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Report Finds Widespread City Job Bias : Pasadena: The Board of Directors votes to implement the independent consultants’ recommendations for correcting the problems.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An independent consultants’ report, commissioned by the Board of Directors last November, has painted a detailed picture of ongoing racial and sexual discrimination in city employment.

The $100,000 report, prepared by the Los Angeles consulting firm PeopleWorks, found that minorities in city employment were disciplined more often than Anglos, received smaller merit pay increases and were less likely to be promoted from acting positions to permanent employment.

Minorities make up more than half the city’s temporary work force, but draw salaries roughly half those of Anglos in temporary positions, the study found.

It also concluded that the city had failed entirely to enforce its 2-year-old policy prohibiting sexual harassment and failed last year to adopt departmental affirmative action policies.

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The directors voted Tuesday to accept the report and directed city staff to implement its recommendations.

“City management cannot simply hire large numbers of women and minorities and expect everything to fall into place,” the study said, adding that 70% of the city’s work force is now composed of women and minorities.

Except for Latinos, the city has met its responsibility to hire women and minorities, the study noted. Latinos constitute 19.2% of the work force, but represent 22% of the city’s population.

But it said city officials must now deal with workplace diversity and break the “glass ceiling” that has prevented minorities and women from rising to management- and professional-level jobs.

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The study presented a long list of specific recommendations to improve the city’s hiring and promotion practices. It also urged the city’s Personnel Department to become an advocate for affirmative action, a role that the study said the department has not taken in the past.

“Their message to management over the years has been: ‘We are doing fine in the area of (affirmative action) and better than most other cities,’ ” the report said. “Our consulting team disagrees.”

The study was presented at Tuesday’s board meeting by PeopleWorks consultant Ron Martinez. His findings were accepted by the city directors over the objections of City Manager Donald McIntyre, who argued for a staff response to the study.

Instead, the board voted to accept the report’s findings and directed city staff to begin implementing its recommendations. The board will receive additional comments only from three volunteer commissions: Affirmative Action, Status of Women and Human Relations.

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“At this stage . . . the way I look at this audit, it was not designed to be discussed by the staff; I’d say it was designed for the board to respond,” Director Chris Holden said. “We have a diagnosis here. We know what we have to do to get us going in the right direction.”

Only Director John Crowley took McIntyre’s side, rejecting what he called Holden’s medical metaphor and calling the board’s action “un-American” in denying the city staff an opportunity to respond. The board voted 6 to 0 to accept the report, with Crowley abstaining.

The board also directed that incoming City Manager Philip Hawkey, who starts June 18, make implementation of the recommendations his first priority.

The report was ordered by the board after allegations of racism and sexism arose last summer. Minority activists repeatedly called for an external audit of the city’s personnel practices after five high-level black administrators complained of experiencing job difficulties with the city.

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The study results confirm what many blacks have been insisting all along, some speakers told the board Tuesday.

The study showed the city was “giving lip service to the need for affirmative action but in reality was cloaking the ugly truth of racism that exists,” said Isaac Richards, a member of the city’s Northwest Task Force.

Michael Milliner, a board member of the Black Municipal Employees Assn., urged the city to work with his group to change the city’s personnel policies.

“Affirmative action is a concept of power,” Miliner said. “At least for the black man, (he’s) not wholly brought into this concept of power in this city.”

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The PeopleWorks study did not examine specific job complaints. Instead, the consultants reviewed city personnel records for the past five years, conducted a survey of city employees to determine attitudes toward the city’s affirmative action efforts and examined city policies for compliance with affirmative action laws.

The report found that:

* Minorities, particularly blacks, were singled out during the past four years for disciplinary actions and terminations exceeding their representation in nearly every department.

Blacks, who represented 28.5% of the city’s work force, received 43.1% of the involuntary dismissals and terminations. Latinos, 19.2% of the city’s work force, received 32.3% of the terminations.

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* Anglo men and women received greater increases in merit pay than most minorities. Anglo men earned raises of 5% last year and Anglo women 5.9%. Black men earned 4.7%, black women 4.6%, Latino men 4.1% and Latino women 3.4%.

* Blacks constitute more than half of temporary city employees, with 40.9% of them assigned to a homeowners’ assistance job training program in which youths earn $4.61 hourly. “White men, on the other hand, are assigned to the city’s better paying, more responsible temporary jobs,” the report said.

As a result, the average hourly pay for Anglo temporary employees is substantially higher than for minorities. Anglo males average $13.25 hourly and Anglo females $12.49. Black males average $6.51 hourly, black females $9.19, Latino males $8.10 and Latino women $8.30.

* Minorities and women appointed to acting positions were less likely than Anglo males to receive promotions to the permanent jobs they temporarily held. Anglo males were appointed 46.4% of the time, the report found, while the appointment rate for minorities and women was 7.3% for black males, 8.7% for Latino men, 10.1% for Anglo women, 11.6% for black women and 4.4% for Latino women.

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* The city failed to implement its 1988 policy against sexual harassment. Many employees don’t even know the policy exists, and some, believing that sexual harassment is rampant within city government, fear reprisal from their superiors if they report it, the report said.

The city has also failed to maintain accurate, complete reports and records of complaints, investigations, and findings about sexual harassment.

“Additionally, women employed in non-traditional classifications are subjected to offensive, obscene language and materials within their departments,” the report said.

* Interracial and gender divisiveness exists in the workplace, the report found.

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“Results of the employee survey indicate that minorities feel that Anglo women were hired/promoted at their expense,” the report said. “Blacks expressed that Hispanics were receiving more than their share of hires/promotions and Hispanics expressed similar complaints about Blacks. Asians also expressed similar views about other minority groups and women,” the report said.

