Category Archives: Feminism and the Workplace

There’s No Sex in Your Violence: Opinion Reveals Minnesota Only Allows Hostile Work Environment Claims Based On Sexual Harassment, Not Gender Discrimination

A female employee brings an action against a school district under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), alleging hostile work environment based upon gender discrimination. The gravaman of her complaint is that her male supervisor made sexist statements about the … Continue reading

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The “Inevitable Firing” Approach: How The Inevitable Discovery Doctrine Should Inform Subordinate Discrimination Cases

A company fires an employee. The employee files an action against the company, alleging that the firing was discriminatory. The company moves for summary judgement dismissing the complaint. The fired employee has no direct evidence that the supervisor who fired … Continue reading

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Do Unions Help Women Faculty?

Ann Mari May, Elizabeth Moorhouse, and Jennifer A. Bossard have published Representation of Women Faculty at Public Research Universities: Do Unions Matter? in volume 63 of the Industrial and Labor Relations Review (2010). Here is the abstract. The authors investigate the … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and Economics, Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminists in Academia, Women and Economics | 1 Comment

If You Want to Work for the History Channel, You Need to Be An Historian With a Penis!

Historiann has the details about a History Channel solicitation letter that states: We’re open to many physical-types for the host position, but we’re focusing on finding more of a rugged, rough, and smart type. Think Survivor’s Jeff Probst or Dirty … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace, The Overrepresentation of Men | 1 Comment

As Seen on TV?: SDNY Finds Social Framework Testimony Wouldn’t Help Jurors Because Gender Stereotypes are Exposed on Sitcoms & News Reports

Moreover, the Court agrees with the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ reasoning in Ray v. Miller Meester Advertising, Inc., 664 N.W.2d 355 (Minn.Ct.App.2003) wherein the court found that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting Dr. Borgida’s testimony because the … Continue reading

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

Memo to Yale Law School Professor Adam Cohen: “What Price Waterhouse did is like saying ‘nigger.’”

A member of the blogroll who has requested anonymity contributes the following post: Adam Cohen, who is apparently a law professor at Yale Law School, seems not to be familiar with the case of Hopkins v. Price Waterhouse, and that Cohen … Continue reading

Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace | 4 Comments

If Nero Had Internet Access, He Might Have Watched Porn While Rome Burned

From the Associated Press: Senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission spent hours surfing pornographic websites on government-issued computers while they were being paid to police the financial system, an agency watchdog says. The SEC’s inspector general conducted 33 … Continue reading

Posted in Feminism and the Workplace, Pornography's Harms | 1 Comment

Gender Frustrations

So I have taken a week to think about how to blog about a session that I saw last weekend at the ABA Conference.   The session was about using movies to demonstrate gender differences in negotiation  and I went … Continue reading

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Latoya Peterson originally wanted to title the post: “All The Women Are Still White, All The Blacks Are Still Men, But Some Of Us Are Tired of Being Brave and Want to Kick Someone’s Ass.”

Read it here. Peterson co-authored it with Thea Lim and there is a lot there to think about, that really needs to be thought about. –Ann Bartow

Posted in Feminism and the Workplace, Race and Racism, Sociolinguistics, Women and Economics | Comments Off on Latoya Peterson originally wanted to title the post: “All The Women Are Still White, All The Blacks Are Still Men, But Some Of Us Are Tired of Being Brave and Want to Kick Someone’s Ass.”

Marines to Women Soldiers: Clean Up On Aisle Seven!

When their gender is seen as an advantage rather than a disability, suddenly it is permissible for women soldiers to assume combat roles: … Women make up only 6 percent of the Marine Corps, which cultivates an image as the … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace, If you're a woman, The Underrepresentation of Women | 4 Comments

The Internet Pile-on over a Woman Dean’s Paycheck

The legal blogosphere has been embroiled recently in a series of discussions about Karen Rothenberg, formerly dean at Maryland law.  For those living in a cave (or avoiding Above the Law as a paper-finishing strategy), the basic facts are these:  … Continue reading

Posted in Feminism and Technology, Feminism and the Workplace, Law Schools, Law Teaching, Sexism in the Media | 1 Comment

Residual Value: Nevada Case Reveals Potential Usefulness of Residual Hearsay Exception to Gender and Race Discrimination Plaintiffs

Federal Rule of Evidence 807 provides an exception to the rule against hearsay for A statement not specifically covered by Rule 803 or  804 but having equivalent circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness, is not excluded by the hearsay rule, if the … Continue reading

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Don’t Ask, Don’t Get Pregnant: Military Policy for Iraq Bans Pregnancy or Impregnanting

Stars and Stripes, The Independent News Source for the U.S. Military Community, is  reporting that a policy which went into effect in early November, and just reported, restricts the reproductive rights of military and civilian personnel: The rule governs all … Continue reading

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

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

Posted in Academia, Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminist Legal Scholarship | Comments Off on Article of Interest: Diversity and Discrimination: A Look at Complex Bias by Minna Kotkin

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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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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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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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.

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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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

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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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

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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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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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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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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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

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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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

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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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

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

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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“… 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

Posted in Feminism and the Workplace, South Carolina | Comments Off on “… 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.”

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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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

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

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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