Category Archives: Discrimination

Intentional Invisibility: Professional Women and the Navigation of Workplace Constraints

Source: Swethaa Ballakrishnen, Priya Fielding-Singh, Devon Magliozzi, Sociological Perspectives, First Published June 25, 2018
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From the abstract:
Drawing on an in-depth case study at a large nonprofit organization, we find, in line with previous scholarship, that women professionals continue to face biased expectations at work and at home. We leverage data from interviews and participant observation to identify a new strategy that women use to navigate professional constraints created by the second shift and workplace double binds: “intentional invisibility.” Intentional invisibility refers to a set of risk-averse, conflict-avoidant strategies that women professionals in our study employ to feel authentic, manage competing expectations in the office, and balance work and familial responsibilities. We find women across the organization reporting intentionally remaining behind the scenes in attempts to avoid backlash and maintain a professional status quo. While intentional invisibility allows women to successfully navigate gender unequal professional and personal landscapes, it could simultaneously present an additional challenge to career advancement.

Related:
Why some women prefer ‘intentional invisibility’ at work
Source: Melissa De Witte, Futurity, July 30, 2018

Judicial Politics and Sentencing Decisions

Source: Alma Cohen, Crystal S. Yang, Harvard Law School, May 7, 2018

From the abstract:
This paper investigates whether judge political affiliation contributes to racial and gender disparities in sentencing using data on over 500,000 federal defendants linked to sentencing judge. Exploiting random case assignment, we find that Republican-appointed judges sentence black defendants to 3.0 more months than similar non-blacks and female defendants to 2.0 fewer months than similar males compared to Democratic-appointed judges, 65 percent of the baseline racial sentence gap and 17 percent of the baseline gender sentence gap, respectively.These differences cannot be explained by other judge characteristics and grow substantially larger when judges are granted more discretion.

State Constitutions in the Era of a Shifting Supreme Court

Source: Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Government Law Center at Albany Law SchoolJuly 23, 2018

The Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Government Law Center at Albany Law School recently hosted “How Can State Constitutions Respond to a Shifting Supreme Court?” to examine the role state constitutions can play if the Supreme Court begins to roll back federal protections.

With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and the recent nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to take his place, the Supreme Court is expected to shift further to the conservative end of the ideological spectrum, with the potential for weakening or even extinguishing important constitutional protections.

Much attention is being paid to the possible implications for reproductive rights, protections for immigrants, affirmative action, environmental protections, LGBTQ rights, and other issues. So what does it mean for New Yorkers — or for states more generally? Although we often don’t think of state constitutions, many of them offer protections above and beyond what is provided in the federal Constitution.

What role can state constitutions play if the Supreme Court begins to weaken federal protections? In many ways, your position on the states-versus-federal rights issue often depends upon where you sit. Last year the Rockefeller Institute and Government Law Center at Albany Law School issued a report on the topic.

Related:
Protections in the New York State Constitution Beyond the Federal Bill of Rights
Source: Edited by Scott N. Fein and Andrew B. Ayers, the Government Law Center at Albany Law School and the Rockefeller Institute of Government, April 18, 2017

Increasing minority employment: Are you ready to recruit?

Source: Mary Lou Egan, Marc Bendick Jr., Employment Relations Today, Early View, First published: 23 July 2018
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From the abstract:
To increase employment from desired race or gender groups, employers nearly always first turn to recruiting from outside their organization. But a few years after such initiatives are undertaken, diversity numbers typically remain low or even decrease, turnover among recruits from the sought‐after groups is high, and the efforts are threatened by their recurrent cost. Employers need to break this fruitless cycle by thinking more strategically. Without an inclusive organizational climate that retains and fully utilizes minority employees after hire, simply recruiting more such employees will not lead to sustainable changes in workforce demographics. Drawing on empirical research, this paper describes six “red flags” that identify workplaces not ready to recruit. Only after organizational changes address the deficiencies identified by the red flags will the time for minority recruitment be at hand. But by then special focused recruitment may not be necessary; when employers change their workplace cultures to become truly inclusive, word gets around.

Six Reasons Your Workplace’s Sexual-Harassment Training Will Fail

Source: Oliver Staley, Quartz, July 2, 2018

In the months since sexual harassment in the workplace exploded into the public consciousness, a growing range of organizations—from Fortune 500 companies to the Senate and the United Nations—are reconsidering their policies and procedures. Often, that means taking a new look at the training they provide employees, which may not have been updated in years or even decades.

In many cases, the training is sure to fail, says Patti Perez, an employment lawyer and vice president at Emtrain, which designs online training content. In a June 19 talk at the annual conference of the Society of Human Resources Management, Perez laid out six reasons corporate training doesn’t work:
– A tick-the-box mentality ….
– Focusing only on prohibited areas ….
– An overly legalistic approach ….
– Cheesy scenarios ….
– Scare tactics ….
– Blaming people ….

The Ties That Double Bind: Social Roles and Women’s Underrepresentation in Politics

Source: Dawn Langan Teele, Joshua Lalla, Frances Rosenbluth, American Political Science Review, Volume 112, Issue 3, August 2018
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From the abstract:
This paper theorizes three forms of bias that might limit women’s representation: outright hostility, double standards, and a double bind whereby desired traits present bigger burdens for women than men. We examine these forms of bias using conjoint experiments derived from several original surveys—a population survey of American voters and two rounds of surveys of American public officials. We find no evidence of outright discrimination or of double standards. All else equal, most groups of respondents prefer female candidates, and evaluate men and women with identical profiles similarly. But on closer inspection, all is not equal. Across the board, elites and voters prefer candidates with traditional household profiles such as being married and having children, resulting in a double bind for many women. So long as social expectations about women’s familial commitments cut against the demands of a full-time political career, women are likely to remain underrepresented in politics.

Late Retirements + Lawsuits = Need For Vigilance

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Vol. 35 No. 14, July 11, 2018
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If a recent survey is right, employers need to be extra vigilant about their attitudes and practices related to older workers. According to online recruiting site CareerBuilder, even though the economy is improving many U.S. workers are still putting their retirement plans on hold. In the survey, more than half of workers aged 60+ (53%) said they are postponing retirement. Four in 10 (40%) said they don’t think they will be able to retire until they are 70 years of age or older. …. Employers should take steps now to review their age discrimination policies with managers and shore up any gaps they find in their practices. Lawsuits aimed at big companies invariably receive media attention, which in turn can spark reflection among employees at other organizations about their own experiences. ….

Could An Emoji Bring You Down?

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Vol. 35 No. 14, July 11, 2018
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An employee complains a manager is making sexual overtures to her. When you ask her what he has said, she tells you it’s not what he’s said, it’s what he’s sent. She pulls out her phone and shows you an email exchange in which he included an emoji with a winking eye. While many people use that particular emoji as an indicator of humor, she has interpreted it as flirtatious and now you have a problem…..

Terminating A Depressed Employee

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Vol. 35 No. 14, July 11, 2018
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Is terminating an employee with depression a recipe for trouble? Do you need to go “above and beyond” to avoid any appearance of discrimination? …. While the Greenleaf case is just beginning its journey through the courts, it offers employers a reminder that depression can be a covered disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the many state laws that mirror it. This means employers are permitted to terminate employees with depression if they aren’t meeting performance standards, but only if the proper steps have been taken first….