Discrimination

After nearly six hours of contentious debate Monday, the Missouri House passed a bill that makes it harder for people who are fired from a job to prove they were discriminated against.

The start of the last week of the 2017 legislative session also saw the Missouri Senate put a long-awaited prescription drug monitoring program on life support by standing its ground. 

File photo / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City needs to do a better job investigating and documenting employment discrimination complaints.

Kansas City Auditor Doug Jones says his office initially set out to audit the Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity (EEO) office because it was told that complaints take too long to resolve.

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

The Big 12 basketball tournament starts today at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. The multi-day event generates an estimated $13.6 million for the local economy.

At the same time, the Missouri legislature is looking at three bills that would require people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificates. If passed, such a measure could prevent Kansas City from keeping or getting other big events.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby says he's closely monitoring the bills’ progress.

Courtesy - SCLC-GKC

Across the city, people celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with parades, dancing, singing and community service. 

For Rev. Dr. Vernon Howard, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City, the best way to honor that legacy is through activism.

This year, paired with a celebration of King's life, is the official launch of a campaign for a ten-year, one-eighth cent sales tax increase to benefit the city's East Side. 

On Monday, the SCLC-GKC sponsored a community forum to discuss the proposed tax increase. 

J.C. Nichols gave Kansas City the Country Club Plaza. Some say he also gave us racial segregation, mid-century white flight and the so-called Troost wall between white and black. We examine his influence, both in Kansas City and across the rest of the country.

Guest:

If you are an immigrant to this country, finding employment can be a challenge. According to a University of Kansas study, if you're an immigrant with particularly dark skin, then your chances of getting a job are that much tougher.

Guest:

  • Andrea Gomez Cervantes is one of the authors of the study and a doctoral student in the Sociology Department at the University of Kansas.

The Equal Rights Amendment has one of the longest sagas in U.S. Congressional history. Passed in 1972 but never ratified, advocates continue to pursue strategies for its enactment.

Guest:

Jessica Neuwirth is the founder of the ERA Coalition, which has over 50 member organizations. She is the author of Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment Is Now.

Indiana and Arkansas are in the news for controversial legislature aimed at protecting religious freedom. On this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics professors discuss when religious freedom infringes on other freedoms. Plus, what  responsibilities do employers and employees have when it comes to illness, mental or otherwise, in the workplace?

Guests:

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed an executive order rescinding protected class status for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender state workers.  We talk to two local journalists about public reactions to the governor's move and what it means for the LGBT community in Kansas.

Guests:

  • Peggy Lowe is a reporter for Harvest Public Media based at KCUR.
  • Barb Shelly is a columnist for the Kansas City Star.

Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has overturned an executive order that protected many state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The order he rescinded was put into place by former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Her order had barred executive branch state agencies from discriminating in hiring and employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Doug Bonney, with the ACLU of Kansas, says the move comes as a surprise.

The Roeland Park City Council on Monday voted down an ordinance  that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The anti-discrimination ordinance had been a hotly debated issue in the Johnson County suburb and drew a crowd last night of about 150 people. Some members of the crowd wore blue shirts to show their support for the ordinance.

After hearing nearly 50 public comments, the council voted 4-3 against adding the ordinance. One council member was absent.

City of Roeland Park

After being postponed four times in as many months, a vote has finally been scheduled for the proposed anti-discrimination policy in Roeland Park, Kan. The city council will vote on the measure July 21.

The council has been considering since March a policy that would extend legal protection beyond state and federal baselines, to include sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status. Its passage would make the community of less than 7,000 residents the second city in Kansas – after Lawrence – with such an ordinance.

Courtesy of Julie Levin.

Julie Levin has worked with Legal Aid of Western Missouri since 1977.

In that time, she's had some monumental cases, from a suit against the Kansas City Housing Authority in 1989 that changed the face of public housing, to a case on behalf of a client who lost her job while on maternity leave. That last case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

  It was a chant from a different era.

“ERA now! ERA now! ERA now!”

As much as it sounded straight out of the past, the rallying cry was used Tuesday as a coalition of women’s groups marched to the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City on Equal Pay Day, the day marking how far into a new year it takes a woman to earn what a man took home last year.

Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

Kansas City has simultaneously achieved the lowest and highest scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index scorecard.

Kansas City, Kan., earned a zero on the scorecard, which ranks city laws, policies, benefits and services that work to positively impact residents in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Discrimination: Report It, Don't Ignore It

Aug 21, 2012

On this Tuesday's Central Standard, a look at a new campaign to address issues of discrimination in our community. The campaign includes newspaper ads, radio spots, billboards, flyers, posters and also a 12-week informational radio show. (This radio show not included.)

In 1979, Lilly Ledbetter, a woman born in a house with no running water or electricity, applied for a job at the Goodyear tire factory.