The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is now offering individuals the option to select a non-binary “X” gender marker during the voluntary self-identification questions that are part of the intake process for filing a charge of discrimination, according to the organization.
“Recognizing that the binary construction of gender as either ‘male’ or ‘female’ does not reflect the full range of gender identities, the EEOC will add an option to mark ‘X’ during two critical stages of the intake and charge filing process,” the EEOC said.
The organization will update the voluntary demographic questions relating to gender in the online public portal that members of the public use to submit inquiries about filing a charge of discrimination, as well as the online Spanish initial consultation form and pre-charge inquiry form that are sometimes used in lieu of the portal. The EEOC will also modify its charge of discrimination form to include “Mx” in the list of prefix options.
“The addition of a nonbinary gender marker to the EEOC’s charge intake process will be an important step to promote greater inclusion for members of the LGBTQI+ community,” EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows said in a statement.
New Amazon Program Supports Immigrant and Refugee Employees
Amazon has launched its Welcome Door Program, a new initiative designed to provide the company’s refugee and humanitarian-based immigrant employees with additional benefits and tools, including:
- reimbursement for EAD renewal fees, which on average cost approximately $500 every other year,
- a citizenship assistance portal that fully supports U.S. citizenship applications for eligible employees,
- ongoing communications that highlight policy changes that might impact an employee's immigration status,
- free legal resources to help navigate immigration-related questions and the ability to connect with immigration experts,
- skills-training opportunities, including free college tuition and English as a second language (ESL) proficiency through Amazon’s Career Choice program, and
- customized mentorship to assist employees with career development.
Amazon has also pledged to provide for the immediate needs and longer-term support for people fleeing Ukraine.
“We have a variety of jobs and welcome all kinds of people, and we’re proud to offer enhanced support for refugees around the world,” said Ofori Agboka, Amazon’s vice president of people eXperience and tech for operations, in a statement announcing the Welcome Door Program.
“Being displaced from your homeland and having to start again somewhere new is challenging and emotional. It is an honor and a privilege to help make that transition easier and help people start again. Across our entire business and at all levels, we’re working with refugees to secure jobs and get the support they need.”
Court Strikes Down California Law Mandating Board Diversity
As reported by Newsweek, a Los Angeles court judge has deemed a California law that obliged corporations to include board members from “underrepresented communities” as unconstitutional.
Signed into law in September 2020 by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bill required publicly held companies in California to “push for diversity on their boards of directors by January 2023,” according to Newsweek. Companies were given until Dec. 31, 2021 to have a member on their boards from groups including LGBTQ, Black, Latino, Asian, Native American or Pacific Islander.
Conservative legal group Judicial Watch, however, sought a permanent injunction against the legislation, which also mandated companies with between four and nine directors to include at least two board members from underrepresented groups by the end of 2022.
As Newsweek noted, those organizations with nine or more directors were required to include at least three members from the aforementioned groups, with a failure to comply resulting in fines anywhere between $100,000 and $300,000.
“Supporters of the legislation had argued that their case for greater inclusion on boards had been bolstered by the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affecting minorities,” according to Newsweek, noting that the bill’s co-author, Assemblyman Chris Holden, described the legislation as “a big step forward for racial equity.”
In a statement, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton praised the court’s decision, describing the bill as “one of the most blatant and significant attacks in the modern era on constitutional prohibitions against discrimination.”
Purdue University Launches Program to Attract Remote Workers
No affiliation with the university is necessary, but eligible candidates must be working remotely full-time, must currently reside out-of-state and must commit to living in West Lafayette for one year, according to a Purdue statement announcing the new program.
Incentives will vary depending on where candidates choose to live in the town, with relocation packages including up to $4,000 in cash relocation stipends, $1,000 dining credit and other housing discounts, for example.
“With pandemic-induced remote work giving people more freedom and control over where they can do their jobs, we’ve created a community to welcome newly mobile talent to the Purdue campus, where we aim to provide life-enhancing amenities and boundless opportunities for professional success,” said David Broecker, chief innovation and collaboration officer for the Purdue Research Foundation, in a statement.
“To advance our mission to prevent and remedy employment discrimination, we must serve all workers, including those who do not identify as male or female. Our public-facing forms should make clear that we respect that diversity.”