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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 ...


Categorically Black, White, Or Wrong: 'Misperception Discrimination' And The State Of Title Vii Protection, D. Wendy Greene Sep 2013

Categorically Black, White, Or Wrong: 'Misperception Discrimination' And The State Of Title Vii Protection, D. Wendy Greene

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article exposes an inconspicuous, categorically wrong movement within antidiscrimination law. A band of federal courts have denied Title VII protection to individuals who allege “categorical discrimination”: invidious, differential treatment on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, or sex. Per these courts, a plaintiff who self-identifies as Christian but is misperceived as Muslim cannot assert an actionable claim under Title VII if she suffers an adverse employment action as a result of this misperception and related animus. Though Title VII expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, courts have held that such a plaintiff’s claim of ...


What The Awards Tell Us About Labor Arbitration Of Employment Discrimination Claims, Ariana R. Levinson Apr 2013

What The Awards Tell Us About Labor Arbitration Of Employment Discrimination Claims, Ariana R. Levinson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article contributes to the debate over mandatory arbitration of employment-discrimination claims in the unionized sector. In light of the proposed prohibition on union waivers in the Arbitration Fairness Act, this debate has significant practical implications. Fundamentally, the Article is about access to justice. It examines 160 labor arbitration opinions and awards in employment-discrimination cases. The author concludes that labor arbitration is a forum in which employment-discrimination claims can be-and, in some cases, are-successfully resolved. Based upon close examination of the opinions and awards, the Article recommends legislative improvements in certain cases targeting statutes of limitations, compulsory process, remedies, class ...


Rethinking Discrimination Law, Sandra F. Sperino Oct 2011

Rethinking Discrimination Law, Sandra F. Sperino

Michigan Law Review

Modern employment discrimination law is defined by an increasingly complex set of frameworks. These frameworks structure the ways that courts, juries, and litigants think about discrimination. This Article challenges whether courts should use the frameworks to conceptualize discrimination. It argues that just as faulty sorting contributes to stereotyping and societal discrimination, courts are using faulty structures to substantively limit discrimination claims. This Article makes three central contributions. First, it demonstrates how discrimination analysis has been reduced to a rote sorting process. It recognizes and makes explicit courts' methodology so that the structure of discrimination analysis and its effects can be ...


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 ...


Whatever Happened To G.I. Jane?: Citizenship, Gender, And Social Policy In The Postwar Era, Melissa E. Murray Jan 2002

Whatever Happened To G.I. Jane?: Citizenship, Gender, And Social Policy In The Postwar Era, Melissa E. Murray

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In this Article, it is argued that the GI Bill is consistent with the social welfare policies of the New Deal period, in particular the Social Security Act of 1935, and so should be examined within the analytical framework established by scholars like Linda Gordon and Theda Skocpol in their studies of the Social Security Act's social welfare programs. Although the Bill is gender-neutral on its face, it was framed by normative assumptions about military participation and work that ensured that it was socially understood to benefit male veterans.


Envisioning A Future For Age And Disability Discrimination Claims, Alison Barnes Dec 2001

Envisioning A Future For Age And Disability Discrimination Claims, Alison Barnes

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article considers the reasons for reinterpretations of age and disability and examines the fundamental reasons for changes in the implementation of both the ADA and ADEA. Part I presents the basic structure and relevant requirements of the two statutes and comments on the reasons their legislative purposes are not often seen as overlapping. Part II discusses the recent Supreme Court decisions that have undermined the purposes and implementation of both the ADA and ADEA and chilled causes of action based on the ADA and ADEA. Part III projects the current problems with anti-discrimination causes into the future, when older ...


The Attachment Gap: Employment Discrimination Law, Women's Cultural Caregiving, And The Limits Of Economic And Liberal Legal Theory, Laura T. Kessler May 2001

The Attachment Gap: Employment Discrimination Law, Women's Cultural Caregiving, And The Limits Of Economic And Liberal Legal Theory, Laura T. Kessler

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Title VII has prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy since 1978, when Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act ("PDA"), but it does not require employers to recognize women's caregiving obligations beyond the immediate, physical events of pregnancy and childbirth. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA ") also does little more than provide job security to some relatively privileged women in the case of childbirth. Neither of these statutes, which constitute the bulk of the United States' maternity and parental leave policies, provides for the most common employment leave needs of caregivers, who by all measures ...


