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Civil Rights Laws Are Lasting Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

April 05, 2018 10:05 AM | Vita Taylor (Administrator)

MLK's influence on civil rights did not end with his death

By Allen Smith, Julia Tylor and Andrew Peeling


The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago on April 4, 1968, shook the nation to its core. The leader of the nonviolent civil rights movement had been killed, and the path forward for this diverse nation was uncertain.

In 1957, King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, formed to mobilize the civil rights movement. He led massive nonviolent protests in the 1960s in Birmingham, Ala.; Albany, Ga.; Washington, D.C.; Selma, Ala.; and Chicago, among other places, opposing discriminatory hiring practices; segregated public places, restrooms and public housing; and denial of voting rights. Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, King also protested the Vietnam War in 1967.

But King's influence on civil rights did not end with his death. His legacy has been the enactment of numerous statutes prohibiting discrimination, the issuance of Supreme Court decisions furthering the civil rights cause and the advancement of people from a variety of backgrounds in public service. This timeline outlines some of the notable milestones for workplaces around the country in the long, ongoing struggle for equal rights.

Author:  Allen Smith, Julia Tylor and Andrew Peeling

Source:  Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 

Link:  https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/civil-rights-laws-legacy-of-martin-luther-king-jr.aspx



  • April 10, 2018 7:36 PM | Jenni Porshakin (Administrator)
    Great article...one thing I've wondered about is how companies find exception to adhering to the Age Discrimination Act in layoffs. In the last couple years, I've seen layoffs & the sample of names all who are age 40+. I
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    • April 12, 2018 3:24 PM | Vita Taylor (Administrator)
      Excellent question, Jenni! A few years ago, I was asked to perform a test like the one you mention. It's called a disparate impact or disparate treatment test. In it, you utilize statistics to determine if the ratio of a particular minority class (age) is being discriminated against. In the one that I performed, the company was quite heavily populated with employees over 40 and their list of reductions was similarly populated heavily with over 40s. I ran the numbers on gender, race, and age and found that the layoffs of over 40s were within the limits of the test, but they were discriminating on race. The reason that age was not discriminatory was that the proportion (ratio) of over 40 employees in the reduction, was similar to the ratio of the over 40s in the organization. Make sense?

      I have thought that this topic could be of interest to our comp analysts and comp managers in NTCA. Quite often, in larger companies, there are compliance departments that perform these types of analyses. Similar analysis is done on the talent aquisition side of HR.
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      • April 19, 2018 5:52 PM | Lina Willis (Administrator)
        I've seen the same in past experience. Perception of discrimination however really a representative sample of the total population.
        Link  •  Reply

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