80-20’s Report to the Board on DOL’s “Assessment”

The DOL letter is full of jargons and obfuscation. It is very hard to read. So we have placed our response first, just in case you want to read plain language. On the other hand, if you prefer to read the DOL cover letter from DOL’s second top person, Steve Law first and the “assessment of 80-20’s response by OFCCP” first, we don’t blame you at all. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on the links. Otherwise , go directly to 80-20’s response, which guides you as to what the DOL “assessment” is all about.

80-20’s Response

May 12, 2006

Dear Board Members:

The following is my report to you on DOL’s “Assessment of Delaware Constituent Analysis” made by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) of the Department of Labor (DOL).

Subjectively, the OFCCP assessment says our analysis that AsAms face the lowest glass ceiling as compared to all other races and group is not worthy. It criticizes our report as “highly undeveloped methodology,” “not an insignificant weakness,” “glosses over,” “fails to account for educational differences that exist among the class.” It concludes that “the findings are not of sufficient informative value upon which to base a conclusion.”

Objectively, the OFCCP assessment has unwittingly confirmed and strengthened the validity of 80-20’s analysis. It so happened that mistakes committed by OFCCP in its assessment like “leaping in logic,” “telling half truth,” and “doing insufficient research” have turned every evidence OFCCP has raised to cast doubts on 80-20’s analysis into support of our analysis. See B1) B2) and B3) below.

Since in Congressional hearings or in courts or in the court of public opinion, it is the objective evidence that counts. Our case has been strengthened. See below.

(A) Our Chart And Data Are NOT Refutable.

Note that the OFCCP assessment doesn’t directly question the accuracy of our data and chart submitted to DOL Secretary Elaine Chao. Not even a simple word was said on the data and chart, the evidence we presented is irrefutable. EEOC has already verified it for us! Much as DOL may want to question it, it can’t.

Note that the above chart describes the unfairness faced by 2.1 million Asian American workers in those three areas today.

(B) Evidences Raised By OFCCP to Attack our Analysis SIDEWISE Turn out to Favor our Analysis

1) The First Indirect Criticism: 80-20 needs to apply “fuller data.”

The data used by 80-20 to construct the above chart cover 45 million workers, of which 2.1 million are Asian Americans. They are based on reliable data provided by institutions i.e. large companies, universities and federal governments. Definition of terms such as “managers and officials,” “professional,” “sales workers,” “technicians,” “administrators” “faculty” “professional workers” “GS 15” “Senior Executive Service” are well known to the reporting institutions. In most if not all cases, willful false report by the reporting institutions is “punishable by fine or imprisonment.”

OFCCP chooses to look at the total civilian workforce of 137 million. Since reliable data is not available, census data are used. Census data are reported by individuals, where terms such as “managers and officials,” “professional,” “sales workers,” “technicians,” are not even present much less defined. The Census bureau has a computer program which places the closest approximations into each of these categories. OFCCP using such data and using the same method as 80-20 calculates “% chance of AsAms rising to the managerial level as compared to the national average” and get a number of 0.71 instead of 0.55. See OFCCP’s Table 1. Does OFCCP realize it was comparing apples to oranges?

However, should OFCCP presented a fuller form of its table 1 comparing

Category Ratio to the national average
All 1.00
White 1.0599
Hispanics 0.862
Black 0.765
Women 0.730
Asian Pacific Islanders 0.703

EEO-1 Categories, Data using US Census (total civilian workforce (tabulation)

AsAms still have the WORST chance when compared with all other races and group, even in DOL’s own “study.” Now we are using the same type of data and the same group of workers, so we are comparing apples to apples. So our analysis has been strengthened by OFCCP’s attempt to refute it.

Since OFCCP and other Federal agencies are helping other races and group to eliminate their glass ceiling, what is OFCCP’s reason for NOT helping AsAms?

2) The second indirect criticism: When “degree field” is considered, it’ll explain why there are fewer AsAm managers.

