The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 26, 1991 · Page 12
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October 26, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 12

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Saturday, October 26, 1991
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Page 12
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A-12From Page A-1 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Saturday, October 26, 1991 Players debate bill's force Highlights of rights bill The civil rights bill before the Senate would: mm ft ) 11 Fil JOANNA their practices are justified by business necessity. I Prohibit the adjustment of employment-related tests for the purpose of boosting the scores for certain groups of people. This practice is known as "race norming." I Permit victims of intentional sexual discrimination, including sex harassment, to seek compensatory and punitive damages, up to fixed limits. Now they can seek only back pay. Victims of racial discrimination would continue to be eligible for unlimited damage awards. I The limits are based on the size of an employer's work force, with the largest employers having the highest limits, $300,000. Partially offset a series of Supreme Court decisions that have made it more difficult for victims of employment discrimination to sue and collect damages. Reverse decisions exemplified by a 1989 case known as Wards Cove, which made it more difficult for employees to sue employers for practices that appear fair on their face but have the effect of screening out certain groups. , These are known as unintentional discrimination cases. Reinstate a 1971 decision known as the Griggs Case that allowed plaintiffs to bring such cases. The bill sets standards for employers to meet in defending those practices, and places the burden of proof on employers to show 9 DAY SALE OCTOBER NOVEMBER SAT I SUN I HON I TUES I WED I THUS I FRI I SAT I SUN 26 1 27 I 28 1 29 I 30 I 31 I 1 I 2 1 3 CHOOSE FROM 14 COLORS SHADES ARE WHITE OH THE OUTSIDE FOR UNIFORMITY DECORATOR COLORS OH INSIDE ANY COLOR ANY SIZE ONE LOW PRICE y'.i . ''. ' ' . 1 1 ii 1 1 i'"'i'i .'. . i i sn mi Language irks business groups, rights advocates BY RUTH MARCUS Washington Post WASHINGTON - Only time and more court decisions will tell for sure, but one way to gauge the winners and losers in Friday's agreement on the civil rights bill is by the reac- mmmhbmmm IZ ho Analysis have been fighting for two years over every semantic twist and turn. Civil rights groups said the agreement was a "necessary," though imperfect, step. Business groups were nervous about new exposure to damages and vowed to fight the bill. And a leading conservative expert on civil rights said President Bush had capitulated on the quota issue. Two major issues in the battle have emerged since 1989, when a series of Supreme Court decisions made it harder for workers to win job discrimination cases. One was how to handle cases of discrimination against minorities and women that are based on statistics rather than individual complaints of intentional discrimination. The other was what money damages should be available to victims of sex discrimination and sex harassment. The central battle has been an effort to undo Ward's Cove Packing Co. vs. Atonio, a ruling that made it harder for workers challenging employment practices that have the effect of harming minorities or women, even if there is no proof that is what the practices were intended to do. The Wards Cove ruling made it easier for employers to justify such practices as being "required by business necessity," and the opposing camps have been wrestling for two years to redefine that standard. President Bush has consistently assailed each version of the civil rights legislation as a "quota bill" that would force employers to hire by numbers to protect themselves against lawsuits. Civil rights advocates have denied that charge and Wot A DvcQTotor Drtngi oil in noHcmoi ttovJi wifUow lOlmnl torn WonHrad to yong ooql oi no ano cnNoi On poiauionat wvicft n aong with MrimaiM So cotl loooy ona in ftow mocn mum mio acoaw you homo In you nom OM at amnorm tow poCUii FOB YOUB fBIC IN-HOMl APPOlNJMfNJ 563-1993 1! y .. said Bush's approach to "business necessity" would let employers decide not to hire blacks, for instance, if their customers would prefer to deal with whites. Friday's compromise decided not to define the term at all. Instead, it simply states that practices that have a disproportionate impact on women or minorities must be "job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity." Civil rights groups, which started the process two years ago with a definition of business necessity as that "essential to