Net, Inc. for Victims of Reverse Discrimination
Job preferences face a new test (08/25/02)

Excerpt: Washington Times Commentary
(Aug. 25, 2002)
by Terry Eastland

          "Dennis Worth has worked for 24 years in the St. Louis office of Housing and Urban Development.  Routinely rated an excellent employee, he applied for a promotion several years ago — and was denied.   Mr. Worth continued so to apply and be denied, batting 0 for 12 even though he always made the "best qualified" short list of finalists.

          "Being white and male, Mr. Worth noticed that almost always the job he sought went to a female or member of minority groups designated for preference by the government.  He concluded that HUD had discriminated against him on the basis of race and sex, and that HUD had done so by executing an affirmative action plan favoring women and certain minority groups — a plan he believes unconstitutional.

          "Mr. Worth ... has sued in behalf of all federal employees disfavored by affirmative action plans such as HUD's. The suit asks the courts to end those plans and require the government to live up to the Constitution's command of equal treatment under the law.

          "The case illumines how the government has long practiced affirmative action. ... Under a 1987 EEOC directive, each agency must identify in its plan instances of "manifest imbalance" of women and minorities in any sector of its work force.  The agency also must establish numerical "goals" to eliminate the "underrepresentation."

          "The EEOC evidently has a generous definition of "manifest imbalance," since the HUD plan, duly approved by the EEOC, uses goals to correct even the smallest "underrepresentation" of minorities and women.  Consider that last year HUD officials found that Asian males represented 3.4 percent of the agency's work force in the professional job category, with the figure for the comparative civilian labor force being 3.5 percent.  The officials declared that mere one-tenth of a percent a "manifest imbalance" and established preferential hiring and promotion goals.

          "HUD [is not] exceptional in this regard. Terry Pell of the Center for Individual Rights, which is representing the plaintiffs, says that CIR reviewed the numbers for every agency and found everywhere efforts to correct the smallest imbalance of women and (government-designated) minorities. "We could have filed against any agency," he says. "The numbers are that bad [like HUD's] everywhere."

          "... Supreme Court decisions informing [a 1987 EEOC directive regarding numerical race/gender "goals"] prohibit preferences to maintain parity.  Preferences are supposed to be temporary.   But HUD, with EEOC's acquiescence, still uses them once the correction has been made and even when favored groups are "overrepresented."

          "Under those decisions, the government can't systematically favor one racial group over another, as "affirmative employment plans" do.  Moreover, the government may use preferences only to remedy its own discrimination.  Not incidentally, HUD was founded in 1965 and has no record of discrimination against minorities or women."

Excerpted from Terry Eastland's commentary as it appeared in the Washington Times on 8/25/02 on page B-1:
"Job preferences face a new test".

Last known link to the original Eastland commentary:

Recommended Additional Reading:

Details of HUD Reverse Discrimination Lawsuit (web posted 8/11/02)

New OPM Report: Federal Agencies Vastly Over Hire Minorities! (web posted 7/23/02)

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