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The Compromised Worker And The Limits Of Employment Discrimination Law, Peter Siegelman
Why do employment discrimination plaintiffs fare so poorly? Many explanations have been offered, but this essay suggests a new one: a substantial fraction of all plaintiffs are “compromised” workers, meaning that they have done something on the job that might plausibly justify the treatment about which they are complaining. As a matter of both doctrine and logic, compromised plaintiffs can be legitimate victims of discrimination. But they face substantial difficulties in proving that their employer relied on a prohibited characteristic in its treatment of them because, by definition, their behavior offers a plausibly legitimate explanation for their treatment. After demonstrating ...