effective job performance," said that Friday's compromise boiled down to the same thing. If previous versions were quota bills, they said, so was the compromise that Bush accepted. Business groups who had expressed some fears about the earlier language said they viewed the compromise as a definite improvement, although they remained nervous about a provision that would allow workers in some cases to point to a group of practices, rather than singling out one practice, as discriminatory. And some conservative activists said the administration sold out on the quota issue. Clint Bolick, vice president of the Institute for Justice, said he was "disappointed" and described the bill as a "capitulation to the civil rights groups." Black said the language is "so confusing and rigs the rules against employers so strongly it will unquestionably encourage quotas." A second front has been over creating the right for women and the disabled, like minorities, to obtain damages in cases of intentional discrimination or harassment. Under current law, groups other than minorities are limited to lost wages and job reinstatement or promotion. Friday's compromise allows juries to award damages between $50,000 and $300,000, depending on the size of the business. Bush had proposed allowing damages only in cases of harassment and only up to $150,000. Civil rights groups, particularly women's groups, were unhappy with the dollar caps. Business groups were equally, if not more, furious that damages would be allowed at all. REGULAR PRICES " I W,DTH " LENGTH 18" I 24" I 30" W UPT024" W M M 30" JUT & M M 36" M J6T M M 42" xyt I jht 1 r 1 wt BRING IN YOUR MEASUREMENTS -smm Up tO 36"wx42"long LARGER SIZES PROPORTIONATELY HIGHER CUSTOM MADE CUSTOM MADE MINI BLINDS VERTICAL BUN 9 FABRICS, 4 VINYLS, IN 50 COLORS ANY SIZE ANY COLOR rSs m $(51(oj99 VJI til I WW 100 COLORS UP Td75"wx84"l UP TO 36 W. X 42" L Larger sizes slightly higher LARGER SIZES PROPORTIONATELY HIGHER CUSTOM MADE HONEYCOMB CG&E CONTINUED FROM PAGE A-1 that CG&E could get a larger portion of what they asked for." The city maintains that the 1985 order on Zimmer costs came about after illegal discussions between former PUCO Chairman Thomas Chema and chief executives of the three utility companies that built and own the $3.4 billion Zimmer facility. State law prohibits PUCO officials from discussing pending cases with utility company executives. In that PUCO-approved settlement, the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, the utility companies and various interest groups agreed on the total cost of Zim-mer's conversion. The city of Cincinnati was not a part of that agreement, and Con PLEATED SHADE ners in the Zimmer venture," Chema wrote Celeste. "I advised them that we would be amenable to a plan. From a political perspective, this would seem to be the most opportune time to dispose of the issue." Cincinnati's plea to the Supreme Court to speed up hearings on its lawsuit was opposed by CG&E and its Zimmer partners, Dayton Power & Light Co. and ColumbusSouthern Ohio Electric Co. All three utilities have been granted permission by the court to intervene in Cincinnati's lawsuit against PUCO. The city filed the suit after it failed to persuade PUCO this summer to reopen the 1985 sumers' Counsel William A. Spra-tley now admits that his agreeing to it was a mistake. Chema, now a Cleveland attorney, has not been available for interviews since Cincinnati's lawsuit was filed in August. A June 25, 1985, memo from Chema to then-Gov. Richard Celeste confirms Chema's discussions. The memo was discovered by the city of Cincinnati's attorneys through a Freedom of Information Act search of Celeste's records a year ago. His memo is quoted in a legal brief filed earlier this month as part of the city's lawsuit. "Over the past several months I have had numerous discussions with the chief executives of the three companies which are part 1-800-NUIV1BER WALLPAPER STORE CINCINNATI'S 0WII 100 NUMBER STORE BOOK WALLPAPERS 30 to 70 OFF ANY SIZE ANY P.m flR DELMAR HUNTER D0ULAS THE BEST PRICES ANY WHERE. MOST ORDERS SHIPPED IN 3 DAYS! ALL FIRST QUALITY SAME DAY PROCESSING INSTANT REFUND IF WE DON T HAVE THE BOOK WE POLICY CAN STILL GET YOU THE WALLPAPER FIREPLACE GLASS DOOR CUSTOM MADE ARCH AND CORNER FIREPLACE DOOR Loans K. - - . . " r ti ill i -"U " mm a m HPS- ANY HNIH " POMSHtO MASS or ANIIOUI MASS J hi Mil ' . SAVE 30 FREE DELIVERY AND INSTALLATION 11111 recently reviewing all of the loans it denied and concluding that its credit standards had been fairly and consistently applied, whether the applicants were black or white. "But we wanted to take the next step and figure out how. to increase the number of people who ANY SIZE OPENING DflVfRfD A ii; INSTALLED' FROM 