Employment Discrimination Claims Under Erisa Section 510: Should Courts Require Exhaustion Of Arbitral And Plan Remedies?, Jared A. Goldstein Oct 1994

Employment Discrimination Claims Under Erisa Section 510: Should Courts Require Exhaustion Of Arbitral And Plan Remedies?, Jared A. Goldstein

Michigan Law Review

This Note examines whether courts should require section 510 claimants to exhaust either plan-based or arbitral remedies before seeking judicial relief. It begins by comparing the basis for an exhaustion requirement with respect to benefits claims with the basis for such a requirement with respect to statutory claims - like those under section 510. Part I examines the rationale courts have offered for requiring exhaustion of plan remedies for benefits claims. Part I concludes that federal courts have correctly determined that Congress intended individuals bringing benefits claims to exhaust the remedies provided by the plan before seeking judicial relief. Part II ...


Title Vii And The Complex Female Subject, Kathryn Abrams Aug 1994

Title Vii And The Complex Female Subject, Kathryn Abrams

Michigan Law Review

One strength of Title VII has been its capacity to accommodate the changing conceptions of discrimination and the self-conceptions of subject groups. In the first decades of its enforcement, advocates have raised - and courts have endorsed - a range of contrasting conceptions in order to broaden the employment opportunities of protected groups. This flexibility is particularly evident with respect to women.

After exploring recent doctrinal efforts to respond to complex claimants, I address these questions and assess the prospects of change. Although the unitary or categorical notions of group identity under which Title VII has historically been enforced might run counter ...


Employment Discrimination Law In Perspective: Three Concepts Of Equality, John J. Donohue Iii Aug 1994

Employment Discrimination Law In Perspective: Three Concepts Of Equality, John J. Donohue Iii

Michigan Law Review

The essay begins with a discussion of which groups deserve the protection of employment discrimination law. With the protected categories of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act etched into the American consciousness, many might consider the appropriate categories to be fully self-evident. But of course, they are not, and many jurisdictions continue to struggle over whether certain dispreferred groups merit the law's solicitude.


Structuralist And Cultural Domination Theories Meet Title Vii: Some Contemporary Influences, Martha Chamallas Aug 1994

Structuralist And Cultural Domination Theories Meet Title Vii: Some Contemporary Influences, Martha Chamallas

Michigan Law Review

This essay first looks at three important theoretical approaches - motivational, structural, and cultural - that mark the scholarly discourses on workplace equality since 1965. The motivational or individual choice theory is well established and has dominated legal discourse throughout this period. I concentrate in this essay on the other two visions, dating structuralist accounts from the mid1970s and cultural domination theories from the mid-1980s.


Only Girls Wear Barrettes: Dress And Appearance Standards, Community Norms, And Workplace Equality, Katharine T. Bartlett Aug 1994

Only Girls Wear Barrettes: Dress And Appearance Standards, Community Norms, And Workplace Equality, Katharine T. Bartlett

Michigan Law Review

In this essay I study both the judicial rationales and the scholarly criticisms thereof, agreeing with critics that community norms are too discriminatory to provide a satisfactory benchmark for defining workplace equality, but also questioning the usual implications of this critique. Critics assume that it is possible, and desirable, to evaluate dress and appearance rules without regard to the norms and expectations of the community - that is, according to stable or universal versions of equality that are uninfected by community norms. I question this assumption, arguing that equality, no less than other legal concepts, cannot transcend the norms of the ...


Finding A "Manifest Imbalance": The Case For A Unified Statistical Test For Voluntary Affirmative Action Under Title Vii, David D. Meyer Jun 1989

Finding A "Manifest Imbalance": The Case For A Unified Statistical Test For Voluntary Affirmative Action Under Title Vii, David D. Meyer

Michigan Law Review

This Note analyzes the "manifest imbalance" standard developed in Weber and Johnson and the various approaches the lower courts have taken in trying to apply the test. Part I examines the Weber and Johnson opinions in some detail, and argues that the Court intended to permit affirmative action aimed at remedying the evident effects of past discrimination, regardless of whether the employer or society at large is to blame. Section I.A describes the diverging constitutional and statutory standards for evaluating voluntary affirmative action programs, and the policies behind the divergence. Sections I.B and I.C take a closer ...


