US sues Oracle for discrimination in pay and hiring practice

This June 18, 2012, file photo shows Oracle headquarters in Redwood City, California. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
Updated 19 January 2017
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US sues Oracle for discrimination in pay and hiring practice

SAN FRANCISCO, United States: The US Labor Department on Wednesday sued business software giant Oracle alleging “systemic” discrimination in pay against female, African American and Asian employees.
The administrative lawsuit also challenges Oracle’s practice of “favoring Asian workers in its recruiting and hiring practices” for key technical jobs, saying it discriminates against non-Asian applicants.
The lawsuit is the result of an investigation begun in 2014 by the US agency’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and could result in the loss of “millions” in US government contracts for Oracle, according to statement.
“Federal contractors are required to comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws,” said Thomas Dowd, acting director of the office.
“We filed this lawsuit to enforce those requirements.”
The agency said Oracle refused to comply with the “routine requests for employment data and records,” and that officials “attempted for almost a year to resolve Oracle’s alleged discrimination violations before filing the suit.”
California-based Oracle, one of the largest firms in Silicon Valley, said in a statement that the complaint “is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit.”
The company said: “Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Our hiring and pay decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on legitimate business factors including experience and merit.”
The nine-page complaint said Oracle paid white makes more than their counterparts in the same job title.
It also said Oracle, which has some 45,000 employees in the United States and is known for its cloud computing and business applications, used a recruiting and hiring process which favored Asians, especially Indians, resulting in discrimination against African-American, Hispanic and white job applicants.


Boko Haram kills second kidnapped aid worker in Nigeria: Red Cross

Updated 21 min 37 sec ago
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Boko Haram kills second kidnapped aid worker in Nigeria: Red Cross

ABUJA: Daesh-allied Boko Haram militants have killed another kidnapped female Red Cross worker in northeast Nigeria in a “despicable act of cruelty,” the agency said on Tuesday, a month after militants murdered one of her colleagues.
Three female health workers were kidnapped on March 1 during a Boko Haram raid on the remote town of Rann, in Borno state, that killed three other aid workers and eight Nigerian soldiers.
Two of the kidnapped women, Hauwa Liman and Saifura Khorsa, worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), while the third, Alice Loksha, worked for the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.
The ICRC said on Tuesday it had received information Liman had been killed by her captors, without giving further details. The government had also earlier announced news of the second killing.
“The news of Hauwa’s death has broken our hearts,” ICRC’s Regional Director for Africa, Patricia Danzi said in a statement.
“We appealed for mercy and an end to such senseless murders. How can it be that two female health care workers were killed back-to-back?“
There had been no news of the trio until last month when the ICRC said it had received footage of Khorsa’s killing from a Boko Haram faction.
The faction then threatened to kill Liman and Loksha, as well as a 15-year-old Christian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu who was kidnapped from the town of Dapchi, in Yobe state, in February.
The ICRC last weekend appealed for their release underscoring that they were “doing nothing but helping communities” in the conflict-riven region.
But Nigeria’s Information Minister Lai Mohammed earlier announced the latest death as a deadline expired and said the government was “shocked and saddened” at the killing, calling it “dastardly, inhuman and ungodly.”
He did not initially identify the victim but later added in a tweet that he “commiserated with the family of Hauwa Liman.”
“It is very unfortunate that it has come to this. Before and after the deadline issued by her abductors, the federal government did everything any responsible government should do to save the aid worker,” he said.
“As we have been doing since these young women were abducted, we kept the line of negotiations open all through. In all the negotiations, we acted in the best interest of the women and the country as a whole.”
He said officials continued to work to free the others from captivity.
More than 27,000 people have been killed in northeast Nigeria since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, while nearly two million others remain homeless due to the conflict.
Nigeria’s military and government maintain the extremist rebels are weakened to the point of defeat but fighters from the Daesh-backed faction have conducted repeated raids on military bases in recent months.
The faction split from the faction led by long-time Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in August 2016 in protest at the latter’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians in raids and suicide bombings.
Analysts say they believe the switch by militants from attacking “hard” government and military targets to killing hostages is the result of a hard-line takeover of the Daesh-backed faction.
Boko Haram has used kidnapping as a weapon of war during the conflict, abducting thousands of women and girls, and forcing young men and boys to fight in their ranks.
The mass abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from the Borno state town of Chibok in April 2014 brought global attention to the insurgency and was widely condemned. Some 107 girls have since been released or found.