Category Archives: Working Women

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 at 50: Past, Present, and Future

Source: Boston Law Review, Volume 95, Number 3, May 2015

More detailed information about this symposium, including video recordings of the panels and keynote addresses is available here.

From an abstract:
This Symposium, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 at 50: Past, Present, and Future,” published in the Boston University Law Review (volume 95, pp. 683-1232), observes the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Growing out of a live conference held at Boston University School of Law in November 2014, the Symposium includes twenty-two articles by prominent scholars from law, economic history, political science, and sociology. Topics addressed include: (1) historical perspectives on the 1964 Act and other civil rights laws; (2) classifications and categories in the 1964 Act and in subsequent civil rights laws; (3) reshaping public and private space in public accommodations, neighborhoods, and housing; (4) reshaping public and private space in education, the workplace, and the military; (5) proving discrimination; and (6) the limits and future of antidiscrimination law. The Symposium concludes with remarks on the role of transformational leadership in the civil rights movement by a colleague at Boston University’s School of Theology, the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The articles are also available for download at the website of the Boston University Law Review.

Articles include:
Editors’ Foreword

The Long Civil Rights Act and Criminal Justice
Margaret Burnham

Intersectionality and Title VII: A Brief (Pre-)History
Serena Mayeri

Private Rights and Private Actions: The Legacy of Civil Rights in the Enforcement of Title VII
George Rutherglen

The Regional Economic Impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Gavin Wright

Reading Amendments and Expansions of Title VII Narrowly
Henry L. Chambers, Jr.

Marital Status Discrimination 2.0
Courtney G. Joslin

Backlash, Courts, and Disability Rights
Michael Waterstone

Can’t We Be Your Neighbor? Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and the Resistance to Blacks as Neighbors
Jeannine Bell

Model Neighborhoods Through Mayors’ Eyes Fifty Years After the Civil Rights Act
Katherine Levine Einstein & David M. Glick

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and “Legislating Morality”: On Conscience, Prejudice, and Whether “Stateways” can Change “Folkways”
Linda C. McClain

We Don’t Serve Your Kind Here: Public Accommodations and the Mark of Sodom
Joseph William Singer

Bargaining for Civil Rights: Lessons from Mrs. Murphy for Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Rights
Robin Fretwell Wilson

On Not “Having It Both Ways” and Still Losing: Reflections on Fifty Years of Pregnancy Litigation Under Title VII
Deborah L. Brake

Right to Serve or Responsibility to Protect? Civil Rights Framing and the DADT Repeal
Catherine Connell

Moving Forward, Looking Back: A Retrospective on Sexual Harassment Law
Joanna L. Grossman

Reactive to Proactive: Title IX’s Unrealized Capacity to Prevent Campus Sexual Assault
Katharine Silbaugh

On Employment Discrimination and Police Misconduct: Title VII and the Mirage of the “Monell Analogue”
Tristin K. Green

Class-Based Adjudication of Title VII Claims in the Age of the Roberts Court
Michael C. Harper

Addressing Systemic Discrimination: Public Enforcement and the Role of the EEOC
Pauline T. Kim

Special Treatment Everywhere, Special Treatment Nowhere
Noah D. Zatz

The Horizontal Effect of a Right to Non-Discrimination in Employment: Religious Autonomy Under the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of South Africa
Sonu Bedi

Blaming Mothers: A Disability Perspective
Ruth Colker

Now We Must Cross a Sea: Remarks on Transformational Leadership and the Civil Rights Movement
Walter Earl Fluker

Who Minds the Kids When Mom Works a Nonstandard Schedule?

Source: Maria E. Enchautegui, Martha C. Johnson, Julia Gelatt, Urban Institute, Research Report, July 16, 2015

From the abstract:
This paper examines the child care arrangements of mothers who work evenings, nights, or irregular schedules rather than regular daytime hours. Low-income working mothers in nonstandard schedules show greater use of any type of child care than low–income standard-schedule mothers and are more likely to use multiple child care arrangements. Partners are important sources of child care for mothers working nonstandard hours, and single parents rely on other relatives for child care at high rates. Nonstandard-schedule workers need not only child care at irregular hours but also more-flexible daytime care.

