Tag Archives: Grievance-Mongering

Supreme Court throws out anti-business class action lawsuit

You have to read this post by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

Except:

The Supreme Court took a big bite out of the pockets of class-action trial lawyers today, at least in the field of employment discrimination.  The court unanimously rejected a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart on behalf of 1.6 million female employees that attempted to argue that the retail giant purposefully and systematically discriminated on gender for compensation.  But a narrow 5-4 rulingon a companion issue promises to make filing any more such class-action lawsuits nearly impossible:

The justices divided 5-4 on another aspect of the ruling that could make it much harder to mount similar class-action discrimination lawsuits against large employers.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion for the court’s conservative majority said there needs to be common elements tying together “literally millions of employment decisions at once.”

But Scalia said that in the lawsuit against the nation’s largest private employer, “That is entirely absent here.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court’s four liberal justices, said there was more than enough uniting the claims. “Wal-Mart’s delegation of discretion over pay and promotions is a policy uniform throughout all stores,” Ginsburg said.

The contrasting opinions gives a good indication of what is at stake.  In mostcorporations (especially national retail chains), compensation decisions are almost always delegated to individual locations or regional management.  For one thing, the labor market varies from region to region, and what amounts to competitive compensation in one region might be insufficient in another, depending on the cost of living, labor availability, and so on.

Ginsburg’s identification of this as a prima facie indication of discrimination would have exposed virtually all US retailers to such class-action lawsuits.  Not only would that have sapped retailers of billions in capital, but it doesn’t make any sense on its face anyway.  If compensation decisions are decentralized throughout an organization, how can that possibly demonstrate a coordinated, centralized, and explicit effort to discriminate on the basis of anything?

Reining in judicial activism and trial layers is a good way to incentivize corporations to create jobs. If you want to lower unemployment, stop these frivolous class-action lawsuits.

It’s also worth pointing out that lawsuits like this are bogus in a free market, because if people really area being underpaid, they can always go to a different employer to get a higher salary – IF THEY ARE WORTH IT. We really need a national loser-pays law to deter these nuisance lawsuits.

How progressive academics make a living in the racism industry

Better read this quick before it gets taken down. (H/T Blazing Cat Fur)

Excerpt:

It is well known that progressives have been able for decades now to exercise their control through domination of hiring committees and the imposition of politically correct speech codes designed to exterminate dissent. Dr. Li is not some isolated figure fighting for racial justice; he belongs to a department dedicated to teaching students to “think critically about the world around them” and “committed to link the aims of the discipline with the mission of the University of Saskatchewan”. Saskatchewan, like many universities in Canada, officially calls itself a “progressive university” committed to “employment equity” for women and visible minorities.

Of the 15 full-time faculty members teaching in Dr. Li’s department, eight are females, and three of the males, together with Dr. Li, are visible minorities of Asian origin. What is more, most of these members have research interests that touch on race, ethnicity, multiculturalism and social inequality. Among the many socialistic colleges, programs, and departments housed in Saskatchewan are: “Discrimination and Harassment Prevention,” “Family Medicine,” “Indian Teacher Education Program,” “Native Studies,” “Women’s and Gender Studies”.

A similar set of facts can be adduced for all the academics cited in this article. Jeffrey Reitz, who claims that white people tend to trivialize the experiences of minorities as unimportant, is director of ethnic and immigration studies at the University of Toronto, housed in a department in which the research and teaching areas are singularly left-oriented in character: “health and mental health,” “networks and community,” “gender and family,” “crime and socio-legal studies,” “immigration and ethnic relations,” “stratification, work, and labour markets.” Constance Backhouse, who wants universities to “take the lead” in dismantling the “mythology” that Canada is a “race-less” society, belongs to the faculty of law at the University of Ottawa, wherein the “Message from the Dean” states categorically and imperially that research and teaching are expected to be pursued “in a progressive atmosphere where issues of social justice are at the forefront of student and faculty concerns”.

This influence of progressives over our universities may explain why few of the specialists cite any solid evidence to substantiate their claims. Working within an audience of true believers, they have grown accustomed to soft-ball questions and easy endorsements. Pretty much all the “evidence” cited is anecdotal, based on “feelings”, and in no way the foundation for making a “systemic racism” allegation.

