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Another Mormon business to boycott: University of Phoenix

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keepCAblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 12:42 PM
Original message
Another Mormon business to boycott: University of Phoenix
Don't know if they contributed or not to Yes on 8 and I don't care. Any Mormon-owned business that so blatantly discriminates against non-Mormons deserves to be boycotted. Please add these creeps to your blacklist.

Link: http://www.eeoc.gov/press/11-10-08.html

UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX TO PAY $1,875,000 FOR RELIGIOUS BIAS AGAINST NON-MORMONS

EEOC Settles Suit on Behalf of Class of Enrollment Counselors in Online Division

PHOENIX The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that Federal District Court Judge Mary H. Murguia has entered a consent decree for nearly $2 million and significant remedial relief to resolve a class religious discrimination lawsuit against the University of Phoenix, Inc., and its parent corporation, Apollo Group, Inc.

Apollo Group and the University of Phoenix are one of the largest employers in the Phoenix metropolitan area. In its lawsuit, filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (EEOC v. University of Phoenix, Inc., and Apollo Group, Inc., CV 06-2303-PHX-ROS), the EEOC charged that the University of Phoenix engaged in a widespread practice of discriminating against non-Mormon employees who worked as enrollment counselors in the Universitys Online Division. Enrollment counselors at the University of Phoenix are responsible for recruiting students and are largely evaluated based on the number of students they recruit. At present, the University of Phoenix has over 2,000 employees working in online enrollment.

Robert Lein, who filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC that resulted in the lawsuit, said, I am very pleased with the outcome of this case and I thank the EEOC staff for their work. I am happy to hear that the University of Phoenix is making significant changes to its environment to prevent what happened to me and many of my colleagues from happening again in the future.

Testimony of witnesses in the case revealed that managers in the Online Enrollment Department at the University of Phoenix discriminated against non-Mormon employees, and favored Mormon employees, in several ways, including: (1) providing the Mormon employees better leads on potential students; (2) disciplining non-Mormon employees for conduct for which Mormon employees were not disciplined; (3) promoting lesser-qualified or unqualified Mormon enrollment counselors to management positions while repeatedly denying such promotions to non-Mormon enrollment counselors; and (4) denying tuition waivers to non-Mormon employees for failing to meet registration goals, while granting the waivers to Mormon employees.

We are pleased that University of Phoenix is going to stop condoning such favoritism toward Mormon employees and the resultant discrimination against non-Mormon employees, said EEOC Phoenix Regional Attorney Mary Jo ONeill. It is the EEOCs belief that, for many years, the University of Phoenix condoned an environment in which Mormon managers felt free to engage in favoritism toward their Mormon employees, and did so by providing the Mormon employees things such as strong leads on potential students. Given that evaluations are based largely on recruitment numbers, this disproportionate assignment of leads affected a whole host of matters for employees, including compensation, access to tuition waivers, and ability to be promoted.

The consent decree entered into by the EEOC, the University of Phoenix, and Apollo Group provides monetary relief of $1,875,000 for 52 individuals. The amount of relief provided to any individual is based on the nature of the discrimination he or she experienced. The consent decree also contains several strong provisions designed to stop further religious discrimination and prevent it from recurring, including:

* Dissemination of a Zero Tolerance Policy to all employees in the University of Phoenix Online Enrollment Department, stating that the company has zero tolerance for religious discrimination and that any violation of the policy will result in termination;
* Training for managers and non-managers on the issue of religious discrimination;
* Creating a system to include in managers evaluations an assessment of their compliance with equal employment opportunity laws; and
* Hiring a Diversity Officer, and the staff necessary, at the University of Phoenix to monitor compliance with the terms of the consent decree.

EEOCs Phoenix District Director Chester Bailey said, We hope this settlement sends a message to all employers to be vigilant in ensuring a fair and equitable work environment for all employees regardless of their religion. The relief the EEOC obtained will require this large employer to change discriminatory business practices that already have affected potentially hundreds of non-Mormon employees at the University of Phoenix Online.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at http://www.eeoc.gov.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for letting us know!
Wow.
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Red_Viking Donating Member (903 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. I already hate them...
...with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

They cheated me out of tuition money for courses I never took. Long story. Suffice it to say I absolutely don't trust them, and they have $2000 of my money that they never earned and I'll never get back (I've tried, and both my husband and I are lawyers).

They can ROT! It doesn't surprise me they violated the EEOC. Bastids.

Peace,

RV
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I went to one course, one time. It was so awful,
I dropped the next morning. They refused to give my money back.

