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Tribes Accuse Dartmouth’s New Native American Director of Misrepresentation

It seems as though Susan Taffe Reed may require the expertise of a seasoned employment attorney in NYC as Dartmouth’s Native American Alumni Association is claiming that she is unqualified for her current job due to her race.

Dartmouth College recently appointed Susan Taffe Reed as the new director of its Native American Program in September. Reed expressed she would use her new position to help Native American students adjust to life at the Ivy League. Tribal officials, however, are not having it, according to a Wall Street Journal article. Accusing Reed of misrepresenting her Native American heritage, tribal groups are alleging Dartmouth failed to adequately investigate Reed’s background – which includes leading a nonprofit that acknowledges it is not a tribe. The school defends its appointment, noting it does not ask ethnicity of potential new hires. And while the position does not require the individual to be of Native American descent, traditionally it has been held by individuals with such a background. The Native American Alumni Association of Dartmouth called for Reed’s removal, noting that, although the position does not require the director to be a member of a recognized tribe, he or she must be able to relate to Native American students to facilitate their navigation through Dartmouth culture.

If you or someone you know believes they have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace, contact the most seasoned employment attorney NYC has to offer at the Levine & Blit, PLLC legal offices.

Employment Discrimination in the Workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) forbids workplace discrimination based on religion, national origin, color, race or sex. This law applies to companies or employers with 15 or more employees and includes state and local governments as well as employment agencies, labor organizations and the federal government.

Title VII prohibits discrimination, harassment, or any other employment action based on:

  • Physical or cultural traits and/or clothing – accent or dress associated with a particular religion, country of origin, or ethnicity as well as harassing or discriminating based on cultural, linguistic or physical characteristics is against the law;
  • Affiliation or association – unequal treatment of someone because of his or her affiliation with a particular religion or ethnic group, or due to the individual’s association with a person or group of a specific religion or ethnicity constitutes discrimination; or
  • Perception – the simple belief that a person is a member of a certain race, national origin, or religious group whether or not that perception is correct is prohibited under Title VII.

Employers are required to provide a workplace free of harassment that is based on religion, national origin or ethnicity. If this is violated, an employer may be held liable for improper behavior of supervisors, coworkers and non-employees under their control. Title VII also requires reasonable accommodation of the religious practices of employees unless doing so would create an undue hardship for the employer. Some examples of accommodations include providing workers leave to observe religious holidays, allotting a time and/or place for prayer, and permitting an employee to wear religious clothing.

Victims of workplace discrimination or harassment in violation of Title VII may file a charge with the local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office. Individuals who file such a charge, oppose unlawful discrimination, or otherwise participate in employment discrimination proceedings are protected from retaliation by the employer.

Discrimination Attorney NYC

Don’t face employment discrimination on your own. If you or someone you know believes he or she has been the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment, contact a seasoned employment attorney in NYC. Call the legal professionals at Levine & Blit, PLLC at (212) 967-3000 today to schedule your initial case evaluation today.

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