May 07, 2012 10:54 PM GMT
'Do as I say, not as I do'
Civil rights lawyers told The Daily Caller that President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign managers may have violated employment law by hiring an overwhelmingly white office staff for his campaign headquarters in Chicago.
That skewed workforce is starkly visible in an April photo released by Obama’s Chicago office, which shows roughly 100 of the office’s staff.
Only two of the people in the photo, far in the back, are clearly African-American, far below their 13 percent of the national population, and their 33-percent representation in Chicago.
“Were I the general counsel of an employer in Chicago with the workforce in the picture … I would be concerned,” said Charles Shanor, a law professor at Emory University and the former general counsel at the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
“The workforce is overwhelmingly made up of young white males [and is] a demographic profile that could raise red flags under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act,” he told TheDC.
If asked by managers, “‘Do we run a risk of legal liability?’ I would say ‘Sure,’” if a company’s picture showed only two African-Americans in a staff of 100, said Northeastern University’s Roger Abrams, a left-of-center law professor and former dean of the Rutgers School of Law.
Skewed hiring happens, Abrams told TheDC, because “people are simply not aware of what they’re doing … [or that] the racism, the sexism, the discrimination on the basis of other grounds, are just a way of life.”