Rights on Trial

Author: Ellen Berrey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226466859
Release Date: 2017-06-22
Genre: Law

Gerry Handley faced years of blatant race-based harassment before he filed a complaint against his employer: racist jokes, signs reading “KKK” in his work area, and even questions from coworkers as to whether he had sex with his daughter as slaves supposedly did. He had an unusually strong case, with copious documentation and coworkers’ support, and he settled for $50,000, even winning back his job. But victory came at a high cost. Legal fees cut into Mr. Handley’s winnings, and tensions surrounding the lawsuit poisoned the workplace. A year later, he lost his job due to downsizing by his company. Mr. Handley exemplifies the burden plaintiffs bear in contemporary civil rights litigation. In the decades since the civil rights movement, we’ve made progress, but not nearly as much as it might seem. On the surface, America’s commitment to equal opportunity in the workplace has never been clearer. Virtually every company has antidiscrimination policies in place, and there are laws designed to protect these rights across a range of marginalized groups. But, as Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen compellingly show, this progressive vision of the law falls far short in practice. When aggrieved individuals turn to the law, the adversarial character of litigation imposes considerable personal and financial costs that make plaintiffs feel like they’ve lost regardless of the outcome of the case. Employer defendants also are dissatisfied with the system, often feeling “held up” by what they see as frivolous cases. And even when the case is resolved in the plaintiff’s favor, the conditions that gave rise to the lawsuit rarely change. In fact, the contemporary approach to workplace discrimination law perversely comes to reinforce the very hierarchies that antidiscrimination laws were created to redress. Based on rich interviews with plaintiffs, attorneys, and representatives of defendants and an original national dataset on case outcomes, Rights on Trial reveals the fundamental flaws of workplace discrimination law and offers practical recommendations for how we might better respond to persistent patterns of discrimination.

Rights on Trial

Author: Ellen Berrey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226466996
Release Date: 2017-06-22
Genre: Law

Gerry Handley faced years of blatant race-based harassment before he filed a complaint against his employer: racist jokes, signs reading “KKK” in his work area, and even questions from coworkers as to whether he had sex with his daughter as slaves supposedly did. He had an unusually strong case, with copious documentation and coworkers’ support, and he settled for $50,000, even winning back his job. But victory came at a high cost. Legal fees cut into Mr. Handley’s winnings, and tensions surrounding the lawsuit poisoned the workplace. A year later, he lost his job due to downsizing by his company. Mr. Handley exemplifies the burden plaintiffs bear in contemporary civil rights litigation. In the decades since the civil rights movement, we’ve made progress, but not nearly as much as it might seem. On the surface, America’s commitment to equal opportunity in the workplace has never been clearer. Virtually every company has antidiscrimination policies in place, and there are laws designed to protect these rights across a range of marginalized groups. But, as Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen compellingly show, this progressive vision of the law falls far short in practice. When aggrieved individuals turn to the law, the adversarial character of litigation imposes considerable personal and financial costs that make plaintiffs feel like they’ve lost regardless of the outcome of the case. Employer defendants also are dissatisfied with the system, often feeling “held up” by what they see as frivolous cases. And even when the case is resolved in the plaintiff’s favor, the conditions that gave rise to the lawsuit rarely change. In fact, the contemporary approach to workplace discrimination law perversely comes to reinforce the very hierarchies that antidiscrimination laws were created to redress. Based on rich interviews with plaintiffs, attorneys, and representatives of defendants and an original national dataset on case outcomes, Rights on Trial reveals the fundamental flaws of workplace discrimination law and offers practical recommendations for how we might better respond to persistent patterns of discrimination.

