Category Archives: Discrimination

Sexuality and Gender Law: Assessing the Field, Envisioning the Future

Source: UCLA Law Review, Volume 57 no. 5, June 2010

Articles include:
<a href="Introduction to the Symposium Issue – Sexuality and Gender Law: The Difference a Field Makes
by Nan D. Hunter
See also: abstract

Elusive Coalitions: Reconsidering the Politics of Gender and Sexuality
by Kathryn Abrams
See also: abstract

The Sex Discount

by Kim Shayo Buchanan
See also: abstract

What Feminists Have to Lose in Same-Sex Marriage Litigation
by Mary Anne Case
See also: abstract

Lawyering for Marriage Equality
by Scott L. Cummings and Douglas NeJaime
See also: abstract

Sexual and Gender Variation in American Public Law: From Malignant to Benign to Productive
by William Eskridge
See also: abstract

Sticky Intuitions and the Future of Sexual Orientation Discrimination

by Suzanne B. Goldberg
See also: abstract

Workers Alleging Bias Against Caregivers

Source: Jennifer Ludden, National Public Radio – All Things Considered, June 10, 2010

“There’s no federal law that bans workplace discrimination against parents or people who care for elderly or disabled family members, but that hasn’t stopped a surge of lawsuits by such workers alleging unfair treatment by their employers. In the past 10 years, the number of such suits has quadrupled and many have been successful, according to the Center for WorkLife Law.

Pliable Precedents, Plausible Policies, and Lilly Ledbetter’s Loss

Source: Ronald Turner, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Vol. 30 no. 1, 2009
(subscription required)

From the Lexis Nexis summary:
With this analytical move, Justice Alito set the stage for the Court’s rejection of Ledbetter’s arguments that Goodyear violated Title VII when the company issued paychecks to her during the 180 days preceding the filing of her March 25, 1998 EEOC questionnaire (that period began to run on September 26, 1997), and when she was denied a salary increase in 1998. … In Justice Ginsburg’s view Ledbetter’s claim, “resting not on one particular paycheck, but on the cumulative effect of individual acts,” resembled and had “a closer kinship to hostile work environment claims than to charges of a single episode of discrimination.” … Once the Court distinguished Bazemore and gave it no precedential power relative to Ledbetter’s pay discrimination claim, her case turned on the Court’s view of the reasonableness of her proposed construction of Title VII which would commence a new charge-filing limitations period upon the issuance of each paycheck reflecting the current and continuing effects of a discriminatory act occurring several or many years ago. … Valuing the protection of the employee’s right to sue, Justice Ginsburg’s analysis is consistent with her reading of Title VII’s text and Court precedent, with her determination that employers may invoke the laches defense against unreasonably delayed EEOC charges, and with her focus on the realities and dynamics of pay discrimination (more on this below). … By contrast Justice Ginsburg argued that pay decisions and disparities in compensation are “often hidden from sight,” and that applying Title VII without taking into account the “realities of wage discrimination” deprives employees of the protections, and strips away the remedial objectives, of the statute.

Documenting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in State Employment

Source: Brad Sears, Nan Hunter, Christy Mallory, Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law & Public Policy, 2009

This report addresses whether there has been a widespread and persistent pattern of unconstitutional discrimination by state governments on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

This report is the result of research conducted during 2008 and 2009 by the Williams Institute. In addition, ten different law firms assisted with the project, with offices and attorneys from across the country. Also making contributions were scholars and experts from a number of academic disciplines, including history, political science, economics, sociology, and demography. The research resulted in a set of reports on employment law and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for each of the fifty states, which are included as Appendices to this report. Based on these fifty state reports, plus additional studies conducted by the William Institute, literature reviews, and research projects conducted by the firms, we drafted and reviewed the following papers, presented here as a series of chapters summarizing the research findings. Based on this analysis, we conclude that:

– There is a widespread and persistent pattern of unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity against state government employees;

– There is no meaningful difference in the pattern and scope of employment discrimination against LGBT people by state governments compared to the private sector and other public sector employers; and

– The list of documented examples that we have compiled far under-represents the actual prevalence of employment discrimination against LGBT people by state and local governments.

