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

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.


Trump finally dons mask as US sets new virus case record

Updated 3 min 38 sec ago

Trump finally dons mask as US sets new virus case record

  • “I’ve never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place,” POTUS tells reporters
  • The US is the worst hit by COVID-19, with more than 3.2 million cases and at least 134,000 deaths as of Saturday

BETHESDA, USA: President Donald Trump finally yielded to pressure and wore a face mask in public for the first time on Saturday as the US posted another daily record for coronavirus cases, while Disney World reopened in a state hit hard by the pandemic.

White House experts leading the national fight against the contagion have recommended wearing face coverings in public to prevent transmission of the illness.

But Trump had repeatedly avoided wearing a mask, even after staffers at the White House tested positive for the virus and as more aides have taken to wearing them.

Hours after the World Health Organization urged countries to step up control measures to rein in the disease, Trump donned a dark mask bearing the presidential seal as he visited wounded military veterans at the Walter Reed military hospital in a suburb outside Washington.

“I’ve never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place,” he told reporters as he left the White House.

Trump is trailing Democrat Joe Biden in the polls ahead of a November election and surveys show most Americans are unhappy with how he has handled the public health crisis.

But the president has continued to praise his own response to the pandemic despite a cascade of figures showing the extent of the disease’s spread across the United States.

 

Record-breaking numbers

The country posted yet another daily record of confirmed cases on Saturday night, with 66,528 new infections, while the death toll rose by almost 800 to nearly 135,000.

As of Saturday, the US had recorded more than 3.2 million coronavirus cases and at least 134,000 deaths from the disease. 

It is the country worst hit by the illness, followed by Brazil — which surpassed 70,000 deaths on Friday.

The coronavirus pandemic has infected over 12.5 million people, killed over 560,000 and triggered massive economic damage since the disease was first detected in China late last year.

In Florida, where nearly one in six of those new infections were recorded, the Walt Disney World theme park partially reopened after four months of shutdown prompted by the virus.

Hundreds of people queued to enter the park in Orlando, some sporting Mickey ears but all wearing face masks, with social distancing and other hygiene precautions also in place.

Days earlier, top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said that Florida had begun reopening before meeting the criteria that would have enabled it to do so safely.

 

Aggressive approach urged

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on countries to adopt an aggressive approach to tackling the virus, citing successful mitigation efforts in Italy, South Korea and elsewhere.

“Across all walks of life, we are all being tested to the limit,” he told a virtual news conference in Geneva on Friday.
“Only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn this pandemic around,” he added.

Elsewhere, French officials warned of rising cases in metropolitan France as the death toll there topped 30,000.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted a decision to allow bars and other businesses to reopen may have come “too soon” after his country reported a record 1,500 new infections on Friday.

Australian authorities said they would slash by half the number of people allowed to return from overseas each day after a fresh surge in cases that saw a lockdown imposed on Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city.

In Hong Kong, a spike has marked a setback for the city after daily life had largely returned to normal, with restaurants and bars resuming regular business and cultural attractions reopening.

Schools in the city will be closed from Monday after the city recorded “exponential growth” in locally transmitted infections.