Rights on Trial

Author: Ellen Berrey
Publisher:
ISBN: 022646671X
Release Date: 2017-06-26
Genre: Law

Gerry Handley faced years of blatant race-based harassment before he filed a complaint against his employer: racist jokes, signs reading KKK in his work area, and even questions from coworkers as to whether he had sex with his daughter as slaves supposedly did. He had an unusually strong case, with copious documentation and coworkers support, and he settled for $50,000, even winning back his job. But victory came at a high cost. Legal fees cut into Mr. Handley s winnings, and tensions surrounding the lawsuit poisoned the workplace. A year later, he lost his job due to downsizing by his company. Mr. Handley exemplifies the burden plaintiffs bear in contemporary civil rights litigation. In the decades since the civil rights movement, we ve made progress, but not nearly as much as it might seem. On the surface, America s commitment to equal opportunity in the workplace has never been clearer. Virtually every company has antidiscrimination policies in place, and there are laws designed to protect these rights across a range of marginalized groups. But, as Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen compellingly show, this progressive vision of the law falls far short in practice. When aggrieved individuals turn to the law, the adversarial character of litigation imposes considerable personal and financial costs that make plaintiffs feel like they ve lost regardless of the outcome of the case. Employer defendants also are dissatisfied with the system, often feeling held up by what they see as frivolous cases. And even when the case is resolved in the plaintiff s favor, the conditions that gave rise to the lawsuit rarely change. In fact, the contemporary approach to workplace discrimination law perversely comes to reinforce the very hierarchies that antidiscrimination laws were created to redress. Based on rich interviews with plaintiffs, attorneys, and representatives of defendants and an original national dataset on case outcomes, Rights on Trial reveals the fundamental flaws of workplace discrimination law and offers practical recommendations for how we might better respond to persistent patterns of discrimination."

The Enigma of Diversity

Author: Ellen Berrey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022624623X
Release Date: 2015-05-15
Genre: Social Science

Diversity these days is a hallowed American value, widely shared and honored. That’s a remarkable change from the Civil Rights era—but does this public commitment to diversity constitute a civil rights victory? What does diversity mean in contemporary America, and what are the effects of efforts to support it? Ellen Berrey digs deep into those questions in The Enigma of Diversity. Drawing on six years of fieldwork and historical sources dating back to the 1950s and making extensive use of three case studies from widely varying arenas—housing redevelopment in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, affirmative action in the University of Michigan’s admissions program, and the workings of the human resources department at a Fortune 500 company—Berrey explores the complicated, contradictory, and even troubling meanings and uses of diversity as it is invoked by different groups for different, often symbolic ends. In each case, diversity affirms inclusiveness, especially in the most coveted jobs and colleges, yet it resists fundamental change in the practices and cultures that are the foundation of social inequality. Berrey shows how this has led racial progress itself to be reimagined, transformed from a legal fight for fundamental rights to a celebration of the competitive advantages afforded by cultural differences. Powerfully argued and surprising in its conclusions, The Enigma of Diversity reveals the true cost of the public embrace of diversity: the taming of demands for racial justice.

Unequal

Author: Sandra F. Sperino
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190278380
Release Date: 2017
Genre: Law

It is no secret that since the 1980s, American workers have lost power vis-a-vis employers. Along with the well-chronicled steep decline in private sector unionization, American workers alleging employment discrimination have fared increasingly poorly in the courts. In recent years, judges have dismissed scores of cases in which workers presented evidence that supervisors referred to them using racial or gender slurs. In one federal district court, judges dismissed more than 80 percent of the race discrimination cases filed over a year. And when juries return verdicts in favor of employees, judges often second guess those verdicts, finding ways to nullify the jury's verdict and rule in favor of the employer. Most Americans assume that that an employee alleging workplace discrimination faces the same legal system as other litigants. After all, we do not usually think that legal rules vary depending upon the type of claim brought. As the employment law scholars Sandra A. Sperino and Suja A. Thomas show in Unequal, though, our assumptions are wrong. Over the course of the last half century, employment discrimination claims have come to operate in a fundamentally different legal system than other claims. It is in many respects a parallel universe, one in which the legal system systematically favors employers over employees. A host of procedural, evidentiary, and substantive mechanisms serve as barriers for employees, making it extremely difficult for them to access the courts. Moreover, these mechanisms make it fairly easy for judges to dismiss a case prior to trial. Americans are unaware of how the system operates partly because they think that race and gender discrimination are in the process of fading away. But such discrimination remains fairly common in the workplace, and workers now have little recourse to fight it legally. By tracing the modern history of employment discrimination, Sperino and Thomas provide an authoritative account of how our legal system evolved into an institution that is inherently biased against workers making rights claims.

