Category Archives: Feminism and the Workplace

Article of Interest: Diversity and Discrimination: A Look at Complex Bias by Minna Kotkin

Back in September, I posted an entry about the Seventh Circuit’s failure to recognize a “sex plus” or “gender plus” theory of discrimination in its recent opinion in Coffman v. Indianapolis Fire Dept., 2009 WL 2525762 (7th Cir. 2009), a … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminist Legal Scholarship | Comments Off

New study concludes having women at the top of institutions is crucial to increasing the number of women among the junior faculty ranks.

From Inside Higher Ed: Does having a woman in the top job (or the No. 2 slot) make a difference? When it comes to faculty hiring, the answer appears to be Yes. And having a critical mass of women on … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminists in Academia, The Underrepresentation of Women | Comments Off

Call for a “New Deal” Feminism Focused on Economics and the Workplace

In the weekend’s Washington Post, Professor Dorothy Sue Cobble (History and Labor Studies, Rutgers) writes, “It’s Time for a New Deal Feminism.” The American workplace is transforming, but women’s lives aren’t necessarily improving. * * * The answer is not … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Economics, Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Article of Interest — A Matter of Context: Social Framework Evidence in Employment Discrimination Class Actions by Professors Hart and Secunda

Over the past half-century it has become commonplace for courts and commentators to distinguish two uses of social science in law. Social science is said either to prove ‘legislative facts’ that concern general questions of law and policy, or to … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace | 2 Comments

The Wrong Stuff: Middle District of Florida Seemingly Revives Narrow, Pre-Burlington Reading of Title VII’s Antiretaliation Provision in Action Against NASA

You are an employee at NASA at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). In 2004, you file an informal complaint with the EEOC for discrimination and harassment, alleging that your superior sent e-mails to you and others in your department containing … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace | 1 Comment

Gender Bias Bingo

“Share your experiences of at least three bias types listed below, and you will win the highly coveted “Real Professors Play Gender Bias Bingo” T–shirt!” Preview bingo card here. Play here!

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and Culture, Feminism and the Workplace | 1 Comment

“Women who dress like Barbie dolls get treated like Barbie dolls”

The Miami Daily Business News has revived its “Rodent” column.   In yesterday’s column (here — free registration required), the writer chastises female lawyers who don’t “dress the part.”   What’s not ok?   Stilettos, low-cut blouses, bare legs, frumpy … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and the Workplace, Legal Profession | 3 Comments

You’ve Got Mail: Eastern District of Pennsylvania Finds Plaintiff’s E-Mails Admissible In Sexual Harassment Case Despite Rape Shield Rule

A woman sues her employer, claiming, inter alia, sexual harassment based on an arguably hostile work environment. Specifically, she claims that her superior stared at her breasts on two separate occasions and made the following comment to her, with regard … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace | 5 Comments

Ruth O’Brien (editor),”TELLING STORIES OUT OF COURT: Narratives about Women and Workplace Discrimination”

Professor Ruth O’Brien teaches in the Political Science department at the Graduate Center of CUNY. Her new book about women and workplace discrimination uses both legal commentary and ‘story-telling’ methods to explore sexism and discrimination at work. From the publisher’s … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminists in Academia, Sexual Harassment | 1 Comment

George Mason School of Law Sued for Sexual Harassment

From Law.com: … This July, Kyndra Rotunda filed a lawsuit against the Arlington, Va., school, where just three years before she had happily signed on as director of a legal assistance clinic for military service members. In her suit, she … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace, Law Schools, Law Teaching, Sexual Harassment | 1 Comment

“The FBI says killer truckers are abducting prostitutes and other women at truck stops, raping them and leaving their bodies along the nation’s highways.”

Below is a “Time Video” news report, which states there are 500 known victims.

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Coerced Sex, Feminism and the Workplace, Justice? | 1 Comment

Carol W. Greider of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine was one of three women who won a science Nobel last week, and she sounds like a sister!

