L'Oreal was found guilty this week of racial discrimination in hiring by France's highest court this week in a suit brought by SOS Racisme, a French anti-racism group. The suit claimed that L'Oreal employees were told to look for "BBR" women for a shampoo campaign - "BBR" stands for "bleu, blanc, rouge," the colors of the French flag, reported rediff.com. BBR is also a common euphemism used to describe white French people of white French descent.
The memo in question also requested that female representatives be 18-22 years old and sizes 38-42 (American sizes 6-10). While 38.7% of the applicants for the positions were members of minority groups, only 4.65% of those hired were minorities. Employees of the Adecco subsidiary Districom, who were in charge of hiring, testified that they were also given oral instructions to favor white candidates.
La Cour de Cassation, France's highest court, has charged both L'Oreal and Adecco with racial discrimination. Both companies have been fined 30,000 Euro by the Paris Appeals Court. Each company is required to pay an additional 30,000 Euro to SOS Racisme, according to the Times Online.
L'Oreal faced criticism last year when it was accused of lightening Beyonce Knowles's skin for an ad campaign. "We highly value our relationship with Ms. Knowles," said L'Oreal in a statement to the Associated Press. "It is categorically untrue that L'Oreal Paris altered Ms. Knowles's features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair color."
Media Resources: The London Times 6/25/09; Rediff.com 6/25/09; Washington Post 8/9/08
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .