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June 03, 2005

Spitzer Takes Down Racist Agencies

One more reason why I'm genuinely excited at the prospect of Elliott Spitzer becoming governor: an investigation and settlement with eight racist employment agencies to end discriminatory placement of domestic workers:

Spitzer said in a statement that an investigation began last December found the agencies routinely solicited racial preferences from prospective employers and used that information to keep people from being referred for certain jobs. Some of the agencies openly noted "no blacks," "no islanders" and "prefers Europeans" in their internal records, he said. The eight firms, Spitzer said, have signed consent decrees in federal court that require them to stop asking applicants about their race or recording it on an application; stop soliciting race and ancestry from prospective employers and cease making job referrals based on race or ancestry. The companies also will provide training and information to staff about anti-discrimination laws and the obligations of employment agencies, he said. The eight firms also will pay a total of $118,000 in costs and penalties for civil rights violations.
Like a whole range of "grey" industries, domestic workers live in a world of labor violations and few rights. Spitzer's office has continually fought on behalf of such workers in a range of industries. With the far larger resources of the governor's office, working people in New York will hopefully see a reversal of the Pataki indifference to corporate crime against workers rights.

Posted by Nathan at June 3, 2005 07:21 AM