Working Law

Author: Lauren B. Edelman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226400938
Release Date: 2016-11-28
Genre: Social Science

Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, virtually all companies have antidiscrimination policies in place. Although these policies represent some progress, women and minorities remain underrepresented within the workplace as a whole and even more so when you look at high-level positions. They also tend to be less well paid. How is it that discrimination remains so prevalent in the American workplace despite the widespread adoption of policies designed to prevent it? One reason for the limited success of antidiscrimination policies, argues Lauren B. Edelman, is that the law regulating companies is broad and ambiguous, and managers therefore play a critical role in shaping what it means in daily practice. Often, what results are policies and procedures that are largely symbolic and fail to dispel long-standing patterns of discrimination. Even more troubling, these meanings of the law that evolve within companies tend to eventually make their way back into the legal domain, inconspicuously influencing lawyers for both plaintiffs and defendants and even judges. When courts look to the presence of antidiscrimination policies and personnel manuals to infer fair practices and to the presence of diversity training programs without examining whether these policies are effective in combating discrimination and achieving racial and gender diversity, they wind up condoning practices that deviate considerably from the legal ideals.

Distorting the Law

Author: William Haltom
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226314693
Release Date: 2009-11-15
Genre: Political Science

In recent years, stories of reckless lawyers and greedy citizens have given the legal system, and victims in general, a bad name. Many Americans have come to believe that we live in the land of the litigious, where frivolous lawsuits and absurdly high settlements reign. Scholars have argued for years that this common view of the depraved ruin of our civil legal system is a myth, but their research and statistics rarely make the news. William Haltom and Michael McCann here persuasively show how popularized distorted understandings of tort litigation (or tort tales) have been perpetuated by the mass media and reform proponents. Distorting the Law lays bare how media coverage has sensationalized lawsuits and sympathetically portrayed corporate interests, supporting big business and reinforcing negative stereotypes of law practices. Based on extensive interviews, nearly two decades of newspaper coverage, and in-depth studies of the McDonald's coffee case and tobacco litigation, Distorting the Law offers a compelling analysis of the presumed litigation crisis, the campaign for tort law reform, and the crucial role the media play in this process.

The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It

Author: Dan L. Burk
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226080635
Release Date: 2009-08-01
Genre: Political Science

Patent law is crucial to encourage technological innovation. But as the patent system currently stands, diverse industries from pharmaceuticals to software to semiconductors are all governed by the same rules even though they innovate very differently. The result is a crisis in the patent system, where patents calibrated to the needs of prescription drugs wreak havoc on information technologies and vice versa. According to Dan L. Burk and Mark A. Lemley in The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It, courts should use the tools the patent system already gives them to treat patents in different industries differently. Industry tailoring is the only way to provide an appropriate level of incentive for each industry. Burk and Lemley illustrate the barriers to innovation created by the catch-all standards in the current system. Legal tools already present in the patent statute, they contend, offer a solution—courts can tailor patent law, through interpretations and applications, to suit the needs of various types of businesses. The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It will be essential reading for those seeking to understand the nexus of economics, business, and law in the twenty-first century.

