Category: Race Discrimination

Where Are The (African-)American Idols?

Ten former contestants on American Idol have sued Fox, alleging that they and other African-American contestants were unfairly dismissed from the show because of their race. The suit alleges that, among other discriminatory behavior, Fox unlawfully acquired information about American Idol contestants’ criminal records. However, though it surreptitiously collected the information for all of its contestants, Fox only ever used the information against African-American contestants – white contestants were given a free pass.

The complaint goes on to say that the information was even used as a ratings ploy, humiliating African-American contestants as the show intentionally drummed up controversy, such as when semifinalist Jermaine Jones was disqualified from season 11 of the show in 2012. In contrast, even if a white contestant’s unsavory background came to light, he or she would not be dismissed or booted from the show like African-Americans would, but rather would be lauded with a storyline indicating they were “models of redemption.”

The 10 plaintiffs include

  1. Jaered Andrews (season 2),
  2. Corey Clark (season 2),
  3. Jacob John Smalley (season 2),
  4. Donnie Williams (season 3),
  5. Terrell and Derrell Brittenum (season 5),
  6. Thomas Daniels (season 6),
  7. Akron Watson (season 6),
  8. Ju’Not Joyner (season 8)and
  9. Chris Golightly (season 9).

Jermaine Jones is not part of the suit.

Undocumented workers still entitled to recover unpaid wages

Two Federal Circuit Courts have this year opined on the issue of undocumented Plaintiffs and their rights to collect unpaid wages. In Lucas v. Jerusalem Café, LLC and Lamonica v. Safe Hurricane Shutters, Inc. the Courts found that undocumented and unauthorized aliens, despite their status, could still recover for underpayment and non-payment of wages.

In Lucas, the Court said, “There is nothing in the FLSA that would allow us to conclude that undocumented aliens, although protected by the Act, are nevertheless barred from recovering unpaid wages thereunder.” In this same regard, the Lamonica Court held that an undocumented worker’s “ability to recover unpaid wages under the FLSA does not depend upon his immigration status.”

The underlying principle here is clear and employees should not be hesitant to pursue actions for unpaid wages because of their residency status. If you do work, you should be compensated in accordance with the law.

“Cultural Differences” Don’t Justify Racial Discrimination

Paula Deen, long-time cooking show host and author of numerous cookbooks, recently learned that the Food Network can’t stand the heat and is kicking her out of the kitchen for racial discrimination.  Deen is famous for her deeply Southern, often sweet and fatty comfort foods.  Deen’s Southern roots have landed her in the fryer this time, as she has been accused of racism and discrimination by a former employee.  Continue reading ““Cultural Differences” Don’t Justify Racial Discrimination”