Source: Michelle A. Travis, Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 64, 2021, Date Written: December 17, 2020
From the abstract:
The dramatic workplace changes in the wake of the global pandemic offer courts both an opportunity and an obligation to reexamine prior antidiscrimination case law on workplace flexibility. Before COVID-19, courts embraced an essentialized view of workplaces built upon a “full-time face-time norm,” which refers to the judicial presumption that work is defined by long hours, rigid schedules, and uninterrupted, in-person performance at a centralized workspace. By applying this presumption to both accommodation requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and to disparate impact claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, pre-pandemic courts systematically undermined antidiscrimination law’s potential for workplace restructuring to expand equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities and for women with disproportionate caregiving responsibilities. This Article demonstrates how employers’ widespread adoption of flexible work arrangements in the wake of COVID-19—including telecommuting, modified schedules, temporary leaves, and other flextime options—undermine these prior decisions and demand a new analysis of antidiscrimination law’s potential to advance workplace flexibility.
Source: Zoë Cullen – Harvard Business School, Ricardo Perez-Truglia – University of California, Berkeley, This Draft: September 2020.
From the abstract:
Offices are social places. Employees and managers take coffee breaks together, go to lunch, hang out over drinks, and talk about family and hobbies. In this study, we provide evidence that employees’ social interactions with their managers can be advantageous for their careers and that this phenomenon can contribute to the gender pay gap. We use administrative and survey data from a large financial institution. We conduct an event-study analysis of manager rotation to estimate the causal effect of managers’ gender on their employees’ career progressions. We find that male employees assigned to male managers were promoted faster in the following years than male employees assigned to female managers; female employees, on the contrary, had the same career progression regardless of their managers’ gender. These differences were not accompanied by any differences in effort or performance, and they explain a third of the gender gap in promotions at this firm. Then, we provide evidence suggesting that these effects were mediated by the social interactions between male employees and male managers. First, we show that the effects were present only among employees who worked in close proximity to their managers. Second, we show that the effects coincided with an uptick in the share of breaks taken with the managers. Third, we estimate the impact of social interactions on career progression using quasi-random variation induced by smoking habits. When male employees who smoke transitioned to male managers who smoke, they took breaks with their manager more often and were subsequently promoted at higher rates than male smokers who transitioned to non-smoking managers. The boost in socialization and promotion rates closely mirrors the pattern among male employees assigned a male manager.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 2020
From the press release:
Today, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) launched EEOC Explore, a new interactive data query and mapping tool that gives users access to the most current, granular, and privacy protected aggregate EEO-1 data publicly available. EEOC Explore allows users to analyze aggregate data associated with more than 56 million employees and 73,000 employers nationwide. The user-friendly tool enables stakeholders to explore and compare data trends across a number of categories, including location, sex, race and ethnicity, and industry sector without the need for experience in computer programming or statistical analysis.
As part of its mandate under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, public and private employers, as well as local referral unions are required to submit to the EEOC periodic reports which indicate the composition of their workforces by sex and race/ethnicity. EEOC Explore visualizes these aggregate data in ways that are more intuitive and efficient than previous methods.
EEOC Explore uses aggregate information from employer EEO-1 reports which include data such as employee demographics, which are collected annually from private employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees. EEOC Explore also allows users to dive down to county-level details, surpassing the previously available static tabular format available on the EEOC’s public website.
Source: Kelly Musick, Megan Doherty Bea, Pilar Gonalons-Pons, American Sociological Review, Volume: 85 issue: 4, August 2020
From the abstract:
This article advances a couple-level framework to examine how parenthood shapes within-family gender inequality by education in three countries that vary in their normative and policy context: the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We trace mothers’ share of couple earnings and variation by her education in the 10-year window around first birth, using long-running harmonized panel surveys from the 1990s and 2000s (N = 4,117 couples and 28,488 couple-years) and an event study methodology that leverages within-couple variation in earnings pre- and post-birth. Our results show steep declines in her share of couple earnings following first birth across the three countries that persist over several years of follow-up. Declines are smallest in the United States, due to U.S. mothers’ higher employment and longer work hours. Declines are also smaller among female partners without a college degree in the United States, where mothers have less work-family support and fewer options to manage work and family on one income. Results shed light on how parenthood plays into gender inequality within couples, and how country context shapes couple dynamics and inequality across households.
Source: Andrea Johnson, Ramya Sekaran, Sasha Gombar, National Women’s Law Center, September 2020
This report provides an overview of the state legislative progress that has been made in advancing workplace harassment reforms since #MeToo went viral. It also highlights some of the stories of how survivors have led the push for these important reforms.
