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Over the past two decades, courts have gone far in their interpretatio

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Over the past two decades, courts have gone far in their interpretatio  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2018, 10:45
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Over the past two decades, courts have gone far in their interpretations of civil rights legislation to ensure African-American participation throughout the work force. Much ground has been gained in this fight against an institutionalized inequality that has become ingrained in our collective psyche. There are some, though, who remain concerned that the situation of African-American managers has made only limited progress in certain industries.

It is particularly disturbing to find relatively few African-American executives in an industry whose work force consists primarily of African- Americans, namely professional team sports. In the 2001 Racial and Gender Report Card published by the Centre for Sport in Society of Northeastern University, which analysed the composition of players and administrators in professional leagues, only the Women‘s National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association scored well. According to the report, generally ―who‘s running the league doesn‘t look like who‘s playing in the league.‖ Questions are being posed as to whether general employment principles are properly applicable to the sports business, or whether the sports industry in fact enjoys a special status similar to baseball‘s antitrust exemption. With a growing number of African-Americans achieving the educational standards as well as the practical experience required for executive positions, it is foreseeable that the professional team-sport industry will soon face challenges to its executive employment decisions.

The organizational structures of clubs and leagues are similar to otherlarge businesses. It is within these two organizations that the absence of African-American executives is most noticeable. Some professional club owners justify the absence of African-American executives at these levels by alluding to clubs‘ and leagues‘ organizational structure as being familial in nature. Whether this characterization justifies the exclusion of African-American executives is questionable at best.

The sports industry is within the purview of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which exists to prohibit intentional discrimination in employment on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex or national origin. However, recent legal developments call into question whether the principles applied to assure lower level jobs will be applied to protect African-American executives from discrimination while seeking upper level positions. The courts have traditionally been willing to assess an applicant‘s qualifications in resolving claims of discrimination. Yet courts in upper level cases often profess a lack of expertise and refuse to assess an applicant‘s qualifications.

The Supreme Court has not yet confronted the issue of which Title VII standards and rules should apply to discrimination cases involving African-American executives. Lower federal courts have seemingly begun to distort these standards in cases involving executive and professional employees. Given that executive positions have unique characteristics, resolution of these actions becomes all the more difficult. Rules developed to deal with lower level Title VII cases may not always be applicable to executive employment cases.
1. Which of the following would be analogous to the situation described in paragraph 2 regarding the absence of African-American executives in a field with many African-American athletes?
A. The Board of a non-profit Protestant Church youth organization consists solely of middle-aged men and women.
B. A social service agency, which serves minority and disadvantaged youths, is run by a management team of suburban professionals.
C. Fewer than half of the managers of a national feminist bookstore company, which employs mostly female cashiers and clerks, are women.
D. A state anti-smoking campaign is organized and implemented by a group of smokers and non-smokers.
E. A national basketball team only comprises player who weigh more than 100 kgs

2. The author of the passage mentions the Supreme Court in the final paragraph in order to:
A. prove that courts have been slow to respond to Title VII cases initiated by African-American executives who have been denied upper-level positions in professional team sports.
B. suggest that upper courts need to provide standards for the proper application of Title VII posits in upper-level employment discrimination cases.
C. explain that the lower courts have been more willing to handle executive employment decision cases under the auspices of Title VII.
D. argue that the Judicial Branch of the federal government should set precedents for treating executive employment cases that are protected by Title VII.
E. praise the actions taken by the Supreme court with regards to the issue of discrimination in sports

3. The author suggests which of the following about the relatively low number of African-American executives currently employed in the sports industry?
A. It is attributable to flaws in the American educational system.
B. It is caused by baseball‘s antitrust exemption.
C. It is the result of African-American executives‘ lack of managerial experience.
D. It does not compare favourably with the industry‘s labour force as a whole.
E. The number has been hugely exaggerated


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Re: Over the past two decades, courts have gone far in their interpretatio  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2018, 10:46

Topic and Scope

- The author discusses Title VII and its relevance to the lack of
African-Americans in upper-level administrative positions in sports.

Mapping the Passage


¶1 introduces the topic of how civil rights legislation has not affected African
Americans equally in terms of managerial positions.
¶2 notes that African-Americans have made only limited progress in obtaining
executive positions in sports.
¶3 gives the sports industry‘s justifications for not hiring many African-American
executives.
¶s 4 and 5 discuss Title VII and the difficulties in applying it to cases of high-level
racial discrimination in sports.
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Re: Over the past two decades, courts have gone far in their interpretatio  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2018, 10:48

Answers and Explanations


1)

Review the basics of the situation described in the second paragraph, summarized by the statement that ―who‘s running the league doesn‘t look like who‘s playing in the league.‖ Look for a similar situation. (C) fits most closely. The company is targeted towards women and run on the lower levels by women, but women aren‘t in the upper-level executive positions: the same discrepancy found with African- Americans in sports.
(A): Out of Scope. Though there‘s a gap between the membership of the organization and the board of the organization, there‘s no evidence that the Board runs the organization. The difference in this case is also one of age, which might be a justifiable difference, as opposed to race: review the Title VII criteria in the last para.
(B): Out of Scope. There‘s no evidence that the people running the organization aren‘t themselves minorities or from disadvantaged populations.
(C): The correct answer
(D): Out of Scope. There‘s no necessary gap between membership and group oversight here, and so it can be safely eliminated.
(E): Out of Scope. The weight of players doesn‘t tell us anything about discrimination or non-discrimination.

2)

Go back to the last paragraph to figure out why the author mentions the Supreme Court. The author says that the Supreme Court hasn‘t determined which Title VII standards should apply in the cases the author is concerned about and says that the lower courts have started distorting the standards. The implication is that the Supreme Court should resolve the discrepancy. Choice (B) fits with this.
(A): Distortion. The author isn‘t suggesting that courts have been slow to respond, but only that their response hasn‘t been adequate.
(B): The correct answer
(C): Distortion. Though the author says that lower courts have taken the issues up, he argues that they‘ve distorted the standards. The Supreme Court isn‘t mentioned to show that the lower courts have been more willing to resolve the disputes, but rather to show that they‘ve done so badly.
(D): Distortion. The author wants the Supreme Court to set guidelines, but doesn‘t necessarily argue that this should be broadened out to all executive cases under Title VII: he‘s concerned with a very narrow range of cases.
(E): The author does not ‗praise‘ the actions of the court, as described above.

3)

Review the main points made in ¶1 and 2 about African-American executive positions in sports. The author argues in the first few lines that more progress has been made in the general workforce than in sports specifically. (D) rephrases this point: hiring of executives in the sports industry needs to catch up.
(A): Opposite. The author argues that the gap is because of discrimination, not education.
(B): Distortion. The author argues in ¶2 that ―questions are being posed‖ whether the sports industry is immune from general labour laws like baseball is through its antitrust exemption. This is an analogy, though, not a cause-and-effect relationship.
(C): Opposite. The author argues that that a ―growing number‖ are achieving ―the practical experience required for executive positions,‖ which directly contradicts this choice.
(D): The correct answer
(E): Opposite, as described above.

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Re: Over the past two decades, courts have gone far in their interpretatio &nbs [#permalink] 24 Oct 2018, 10:48
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