Work Schedules and Working Families: Solutions to a Growing Problem

Source: Sherry Leiwant, Carrie Gleason & Shawn Sebastian, Clearinghouse Review, June 2015

Workers’ control over their schedules and abusive scheduling practices have grown more significant as the American workforce has changed over the last decade, with women becoming half of all workers and the tremendous growth of hourly low-wage work. Here we lay out the economic context for scheduling problems, discuss the few laws that reach work schedules, and outline some of the recent proposed policy solutions to these emerging problems.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Source: Austin Nichols, Jesse Rothstein, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NBER Working Paper No. 21211, May 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
We review research on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), focusing on work appearing since the Hotz and Scholz (2003) review. Recent work has confirmed earlier findings that labor supply effects are positive for single mothers, smaller and negative for married mothers, and essentially nonexistent for men. Where earlier estimates indicated that all responses were on the extensive margin, some recent studies find evidence of non-zero, but small, intensive margin effects. We also review research on the incidence of the credit, suggesting that employers capture some of the program benefits through lower wages; on the large impact of the program on poverty rates and on children’s outcomes; and on families’ apparent preferences for lump-sum refunds over smaller payments distributed throughout the year. We present new evidence regarding the accuracy of EITC imputations in the Current Population Survey. We discuss proposals for reform, including a more generous childless credit, and argue that the EITC may be complementary to the minimum wage, rather than an alternative.

Having a Working Mother Is Good For You

Source: Harvard Business School, Press Release, May 18, 2015

Contrary to conventional wisdom, growing up with a working mother is unlikely to harm children socially and economically when they become adults, new research by a Harvard Business School professor concludes. The “working mother effect” actually improves future prospects, especially for adult daughters of mothers who worked outside the home before their daughters were 14 years old, according to recent findings based on a comprehensive survey of 50,000 adults aged 18 to 60 in 25 nations worldwide in 2002 and 2012. The research, which provides the basis for two forthcoming academic papers, is one of a number of projects led by faculty affiliated with Harvard Business School’s new Gender Initiative. The Gender Initiative, announced today, seeks to further research, education, and knowledge dissemination on issues related to gender and work….

On Not ‘Having It Both Ways’ and Still Losing: Reflections on Fifty Years of Pregnancy Litigation Under Title VII

Source: Deborah L. Brake, University of Pittsburgh – School of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-17, May 18, 2015

From the abstract:
This article, published in the B.U. Law Review Symposium issue, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 at 50: Past, Present and Future,” reflects on the past fifty years of conflict and struggle over how to treat pregnancy discrimination under Title VII. Pregnancy has played a pivotal role in debates among feminist legal scholars and women’s rights advocates about the limitations of both the equal treatment and special treatment anti-discrimination frameworks. The article’s title references the much-discussed Wendy W. Williams cautionary note that if we cannot have it “both ways” we need to decide which way we want to have it – a warning Williams followed with an argument for the equal treatment approach. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which amended Title VII in 1978, largely tracks the equal treatment model, setting a floor tying the treatment of pregnant women to that of other workers with similar health-based work restrictions. The model’s greatest promise was that it would avoid the backlash that would otherwise ensue if Title VII required employers to treat pregnancy more favorably than they treated other medical conditions. Equal treatment proponents framed their preferred approach as taking the long view, ensuring that as the boats of other workers rose, so too would those of pregnant employees. In the intervening years, this cautious optimism has not panned out. This article explores what lies beneath judicial resistance to pregnancy discrimination claims, and considers the future of the PDA after the Supreme Court’s decision (which was issued shortly before this article went to press) in Young v. UPS. It wraps up with a look at the recent pregnancy discrimination scholarship, contending that the rift posited between pro-maternity and anti-stereotyping discourses might be breached by greater attention to fostering egalitarian masculinities in relation to caretaking.