This new report finds that we are closing in on workplace harassment law reform in #20Statesby2020, with a remarkable 19 states enacting new workplace protections since #MeToo went viral in October 2017. The report also finds, however, that states have been slow to adopt some of the reforms that promise to make the biggest difference for those most marginalized by harassment and for preventing harassment.
Some major trends include:
• 15 states limited or prohibited employers from requiring employees to sign nondisclosure agreements as a condition of employment or as part of a settlement agreement.
• 11 states and New York City implemented or strengthened anti-harassment training requirements for certain employers.
• 7 states enacted measures to require or encourage employer anti-harassment policies.
• 7 states limited employers’ use of forced arbitration, though several of these laws are being challenged in court.
• 6 states expanded workplace harassment protections to include independent contractors, interns, and/or volunteers for the first time.
• 5 states and New York City extended their statute of limitations for filing a harassment or discrimination claim.
Source: Kendra Bozarth, Grace Western, and Janelle Jones, Roosevelt Institute, Issue Brief, September 2020
From the summary:
This brief explains how centering Black women in US politics and policymaking in the short and long term will bolster immediate recovery efforts, build durable and equitable institutions, and strengthen collective prosperity.
Source: Emilia Belknap, Laura Shaw, Meryl Kenny, Political Insight, Volume 11 Issue 2, June 2020
…Why do gender inequalities in political leadership persist? And (why) does it matter? We examine these questions in the context of two recent and pivotal leadership contests: the 2020 UK Labour leadership election and the US Democratic presidential primary. We ask whether these contests represent a case of ‘two steps forward, one step back’ for women, evaluating both the opportunities for, and obstacles to, women’s political leadership. We then evaluate why gender (in)equality at the top matters, assessing the gendered dynamics of political leadership, and evaluating the implications for women’s political participation. We conclude by reflecting on the future prospects for women’s political leadership in troubled times….
Source: Melissa Torres, Employee Benefit Plan Review, Vol. 74, No. 5, July-August 2020
From the abstract:
Employers interviewing women of child-bearing age may be tempted to ask about plans for having a baby, but doing so poses risks. While an employer might be concerned about staffing coverage, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against a woman based on her potential or capacity to become pregnant. Taking adverse action against a pregnant employee because of her pregnancy is equally unlawful.
Nonetheless, an article in The New York Times not too long ago bore the striking headline: “Pregnancy Discrimination Is Rampant Inside America’s Biggest Companies.” The article indicated that, notwithstanding the law, many pregnant women were either passed over for promotions or fired when they complained.
Yet another Times headline focused on the failure of employers to provide light duty to pregnant women: “Miscarrying at Work: The Physical Toll of Pregnancy Discrimination.”
Source: John T. Addison, Liwen Chen, Orgul D. Ozturk, ILR Review, Volume 73 Issue 3, May 2020
From the abstract:
The authors deploy a measure of occupational mismatch based on the discrepancy between the portfolio of skills required by an occupation and the array of abilities possessed by the worker for learning those skills. Using data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and the 1979 and 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79 and NLSY97), they report distinct gender differences in match quality and changes in match quality over the course of careers. They also show that a substantial portion of the gender wage gap stems from match quality differences among the college educated. College-educated females show a significantly greater likelihood of mismatch than do males. Moreover, individuals with children and those in more flexible occupations tend to experience a larger degree of mismatch. Cohort effects are also evident in the data: College-educated males of the younger cohort (NLSY97) are worse off in terms of match quality compared to the older cohort (NLSY79), even as the younger cohort of women is doing better on average.
Source: Lauren Dula, Jill Nicholson‐Crotty, Beth Gazley, Volume 30, Issue 4, Summer 2020
From the abstract:
Despite an active stream of “good governance” research, there is not yet much nonprofit scholarship examining how the gender composition of a board or its leadership relates to board performance. This article helps to fill this gap, focusing on the governance practices of US‐based nonprofits serving a domestic or international membership. A structural equation model finds that the presence of female leaders relates to the performance of nonprofit boards both directly and indirectly through these leaders’ presumed influence on board characteristics and operation. This research advances the field by empirically testing a longstanding theory that board performance is both multidimensional and contingent on the market and labor environment, organizational capacity and other characteristics—in this case, gender dynamics. We find there are some positive relationships between female board leadership and clearly defined measures of board performance. These findings also suggest that a strategy to balance a board’s gender may serve many nonprofits, but gender representation works in tandem with other board characteristics.