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University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Discrimination

Labor and Employment Law

Articles 1 - 8 of 8

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


"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.


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 ...