Reclaiming Fair Use

Author: Patricia Aufderheide
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226032283
Release Date: 2011-08-15
Genre: Law

Reclaiming Fair Use begins by surveying the landscape of contemporary copyright law--and the dampening effect it can have on creativity--before laying out how the fair-use principle can be employed to avoid copyright violation. Finally, Aufderheide and Jaszi summarize their work with artists and professional groups to develop best practice documents for fair use and discuss fair use in an international context. Appendixes address common myths about fair use and provide a template for creating the reader's own best practices. --From publisher description.

The Many Hands of the State

Author: Kimberly J. Morgan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107135291
Release Date: 2017-02-28
Genre: Political Science

This book offers a sampling of cutting-edge research on the state, pointing to future directions for research and providing innovative ways of theorizing states.

Sexual Harassment of Working Women

Author: Catharine A. MacKinnon
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300022999
Release Date: 1979
Genre: Law

Sexual harassment of working women has been widely practiced and systematically ignored. Men’s control over women’s jobs has often made coerced sexual relations the price of women’s material survival. Considered trivial or personal, or natural and inevitable, sexual harassment has become a social institution. MacKinnon offers here a attempt to understand sexual harassment as a pervasive social problem and to present a legal argument that it is discrimination based on sex. Beginning with an analysis of victims' experiences, she then examines sex discrimination doctrine as a whole, both for its potential in prohibiting sexual harassment and for its limitations.

Divided by Faith

Author: Michael O. Emerson
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195147073
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Religion

Based on a telephone survey of 2,000 people and 200 interviews, the authors study the grassroots of white evangelical America and learn that evangelicals themselves seem to hang on to the nation's racial divide and at this point in time real racial reconciliation remains unsolved by conservative Christians.

Unwelcome and unlawful

Author: Raymond F. Gregory
Publisher: Ilr Pr
ISBN: 0801442508
Release Date: 2004-05-01
Genre: Law

Nearly every American woman will, at some point during her working life, be sexually harassed, according to Raymond F. Gregory, a lawyer specializing in employment and discrimination law. Unwelcome and Unlawful provides information for those victims as well as for those suffering same-sex harassment and for male victims of sexual harassment. Gregory analyzes sexual harassment from the perspective of existing federal law and describes the legal rights that may be asserted by victims of harassment to obtain either injunctive or monetary relief. Conduct of a sexual nature that occurs in normal workplace socialization is generally not unlawful, but it will be considered to have crossed the line of legality if it is unwelcome and is sufficiently severe or pervasive to undermine an employee's work life. Questions typically arising in a sexual harassment case include: *What types of workplace conduct are classified as sexually harassing? *When is sexual conduct considered unwelcome? *When is sexual conduct perceived as severe or pervasive? *What are the obligations of an employee to report acts of sexual harassment? *If sexual harassment is proven, what monetary damages and other relief may the victim expect to be awarded? *When is an employer liable for acts of sexual harassment committed by its workers and supervisors? *What privacy rights does an employee claiming sexual harassment have? By clarifying little-understood aspects of the law barring sexual harassment, the author presents an indispensable resource for victims seeking to learn what to expect from the legal system if they contest the actions of their harassers in the courts.

Feminism Unmodified

Author: Catharine A. MacKinnon
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674298748
Release Date: 1987
Genre: Law

An analysis of the legal status of women includes discussions of discrimination, rape, sexual harassment, and pornography

Racism and the Press

Author: Teun A. van Dijk
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317403852
Release Date: 2015-07-24
Genre: Social Science

Originally published in 1991. This book presents the results of an interdisciplinary study of the press coverage of ethnic affairs. Examples are drawn mainly from British and Dutch newspapers, but data from other countries are also reviewed. Besides providing the reader with a thorough content analysis of the material, the book is the first to introduce a detailed discourse analytical approach to the study of the ways in which ethnic minorities are portrayed in the press. The approach focuses on the topics, overall news report schemata, local meanings, style and rhetoric of news reports. Highly original, accomplished and penetrating, the book is the fruit of a decade of research into the question of racism and the press, important for ethnic studies, mass communication and media studies, sociology and linguistics.