A couple marched their 18-year-old daughter to the doctor for a virginity test and warned her secret boyfriend they were ‘dangerous’ because they were Muslim, a court heard.
Iranian parents Mitra Eidiani, 42, and Ali Safaraei, 56, who live in south London, are also alleged to have threatened to kill their daughter Sophia Safaraei and her boyfriend, with Ms Eidiani saying: ‘You have seen what our people do on the news.’
In a statement read to Kingston Crown Court today, Doctor Helen Lewis said that Ms Mitra had responded to her refusal to carry out the check by telling her she did not understand her and Mr Safaraei’s culture.
‘Sophia said she didn’t want to be examined by anyone,’ the statement read.
‘I explained to Sophia I could not even touch her without her permission and I would not examine her unless she consented to this.
‘Mitra voiced unhappiness with this. She said I didn’t understand her culture and then called Sophia’s father, Ali Sarafaei, who was waiting outside.
‘She told me he was strict, not liberal like her, and would insist on me performing a virginity test.’
Doctor Lewis said the Ms Eidiani then drew unfavourable comparisons between her family’s culture and ‘your’ culture (referring to the UK) as Mr Safaraei threatened to go to the police while Sophia appeared tearful.
The jury heard Sophia told police she was from a ‘strict Muslim family’, but defending Eidiani, John Skinner said that ‘was not really true’.
Sophia said ‘it was more of their upbringing than mine’, adding: ‘There’s more of the culture than religion’.
The mother allegedly later bit her daughter and the father is accused of threatening Sophia with a kitchen knife after returning from the doctor.
virginity test virginity test virginity test virginity test discrimination racism defamation arada
Spotify sued by former sales employee over gender discrimination and equal pay violations
A former sales executive at Spotify has sued both the streaming music company and its US head of sales, Brian Berner, over alleged gender discrimination, equal pay violations, and defamation over her firing.
In a complaint filed with the New York Supreme Court on September 18th, Hong Perez accused Spotify of fostering a negative work culture for women at the company. Hired in 2015, the complaint says that “for three years, she [Perez] received extremely positive reviews and performance feedback. Her region was one of the top performing regions for Spotify.” She was credited as a “hero” during one internal company presentation for providing assistance to a co-worker suffering a stroke.
But during her time at Spotify, Perez “became increasingly concerned” about the company’s treatment of women. She points to two work-related trips — orchestrated by Berner — that were glaring examples of the preferential treatment that men received:
For example, in both 2016 and 2017, Spotify sponsored attendance of sales managers at the Sundance Film Festival for client networking purposes. Berner was in charge of selecting the key sales managers to attend. In both years, Berner selected a men-only group to attend. This, despite the fact, there were several women in equally (if not more) senior sales positions than the men Berner selected to attend.
These were apparently referred to as “Berner’s ‘boys trips’” by others at Spotify. Drug use and even a physical altercation are said to have occurred during the course of the two Sundance visits. “Berner was aware of all of this, which, unsurprisingly, violated Spotify’s Code of Conduct,” the court filing reads. “Yet, in stark contrast to how he would later act concerning a purported Code of Conduct violation by a woman, Berner took no action to investigate or discipline these men.”
Perez says that Berner gave a higher salary bump and greater equity award to a male counterpart that held the same job title as Perez and another woman underneath him. But this issue is systemic, according to the complaint:
IBM Is Being Sued for Age Discrimination After Firing Thousands
A lawyer known for battling tech giants over the treatment of workers has set her sights on International Business Machines Corp.
Shannon Liss-Riordan on Monday filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on behalf of three former IBM employees who say the tech giant discriminated against them based on their age when it fired them. Liss-Riordan, a partner at Lichten & Liss-Riordan in Boston, has represented workers against Amazon, Uber and Google and has styled her firm as the premier champion for employees left behind by powerful tech companies.
The lawsuit comes as IBM faces questions about its firing practices. In exhaustive detail, the ProPublica report made the case that IBM systematically broke age-discrimination rules. Meanwhile, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has consolidated complaints against IBM into a single, targeted investigation, according to a person familiar with it. A spokeswoman for the EEOC declined to comment.
In the last decade, IBM has fired thousands of people in the U.S., Canada and other high-wage jurisdictions in an effort to cut costs and retool its workforce after coming late to the cloud computing and mobile tech revolutions.
