Thursday, December 03, 2020

There are protected classes at Ohio State

Although Ohio State University claims “The university recruits and selects the most qualified individuals for open positions” when you read who is “protected” by the policies of affirmative action and equal opportunity, you see that isn’t true.

“Ohio State does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or protected veteran status, or any other bases under the law, in its education program or activity, which includes employment.

In addition, the university complies with Executive Order 2019-05D, which prohibits any Ohio State employee from discriminating against any other employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin (ancestry), military status (past, present or future), disability, age (40 years or older), status as a parent during pregnancy and immediately after the birth of a child, status as a parent of a young child, status as a foster parent, genetic information, or sexual orientation, as those terms are defined in Ohio law, federal law, and previous Executive Orders, in making any of the following employment-related decisions:

a. Hiring b. Layoff c. Termination d. Transfer e. Promotion f. Demotion g. Rate of Compensation h. Eligibility for In-Service Training Programs

Then we get into a long list of definitions which includes:

Discrimination (disparate treatment and disparate impact) occurs when an adverse action is taken under university authority against a university community member in an educational program or activity and the action is based upon one’s s protected class status. Disparate treatment occurs when one suffers less favorable treatment than others because of their protected class status. Disparate impact occurs when a university policy or practice, although neutral on its face, adversely impacts persons in a protected class.

There is no recourse under university rules if a healthy, white male is not selected for the job even if he is the most qualified, or if he is on the job and experiencing harassment, bullying, unequal assignments, hate speech, unwanted sexual advancements, cyber threats, political discrimination, etc. He’s not protected. But a transfemale lesbian with Asian heritage could file for discrimination for exactly the same workplace experiences.  Actually, the rules are not for the workplace—they include off campus and virtual spaces.

And yes, the pregnancy policy uses the words, “status as a parent during pregnancy” rather than “pregnant woman,” because we all know that in the 21st century men can be mothers too.

This hiring/enrollment policy is not new, but it is regularly revised (I’m quoting from a draft revision) to keep up with evolving identity politics and social injustices.  When I was responsible for hiring a paraprofessional assistant back in the early 1990s, I was first required to interview candidates which common sense would disqualify in the “real” world of business.  I remember the ex-convict who wanted a grounds keeping, outdoor job, but had worked as a student staff in one of the libraries 20 years before so he was sent by personnel and I had to interview him.  Or a candidate who was in a wheelchair and would not be able to shelve books higher than her head or get her wheelchair through the of book shelves aisles.

Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination/Harassment policy (

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