Discrimination, Jobs, And Politics: The Struggle For Equal Employment Opportunity In The United States Since The New Deal, James L. Thompson May 1987

Discrimination, Jobs, And Politics: The Struggle For Equal Employment Opportunity In The United States Since The New Deal, James L. Thompson

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Discrimination, Jobs, and Politics: The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity in the United States since the New Deal by Paul Burstein


Integrity And Circumspection: The Labor Law Vision Of Bernard D. Meltzer, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1986

Integrity And Circumspection: The Labor Law Vision Of Bernard D. Meltzer, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Bernard Meltzer has testified under oath that he "rarely take[s] absolute positions." The record bears him out. While his colleagues among labor law scholars often strain to demonstrate that the labor relations statutes and even the Constitution support their hearts' desires, the typical Meltzer stance is one of cool detachment, pragmatic assessment, and cautious, balanced judgment. The "itch to do good," Meltzer has remarked wryly, "is a doubtful basis for jurisdiction" -or, he would likely add, for any other legal conclusion. In this brief commentary I propose to examine the Meltzer approach to four broad areas of labor law ...


The Bottom Line Limitation To The Rule Of Griggs V. Duke Power Company, James P. Scanlan Apr 1985

The Bottom Line Limitation To The Rule Of Griggs V. Duke Power Company, James P. Scanlan

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Part I of this article analyzes the background to the Teal decision and the treatment by the majority and dissent of the issue known in employment discrimination law as the "bottom line" limitation to the disparate impact theory of employment discrimination. Part II explains why, for reasons beyond those considered by the Teal majority, not only was the Court's rejection of the bottom line theory manifestly correct, but a contrary result would have had grievous consequences. Part III then argues for a similar rejection of the bottom line limitation in those situations where most observers have taken for granted ...


Yankees Out Of North America: Foreign Employer Job Discrimination Against American Citizens, Michigan Law Review Oct 1984

Yankees Out Of North America: Foreign Employer Job Discrimination Against American Citizens, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note explores Title VII's relationship to the hiring practices of foreign employers. It focuses on Japanese employers, who might face the toughest Title VII challenge to a business and cultural familiarity or citizenship requirement. Part I sets out arguments for and against finding intentional discrimination - disparate treatment - in either of these hiring requirements. It suggests that a court should refuse to find national origin discrimination when the employer imposes a business and cultural familiarity requirement. However, when an applicant is denied employment solely on the basis of citizenship, a strong argument may be made that the employer is ...


The Deduction Of Unemployment Compensation From Back-Pay Awards Under Title Vii, Eric A. Martin Apr 1983

The Deduction Of Unemployment Compensation From Back-Pay Awards Under Title Vii, Eric A. Martin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note argues that federal courts should not deduct unemployment insurance benefits from Title VII back-pay awards. Part I reviews the legislative history and purposes behind the remedial provisions of Title VII. Part I also presents the arguments that courts have advanced regarding the deduction of unemployment benefits from Title VII back-pay awards. Part II assesses these arguments in light of analogous common law doctrine and the legislative objectives of Title VII, and advances arguments not yet considered by the courts. Finally, Part II concludes that federal courts should resolve this division of authority by not deducting unemployment benefits from ...


The Proper Role Of Res Judicata And Collateral Estoppel In Title Vii Suits, Charles C. Jackson, John H. Matheson, Thomas J. Pikorski Aug 1981

The Proper Role Of Res Judicata And Collateral Estoppel In Title Vii Suits, Charles C. Jackson, John H. Matheson, Thomas J. Pikorski

Michigan Law Review

The Article proceeds from the premise, established in Part I, that federal courts must apply preclusion principles unless Congress clearly indicates otherwise. Part II considers a number of indicators of Congress's intent, and finds no evidence to rebut the presumption that federal courts must give preclusive weight to certain state decisions. Part III then proposes general guidelines for the application of preclusion doctrines in title VII litigation.


National Labor Policy: Reflections And Distortions Of Social Justice, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1980

National Labor Policy: Reflections And Distortions Of Social Justice, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The impulse behind much of American labor law is profoundly moral. The sufferings and indignities inflicted on working men, women, and even children as the industrial revolution enveloped the western world during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries led many thoughtful observers to focus their attention on what was commonly called the "social question." Certain issues have been treated almost as if they posed questions of good and evil, when all they actually presented were problems of finding a proper balance of power between labor and management. This article shall develop these themes in several specific contexts.


