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Full-Text Articles in Law

Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted May 2018

Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The State of New York recently issued its first physician-certified “intersex” birth certificate, correcting a 55-year-old’s original birth certificate. This is a positive step towards eliminating the traditional binary approach to a person’s birth sex, but it creates potential uncertainties in the employment discrimination context. Over the past several years, the definition of what constitutes “discrimination on the basis of sex” has both expanded (with the legalization of same-sex marriage) and narrowed (restricting the use of gender specific bathrooms). Until recently it appeared that a broader definition of the term “sex” would become the judicial—and possibly legislative ...


Customer Domination At Work: A New Paradigm For The Sexual Harassment Of Employees By Customers, Einat Albin Dec 2017

Customer Domination At Work: A New Paradigm For The Sexual Harassment Of Employees By Customers, Einat Albin

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article introduces a novel legal paradigm—customer domination at work—to address the sexual harassment of employees by customers. This new approach challenges the prevailing paradigm, which focuses on the employer-employee binary relationship. I show how, under current Title VII law, the prevailing paradigm leads to a weaker form of employer liability than other instances where employers are liable for the sexual harassment of their employees. The protection for workers is also limited. The same is true of two other legal regimes discussed in the Article: Germany and Britain. More importantly, I argue that the prevailing paradigm precludes a ...


Towards Reasonable: The Rise Of State Pregnancy Accommodation Laws, Stephanie A. Pisko Jan 2016

Towards Reasonable: The Rise Of State Pregnancy Accommodation Laws, Stephanie A. Pisko

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision Young v. UPS, pregnancy accommodation in the workplace is once again at the forefront of employment law. Pregnancy is not considered a disability under the ADA, nor is it within the scope of Title VII protections, but states are passing their own pregnancy accommodation laws. These laws will affect employers and employees alike, but exactly how is uncertain. Perhaps the most natural (and obvious) result of the explosion of state pregnancy accommodation laws will be a federal law, or an amendment to the ADA categorizing pregnancy as a disability. But there are ...


Centering The Teenage "Siren": Adolescent Workers, Sexual Harassment, And The Legal Construction Of Race And Gender, Anastasia M. Boles Jan 2015

Centering The Teenage "Siren": Adolescent Workers, Sexual Harassment, And The Legal Construction Of Race And Gender, Anastasia M. Boles

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Recent scholarship and media attention has focused on the prevalence of sexually harassing behavior directed at working teenagers, and the emergence of sexual harassment lawsuits by these minors against their employers. Although many of the legal issues concerning workplace sexual harassment and adult workers (and the various state and federal jurisprudence prohibiting it) have been widely discussed, there is surprisingly little discourse, research, and precedent addressing the problem of workplace sexual harassment and teen workers. Currently, most sexual harassment cases brought by adolescent workers are litigated using the doctrinal framework for adult workers. Only the Seventh Circuit has developed an ...


Liberating Sexual Harassment Law, Lua Kamál Yuille Jan 2015

Liberating Sexual Harassment Law, Lua Kamál Yuille

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Sexual harassment law and the proposed solutions to that paradigm’s deficiencies teach a disheartening and peculiar lesson to women and gender performance minorities: “You may be disadvantaged at work because of your gender or your gender performance nonconformity. Discrimination against you is okay.” This albatross has inexplicably burdened sexual harassment law for the more than thirty-five years since it emerged as a redressable form of unlawful discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Article coherently explains the reason for it. It makes a simple claim: Sexual harassment law has failed to eradicate workplace gender ...


The Role Of Networks, Mentors, And The Law In Overcoming Barriers To Organizational Leadership For Women With Children, Terry Morehead Dworkin, Aarti Ramaswami, Cindy A. Schipani Jan 2013

The Role Of Networks, Mentors, And The Law In Overcoming Barriers To Organizational Leadership For Women With Children, Terry Morehead Dworkin, Aarti Ramaswami, Cindy A. Schipani

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The 2012 election brought headlines such as "Another 'Year of Women' in Congress." Although the number of women in the highest legislative offices increased, their numbers are still significantly lower than those of men. Fewer than 100 women hold office in both houses of Congress. Corporate America similarly reflects significantly low female leadership numbers. For example, "fewer than 20% of finance industry directors and executives are women, and [there are] no women leading the 20 biggest U.S. banks and securities firms." Women make up nearly half the workforce and hold 60% of bachelor degrees, yet they hold only 14 ...