“Changes in our workforce are about skills, not age,” Ed Barbini, a spokesman for IBM said in an emailed statement. “In fact, since 2010 there is no difference in the age of our U.S. workforce, but the skills profile of our employees has changed dramatically. That is why we have been and will continue investing heavily in employee skills and retraining — to make all of us successful in this new era of technology.’’
If the judge allows a class action lawsuit to proceed, it could result in a drawn-out and costly court battle, and potentially end with IBM paying hundreds of millions of dollars to its former employees, according to Michael Willemin, an employment lawyer with Wigdor LLP who isn’t involved in any IBM-related cases.
Shielding LGBTQ people from discrimination: What stands in the way?
It’s been a little more than three years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, and the debate over LGBTQ rights in Missouri is ongoing.
The Star’s readers wanted to know: Should Missouri state law protect LGBTQ people from discrimination at work, in housing decisions and at private businesses?
Plus, we asked: What do you think the biggest barrier is in Missouri to extending such protections?
Here’s how members of the Star’s Missouri Influencer panel answered those questions. Most favored protections for LGBTQ people.
Kay Barnes, former mayor of Kansas City, senior director for university engagement at Park University: “Yes.”
The barrier: Lack of understanding and thus discrimination against members of the LGBT community.
Michael Barrett, Missouri State Public Defender director: “Rationale for denying someone a basic need, whether it be a home, a job, or health care should be based on criteria that can be applied across the board and does not target classes of persons. Quite simply, it should not be legal to deprive someone of such a need based on the way they look, worship, or love.”
The barrier: “fear of excessive lawsuits.”
Brenda Bethman, director of UMKC Women’s Center: “Yes, there needs to be state-level (ideally federal) protections in place — otherwise LGBTQ people will continue to face legal discrimination.”
The barrier: Anti-LGBTQ prejudice is the biggest barrier.
Mark Bryant, attorney and former Kansas City Council member: “It is unfortunate but Missouri law needs to protect LGBTQ people at work, in housing decisions and at private businesses. Otherwise, LGBTQ people will be subject to the same types of discrimination that persons of African-American, Mexican and foreign national descent suffer. The United States is great because it absorbs different people from different places and blends culture(s) into something new. LGBTQ people are talented and innovative. We should prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The barrier: “Survey polls do not indicate broad support in Missouri for laws which prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.”
Mike Burke, attorney and former Kansas City Council member: “The short answer is yes. Missouri needs to enter the 21st Century in its laws on discrimination. A nondiscrimination law on a statewide level would send a message nationally that we are a tolerant society. Our cities have already taken a lead on nondiscrimination but without state legislation we are behind the times.”
Tech Mahindra sacks Chief Diversity Officer for discrimination
Tech MahindraNSE 0.93 % has sacked its chief diversity officer, Richa Gautam, after an internal investigation found that she had discriminated against and harassed a former employee over his sexual orientation.
Last week, Gourav Probir Pramanik, who identifies himself as gay, accused Gautam of discriminatory behaviour and harassment at workplace towards himself and others from minority sexual and religious groups. The company immediately launched an investigation and its ombudsman contacted Pramanik.
In a tweet addressed to Pramanik on Saturday evening, Tech Mahindra said following an investigation, “the concerned employee has been separated from the employment of the company with immediate effect”.
Pramanik said he stood vindicated, but had not received any communication from the company apart from one tweet.
“I have not received any email or call from the company on the results of the investigation. No apology yet,” Pramanik told ET.
“I want to know what steps would Tech Mahindra take to make sure these incidents do not occur again. Firing the officer does not absolve the company of its guilt.
How did it go unchecked?” An email sent to Tech Mahindra seeking to understand whether the IT company is reworking its diversity policy did not elicit a response until press time on Sunday.
In its tweet on Saturday, the company said, “At Tech Mahindra, we believe in diversity & inclusion & condemn discrimination of any kind in the workplace.”
Violent discrimination putting LGBTI South Asians at risk, report finds
Violent discrimination putting LGBTI South Asians at risk, report finds
LGBTI individuals and others in South Asia are at an increased risk of HIV and health problems due to violence because of their sexuality or gender.
A new UN report details the impact of violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (Sogie) on men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen.
The report details widespread discrimination and violence in families, schools, workplaces, and healthcare. It explores how this puts individuals at a heightened risk of HIV, health problems, and mental health problems.