Excerpt from a NYT interview with Nobel Laureate Carol W. Greider: …Q. MANY REPORTERS HAVE ASKED WHY TELOMERES RESEARCH SEEMS TO ATTRACT SO MANY FEMALE INVESTIGATORS. WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER? A. There’s nothing about the topic that attracts women. It’s probably … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and Science, Feminism and the Workplace, The Underrepresentation of Women | Comments Off

The Wal-Mart Effect: Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Reinstates Punitive Damages Award in Gender Discrimination Action Against Wal-Mart

A plaintiff brings an action against her former employer for discrimination. That action seeks punitive as well as compensatory damages. The plaintiff does not have evidence that the employer acted with knowledge that its conduct violated the terms of the … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace | 2 Comments

Pornography at the National Science Foundation

The Washington Times is not a publication I ordinarily read or have any confidence in. Nevertheless, the allegations made in this article appear to be accurate: … The budget request doesn’t state the nature or number of the misconduct cases, … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Technology, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

The Devil is in the Dictum: Second Circuit Makes Troubling Statements in Dictum in Rape Shield Ruling

A female employee allegedly flashes her breasts to co-workers at the workplace. That female employee later brings a sexual harassment action against her superior, claiming that he touched her thighs and breasts, offered her job security in return for sex, … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Feminism and the Workplace, Sexual Harassment | 1 Comment

No “Sex Plus” in the Seventh Circuit: Court Fails to Recognize “Sex Plus” Theory of Discrimination in Title VII Action Against Fire Department

A female firefighter has direct or circumstantial evidence that she was intentionally discriminated against based upon he gender. Undoubtedly, if she brings a Title VII action against the fire department, her action will survive a motion for summary judgment. But … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Inciting harassment can be costly.

Check out this settlement: Mid-Trial Settlement for Derogatory Comments by Shock Jocks- $1,000,000.00 Settlement: $1,000,000.00 after three days of trial Caption: Athena Anddrinkopoulis v. Defendant (No Response) Judge: Hon. John Egan, JSC Date of Settlement: 12/6/07 Plaintiff’s Attorney: Daniel Centi, … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace, Sociolinguistics | Comments Off

Mikula v. Allegheny County of Pennsylvania re-decided based on a broader construction of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

From Womenstake: In a triumphant development for equal pay, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled in favor of Mary Lou Mikula, holding that her Title VII pay discrimination claim had been erroneously dismissed on the basis that her … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Female Supervisors Face Significant Sexual Harassment

From Paul Secunda at Workplace Prof Blog: “Probably not a big surprise to many readers out there that female supervisors are still harassed in large numbers, but the fact that this study show that they are harassed more than non-supervisor … Continue reading

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Posted in Employment Discrimination, Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

The Road to Hell is Paved With (Allegedly) Good Intentions: Supreme Court of Alabama Opinion Raises Important Rape Shield Questions

We are not unmindful of the very personal nature of the information sought from Carlisle regarding her past conduct. Nor do we intend to suggest that a plaintiff with a promiscuous past could not feel the same shame and humiliation … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Courts and the Judiciary, Feminism and the Workplace | 1 Comment

On being an “Air Hostess” in the 1950s

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Posted in Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Lani Guinier and Susan Sturm, “Trial by Firefighters”

From the NYT: STANDING on the steps of the federal courthouse in New Haven, the lawyer Karen Torre reveled in her clients’ victory in a recent case before the Supreme Court. She anointed her clients : the white firefighters who … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminist Legal Scholarship, Feminists in Academia, Race and Racism | 3 Comments

Suzy, Check the Clutch

The title of the post on Salon.com is “Jack Welch to women:  Work and family don’t mix.”   The Salon post refers to this WSJ article which begins, “Former General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jack Welch has some blunt words … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Pharmacists are obliged to dispense the Plan B pill, even if they are personally opposed to the “morning after” contraceptive on religious grounds, a federal appeals court ruled last week.

The LA Times reported: … In a case that could affect policy across the western U.S., a supermarket pharmacy owner in Olympia, Wash., failed in a bid to block 2007 regulations that required all Washington pharmacies to stock and dispense … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and Medicine, Feminism and the Workplace, Reproductive Rights, Women's Health | Comments Off

Why hasn’t the “degree gap” closed the “salary gap”?

