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July 20, 1978 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-07-20

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, July 20, 1978-Page 7

Affirmative action faces new test


WASHINGTON (AP) - Allan Bakke
is by now a household name. Brian
Weber is not.
But it isWeber's court challenge that
now poses the more serious threat to
government efforts to improve job op-
portunities for minorities by giving
them preference in hiring and
BAKKE, THE WHITE Californian
who wants to be a doctor, won a reverse
discrimination case in the Supreme
Court, and will be admitted in the fall to
the medical school that had rejected
him in favor of a minoriity applicant.
For all the attention focused on the
Bakke case, government lawyers say it
will have scant impact on federal effor-
ts to combat job discrimination.
It is Weber, a white Louisiana factory
worker seeking to learn a craft, whose
reverse discrimination case has the
Equal Employment Opportunity Com-
mission (EEOC) worried now.
THE PEOPLE who run the EEOCsay
"affirmative action" programs won't
be slowed by the Supreme Court ruling
that Bakke was a victim of reverse
EEOC lawyers say the agency still
can make employers correct past job
discrimination with affirmative action,
giving preference to minorities and
The Bakke ruling voided as too rigid
the California school's special
minorities admission program, but it
allows race to be considered in ad-
missions decisions if it is not the sole
"AT THE MOMENT Bakke ap-
pears to leave the status quo for law en-
forcement and anti-discrimination
work in the employment field," said
Eleanor Holmes Norton, the EEOC's
"chair" - a title she uses instead of
"chairman" or "chairwoman."
She is less certain about weber's suit,
which has not reached the Supreme
Court. In that case, a U.S. Court of Ap-
peals ruled that giving preference to
blacks is illegal, unless past bias
against them by the organization in-
volved has been proven.
Thus, the issue: May a company with
no proven or admitted history of bias
legally adopt an affirmative action

Weber case may threaten
eq ual employment efforts
THE SUPREME COURT has not con- You must do most of it by deter
fronted that question, and Norton says they (employers) believe they
that until it does, government efforts to wait to be sued, the whole la
eliminate job bias through affirmative cement system in anti-discri
action may suffer. has gone berserk," she said.
The EEOC contends that if the eber Underscoring this are
ruling stands, employers may stop un- statistics showing that the El
dertaking voluntary affirmative ac- legal action on fewer than 5
tions. If that happens, "the whole law 80,000 job discrimination co
enforcement system in anti- against private employers last
discrimination has gone berserk," says Trying to skirt the weber ru
Norton. EEOC advises employers to<
Weber, a white employee of Kaiser firmative action programs wh
Aluminum & Chemical Co. in Gramer- is a "reasonable" basis to be
cy, La., sued after Kaiser sought to add firm has discriminated in the p
blacks in some crafts by training one MEANWHILE, EEOC attor
black for each white until black deciding whether to appea
representation reached 39 per cent. Supreme Court. One said th
Weber was denied the training. case "does not address the k
THE PROGRAM, under a new con- that would not produce ac
tract'with the United Steelworkers ruling.
union, did not result from any charge or The EEOC also is worried
admission of job bias. U.S. Districh Court ruling, n
A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in appeal, in a suit brought by th
New Orleans last November that an Police Officers Association.
employer who has not actually the city of reverse discrimir
discriminated against blacks violates reserving for blacks hal
the law by preferring blacks for job promotions to sergeant.
openings. Norton said the districh co
The Weber decision puts employers ruled last February that "you
inabind. have to come in and
IF A COMPANY - after noticing a discriminated, you have to I
lack of blacks in supervisory jobs - discriminated."
decides to reserve a percentage of AN EEOC ATTORNEY,v
future promotions for blacks, it first not to be named, said this "co
must admit past bias to avoid reverse future settlements," in w
discrimination suits by whites. Such an ployers agree to affirmati
admission, though, would open the firm
to possible damage suits by blacks Law ers
seeking back pay.
So, employers might do nothing and
await a suit from the EEOC, which en- out b urst
forces job discrimination provisions of NEW YORK (AP) -
the Civil Rights Act. lawyers expressed doubt
That concerns Norton: "The basic about the courtroom di
social policy behind law enforcement emotions by Doris Del Zio, w
... is to have a much greater number for $1.5 million over the destr
of companies than we can sue believe test-tube embryo that was to
they must voluntarily keep us from implanted in her womb.
suing them by adopting voluntary af- While cross-examining D
firmative action.- torneys for three defendants
"NO LAW ENFORCEMENT agency she had given several news
could ever sue everybody in violation. te i nr wa s