The chart above was done independent of AsAms’ high educational attainment. However, 80-20 did state in its letter to Sec. Chao that had the high educational attainment of AsAms been taken into account, then the discrimination against AsAms in their entry to managerial level is more severe than the chart itself has shown. The data 80-20 presented to Sec. Chao can be succinctly summarized into a chart:

OFCCP assessment states: “Among persons holding EEO-1 management positions with a bachelor’s degree, 42 percent have a degree in business. By contrast, only 10 percent of the persons holding management positions have degrees in engineering. … Among Asian American college degree holder, approximately 48 percent held degrees in science and engineering. This indicates that a lower percentage of Asian Americans would tend to fit the degree profile of the current management force.” What a leap in logic!

The degree field is very wide including liberal arts, psychology, language, English, education, .., etc. AsAm may have fewer degree holders in some of the above fields, however, we have higher % of graduates in BOTH engineering and business degrees. See the table below. Indeed AsAms have the largest % of people earning Master’s degree in business (which includes MBA ), the second highest in earning bachelor’s and doctor’s degrees in business.

% Bachelor’s Degree in Business
% Master’s Degree in Business
% Doctor’s Degree in Business
All 0.217 0.248 0.027
Women 0.191 0.173 0.019
Whites 0.207 0.229 0.022
Blacks 0.247 0.264 0.038
Hispanics 0.212 0.0226 0.018
Asians 0.239 0.328 0.032
Native Ams. 0.199 0.190 0.015

Source: National Center Of Education Statistics

In conclusion, the % of AsAms holding bachelor’s or higher degrees is 76% higher than the national average in people, which OFCCP recognizes. In addition, of those holding bachelor or higher degrees, the % of AsAms holding a business degree is 10% higher than the national average, contrary to OFCCP’s conjecture. The two effects combine to mean that the % of AsAm with a business degree is 85% (76% x 1.1) higher than the national average.

Again, the OFCCP assessment strengthens 80-20’s statement that AsAms face the lowest glass ceiling when compared with all other races and groups.

3) The third indirect criticism: Asian American families have higher median income than all families. So how could there be discrimination against AsAms?

Asian Americans, as individuals, has high AVERAGE income as well. Does that disprove discrimination against AsAms.? NO!

If AsAm workers were paid the average national salary according to their educational attainment, the “Average AsAm Income” should be about 15% HIGHER than that of “Average White Income,” while in reality it is 5% lower. Recall that AsAms have much higher educational attainment than all other races and groups and income is closely related to educational attainment. See Table 1.

Given the above, “Asians nationally have the highest household incomes…due to larger households with more earners. …Both sexes [of AsAms] earn less than Whites when education is taken into account… Asians have lower per capita incomes than whites.” http://www.arthurhu.com/index/income.htm

So again, the OFCCP assessment strengthens 80-20’s statement that AsAms face the lowest glass ceiling when compared with all other races and groups.

(C) Creating A Straw Man & Knocking it down

OFCCP assessment claims that 80-20 “presented data on age profiles of the different classes.” See 3rd paragraph on page 3 of its “assessment.” It then proceeds to knock it down. 80-20 has NOT presented such data. We challenge DOL to prove that 80-20 has “presented data on age profiles of the different classes.”

(D) Obfuscation?

The entire first paragraph on page 3 of the OFCCP assessment criticizes the reliability of census data – Current Population Study (CPS). For example, “CPS respondents self-identify their duties which raises questions ..,” “one job title, ‘managers and administrator’ could include the President of General Motors, but it may also include a receptionist.” Since 80-20 didn’t use census data, and that it was OFCCP that uses census data, we are puzzled why such a paragraph was there,

Conclusion: The OFCCP assessment of 80-20’s analysis has, perhaps unintentionally, strengthened the validity of the chart seen at the top. It seems that whichever aspect one wishes to examine the issue, one finds that AsAms are the most discriminated in the managerial level. We are glad that OFCCP has done well in monetary recovery in recent years. However, it is the bottom line that counts. What is OFCCP planning to do to relieve the glass ceiling situation seen in the chart? Does the Labor Department share American’s core value – equal opportunity for all Americans? Is it about time for OFCCP to begin enforcing Executive Order 11246 on behalf of Asian Americans?

Senator Tom Carper’s letter to the DOL induced the following:

OFCCP’s 6-page Reply & Assessment