Rights on Trial

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 ...

Rights on Trial

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 Rights Revolution Revisited

s Rights on Trial (2017), provides a much-needed empirical picture of the steep hill plaintiffs must climb when ... How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2017); Lauren B.

The Rights Revolution Revisited

The rights revolution in the United States consisted of both sweeping changes in constitutional doctrines and landmark legislative reform, followed by decades of innovative implementation in every branch of the federal government - Congress, agencies, and the courts. In recent years, a growing number of political scientists have sought to integrate studies of the rights revolution into accounts of the contemporary American state. In The Rights Revolution Revisited, a distinguished group of political scientists and legal scholars explore the institutional dynamics, scope, and durability of the rights revolution. By offering an inter-branch analysis of the development of civil rights laws and policies that features the role of private enforcement, this volume enriches our understanding of the rise of the 'civil rights state' and its fate in the current era.

Discrimination Law

... A Theory of Constitutional Rights (OUP 2004) Agócs C and Osborne B, 'Comparing Equity Policies in Canada and ... Nelson R, and Nielson L, Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (University of ...

Discrimination Law

A challenging, yet highly accessible, introduction to discrimination law which highlights the major issues and asks how the right to equality can be made more effective. This edition includes expanded material on how jurisdictions formulate grounds of discrimination with thematic analysis on topics such as racism, sexism, and LGBTQ+ rights.

Race Organizations and the Organizing Process

Rights on trial: How workplace discrimination law perpetuates inequality. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2003). Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the ...

Race  Organizations  and the Organizing Process

This volume shifts the analytic attention of research on race as a people-based theoretical or empirical category to organizations. Chapters investigate how race shapes organizations and an organization's ability to get the cultural, political, and material resources it needs to survive, i.e, the organizing process.

Racial Discrimination

Hence the absence of substantive Israeli law prohibiting discrimination in housing effectively undermines the reach of ... L. Nelson & Laura Beth Nielsen, Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (2017).

Racial Discrimination

This fifth volume in the Brill Research Perspectives in Comparative Discrimination Law surveys the field of comparative race discrimination law for the purpose of providing an introduction to the nature of comparing systems of discrimination and the transnational search for effective equality laws and policies. This volume includes the perspectives of racialized subjects (subalterns) in the examination of the reach of the laws on the ground. It engages a variety of legal and social science resources in order to compare systems across a number of contexts (such as the United States, Canada, France, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Israel, India, and others). The goal is to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of various kinds of anti-discrimination legal devices to aid in the study of law reform efforts across the globe centered on racial equality.

Generation A

Rights on trial: How workplace discrimination law perpetuates inequality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Brownlow, C., Werth, S., & Keefe, K. (2018). Autism Spectrum Disorder: Emotion work in the workplace.

Generation A

Providing several new contributions to both the disabilities literature and research on special populations and international perspectives on Generation A, this book explores ways that researchers can help facilitate finding and maintaining employment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Gender and Careers in the Legal Academy

Berrey, Ellen, Nelson, Robert L and Nielsen, Laura Beth (2017) Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality. (Chicago, IL, University of Chicago Press). Blumberg, Grace (1980) 'Adult Derivative Benefits in ...

Gender and Careers in the Legal Academy

In the past fifteen years there has been a marked increase in the international scholarship relating to women in law. The lives and careers of women in legal practice and the judiciary have been extensively documented and critiqued, but the central conundrum remains: Does the presence of women make a difference? What has been largely overlooked in the literature is the position of women in the legal academy, although central to the changing culture. To remedy the oversight, an international network of scholars embarked on a comparative study, which resulted in this path-breaking book. The contributors uncover fascinating accounts of the careers of the academic pioneers as well as exploring broader theoretical issues relating to gender and culture. The provocative question as to whether the presence of women makes a difference informs each contribution.

Challenging the Status Quo

She studies persistent inequalities where individuals and organizations reject discrimination. ... and Laura Beth Nielsen, Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (University of Chicago Press, 2017), ...

Challenging the Status Quo

Challenging the Status Quo offers the latest cutting-edge scholarship in the subfield of sociology of diversity and inclusion.

Principled Labor Law

155 See, e.g., Ellen Barry et al., Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (2017) (arguing that the adversarial character of litigation in the United States imposes considerable personal and financial ...

Principled Labor Law

The gig economy, precarious work, and nonstandard employment have forced labor law scholars to rethink their discipline. Classical remedies for unequal power, capabilities approaches, "third way" market regulation, and laissez-faire all now vie for attention - at least in English. Despite a deep history of labor activism, Latin American scholarship has had scant presence in these debates. This book introduces to an English-language audience another approach: principled labor law, based on Latin American perspectives, using a jurisprudential method focused on worker protection. The authors apply this methodology to the least likely case of labor-protective jurisprudence in the industrialized world: the United States. In doing so, Gamonal and Rosado focus on the Thirteenth Amendment as a labor-protective constitutional provision, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. This book shows how principled labor law can provide a clear and simple method for consistent, labor-protective jurisprudence in the United States and beyond.