Evil, lying, cheating diploma-mill. They can rot in hell.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. I didn't know they were Mormon-owned. Particularly loathsome organization.
The University of Phoenix is a sham and a con designed to extricate federal loans from dupes, leaving the dupes in debt and uneducated, and filling the coffers of the University of Phoenix, which is not a university according to any generally accepted definitions of the term. It is, however, a darling of the neo-cons.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Me either
But it explains a whole lot about the organization.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I was thinking the same thing but didn't want to say it.
I've been trying not to make broad-brush negative statements about the Church of LDS but it's getting more and more difficult not to conclude that the entire organization is led by jerks.
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RetiredTrotskyite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 04:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Mormon Morals at Work....
Bastards.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. they aren't Mormon owned
The OP didn't actually quote anything that said they were Mormon owned. It sounds like they employ a lot of Mormons, being in Phoenix, that isn't very surprising.
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keepCAblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 06:34 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. The CEO of the Apollo Group, which is the parent company of UoP, is Mormon
Since he took over the Apollo Group, he has systematically loaded management at UoP with Mormons...

This was posted in response to the lawsuit in the Deseret Newspaper (online), the official newspaper for the Mormon Church:

to jeremy -
It's not owned by the LDS church. Todd Nelson is the CEO of apollo group, parent company to University of Phoenix is mormon. he took over in 2001 - and recruited a mostly mormon staff from Utah. he continued to promote his mormon staff over non-mormon staff and it continued to trickle down. Trust me - I used to work for UOP and in the For-profit education industry. That whole industry has heavy mormon population.

To answer your question - the federal judge found the facts to be overwhelming which is why UOP lost the case.
Jason


link: http://www.deseretnews.com/user/comments/1,5150,705262196,00.html
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Are we supposed to boycott businesses with Mormon CEO's now?
Todd Nelson is not listed as a Prop. 8 contributor.
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keepCAblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Creekdog, you can do whatever your conscience tells you...
As I stated in my OP, whether UoP donated to prop 8 or not or is owned-by the LDS, I don't really care. My objection to UoP is that they are run/controlled by a Mormon executive, have gone the extra lengths to pack their management with mostly Mormons and have a despicable labor record of discrimination against anyone who is not Mormon...

You and anyone else reading this can choose to boycott or not to, that is your personal prerogative.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Fair enough
as you point out, there's already a multitude of good reasons to boycott University of Phoenix.
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madmadmad Donating Member (368 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. all mormon owend or backed businesses need to be targeted
if we want this to be effective, that is. if the unholy coalition of mormons, evangelicals and catholics, can single out the gays to pick on, we can single out mormons as target to fight back against. it would be rather hard to single out catholic or christian owned businesses as there are catholics and christians of every stripe, incldung the most liberal of the liberal. but mormons? they're ALL crazy fundies.
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keepCAblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Agreed...n/t
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. The founder of University of Phoenix is John Sperling
AFAIK, he is still the head of it's parent company the Apollo Group. I don't know what religion Sperling is, if any, but I do know he is a major Democratic donor and a huge liberal. He has bankrolled efforts like medical marijuana initiatives all over the country. While it's possible that Mormons have bought up a lot of stock in Apollo I would hardly characterize it as a "Mormon owned" company and the incidents in the OP seem like more of a midlevel management problem than with owners, though the owners must still be held legally responsible nonetheless.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
11. University of Phoenix is not Mormon owned, it is publically traded on the stock exchange
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Zuiderelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-16-08 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. If they discriminate against non-Mormon employees, then the stockholders should know about it.
And feel what it's like to be targeted by a righteous boycott.

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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-19-08 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
18. The UofP founder is far left and campaigned against the gay marriage ban
Edited on Wed Nov-19-08 12:17 PM by lwfern
"Sperling has been an active campaign donor for and against Arizona and California ballot measures, including opposing a 2006 gay marriage ban and backing liberalized marijuana laws in Arizona."

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/10/13/daily12.html


"Together with George Soros, and Peter Lewis of Progressive Insurance, Sperling raised considerable amounts of money for drug related causes and other liberal causes, especially during the 2004 presidential campaign."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sperling

That doesn't excuse religious discrimination. That's a valid justification all on its own for a boycott. But since this is in the GLBT forum, I did want to make that clear.

Here's his background - raised in a hard right fundie home, and then joined the merchant marines, where "Many
of the ships crew members were socialists some were Trotskyites and Stalinistsand they introduced him to a
leftist ideological culture. From there, he began organizing strikes.

http://www.capitalresearch.org/pubs/pdf/FW0705.pdf

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