* The city’s examination and recruitment process has weaknesses that could render it arbitrary, subjective and inconsistent. The report found that the Personnel Department “could not state with certainty which job classifications require written exams.”

Questions were also raised about outdated and irrelevant written exams and about oral exams with interview boards composed primarily of Anglo men, such as exam boards in the Fire, Police and Planning departments.

Communication about job openings was accomplished mainly through word of mouth, the report said, with fewer minorities and women interviewed for jobs traditionally held by Anglo men.

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* The city does not base its hiring goals on Pasadena population statistics and uses more complex data from the surrounding Los Angeles and Long Beach metropolitan area, thus creating confusion and the perception that Pasadena is not meeting its affirmative action goals, the report said.

Although the metropolitan data used by the city provides the percentages of minorities actually qualified for specific job categories, the PeopleWorks report recommended a switch to Pasadena population numbers as a way to make the hiring goals less subjective and more easily understood.

The report noted, however, that some may object to using Pasadena’s population figures because the percentage of Latinos and Asians is smaller in Pasadena than the county as a whole.

Other recommendations were that the city provide copies of its policy against sexual harassment to all employees. Sexual harassment awareness training was also recommended, as well as standardizing the sexual harassment complaint process.

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The report suggested tying salary increases in management positions to progress in affirmative action within departments. It also recommended that affirmative action goals be implemented by July 1 each year, that a standardized process be used to establish goals, and that departmental plans be replaced with one citywide plan.

REPORT ON PASADENA EMPLOYMENT A $100,000 city-commissioned audit has found racial and sexual discrimination in Pasadena city employment. Here are some of the problems and solutions set forth in the report by PeopleWorks.

THE PROBLEMS * Blacks, who represented 28.5% of the city’s work force, received 43.1% of the involuntary dismissals and terminations. Latinos, 19.2% of the city’s work force, received 32.3% of the terminations.

* Anglo men and women received greater increases in merit pay than most minorities. Anglo men earned raises of 5% last year and Anglo women 5.9%. Black men earned 4.7%, black women 4.6%, Latino men 4.1% and Latino women 3.4%.

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* Anglo males in temporary positions average $13.25 hourly and Anglo females $12.49. Black males average $6.51 hourly, black females $9.19, Latino males $8.10 and Latino women $8.30.

* Minorities and women appointed to acting positions were less likely than Anglo males to receive promotions to the permanent jobs they temporarily held. Anglo males were appointed 46.4% of the time, the report found, while the appointment rate for minorities and women was 7.3% for black males, 8.7% for Latino men, 10.1% for Anglo women, 11.6% for black women and 4.4% for Latino women.

THE SOLUTIONS * City employees should receive copies of the policy against sexual harassment and must sign that they have read it. Sexual harassment awareness training should be provided, as well as a standardized sexual harassment complaint process.

* Job vacancies should be filled quickly to avoid placing employees in acting jobs. The Human Resources Department should monitor the fate of those in acting posts and should review all terminations and employee appraisals rated unsatisfactory. Exit interviews should be conducted when workers leave city employment.

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* Salary increases in top management positions should be tied to progress in affirmative action within departments. Affirmative action goals should be implemented by July 1 each year, a standardized process used to establish goals and departmental plans replaced with one citywide plan.

* An independent testing agency should prepare all of the city’s written exams, oral exams should be updated every two years and a woman or minority should be placed on each oral interview board.

* The city should base its affirmative action goals not on population data from the Los Angeles/Long Beach metropolitan area, but on Pasadena population statistics.

* The Human Resources Department should be merged with the Affirmative Action office and field offices set up in locations outside City Hall.

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* Extra pay should be provided for bilingual employees.

REPORT ON PASADENA EMPLOYMENTA $100,000 city-commissioned audit has found racial and sexual discrimination in Pasadena city employment. Here are some of the problems and solutions set forth in the report by PeopleWorks.

THE PROBLEMS Blacks, who represented 28.5% of the city’s work force, received 43.1% of the involuntary dismissals and terminations. Latinos, 19.2% of the city’s work force, received 32.3% of the terminations.

Anglo men and women received greater increases in merit pay than most minorities. Anglo men earned raises of 5% last year and Anglo women 5.9%. Black men earned 4.7%, black women 4.6%, Latino men 4.1% and Latino women 3.4%.

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Anglo males in temporary positions average $13.25 hourly and Anglo females $12.49. Black males average $6.51 hourly, black females $9.19, Latino males $8.10 and Latino women $8.30.

Minorities and women appointed to acting positions were less likely than Anglo males to receive promotions to the permanent jobs they temporarily held. Anglo males were appointed 46.4% of the time, the report found, while the appointment rate for minorities and women was 7.3% for black males, 8.7% for Latino men, 10.1% for Anglo women, 11.6% for black women and 4.4% for Latino women.

THE SOLUTIONS * City employees should receive copies of the policy against sexual harassment and must sign that they have read it. Sexual harassment awareness training should be provided, as well as a standardized sexual harassment complaint process.

* Job vacancies should be filled quickly to avoid placing employees in acting jobs. The Human Resources Department should monitor the fate of those in acting posts and should review all terminations and employee appraisals rated unsatisfactory. Exit interviews should be conducted when workers leave city employment.

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* Salary increases in top management positions should be tied to progress in affirmative action within departments. Affirmative action goals should be implemented by July 1 each year, a standardized process used to establish goals and departmental plans replaced with one citywide plan.

* An independent testing agency should prepare all of the city’s written exams, oral exams should be updated every two years and a woman or minority should be placed on each oral interview board.

* The city should base its affirmative action goals not on population data from the Los Angeles/Long Beach metropolitan area, but on Pasadena population statistics.

* The Human Resources Department should be merged with the Affirmative Action office and field offices set up in locations outside City Hall.

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* Extra pay should be provided for bilingual employees.


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