Reconstructing Rights

Unpacking Law and Policy Preferences on the U.S. Supreme Court. ... “The Right to Equal Treatment: Administrative Enforcement of Antidiscrimination Legislation. ... How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality.

Reconstructing Rights

Shows how judges work in a deliberative fashion with aligned political parties to re-interpret legal and constitutional text.

Social Identity and the Law

Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017). Eskridge, Jr., William. “Title VII's Statutory History and the Sex Discrimination Argument for LGBT Workplace ...

Social Identity and the Law

Social Identity and the Law: Race, Sexuality and Intersectionality is an important resource for inquiry into the relationship between law and social identity in the contexts of race, sexuality and intersectionality in the United States. The book provides a systematic legal treatment of selected historical and contemporary civil rights and social justice issues in areas affecting African Americans, Latinos/as, Asian Americans and LGBTQ persons from a law and politics perspective. It covers topics such as the legal and social construction of social identity, slavery and the rise of Jim Crow, discrimination based on national origin and citizenship, educational equity, voting rights, workplace discrimination, discrimination in private and public spaces, regulation of intimate relationships, marriage and reproductive justice, and criminal justice. Lecturers will benefit from: Fifty-seven excerpted cases accompanied with engaging questions presented at the beginning of each case to stimulate class discussion. An eResource including 129 supplemental case excerpts and case briefs for all excerpted cases appearing in the book. Suggested reading lists at the end of each chapter recommending key articles and books to help students survey the academic literature on the topics. With a logical chapter structure and accessible writing style, this textbook is an essential companion for use on undergraduate courses on American constitutional law, civil liberties and civil rights, social justice, and race and law.

Multiracials and Civil Rights

Working Realities: Using Social Science to Reformulate Sexual Harassment Law. New York: NYU Press, 2005. Berrey, Ellen, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen. Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality.

Multiracials and Civil Rights

Narratives of mixed-race people bringing claims of racial discrimination in court, illuminating traditional understandings of civil rights law As the mixed-race population in the United States grows, public fascination with multiracial identity has promoted the belief that racial mixture will destroy racism. However, multiracial people still face discrimination. Many legal scholars hold that this is distinct from the discrimination faced by people of other races, and traditional civil rights laws built on a strict black/white binary need to be reformed to account for cases of discrimination against those identifying as mixed-race. In Multiracials and Civil Rights, Tanya Katerí Hernández debunks this idea, and draws on a plethora of court cases to demonstrate that multiracials face the same types of discrimination as other racial groups. Hernández argues that multiracial people are primarily targeted for discrimination due to their non-whiteness, and shows how the cases highlight the need to support the existing legal structures instead of a new understanding of civil rights law. The legal and political analysis is enriched with Hernández's own personal narrative as a mixed-race Afro-Latina. Coming at a time when explicit racism is resurfacing, Hernández’s look at multiracial discrimination cases is essential for fortifying the focus of civil rights law on racial privilege and the lingering legacy of bias against non-whites, and has much to teach us about how to move towards a more egalitarian society.

Panes of the Glass Ceiling

L. REV . 749, 757 (2012–13); Clermont & Schwab, Employment Discrimination Plaintiffs in Federal Court, supra note 2, at 119. 81 ELLEN BERREY ET AL . , RIGHTS ON TRIAL : HOW WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION LAW PERPETUATES INEQUALITY (2017).

Panes of the Glass Ceiling


Self Representation

Berry, Ellen, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen, Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality. (2017). Black's Law Dictionary (7th ed.) (1999). Blaustein, Albert P., What Do Laymen Think of Lawyers?

Self Representation

This book explores the legal, ethical, and policy issues arising from self-representation in America's courts and acts as a useful guide for lawyers, judges, and for self-represented litigants themselves who face the complexity of litigation alone.

Getting to Diversity

Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen, Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017); Edelman, Working Law; Roscigno, The Face of Discrimination.

Getting to Diversity

“Too many companies don’t know how to walk the walk of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Getting to Diversity shows them how.” —Lori George Billingsley, former Global Chief DEI Officer, Coca-Cola Company In an authoritative, data-driven account, two of the world’s leading management experts challenge dominant approaches to increasing workplace diversity and provide a comprehensive account of what really works. Every year America becomes more diverse, but change in the makeup of the management ranks has stalled. The problem has become an urgent matter of national debate. How do we fix it? Bestselling books preach moral reformation. Employers, however well intentioned, follow guesswork and whatever their peers happen to be doing. Arguing that it’s time to focus on changing systems rather than individuals, two of the world’s leading experts on workplace diversity show us a better way in the first comprehensive, data-driven analysis of what succeeds and what fails. The surprising results will change how America works. Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev draw on more than thirty years of data from eight hundred companies as well as in-depth interviews with managers. The research shows just how little companies gain from standard practice: sending managers to diversity training to reveal their biases, then following up with hiring and promotion rules, and sanctions, to shape their behavior. Almost nothing changes. It’s time, Dobbin and Kalev argue, to focus on changing the management systems that make it hard for women and people of color to succeed. They show us how the best firms are pioneering new recruitment, mentoring, and skill training systems, and implementing strategies for mixing segregated work groups to increase diversity. They explain what a difference ambitious work–life programs make. And they argue that as firms adopt new systems, the key to making them work is to make them accessible to all—not just the favored few. Powerful, authoritative, and driven by a commitment to change, Getting to Diversity is the book we need now to address constructively one of the most fraught challenges in American life.