Prof. Mark Perry prepared this graph: If I’m reading it correctly, women and men got the same number of college degrees in 1982. By 1983, women started obtaining more college degrees then men, and this trend has continued on into … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and Economics, Feminism and the Workplace, The Overrepresentation of Women | Comments Off

“… 2,000 people from some of South Carolina’s most depressed counties … flocked to a job fair this week to hear more about new jobs cleaning up dangerous waste at [a] former bomb-making complex, the Savannah River Site.”

Story here. –Ann Bartow

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Posted in Feminism and the Workplace, South Carolina | Comments Off

Breast Enhancement as an Employment Incentive?

The NYTimes reports (here)  on unusual employment incentives being offered by hospitals and clinics in the Czech Republic: When Petra Kalivodova, a 31-year-old nurse, was considering whether to renew her contract at a private health clinic here, special perks helped … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Beyond The Scope (But Not): Court Finds That Supervisor’s Sexist Statements Qualify As Employee Admissions

Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(D)  states Admission by party-opponent. [A] statement is not hearsay if…[t]he statement is offered against a party and is…a statement by the party’s agent or servant concerning a matter within the scope of the agency or … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Essay of Interest: Michael DiChiara’s A Case of First Impression: The Third Circuit Recognizes That Having An Abortion Is Protected By Title VII

Over the last few months, I have been working on a Submission Guide for Online Law Review Supplements. While doing my research for the Guide, I came across an interesting volume of the  Rutgers Law Record, the online supplement to … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and the Workplace, Reproductive Rights | 2 Comments

California Assembly Passes Fair Pay Legislation

From the Feminist Daily News: The California state Assembly passed a state-level version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Monday on a 49 to 28 vote. The measure codifies at the state level a broader version of the federal … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Schroer v. Billington Update

Nan Hunter blogged about this case here, writing: The Schroer court held that just as discrimination against converts from one to faith to another is still discrimination based on religion, so too discrimination against transgender persons is still sex discrimination. … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Families, Feminism and Politics, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Blog for Fair Pay Day – Cynical GenX Style

Today is “Blog For Fair Pay Day 2009,” coordinated by the National Women’s Law Center. For feminist law profs who don’t work at public institutions where salary info is public, don’t forget about Guidestar.  It is a website that contains … Continue reading

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Differently Abled?: Court Identifies Circuit Split Over Who is Similarly Situated to a Pregnancy Discrimination Act Plaintiff

The recent opinion of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois  in Woodard v. Rest Haven Christian Services, 2009 703270 (N.D. Ill. 2009), acknowledged but did not resolve an interesting circuit split on the following issue: … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Race, gender, customer preferences and BFOQs

In Pleener v. NYC Board of Education, ___F.3d___ (2d Cir. Feb. 24, 2009), the Second Circuit affirmed that   an employer may never make an employment decision based upon the preferences of clients or customers, because race is never a … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace, Race and Racism | Comments Off

Judicial Flubber?: First Circuit Seemingly Repudiates Supreme Court Sex-Stereotyping Precedent In Sex Discrimination Appeal

When the Supreme Court replaced the relatively simple Frye test with the relatively complicated Daubert  test for determining the admissibility of expert opinion testimony, many critics (correctly) groused that science-starved judges would not be able to rise to the task … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Feminism and Families, Feminism and the Workplace | 1 Comment

John A. Humbach on “Pornography in the Cockpit: Did Common Sense Take Flight?”

Sexual harassment is a serious matter, and ought to be treated as such. Women (and men) who need to go out into the workplace for a living are legally entitled to do so without rude reactions to make them deeply … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace | 5 Comments

United Airlines settles harassment suit over cockpit pornography

The Seattle Times reports: United Airlines has settled a federal sexual-harassment lawsuit filed by a former pilot who grounded herself after repeatedly finding pornography hidden in the cockpits of domestic airline flights. Details of the settlement with former Capt. Lisa … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

“In fiscal 2008, the department received a total of 2,908 reports of sexual assault involving service members, representing an eight percent increase from fiscal 2007.”

