Discrimination

Business • Jobs & Careers
Google recommended mental health care when company workers complained about racism and sexism
Google logo
Google logo Credit: Google

NBC News reports that Google advised employees in the US who complained about racism and sexism to take medical leave and undergo mental health counselling.

One former staff member, Benjamin Cruz, has said that they had complained to the company HR in 2019 after being told by a colleague that their skin was much darker than the co-worker expected. Google HR urged Cruz to take medical leave and tend to their mental health before moving to a new company role. Cruz went on medical leave and hoped to take the company up on its offer for a new position but was turned down from every role they applied for, so they were forced to quit.

Google denies wrongdoing and said it "rigorously" investigates complaints.

Business • Jobs & Careers
Google has agreed to pay $2.59 million to settle allegations of discrimination
Google Logo
Google Logo Credit: Google

As part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor over allegations of systemic discrimination, Google has agreed to pay $2.59 million to more than 5,500 current employees and former job applicants.

The settlement comes after the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found pay disparities affecting female software engineers at Google’s offices in Mountain View and offices in Seattle and Kirkland, Washington. The OFCCP also found differences in hiring rates that "disadvantaged female and Asian applicants" for engineers roles.

"The U.S. Department of Labor acknowledges Google's willingness to engage in settlement discussions and reach an early resolution," Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Jane Suhr said in a press release.

Law
Gender discrimination becomes illegal in the Philippines
Gender discrimination becomes illegal in the Philippines
Credit: Ramon FVelasquez / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Manila's mayor Francisco Domagoso signs a decree making discrimination based on sexual identity or sexual orientation a criminal offence. In addition, the capital of the Philippines is working to establish gender-neutral toilets and will soon decide on same-sex marriages. The Philippines is the largest Catholic-influenced region in Asia, so these decisions are expected to have a pulling effect.

Health
Spanish Congress unanimously supports outlawing of forced sterilizations of people with intellectual disabilities
Spanish Congress unanimously supports outlawing of forced sterilizations of people with intellectual disabilities
Credit: Emnamizouni / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In a plenary session the Spanish Congress unanimously approved a bill that seeks to reform the penal code to outlaw non-consensual sterilizations of judicially incapacitated persons. All the parliamentarians present in the House stood up and applauded the unanimous support for this initiative that will now return to the Senate for its final ratification.

With 348 votes in favor, it seeks to eliminate the second paragraph of Article 156, which currently decriminalizes non-consensual sterilizations of persons whose legal capacity has been modified when authorized by a judicial body.

Sports
Tony Hawk announces renaming of skateboard trick from "mute grab" to "Weddle grab"
Tony Hawk announces renaming of skateboard trick from "mute grab" to "Weddle grab"
Credit: Tony Hawk Instagram

Professional skater Tony Hawk has announced that for the new installation of the Tony Hawk skating game, the "mute air" or "mute grab" called trick has been renamed. According to him around 1981 the trick had been invented by Chris Weddle a back then "prominent amateur on the competition circuit". As Weddle is a deaf skater and the other skaters wanted to give credit to the inventor, it became known as "mute air". Hawk states that "we all went along with it in our naive youth".

Hawk states that he has talked to Weddle last year and decided to change the name of the trick to "The Weddle Grab".

Regional News • Europe
Dutch city cancels partnership with Polish Pulawy over "LGBT-free zones"
Dutch city cancels partnership with Polish Pulawy over "LGBT-free zones"
Credit: Nieuwegein city website

The Dutch city Nieuwegein has announced that the Municipal Council has voted to immediately stop the partnership with the Polish city of Pulawy over a report that Pulawy is now part of the "LGBT ideology-free" zone in Poland.

The council of Nieuwegein has previously sent a letter to Pulawy in which it expressed their concerns and now canceled the partnership. Alderman Marieke Schouten had previously stated that "In Nieuwegein everyone can be who he or she is, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, gender, religion or ethnic origin. LGBT-free zones such as in Pulawy are really unacceptable in our view".

Law
German court: Rejection by bouncer based on age is not discrimination
German court: Rejection by bouncer based on age is not discrimination
Credit: Joao Victor Alves de Bastos

The Munich District Court ruled last week that rejecting at a club door based on age does not constitute discrimination. A 44-year-old complained, who was already rejected by a security guard at a techno festival in 2017 and asked the organizer for compensation of € 1,000 due to discrimination.

The judge dismissed the complaint on the grounds that the organizer was interested in the selection of his guests.

Law
Duisburg: Gay couple discriminated against by security guards

According to the German Covid-19 rules, a supermarket in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia could only be entered with a shopping cart. The exception was that spouses from one household can share a cart.

Despite the indication that homosexuals are also allowed to marry these days, the security guard did not let the couple in with one shopping cart. Even the deputy branch manager who was brought in was unable to influence the security force and obtain an apology. This was the third incident at Lidl for the couple concerned.

Business • Media & Advertising
Google to ban targeting housing ads based on gender, age
Google stall at an event in Cologne, Germany
Google stall at an event in Cologne, Germany Credit: Rajeshwar Bachu

Google announced it would stop allowing housing, employment and credit ads to be targeted to users based on their postal code, gender, age, parental status or marital status, aiming to protect users from unlawful discrimination.

The new rules will build on top of a policy that already prohibits advertisers from targeting users on sensitive areas, categories related to identity, beliefs, sexuality or attributes such as race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

The new policy will go into effect by the end of the year in the US and Canada.

Law
Berlin state passes own anti-discrimination law, covering potential gaps in federal law
Berlin state passes own anti-discrimination law, covering potential gaps in federal law
Credit: Pablo Hermoso

Taking further the federal General Equal Treatment Act, the Berlin government has explicitly outlawed discriminatory actions from public authorities. German federal law from 2006 covered only discrimination in employment and between private citizens, as the German constitution already prohibits public service discrimination.

Lawmakers believe this will help to address issues of systemic racism, along with explicit awareness of many other unlawful discrimination factors in public service - such as gender, age, sexual identity, religion, disability, illness, worldview, education, occupation or income.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen raises rainbow flags in support of diversity and tolerance

The German car manufacturer has raised the rainbow flag outside their Volkswagen brand tower in support of "diversity and tolerance" for the first time as part of the initiative "Wolfsburg diversity and tolerance week" which stands for "a colorful and cosmopolitan community based on solidarity where social origin, sexual orientation and religious affiliation do not play a role" according to the initiators from the organization Aids-Hilfe Wolfsburg e.V..

Volkswagen executive Gunnar Kilian has stated that the company wants to take "a clear stand on respect, equal opportunity, coexistence, equal treatment of everyone – regardless of their ethnic origin, color, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or gender".