Bathroom Bias: Making The Case For Trans Rights Under Disability Law, Daniella A. Schmidt Jan 2013

Bathroom Bias: Making The Case For Trans Rights Under Disability Law, Daniella A. Schmidt

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Disability law is one of the more successful tools currently being used to protect trans people fom discrimination. While the use of disability law as a framework for affirming or creating trans rights has come with some success, many in the community remain reluctant to use disability law for fear of the policy implications and stigma associated with medicalization of trans identity. After exploring the current state of the law on both the federal and state level, this Note will argue how disability law both could and should be used more often to further trans protections. In particular, this Note ...


Baring Inequality: Revisiting The Legalization Debate Through The Lens Of Strippers' Rights, Sheerine Alemzadeh Jan 2013

Baring Inequality: Revisiting The Legalization Debate Through The Lens Of Strippers' Rights, Sheerine Alemzadeh

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The debate over legalization of prostitution has fractured the feminist legal community for over a quarter century. Pro-legalization advocates promote the benefits attending government regulation of prostitution, including the ability to better prosecute sex crimes, increase public health and educational resources for individuals in the commercial sex trade, and apply labor and safety regulations to the commercial sex industry in the same manner as they are applied to other businesses. Some anti-legalization advocates identify themselves as "new abolitionists," and argue that government recognition of prostitution reinforces gender inequality. Often, this debate is framed in the hypothetical: What would happen if ...


Flexible Scheduling And Gender Equiality: The Working Families Flexibility Act Under The Fourteenth Amendment, Lane C. Powell Jan 2013

Flexible Scheduling And Gender Equiality: The Working Families Flexibility Act Under The Fourteenth Amendment, Lane C. Powell

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The Working Families Flexibility Act (“WFFA”) as proposed in 2012 would create a federal right for employees to request flexible work arrangements. However, the bill contains no private right of action for employees to enforce this new right. By reframing the WFFA as an anti-discrimination statute targeting unconstitutional sex discrimination on the part of the States, the WFFA could be upheld under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, allowing Congress to provide a private right of action for both private and state employees. This Note uses the Supreme Court’s decisions on the Family Medical Leave Act in Hibbs and ...


Limiting The Affirmative Defense In The Digital Workplace , Daniel B. Garrie Jan 2012

Limiting The Affirmative Defense In The Digital Workplace , Daniel B. Garrie

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

From 2009 to 2011, there were more than 30,000 sexual harassment claims filed in the United States. The ubiquitous availability of digital technology devices has facilitated many instances of sexual harassment. Such sexual harassment occurs through unprovoked and offensive e-mails, messages posted on electronic bulletin boards, and other means available on the Internet. To date, courts remain silent on this issue. Should this type of sexual harassment be treated differently from physical sexual harassment? The surprising answer is yes. This Article suggests a new judicial framework for addressing sexual harassment perpetrated through digital communications. This framework accounts for the ...


Sex Equality's Unnamed Nemesis, Veronica Percia Jan 2011

Sex Equality's Unnamed Nemesis, Veronica Percia

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Sex inequality still exists. However, its manifestations have evolved since the early sex inequality cases were heard in courts and legislatures first began structuring statutory regimes to combat it. In particular, so-called "facial" discrimination against men and women on the basis of sex has no doubt decreased since the advent of this legal assault on sex inequality. Yet the gendered assumptions that structure our institutions and interactions have proven resilient. With sex discrimination now operating more covertly, the problem of sex inequality looks considerably different than it once did. Courts, however, have failed to successfully respond to the changing contours ...


