A provision in a Michigan teachers’ union contract calling for “special consideration” to be given to “minority” job applicants including “those of the non-Christian faith” was removed by the Ferndale School District this week after the language was identified as a violation of the Federal Civil Rights Act.
Michigan Capitol Confidential reported on the union contract which, for teachers applying for promotions to vacant positions, read: “Special consideration shall be given to women and/or minorit[ies] defined as: Native American, Asian American, Latino, African American and those of the non-Christian faith.”
On both the state and federal level, the Civil Rights Act prohibits religious discrimination in employment. Consequently, it is illegal to ask job applicants about their religious affiliation—a law violated by the “non-Christian” language in the teachers’ union contract.
According to The Detroit News, the decades-old contract was revised after the discriminatory language was brought to the district’s attention. Ferndale Schools spokeswoman Shelley Rose acknowledged, “nobody was really aware of” the language, which “was there much to our embarrassment.”
“Please note that the district does not discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion or other related issues,” Rose affirmed.
Julie Horner says
I know this isn’t new, but it seems to me that putting anything other than ‘hire the best for the job, at the price we offer’ on a provision for a contracted position is wrong. The movement of fast-tracking a person to a position because they are of a minority status is just as unjust as the opposite.
If everyone were held to the same standards and judged on the same standards our country would be a better place. You can’t make a minority equal to the whole, it isn’t possible, and putting measures in place to make them stand out does not create equality without respect to race or gender.
There are so many examples of this now that it would be hard to name them all without this becoming a rant. I just feel that the discrimination of the majority is as wrong and demoralizing to all concerned as discrimination to the minority.