[…]The universities of Canada have worked like a gold mine for progressives. Many of the professors cited in the article have multiple research grants, contracts with government departments, awards for research and teaching, are fellows of the Royal Academy and, in at least one case, is a member of the Order of Canada. I could go on for pages citing their academic honours. University Affairs might have done its readers a greater service publishing an article entitled “The Racism Industry in Academia.”

One would think that after decades of widespread employment equity and the creation of entire departments and programs dedicated to the grievances and resentments of minorities and women, these academics would have some achievements to call for. Then again, why give up on what has been a most remunerative profession? Can these specialists do anything else? They don’t care much for Western high culture. Their research and teaching interests stand in direct opposition to the Greek discovery of rational argumentation, the Roman legacy in jurisprudence, the invention of polyphonic music in medieval France, the invention of linear perspective painting in Renaissance Italy, the invention of the novel in modern Europe, the calibration of uncertainty in Europe (1565-1657), the rise of Galilean and Newtonian science, and indeed the invention of Liberalism and Democracy.

What really matters for progressives is not equality of opportunity as a right but equality as a fact and equality as a result.

This is why I recommend that all subsidies from non-science/non-engineering areas of the university be CUT OFF – it’s too politicized right now, and they are just not interested in critical thinking and truth.

How feminism destroyed free speech and free inquiry on university campuses

Story from David Thompson. (H/T ECM)

The post on David Thompson’s blog contains some foul language.

Let me first give you the facts from the FIRE article David is writing about.

Professor Thomas Thibeault made the mistake of pointing out – at a sexual harassment training seminar – that the school’s sexual harassment policy contained no protection for the falsely accused. Two days later, in a Kafkaesque irony, Thibeault was fired by the college president for sexual harassment without notice, without knowing his accuser or the charges against him, and without a hearing. […]

Thibeault’s ordeal started shortly after August 5, 2009 when, during a faculty training session regarding the college’s sexual harassment policy, he presented a scenario regarding a different professor and asked, “What provision is there in the sexual harassment policy to protect the accused against complaints which are malicious or, in this case, ridiculous?” Vice President for Legal Affairs Mary Smith, who was conducting the session, replied that there was no such provision to protect the accused, so Thibeault responded that “the policy itself is flawed.”

And then some of Thibeault’s testimony:

[…]Mary Smith was explaining the sexual harassment policy and was emphasising that faculty had to report suspicions of sexual harassment by any faculty member to the college administration. She was stating that the feelings of the offended were proof of the offensive nature of the behaviour.

[…]There is no provision in the policy. I must emphasise that if the person feels offended then the incident must be reported to the college authorities. Even if you hear such a statement about a faculty member, you are to report it. If you don’t, you yourself are party to the harassment and harassment is dismissible.

[…]Two days later, Thibeault was summoned to [college] President John Bryant Black’s office. According to Thibeault’s written account of the meeting – which was sent to Black and which Black has not disputed – Thibeault met with Black and Smith. Black told Thibeault that he “was a divisive force in the college at a time when the college needed unity” and that Thibeault must resign by 11:30 a.m. or be fired and have his “long history of sexual harassment… made public.” This unsubstantiated allegation took Thibeault by surprise. Black added that Thibeault would be escorted off campus by Police Chief Drew Durden and that Black had notified the local police that he was prepared to have Thibeault arrested for trespassing if he returned to campus. At no point was Thibeault presented with the charges against him or given any chance to present a defence.

ECM send me this article from Canadian writer David Warren on political correctness and fascism.

Excerpt:

The purpose of political correction is to delegitimate opposition; to make the most basic facts of life undiscussable, and thereby eliminate debate. It is a device for seizing power.

In my view, the ideological Left advances ruthlessly, by turning the meanings of words upside down, by stating bald lies that we must not dare to challenge, by introducing “reforms” in the dark of the night, often through courts to subvert Parliament.

My concern is that these feminist suppressions of speech using false accusations will spread, until every interplay between men and women becomes a kind of Duke University lacrosse scandal where facts don’t matter so long as the media can bash the right people for being sexist, racist homophobes.

UPDATE: I just noticed a nice post from Suzanne (Big Blue Wave), who dissents from feminism.