Removing Categorical Constraints On Equal Employment Opportunities And Anti-Discrimination Protections, Anastasia Niedrich Jan 2011

Removing Categorical Constraints On Equal Employment Opportunities And Anti-Discrimination Protections, Anastasia Niedrich

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

It has been the "historical tendency of anti-discrimination law to use categories to define protected classes of people." This Article challenges the categorical approach and seeks to change that limited framework. This Article focuses on the flaws with Title VII's categorical approach and discusses why there is a desperate need for change to combat the different types and targets of workplace discrimination today, focusing on the transgender community as one example. After discussing the current framework and operation of Title VII, this Article analyzes the insurmountable flaws inherent in the categorical approach to anti-discrimination law, and specifically considers Title ...


Victimizing The Abused?: Is Termination The Solution When Domestic Violence Comes To Work?, Nicole Buonocore Porter Jan 2006

Victimizing The Abused?: Is Termination The Solution When Domestic Violence Comes To Work?, Nicole Buonocore Porter

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this article will discuss domestic violence, explaining the dynamics of domestic violence in an effort to shed light on why it is so difficult for a battered woman to leave the abusive relationship. This understanding is necessary for a sensitive and informed decision-making process. This Part will also discuss the magnitude of the effect that domestic violence has on the workplace. Part II will discuss a company's potential legal liability for: (a) wrongfully terminating the employee-victim and (b) failing to protect other employees (including, perhaps, the employee-victim herself) if the company does not terminate the employee-victim ...


"Has The Millennium Yet Dawned?": A History Of Attitudes Toward Pregnant Workers In America, Courtni E. Molnar Jan 2005

"Has The Millennium Yet Dawned?": A History Of Attitudes Toward Pregnant Workers In America, Courtni E. Molnar

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article will focus on what might be considered the "prehistory" of the PDA in an attempt to shed new light on the equality/difference debate. Beginning as early as the nineteenth century, pregnant workers have been forced into either the equality approach or the difference approach depending mostly on race and class. This Article will show that, at times, both approaches restrained the autonomy of women and even caused harm to individual women and society by contributing to the development of the stereotypes and social attitudes that continue to permit pregnancy discrimination today.


The Customer Is Always Right… Not! Employer Liability For Third Party Sexual Harassment, Lea B. Vaughn Jan 2002

The Customer Is Always Right… Not! Employer Liability For Third Party Sexual Harassment, Lea B. Vaughn

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article will ask a series of questions. What is third party sexual harassment? Under what conditions does it occur? Does it differ in any significant respects from traditional notions of sexual harassment? Should those differences, if any, make a difference in the way that the legal system addresses third party harassment? And indeed, should the problem be addressed solely through the legal system? What might an employer do to alleviate sexual harassment of this type?


Does Ec Pregnancy And Maternity Legislation Create Equal Opportunities For Women In The Ec Labor Market? The European Court Of Justice's Interpretation Of The Ec Pregnancy Directive In Boyle And Lewen, Petra Foubert Jan 2002

Does Ec Pregnancy And Maternity Legislation Create Equal Opportunities For Women In The Ec Labor Market? The European Court Of Justice's Interpretation Of The Ec Pregnancy Directive In Boyle And Lewen, Petra Foubert

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article discusses the EC's legal accommodation of pregnancy in the workplace and the interpretation thereof by the European Court of Justice. The leitmotiv is the question to what extent such accommodation enhances women's position in the labor market. The suspicion being that, in a well-intentioned attempt to fight discrimination of women, the EC institutions entrench gender discrimination. In other words, in their attempt to fight sex discrimination (by accommodating pregnancy), the EC often places women in a position that confirms the traditional perception of women as childbearers and caregivers.