‘While there are well-documented trends in some regions of the world, less is known about Sogie-based violence, HIV risk and mental health among sexual and gender minority groups in South Asia,’ explained Valerie Cliff from the United Nations Development Program.
LGBTI individuals and others in South Asia are at an increased risk of HIV and health problems due to violence because of their sexuality or gender. A new UN report details the impact of violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (Sogie) on men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen. The report details widespread discrimination and violence in families, schools, workplaces, and healthcare. It explores how this puts individuals at a heightened risk of HIV, health problems, and mental health problems. ‘While there are well-documented trends in some regions of the world, less is known about Sogie-based violence, HIV risk and mental health among sexual and gender minority groups in South Asia,’ explained Valerie Cliff from the United Nations Development Program. ‘While there are well-documented trends in some regions of the world, less is known about Sogie-based violence, HIV risk and mental health among sexual and gender minority groups in South Asia,’ explained Valerie Cliff from the United Nations Development Program.
How To Avoid Discrimination When Assessing Culture Fit
Typically, when companies are on the search for talented candidates, one variable that is assessed is the job applicant’s ‘fit’ with the organizational culture. Culture fit can be thought of as how congruent an individual’s values are with the organization. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), hiring an employee that does not fit the company’s culture can cost the company 50-60% of that individual’s annual salary. There is little debate regarding the importance of culture fit, however improper procedures for assessing culture fit can lead to bias and discrimination. According to Patty McCord, who served as the chief talent officer at Netflix from 1998-2012, focusing on culture fit during the hiring process can lead to a lack of diversity because organizational leaders often feel like those who fit the culture best are individuals who are similar to them. This is an example of the similar-to-me bias, which suggests that individuals gravitate towards others who are like them. It is critical to hire employees that are congruent with the corporate culture, but because culture fit is such an ambiguous variable to assess, companies must come up with effective strategies to assess culture fit. What can organizations do to ensure that they are preventing homogeneity within the company? How can organizations accurately evaluate and assess the culture fit of job applicants, to avoid unconscious bias and discrimination?
- It is important to establish clear and quantifiable indicators that can be used to measure culture fit. Culture fit cannot simply be a feeling. If a manager does not feel like a person is a good fit for the company, they should be able to justify why. To assess and evaluate the culture of your company, take a look at the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the organization. How does the organization gauge its performance and success? Evaluate how well-aligned a job applicant’s background is with the KPIs of the organization. Does the applicant have what it takes to help the organization reach its strategic goals? Why or why not?
- The evaluation of whether an employee fits the company should be made by a search committee or team, consisting of diverse individuals from varying backgrounds. One individual should not be the deciding factor regarding whether an employee fits the culture. If, however, the structure of the organization does not allow for multiple people to assess culture fit, there should be quantifiable measures used to assess perceived fit.
Potratz: Answers to common questions on compensation, discrimination, drug testing
Running a business, or managing within a business, isn’t easy when questions that have legal and regulatory implications pop up on a regular basis.
Answers to some of those questions aren’t always straightforward and can require insight into various statutes, as well as case law.
Question: Our sales manager is planning a Saturday team-building trip for his team, and he has made it clear to his employees that the trip is unpaid and optional. However, one employee has complained, saying that anyone who doesn’t attend will miss out on advancement opportunities later and the trip should be considered paid working time as a result. Is this employee correct?
Answer: To qualify as unpaid time, the event must meet four criteria:
- Be outside normal working hours,
- Be completely voluntary,
- Not be related to the job,
- Not involve productive work.
Unless the team-building activity is directly related to the employees’ jobs or the employees are performing “productive work” during the event, the company is not required to pay those who attend.
However, federal regulations state that an event is not voluntary if an employee’s “present working conditions or the continuance of his employment would be adversely affected by non-attendance.” In other words, if the employees who do not attend would be denied future opportunities, just as your employee has stated, it may not qualify as voluntary and should be paid.
Q: Due to the changing nature of our company’s work, we need to restructure our current staff of delivery drivers. We’ll require them to obtain a new class of license and drive a new class of vehicle. We also recently hired several new drivers, all of whom are in their 20s. One of our longest-tenured employees has told us he does not intend to seek the new license and has no interest in driving the new vehicles. Because he’s in his 60s, are we risking age discrimination claims if we terminate and replace him with one of the new, younger drivers?