Quote pulled from this DOD press release, which provides an overview of this DOD report. Excerpt from Executive Summary below: – Aggregate Report of Sexual Assault Incidents: In FY08 there were 2,908 reports of sexual assault involving Military Service members: … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Coerced Sex, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Kimberly D. Phillips, “My Body is a Sacred ‘Garment’: Does the First Amendment Protect Clothing Designers Who Work Naked?”

The abstract: A Warner Brothers employee, Ms. Lyle, sued the writers of the TV program, Friends, for sexual harassment because the writers used sexually explicit coarse and vulgar language during their script writing sessions for the show. In the Supreme … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminist Legal Scholarship | Comments Off

Not Very Discriminating?: Court of Appeals Of Michigan Erroneously Affirms Summary Judgment Order In Employment Discrimination/Retaliation Appeal

The recent opinion of the Court of Appeals of Michigan in Syrowatka v. County of Washtenaw, 2009 WL 529213 (Mich.App. 2009), affirmed a trial court order granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s claims for employment discrimination … Continue reading

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Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Feminism and the Workplace | 1 Comment

“A record number of workers filed federal job discrimination complaints last year, with claims of unfair treatment by older employees seeing the largest increase.”

From Yahoo News: … The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday it received more than 95,000 discrimination claims during the 2008 fiscal year, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. Charges of age discrimination jumped by 28.7 percent : … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace, Women and Economics | 1 Comment

Exemption from Service – Mothers in the Military and Fathers at Home

The New York Times reports today about Lisa Pagan, a member of the U.S. Army Individual Ready Reserves, who brought her two small children (ages 3 and 4) with her when she had been reactivated for service and reported for … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Families, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Can “nice guys” be sexual harassers?

Zuska takes on that question here.

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace | 3 Comments

Thoughts on Tuli v. Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Inc., et al.

The Boston Globe reported  here  on the $1.6 million jury verdict in an employment discrimination case brought by a female neurosurgeon against her employer, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the male chair of the Neurosurgery Department.  An earlier order granting … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace | 2 Comments

Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?: The contract law implications of the UAE’s decision to deny a visa to an Israeli tennis player

Whether you are a fan of tennis (like me) or not, you might have been following the recent mess in the United Arab Emirates.   Basically, at the last second, Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer  was denied a visa to … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and Politics, Feminism and Religion, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

“In 2007, women only made up 14 percent of the Army. However, during the same year, women accounted for 46 percent of all Army discharges under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

So notes the ACS Blog, which reports: Under the Clinton-era Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, military recruiters and authorities are banned from asking about a soldier’s sexual identify. However, soldiers are required to hide their sexual orientation from public view … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace, LGBT Rights, The Overrepresentation of Women | Tagged | 2 Comments

The number of women among a newly compiled list of the”ten most cited”law faculty members is zero.

List is here, as compiled by Brian Leiter. For a number of reasons I think it would be useful to have a list of the “ten most cited” women law faculty members, more on this later. –Ann Bartow

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and the Workplace, The Underrepresentation of Women | 6 Comments

Pregnant Pause: Eastern District of Michigan Misapplies Adoptive Admission Rule in FMLA/Title VII Action

The recent opinion of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan  in Huck v. Greenspan, 2009 WL 224682 (E.D. Mich. 2009), contains what I feel is a disastrous misapplication of the adoptive admission rule, with similarly … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and the Workplace | 2 Comments

How long before the economic recession is labeled an evil plot by feminists?

Families which contain two adults who work outside the home often have a layer of economic security that two adult families with one “stay at home” partner do not have. So, on a micro level, everything feminists and our allies … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and the Workplace | 2 Comments

Presidential Authority and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”

President has authority to change “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” now In her article Let the Small Changes Begin: President Obama, Executive Power, and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Professor Jackie Gardina of Vermont Law School  writes: President Obama should not wait … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and the Workplace, LGBT Rights | Tagged | 1 Comment