"Just Like One Of The Family": Domestic Violence Paradigms And Combating On-The-Job Violence Against Household Workers In The United States, Kristi L. Graunke Jan 2002

"Just Like One Of The Family": Domestic Violence Paradigms And Combating On-The-Job Violence Against Household Workers In The United States, Kristi L. Graunke

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article argues that the immense problem of on-the-job abuse experienced by domestic workers demands a multifaceted plan of attack. The proposed responses specifically draw upon the capacities, strengths, and resources of women, particularly comparatively privileged women, as both activists and employers of domestic workers. By describing the circumstances of domestic work in the United States from the nation's inception to the present, Part I demonstrates the prevalence and intractability of on-the-job physical and sexual abuse and argues that other women, as employers of domestic workers, have historically played a complex role in participating in, condoning, or failing to ...


Law As A Tool For A Sexual Revolution: Israel's Prevention Of Sexual Harassment Law- 1998, Tzili Mor Jan 2001

Law As A Tool For A Sexual Revolution: Israel's Prevention Of Sexual Harassment Law- 1998, Tzili Mor

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Discussion of the newly enacted law will outline the theoretical underpinnings and their effect on the resultant version (Part III), followed by the legislative history, including the Knesset and the public debate surrounding the bill (Part IV), and the impact of that debate on the final outcome of the law (Part V). Part VI will pay particular attention to the innovative approach of the law as a whole and some of the revolutionary specific provisions within. In particular, the legislative framework will be considered in the context of a nation founded and conducted on traditional religious tenets of Judaism. Finally ...


What Will Diversity On The Bench Mean For Justice?, Theresa M. Beiner Jan 1999

What Will Diversity On The Bench Mean For Justice?, Theresa M. Beiner

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article is aimed at the general question: whether having a woman judge would make a difference in sexual harassment cases. This article is aimed at this general question, the response to which has been elusive: Does the race, gender, or other background characteristics of a judge make a difference in the outcome of cases? The effects of diversity on the bench are just becoming measurable. Many legal scholars have assumed diversity will make a difference. While this conclusion may seem commonsensical, it is important to be able to support such assertions with actual data. The supposition has been that ...


The Triumph Of Hate Speech Regulation: Why Gender Wins But Race Loses In America, Jon Gould Jan 1999

The Triumph Of Hate Speech Regulation: Why Gender Wins But Race Loses In America, Jon Gould

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

On March 30, 1995, newspaper headlines declared that hate speech regulations were dead. After six years of litigating over university hate speech codes, Stanford University's rule, one of the most modest and cautiously drafted, had been declared unconstitutional by a California Superior Court. Hate speech regulation is far from over. To the contrary, hate speech rules not only continue to exist, but the courts regularly enforce their provisions. The difference is that these cases are largely restricted to a single category-sexual harassment. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and with the regulatory support of the ...


Assesing The Family And Medical Leave Act In Terms Of Gender Equality, Work/Family Balance, And The Needs Of Children, Angie K. Young Jan 1998

Assesing The Family And Medical Leave Act In Terms Of Gender Equality, Work/Family Balance, And The Needs Of Children, Angie K. Young

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

While recognizing that parental leave is only one aspect of the FMLA, this Article concentrates on the provision allowing leave to parents in order to care for their children. Before analyzing the FMLA in detail, it is helpful to explore what aims a parental-leave policy should have. The purpose of this Article is to propose and defend three goals that parental-leave legislation should strive to meet: equality of career opportunities for men and women, the right to participate in both work and family, and meeting the needs of children. After articulating what parental-leave legislation should aim for in theory, this ...


Hostile Environent Sexual Harassment Claims And The Unwelcome Influence Of Rape Law, Janine Benedet Jan 1996

Hostile Environent Sexual Harassment Claims And The Unwelcome Influence Of Rape Law, Janine Benedet

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article considers the unwelcomeness requirement of the plaintiff’s prima facie case. In particular, it examines the discussion of unwelcomeness found in the decision of the Supreme Court in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, and the content given to this element by the subsequent decisions of lower courts. Such an inquiry reveals several parallels between the approach of courts to sexual harassment claims and their traditional treatment of the criminal offense of rape. The same biases and erroneous assumptions that have hampered an effective response to the physical violation of women have permeated the application of the purported remedy ...