rence. If
'have to
aw -enfor-
EOC took
00 of the
sling, the
adopt af-
hen there
lieve the
neys are
1 to the
e Weber
ey issues
about a
ow under
he Detroit
It accses
nation by
f of all
urt judge
u not only
say you
prove you
who asked
uld kill all
vhich em-
ve action

without admitting bias. "Now, em-
ployers would have to insist that we go
to court," he said.
EEOC officials say the Weber and
Detroit cases jeopardize a Labor
Department requirement that com-
panies adopt affirmative action plans
for minorities and women before
receiving federal contracts.
Norton said that program, affecting
about 280,000 employers and 30 million
employees, could be crippled because it
does not determine first whether an
employer has actually discriminated.
deputy director of the contract com-
pliance program, disagrees: "As far as
we're concerned, we're acting clearly
under the law and are moving
aggressively with our enforcement
Despite uncertainty about voluntary
affirmative action, Norton says she
believes that the Bakke ruling allows
numerical remedies.
"In employment today, according to
the facts and according to whether
there has been a finding of
discrimination, one can find the use of
quotas, goals, ratios. All have been ap-
proved by the courts in their own
peculiar context," Norton said.
She said Justice Lewis Lowell, who
wrote the main Bakke decision, "went
out of his way," to uphold numerical
remedies for past bias.
She said her view was reinforced
when the Supreme Court later upheld
an affirmative action plan adopted in
1973 by the American Telephone &
Telegraph Co., as part of the EEOC's
largest settlement.

juestion emotional
in 'test tube' case
Defense composure.
yesterday Del Zio's fallopian tubes are bloc
Isplay of preventing conventional pregnancy
ho is suing The attempt to fertilize one of
uction of a own egg cells in a test tube and
have been implant the embryo in her womb
interrupted by Dr. Raymond V
el Zio, at- Wiele, head of obstetrics
noted that gynecology at Columbia Presbyte
paper and Medical Center, the day before
id she had scheduled operation. Vande V
ing any of claims the procedure was
courtroom authorized and would have endang
Del Zio's life.
w many in- Del Zio, 34, and her husband,
s. Del Zio 59, are seeking $1.5 million from
d shouted. medical center, Columbia Unive
me any and Vande Wiele.
Doris Del Zio's attorney, Mi
S. District Dennis, has said he will show
siding over destruction of the embryo cE
15-minute psychological trauma from whic
vered her client still has not recovered.

Fraser: Business guilty
of 'one-sided elass war'

not lost her composure dur
the interviews, unlike her+
AT ONE POINT, asked hov
terviews she had given, Mr
began to respond, choked an
"Please don't brainwash
The outburst prompted U.
Judge Charles Stewart, pres
the jury trial, to order a
recess while Del Zio reco

ch his

president of the 1.5 million-member
United Auto Workers (UAW) union said
yesterday the nation's unions are being
victimized by a "one-sided class war"
waged by business, resulting in new in-
terest in a labor political party.
UAW chief Douglas Fraser also told a
news conference the Carter ad-
ministration has been ineffective in
meeting the nation's needs, and he an-
nounced his resignation from the
Labor-Management Group, a semi-
official committee whose purpose is to
work out joint approaches to economic
"IT REALLY serves no purpose,"
Fraser said of the committee.
"People may be thinking we're sit-
ting in agreement on issues of the day,
and nothing could be further from the
truth That's the rea fr the

business community toward confron-
tation, rather than
cooperation ... Where industry once
yearned for subservient unions, it now
wants no unions at all."
Fraser's condemnation of the
nation's business sector was voiced in
unusually bitter terms.
"I BELIEVE leaders of the business
community, with few exceptions, have
chosen to wage a one-sided class war
today in this country - a war against
the unemployed, the poor, the
minorities, the very young and the very
old, and even many in the middle class
of our society," he said.
He said his resignation from the
labor-management group was not in-
tended as a slap at Carter. But in an-
swer to a question, he said he thinks the

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