Top Stories

March 23, 2022


Black former employees sue Google for racial discrimination claims

A civil rights attorney has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against technology giant Google, claiming there has been a pattern of racial discrimination towards minority employees. The lawsuit argues there is a “bigoted, discriminatory, racist culture” that exists within Google. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of April Curley, a former diversity recruiter at Google, and other former and current Black employees at Google. Curley said she was unlawfully terminated from her position to recruit prospects from historically Black colleges and universities, after she told managers she was creating a report on Google’s “discriminatory” practices. The lawsuit alleges that Black employees at Google are "steered toward lower-level roles with less pay and fewer opportunities for advancement" and face a hostile working environment and retaliation if they "oppose the company’s discriminatory practices." (ABC News)


The UK's “government by WhatsApp” poses cybersecurity risk

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and senior officials are facing a High Court challenge following the alleged “rampant” use of messaging service WhatsApp to share sensitive government documents. Released court documents reveal that the PM has been sent a summary of ministerial “red box” material, including diary updates, via WhatsApp. Other documents from the three-day judicial review reveal, the use of Signal – a messaging app that allows users to instantly delete messages – by the PM, senior ministers, and Cabinet Office senior civil servants. The government says it has secure channels for exchanging sensitive information, and ministers are obliged to record important decision-making discussions with officials. Campaigning law groups the Good Law Project and Foxglove say a “government by WhatsApp” poses a security risk and breaks the law on keeping public records. (BBC News)


Climate change could cost the shipping industry $25 billion annually

A new report by non-profit research institute RTI International for Environmental Defense Fund, reveals that the global shipping and port industry is susceptible to up to $25 billion in infrastructure damage and trade disruption from climate change impacts. The report concludes that without ambitious actions to reduce emissions, climate change impacts could cause additional annual damages to port infrastructure totalling almost $18 billion, with storm-related port disruptions adding a further $7.5 billion in damages. The report notes that a lack of data in the shipping industry means there is no clear picture of future circumstances and future costs could be far higher than current estimates. Many shipping leaders have already endorsed a Call to Action through the ‘Getting to Zero Coalition’ which aims to deploy commercially viable deep sea zero-emission vessels by 2030. (Maritime Magazine)


US House passes CROWN Act to ban race-based hair discrimination

The US House has passed legislation that would ban race-based hair discrimination in employment, federally assisted programmes, housing programmes and public accommodation. The Democratic-led House voted 235-189 to pass the CROWN Act, which standards for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”. The bill seeks to protect against bias based on hair texture and protective styles, including locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros. The Biden administration released a statement stating it “strongly supports” the CROWN Act and “looks forward to working with the Congress to enact [the] legislation”. Democrats added that while such discrimination is prohibited under existing federal law, courts have misinterpreted previous laws by narrowly interpreting the meaning of race, thus allowing discrimination against people who wear natural or protective hairstyles. (CNN)


ISS ESG launches Water Risk Rating to score water-related stewardship

Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services’ (ISS) responsible investment arm ISS ESG has announced the launch of the ‘ISS ESG Water Risk Rating’. The rating will enable investors to identify and manage freshwater-related risks in portfolios, build freshwater-focused portfolios and investment products and conduct water-related stewardship and engagement programmes. The water risk rating assesses 11 distinct data points per company to determine exposure to freshwater-related risks and provide an aggregated score of a company’s risk management. The tool’s scoring methodology assesses companies based on a Water Risk Exposure Classification, exploring individual exposure based on industry, geographical footprint of operations and supply chain risks. It also uses a Water Risk Management Performance Score which examines a company’s value chain risk management. The rating system will cover approximately 7,400 companies globally. (ESG Today)




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