AA & quotas, State Farm case

Topics: AA
29 Apr 1992

From: ervan

Just today, in clari.news.group.women:

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) -- A policy of hiring discrimination by State Farm
Insurance Companies within the state of California has resulted in a
$157 million settlement, the largest sex discrimination case settlement
in U.S. history, attorneys announced Tuesday.
At the time, Kraszewski had been denied an agent trainee position. A
total of 99.6 percent of State Farm's 1,536 agents were male.
The case took many turns and expanded into a
class-action suit representing 983 women
``But when I went in and expected to be named an agent, they told me
I needed a college degree. I told them I had been with the company for
12 years and never worked for a man with a college degree, they said it
was a new company policy. It made me very angry.''
On March 15, 1988, U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson
issued an injunction ordering State Farm to hire at least 50 percent or
more of the qualified female applicants for open positions for the next
10 years and ordered a second hearing on damages.
The second hearing resulted in Tuesday's announced settlement in
which 814 women were given payment of between $151,000 to $284,000.

Was the judge's decision that they had been unfair to a particular woman?
No. The judge's decision was that they had to a hire a certain number
of women regardless of their qualifications. That sure sounds like a
quota to me. There is no way to implement AA without quotas. All of
the wishful thinking and changing of language in the law will not change
this basic problem.

I'm sure there is more to it than what appears in this
piece, but the quote from Kraszewski shows the shallowness of her position.
She's simply complaining that the new policy is not good for her. That
has nothing to do with whether or not it is discriminatory (by intent).

814 out of the 983 women who had applied were determined to have been
discriminated against. That says that all of them would have been
offerred jobs had it not been for discrimination, which means that only
15% of the men which apply to State Farm to be agents are turned down.
I find that difficult to believe (presuming men to be equally qualified).

As I have noted before, State Farm would have been better off if it had not
hired any women thus avoiding the whole Kraszewski problem in the first
place. If the law is going to treat people in groups, companies are
obligated to think the same way.