A judge will soon rule on damages up to $1 million in a case of “unintentional sex discrimination” by Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant. The Miami establishment, slated as one of the top 10 grossing restaurants in the U.S., was charged by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of discriminatory hiring practices against women.
The EEOC claimed that between 1986 and 1991, the restaurant’s owners hired 108 male waiters, and no women. The EEOC offered evidence that 44 percent of the servers in Miami Beach were female. In July of 1997, U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley ruled that Joe’s employment practices had a “disproportionate impact on women.”
Although federal law allows companies to refuse to hire people based on age and sex when the position requires, the co-owners of Joe’s, Grace Weiss and Jo Ann Bass, claim that they simply hired the best-qualified applicants. The restaurant’s owners, known for their stands on social justice and feminist issues, are astonished by the ruling. Bass said that the low numbers of female applicants for server positions never seemed like a problem, “We had women working in all other parts of the restaurant. And there was always a preponderance of women in management.”
While no woman had accused the restaurant of discrimination, the EEOC initiated the case on its own. At present, 18 of the 80 restaurant servers at Joe’s are women.
Feminist News Stories on Affirmative Action
Media Resources: Washington Post - February 24, 1998
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. . . .