In Federal Employment Discrimination Claims, Race And Sex Of Judges Matter (A Lot)

Source: David Yamada, Minding the Workplace Blog, February 12, 2010

Edward Adams, writing for the ABA Journal (membership magazine of the American Bar Association), reports on two studies documenting powerful correlations between the race and sex of judges and the results of federal employment discrimination claims. The studies formed the focus of a program at the ABA’s recent mid-year meeting in Orlando.

Demographics, Fiscal Health, and School Quality: Shedding Light on School Closure Decisions

Source: Sherrilyn M. Billger, IZA Discussion Paper No. 4739, February 2010

In our current challenging budgetary environment, school closures remain a potentially attractive choice. With a large panel of Illinois schools from 1991 to 2005, I investigate which factor contribute to school closures. Among elementary schools, declining enrollments and rural locations coincide with closures. However, schools with higher per-pupil spending are ceteris paribus less likely to close. Furthermore, better test scores also yield lower probabilities. High expenditures contribute to junior high closure, but the most significant predictors are the proportions of black and low income students. Administrators may claim that low enrollments and high spending motivate school closures, but in Illinois, that is not the whole story.

Diversifying The American Workplace

Source: NPR, 2010

Stories include:
Diversity Efforts Uneven In U.S. Companies
The Promise Of Diversity Is Yet To Be Fulfilled
Introspection After Allegations Of Discrimination
In-House Resource Groups Can Help And Harm
Defining Diversity: Beyond Race And Gender
Gay In The Office: The Last Frontier Of Workplace Equality
‘Mad Men’ Haven’t Changed Much Since The 1960s
Should ‘The Office’ Be Used In HR Training?

Major U.S. Cities and Counties Adopt Hiring Policies to Remove Unfair Barriers to Employment of People with Criminal Records

Source: National Employment Law Project, January 10, 2010

Urban areas across the United States (including Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and St. Paul) have limited discrimination in city and county jobs against people with criminal records. As Mayor Richard Daley explained when he announced Chicago’s new hiring policy, “Implementing this new policy won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do. . . . We cannot ask private employers to consider hiring former prisoners unless the City practices what it preaches.”

Before and After: Gender Transitions, Human Capital, and Workplace Experiences

Source: Kristen Schilt, Matthew Wiswall, The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Vol. 8, Issue 1, 2008
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
We use the workplace experiences of transgender people – individuals who change their gender typically with hormone therapy and surgery – to provide new insights into the long-standing question of what role gender plays in shaping workplace outcomes. Using an original survey of male-to-female and female-to-male transgender people, we document the earnings and employment experiences of transgender people before and after their gender transitions. We find that while transgender people have the same human capital after their transitions, their workplace experiences often change radically. We estimate that average earnings for female-to-male transgender workers increase slightly following their gender transitions, while average earnings for male-to-female transgender workers fall by nearly 1/3. This finding is consistent with qualitative evidence that for many male-to-female workers, becoming a woman often brings a loss of authority, harassment, and termination, but that for many female-to-male workers, becoming a man often brings an increase in respect and authority. These findings challenge the omitted variables explanations for the gender pay gap and illustrate the often hidden and subtle processes that produce gender inequality in workplace outcomes.

Marital Status Discrimination: Are Family-Friendly Policies Meeting the Needs of Unmarried Workers?

Source: Mary Curlew, Sloan Work and Family Research Network, Policy Brief no. 21, December 2009

From the summary:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 95.9 million Americans 18 years of age and older were unmarried in 2008, up from 37.5 million in 1970. Unmarried employees make up over 40% of the full-time workforce. [. . .] These facts do not lessen the claims of married workers with dependent children. However, they do point to the need for work and family policies that look beyond a narrow view of family and encompass the many different types of personal needs faced by today’s workers.
See also:
Topic Page on Single Workers
Marital Status Discrimination
Domestic Partnerships, Civil Unions and Same-Sex Marriage
Unmarried America