National League Of Cities V. Usery: Its Implications For The Equal Pay Act And The Age Discrimination In Employment Act, Ellen B. Spellman Jan 1977

National League Of Cities V. Usery: Its Implications For The Equal Pay Act And The Age Discrimination In Employment Act, Ellen B. Spellman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In National League of Cities v. Usery, the Supreme Court invalidated the application of the FLSA minimum wage and maximum hours provisions to certain essential state government activities as an unconstitutional intrusion on state sovereignty. This article will explore the implications of that decision with respect to the application of the EPA and the ADEA to state and local governments.

Part I contains a brief discussion of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Amendments. Part II discusses National League with reference to traditional commerce clause interpretation. Part III analyzes the difficulties of applying the decision, particularly the problem of defining ...


Affirmative Action: Hypocritical Euphemism Or Noble Mandate?, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1976

Affirmative Action: Hypocritical Euphemism Or Noble Mandate?, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was adopted in an atmosphere of monumental naivete. Congress apparently believed that equal employment opportunity could be achieved simply by forbidding employers or unions to "discriminate" on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin," and expressly disavowed any intention to require "preferential treatment." Perhaps animated by the Supreme Court's stirring desegregation decisions of the 1950's, the proponents of civil rights legislation made "color-blindness" the rallying cry of the hour. Today we know better. The dreary statistics, so familiar to anyone who works in this field, tell ...


The Constitutionality Of The 1972 Amendment To Title Vii's Exemption For Religious Organizations, Michigan Law Review Jan 1975

The Constitutionality Of The 1972 Amendment To Title Vii's Exemption For Religious Organizations, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This note will examine the constitutionality of the title VII exemption for religious associations, focusing on the extent to which the exemption is required by the free exercise clause and the extent to which it must be limited to avoid conflict with the establishment clause. The religion clauses will be considered solely in the context of the private business sector; this note will not consider the possibility that the establishment clause would require a narrower exemption for a quasi-public institution, such as a broadcast licensee or a religious association receiving public funds.


Title Vii And Nlra: Protection Of Extra-Union Opposition To Employment Discrimination, Michigan Law Review Dec 1973

Title Vii And Nlra: Protection Of Extra-Union Opposition To Employment Discrimination, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act guarantees freedom from employment discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or national origin and establishes remedial procedures for aggrieved employees. A nondiscrimination clause in a collective bargaining agreement may also protect employees from discriminatory treatment; typically, the contract will also contain grievance machinery through which the employee, with the aid of his union, can present his complaint. The question remains: When both title VII and contract grievance procedures are available, can an individual employee or a group of employees take direct action against an allegedly discriminatory employer independently of the union and ...


Protecting The Older Worker, H. Patrick Callahan, Charles T. Richardson Jan 1972

Protecting The Older Worker, H. Patrick Callahan, Charles T. Richardson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Unlike racial discrimination, age discrimination statutes do not prohibit all forms of discrimination but only those forms that are arbitrary. In this respect age is most analogous to sex as a basis of discrimination: in neither case has a conclusive statutory presumption been made that these factors are irrelevant in an employment situation; in both situations the employer must make his decision to hire or not to hire on the abilities of the individual and not on assumptions, proven or unproven, about the class as a whole. This note considers the extent of arbitrary age discrimination and what measures have ...


Religious Discrimination And The Role Of Arbitration Under Title Vii, Harry T. Edwards, Joel H. Kaplan Mar 1971

Religious Discrimination And The Role Of Arbitration Under Title Vii, Harry T. Edwards, Joel H. Kaplan

Michigan Law Review

One of the major thrusts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed by the 88th Congress of the United States after much procrastination and debate, is title VII, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, which prohibits selected forms of employment discrimination.

In drafting title VII, the proponents of the Act were chiefly concerned with racial discrimination in employment. In fact, the entire Civil Rights Act was written with an eye toward the elimination of the "glaring ... discrimination against Negroes which exists throughout our nation." Given this intent, it is not surprising that, during the hearings and debates preceding the passage ...