31 H II W1M 7 I ?t HIGH LIVE DISPLAY riprDi apis ipl an snn sSi:. PATIO FURNITURE YEAR EN0 CLOSE OUTS 50 TO 70 OFF DELIVERY AND INSTALLATION TL 9 OTHER STYLES AVAILABLE inUlfl TO CHOOSE FROM! ALL GAS LOGS COME WITH: LOGS GRATE BURNER TRAY SILICA SAND EMBERS VOLCANIC CINOERS CONNECTOR 20 GROUPS TO CHOOSE FROM CONTINUED FROM PAGE A-1 Release of the local data comes on the heels of Monday's disclosure by the Federal Reserve that in 1990, blacks nationwide were turned down 34 of the time when applying for home loans vs. 14 for whites. While banks that make loans in the Cincinnati area had a better record than the nation in approving black loan applicants, they were worse than banks in many cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. "It's disturbing. Race must be entering into the decision to make loans," said Karla Irvine, executive director of the Cincinnati fair-housing group, Housing Opportunities Made Equal. "I'm not saying it's a corporate policy, but bank employees must have some biases that are spilling over into their professional life," she said. While bankers point out that the figures by themselves are inconclusive for instance, they don't show debt levels and other financial details of black vs. white applicants they also admit that the latest disclosure does not paint a good picture of them. Information needed "I cannot accept that racism enters into it. But I also can't look at the numbers and not want to do more investigating to make it absolutely clear," said John Bullock, an executive vice president for Star Bank. For its part, Star gave blacks and whites nearly equal treatment last year on applications for mortgage and refinancing loans, Bullock said. However, the bank rejected 54 of all black applicants for home-improvement loans vs. 21 of all whites. "We don't know exactly why that is, but it's clear we need to do and can do a better job," he said. "We're building momentum with the new programs we've got in place, but we've got a long way to go." Blacks in Greater Cincinnati also were turned away more often than whites when applying for refinancing and home-improvement loans. Figures show that blacks were rejected 26 of the time for refinancing, compared with 13 for whites; on home-improvement loans, almost half of all black applicants were rejected vs. 21 for whites. 'Long-term discrimination' At least one housing advocacy group thinks the numbers can't be blamed solely on banks. "If banks are actively and blatantly discriminating, they'd be stupid," said Charles Stocker, executive director of the Better Housing League. "I think what we're seeing is the outcome of long-term discrimination over a number of generations." The league has been trying to counsel minorities before they apply for mortgages, and, at the prompting of Central Trust Co., last year initiated the Homeowner-ship Project, a partnership between the league and eight local banks that focuses on providing counseling, even after applicants are rejected. Central Trust got the idea after PAYMASTER POOL TABLES SUNDANCE SPAS In Rovel sizes and j u or Acrylic in slock UP TO co'ors can get loans, said Stephen Schat-teman, an executive vice president for Central Trust. "This is a group of people we want to reach out to." Some say that other changes might be necessary to correct the lending discrepancies. Shared responsibility "The banks are not blame-free, but there is also responsibility that the black community has to accept," said Bill Tate, chairman of the city's Committee on Reinvestment, created in 1988 to monitor bank lending in area neighborhoods. "A lot of this is the result of the black community not being economically unified," he said. "Blacks don't own their own mortgage companies, their own banks even the number of (loan) applications are low. The communities need to be challenged." And there is the prospect of federal legislation. In the wake of this week's disclosure of national loan-rejection rates for blacks and other minorities, Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, D-Mass., said that he and five other members of the House Banking Committee would offer antidiscrimination amendments to a banking overhaul bill expected to be enacted next month. 30 OFF 14 TABLES ON DISPLAY POOL TABLES FROM $1 27 SPAS ONDISPLAY CINCINNATI'S BEST 599 TO 44,000 SPA VALUE Exit 15 71 lkww.rl a, INTERIORS I ffJ-s J.IS9I -rSTr A I ' My not b iKIIyll hownl JL1 V M Nor.hlad Stock sizes within 25 miles. Corner ' G,endaU 'f M- R"di"fl U 10400 Reading Rd. w , r 0A,lY iom.-Buop.m. SAT. 10a.m.- 3 p.m. Cincinnati (Evendale).Ohio jOO" IWO SUN. 13 noon-3 p.m. Sell it today with a classified ad in The Enquirer . . . Call 421-6300 t i f

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