New Civil Rights Division Switches to Non-Civil Rights Numbers

First Row of First Table Fails to Specify Protected Classes

EEO Report: Working Notes Two

Reading the first Civil Rights audit prepared by the Division of Civil Rights at the Texas Workforce Commission is a hair-pulling screamer. The numbers are that bad. The problem arises from a choice on the part of the new civil rights team to use non-civil rights numbers as a basis for civil rights analysis.

“The Equal Employment Opportunity and Minority Hiring Practices Report” is dated February 2005 and bears a March 8 cover letter to the Governor. The Workforce Commission website says the report was posted online March 15.

And according to explanations given to the Governor, this is the first time the report has been prepared by the Civil Rights division at the Workforce Commission. In previous years, the work had been done by the Texas Commission on Human Rights. But that commission was decommissioned in 2003, although the URL bearing the new reports contains the old TCHR address.

The problem with the latest civil rights report from Texas is that in Row One of the First Table of figures, the Civil Rights Division fails to quantify classes of race and ethnicity that are most pertinent to Texas Civil Rights.

On the challenge of differentiating men from women, the report does its job. Of 10.07 million workers in Texas, 4.495 million are women and 5.575 million are men. As the top row of the first chart says, that’s a workforce that is 44.64 percent female, and 55.36 percent male.

The male female comparisons in the first row of the first chart offer helpful beginnings for anyone interested in civil rights for women. The statewide allocation of administrative positions held by women very closely tracks the percentage of women in the total workforce, which serves as a first case indicator that women are probably getting their fair share of opportunities in that category of employment.

In addition to women there are four other “protected classes” under civil rights law, and we would expect similar statistical treatment for each. They are Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Just as row one of table one has given us workable numbers for women, we have a right to expect workable numbers for each of these groups.

And finally, just as the numbers for the protected class of women must be compared to men, so must the numbers for protected races and ethnicities be compared to Caucasian or Anglo populations, too.

But the first row of numbers for the first table of the 2005 Texas civil rights report, is a most deceptive and unhelpful guide. Although the first row purports to offer numbers for Caucasian Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans, in fact the numbers are based on a source that can only give correct numbers for workers of Hispanic origin. And whether these workers are Hispanic Americans, as the Texas chart says, would be difficult to say for sure.

Note: second take on the civil rights report. This one circles in on the real problem, the switch to BLS statistics rather than EEOC. But it’s a little long-winded.

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