Taking Care of our Own – Paid leave goes from progressive pipe dream to political reality

Source: Lauren Sandler, New Republic, 2015

…. Even though everyone would gain from paid leave, it is women who disproportionately carry the burden of its absence. Of course, the fact that paid leave would benefit women—indeed, would go far in addressing what many have called the unfinished business of feminism—may be the reason why we don’t have it. …..

An Institutional/Organizational Turn Getting to Work–Life Quality and Gender Equality

Source: Phyllis Moen, Work and Occupations, Vol. 42 no. 2, May 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This review essay examines three recent books contributing toward a broader reframing of approaches to and scholarship on the work–family–gender interface. They are part of an institutional/organizational turn, focusing explicitly on public and organizational policies and practices that constrain or facilitate both gender equality and work–life quality. This moves beyond microlevel studies of individuals and families to link and situate gender inequality, stress, and work–family conundrums in outdated state and organizational policy regimes, norms, and expectations that can be challenged and changed.

Hobson, B. (2014). Worklife Balance: The Agency & Capabilities Gap. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 320 pp. $91.00 (hardcover).

Milkman, R., & Appelbaum, E. (2013). Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S Work-Family Policy. Ithaca, NY: ILR/Cornell University Press. 168 pp. $19.95 (paper).

Williams, J. C., & Dempsey, R. (2014). What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know. New York: New York University Press. 394 pp. $24.95 (paper).

Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Source: Erin Reid, Harvard Business Review, April 28, 2015

In many professional jobs, expectations that one be an “ideal worker”—fully devoted to and available for the job, with no personal responsibilities or interests that interfere with this commitment to work—are widespread. We often think of problems with these expectations as women’s problems. But men too may struggle with them: my research at a top strategy consulting firm, first published in Organization Science, revealed that many men experienced these expectations as difficult to fulfill or even distasteful. …. Many of these men acted on their feelings, finding different ways to resist the firm’s expectations that they be ideal workers. How they resisted shaped their futures at the firm in important ways: some men made small, under-the-radar changes to their work that allowed them to pull back, while still “passing” as the work-devoted superheroes the firm valued. Others were more transparent about their difficulties, and asked the firm for help in pulling back. Their efforts resulted in harsh penalties and marginalization. …. My research revealed that men were just as likely as women to have trouble with these “always on” expectations. However, men often coped with these demands in ways that differed strikingly. Women who had trouble with the work hours tended to simply to take formal accommodations, reducing their work hours, but also revealing their inability to be true ideal workers, and they were consequently marginalized within the firm. In contrast, many men found unobtrusive, under-the-radar ways to alter the structure of their work (such as cultivating mostly local clients, or building alliances with other colleagues), such that they could work predictable schedules in the 50 to 60 hour range. In doing so, they were able to work far less than those who fully devoted themselves to work, and had greater control over when and where those hours were worked, yet were able to “pass” as ideal workers, evading penalties for their noncompliance…..

Embracing, Passing, Revealing, and the Ideal Worker Image: How People Navigate Expected and Experienced Professional Identities
Source: Erin Reid, Organization Science, Articles in Advance, Published Online: April 20, 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This paper examines how people navigate organizational pressures to embrace a professional identity that—like the ideal worker image—centers on devotion to work. My field study of a consulting firm demonstrated that although some people easily embrace this expected identity, for others, it conflicts with their experienced professional identity. I found that people cope with this conflict by straying from the expected identity while passing as having embraced it or revealing their deviance. Analyzing 115 interviews, performance evaluations, and turnover data, I trace how and why people manage their deviance differently across audiences within the organization, show the interdependence of these efforts, and illuminate consequences for how they are perceived and evaluated. In the firm I studied, although both men and women strayed, men were more likely than women to pass. Together, these findings highlight the importance of deviance and its management to people’s professional identities, offer new insights regarding the ideal worker image’s relationship to gender inequality, and enrich theory on passing and revealing.

How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters
Source: New York Times, The Upshot, May 4, 2015