OK State Ed Board Member Rozell Violates Civil Rights Act

At a heated State Board of Education meeting, former State Senator and current board member Herb Rozell referred to State Superintendent Barresi’s legislative liaison, Jessica Russell, as “useless” because she was pregnant and is expected to give birth during the legislative session. 

 
“If she has that child in April and takes off six weeks, she’s worthless to us,” Rozell said. “She won’t be able to keep up.”
 
Another board member, Tim Gilpin, made a motion, as a joke, asking that Russell not have her baby in April or May.
 
Herb Rozell has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Title VII states: 

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

(k) The terms “because of sex” or “on the basis of sex” include, but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-­related purposes.

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Herb Rozell should resign immediately.  Should he fail to do so, the Oklahoma Legislature should take action to remove this embarrassment from the Board.

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