Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NAACP Report details discriminatory hiring practices in Iowa State Government positions


Statistical Evidence Supports Finding of Discriminatory Practices
Overview is attached.
At a meeting on October 10, 2007, the Iowa State Government Hiring Practices Work Group unanimously approved the recommendations made by the Iowa/Nebraska NAACP State Conference in a report, dated September 13th 2007, and approved submission of the NAACP report; and reports conducted by CPS Human Resources Services, dated April 30, 2007 and the Rose Law Firm Report to Governor Chet Culver.

The Iowa State Capitol Building

The recommendations are the result of a year-long investigation instigated by legal allegations of racial discrimination in state government hiring practices by 13 African-American Iowa Workforce Development employees in the fall of 2006. At the request of then Governor, Tom Vilsack, the NAACP has actively participated in the Hiring Practices Work Group along with State Government Officials and other community representatives. In addition to calling for independent reviews which were conducted by CPS Human Resources Services and the Rose Law Firm, the civil rights organization rendered a separate analysis. The NAACP recommendations are significant because they build upon findings and recommendations made by the CPS report and embrace many of the CPS conclusions and recommendations, but the NAACP makes clear that it does not believe the CPS report conveys the seriousness and urgency of the systemic problems revealed by the statistical data developed by CPS.

The CPS Report documents statistical evidence over the most recent 3 fiscal years (2004-2006) that shows qualified Blacks get interviewed much less frequently—half as often—as qualified Whites. CPS also reported: “While African Americans constituted 6 percent of the total qualified pool, they represented no more than 2.8 percent of the total hires for the years FY2004-2006.” Based on the CPS statistical evidence, the NAACP Report details the legal analysis that “indicates State Government could be vulnerable were a systemic disparate impact and/or pattern and practice law suit brought by black applicants during the 2004-2006 time frame.” The statistical evidence, at the critical “getting to the interview” stage of the selection process, alone shows an adverse impact on qualified Black applicants that is sufficient for a court to find class-wide liability unless the State can demonstrate these determinations are both job-related and a business necessity. In disparate impact cases class-wide liability can be established without proof of purposeful discrimination. Furthermore, the State’s 3-year underutilization disparity—between the State’s actual hires (2.8%) and the qualified Black applicant pool (6%), as measured by over 4,000 hires—is so statistically significant that it constitutes powerful evidence that suggests intentional discrimination was also at work.

Rev. Keith A. Ratliff Sr. president of the Iowa/Nebraska NAACP thanks all those who served on the Governors Hiring Practice Work Group and the NAACP Legal Redress committee, particularly Professor, Russell Lovell who served as counsel for the NAACP committee. Rev. Ratliff stated, “These issues have been studied and the Iowa/Nebraska NAACP recommendations have been submitted and unanimously approved by the Governor’s Taskforce. We now wait to see how the Governor acts on the recommendations. We will now see if the Governor really believes in and acts upon "ONE IOWA".

Attached is an overview of the recommendations. The full seventeen page NAACP report can be obtained by contacting Rev. Keith A. Ratliff, Sr. at 1552 Maple Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50316 and it will be loaded by November 1st onto the Des Moines NAACP website at http://naacpdesmoines.org/NAACP_Report_Sept_13_2007.pdf .


This wasn't a local report, but the Iowa/Nebraska State Conference is a part of our Regional Conference and I wanted to show some support and appreciation to the great work being done there by State Conference President Rev. Keith Ratliff and Des Moines President Linda Carter-Lewis...

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