Safeway Sued by EEOC For Disability Discrimination
Grocery store giant Safeway, Inc. violated federal law by refusing to accommodate and hire a qualified deaf applicant for various store jobs in Seattle, Wash., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
The EEOC said that Joel Sibert applied online in July 2017 for food, courtesy, produce and Starbucks clerk jobs at Safeway Store #1551 in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Based on his qualifications and experience working similar jobs, Sibert was selected for an interview. However, once Sibert explained that he is deaf and would need an interpreter for the interview, the in-store hiring recruiter told him she did not know anything about providing interpreters. When Sibert offered names and contact information for qualified interpreters Safeway could enlist for that purpose, the recruiter declined the offer but said she would get back to him. Sibert heard nothing further, so he placed multiple calls to the store over the following week, only to be placed on hold or told no one was available, the EEOC said.
Rejecting a qualified applicant because of disability violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (EEOC v. Safeway, Inc., Case No. 2:18-cv-01352 ) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary damages for Sibert and injunctive relief, which typically includes training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the worksite, and compliance reporting.
“Evaluating an individual for his potential in the workplace – without letting fears and stereotypes get in the way – is absolutely critical in the hiring process,” EEOC Seattle Field Director Nancy Sienko said.
Sienko noted that eliminating barriers in hiring, especially hiring practices that discriminate against people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission’s 2017-21 Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).
EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Teri Healy added, “This candidate was well-qualified and deserved a chance to work. In fact, supervisors at his prior workplace were very happy with his performance, and his customers loved him. There’s no reason he wouldn’t have done just as well at Safeway if it were not for the disability discrimination that prevented his hire there.”
Forum to fight discrimination
“Discrimination” is a word that has become frequently used in our society, but not always used correctly. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us a choice among several definitions, only one of which provides the underlying negativity most people have come to associate with the word: “discrimination – the act or practice of discriminating categorically, rather than individually.”
Here are some easily recognized examples:
I was introduced to a lesbian last week and she had a short haircut and was wearing jeans and a blazer. So now I assume that every woman I see sporting that look is a lesbian.
In the newspaper was a photo of a criminal with Hispanic features and tattoos, wanted for murder. Now, every time I see a man who remotely fits that description, I assume he’s also a wanted criminal.
A young black man wearing black pants and a black hoodie was caught on security camera video robbing a gas station clerk at gunpoint. Obviously, I should call 911 any time I see a young black man dressed like that because my life is in danger.
Do you see what’s happening? I’m labeling and stigmatizing entire categories of people because of the actions of individuals. That’s discrimination, in a nutshell. And when you’re on the receiving end of discrimination, it’s no fun.
Several years ago, for some unknown reason, women with blond hair were suddenly categorized as brainless, ditsy airheads who couldn’t screw in a light bulb without an instruction manual. Hundreds of “dumb blonde” jokes were passed around and laughed at hysterically until society grew tired of them and found some other category of people to ridicule.
Most people don’t consider the damage done by discrimination, because it’s directed at an anonymous group of people and usually from a safe distance. When I tried to take my children swimming at the pool in Bastrop State Park in Texas and found a sign barring our entry that said “No Coloreds,” I’m sure the person who authored that sign was miles away. So that person never had to deal with the pain in the eyes of those three little ones, the silent tears that fell to the ground and the sadly drooping shoulders as we trudged back to our car. They’ll encounter those barriers their entire lives, because they’re just a small part of a large, faceless group.
And the business owner who glances at a job application and discards it as soon as he sees a “yes” answer to the question about conviction for a felony – he doesn’t care if it was last year or 20 years ago, or if it was a DUI or an ax murder, because he’s judging the entire category as unacceptable and undeserving. He doesn’t want to know that it’s a young mother with children to feed who just waited in the car while her husband committed an armed robbery. She thought he just ran into the store to get milk for supper and she’s already paid for that broken trust with several years of her life. And even though she’s “paid her debt to society,” we’ll keep invoicing her for that debt for the rest of her life, because she can’t extricate herself from that large, faceless group.
On Wednesday at 6 p.m., the Pueblo City-County Human Relations Commission will host a public forum at the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library, to give people an opportunity to talk about the human face of discrimination in our community. Come and share your story or come and support those with the courage to share theirs. And help us look for ways to learn more about each other so that we can treat each other as individual human beings, not just “categories.”
Since retiring from careers as an insurance executive and a senior management executive of a large multiuse entertainment venue, Emily Price keeps busy as an activist and community advocate for social and political causes.