The Legal Process and the Promise of Justice

Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Biden, Senator Joseph R. 2000. “Essay: The Civil Rights Remedy of the Violence Against Women Act: A Defense.

The Legal Process and the Promise of Justice

Malcolm Feeley's classic scholarship on courts, criminal justice, legal reform, and the legal complex, examined by law and society scholars.

Policing Welfare

Law & Society Review 46 (1): 1–36. Berrey, Ellen, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen. 2017. Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Policing Welfare

Means-tested government assistance in the United States requires recipients to meet certain criteria and continue to maintain their eligibility so that benefits are paid to the “truly needy.” Welfare is regarded with such suspicion in this country that considerable resources are spent policing the boundaries of eligibility, which are delineated by an often confusing and baroque set of rules and regulations. Even minor infractions of the many rules can cause people to be dropped from these programs, and possibly face criminal prosecution. In this book, Spencer Headworth offers the first study of the structure of fraud control in the welfare system by examining the relations between different levels of governmental agencies, from federal to local, and their enforcement practices. Policing Welfare shows how the enforcement regime of welfare has been constructed to further stigmatize those already living in poverty and deepens disparities of class, race, and gender in our society.

Lactation at Work

Law & Society Review 46(1):1–36. Berrey, Ellen, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen. 2018. Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lactation at Work

In recent decades, as women entered the US workforce in increasing numbers, they faced the conundrum of how to maintain breastfeeding and hold down full-time jobs. In 2010, the Lactation at Work Law (an amendment to the US Fair Labor Standards Act) mandated accommodations for lactating women. This book examines the federal law and its state-level equivalent in Indiana, drawing on two waves of interviews with human resource personnel, supervising managers, and lactating workers. In many ways, this simple law - requiring break time and privacy for pumping - is a success story. Through advocacy by allies, education of managers, and employee initiative, many organizations created compliant accommodations. This book shows legal scholars how a successful civil rights law creates effective change; helps labor activists and management personnel understand how to approach new accommodations; and enables workers to understand the possibilities for amelioration of workplace problems through internal negotiations and legal reforms.

Sexual Harassment of Women

Rights on trial: How workplace discrimination law perpetuates inequality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Binder, R. L. (1992). Sexual harassment: Issues for forensic psychiatrists. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry ...

Sexual Harassment of Women

Over the last few decades, research, activity, and funding has been devoted to improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine. In recent years the diversity of those participating in these fields, particularly the participation of women, has improved and there are significantly more women entering careers and studying science, engineering, and medicine than ever before. However, as women increasingly enter these fields they face biases and barriers and it is not surprising that sexual harassment is one of these barriers. Over thirty years the incidence of sexual harassment in different industries has held steady, yet now more women are in the workforce and in academia, and in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine (as students and faculty) and so more women are experiencing sexual harassment as they work and learn. Over the last several years, revelations of the sexual harassment experienced by women in the workplace and in academic settings have raised urgent questions about the specific impact of this discriminatory behavior on women and the extent to which it is limiting their careers. Sexual Harassment of Women explores the influence of sexual harassment in academia on the career advancement of women in the scientific, technical, and medical workforce. This report reviews the research on the extent to which women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine are victimized by sexual harassment and examines the existing information on the extent to which sexual harassment in academia negatively impacts the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women pursuing scientific, engineering, technical, and medical careers. It also identifies and analyzes the policies, strategies and practices that have been the most successful in preventing and addressing sexual harassment in these settings.

The Myth of Bureaucratic Neutrality

L. No. 101-336, 104 Stat. 328 (1990). Civil Rights Act of 1964 § 7, 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq (1964). Literature Berrey, E., Nelson, R. L., & Nielsen, L. B. (2017). Rights on trial: How workplace discrimination law perpetuates inequality.

The Myth of Bureaucratic Neutrality

In a system discredited by political corruption, the notion of ‘bureaucratic neutrality’ was presented during the Progressive era as strategy to restore legitimacy in government. However, bureaucratic neutrality also served as a barrier to equity in government. This book argues that neutrality is a myth that has been used as a means to oppress marginalized communities, largely disconnected from its origins within the field of public administration. A historical perspective of how the field has understood race and gender demonstrates how it has centered whiteness, masculinity, and heteronormativity in research and administrative practices, mistaking them for neutrality in public service. Using a historically grounded positionality approach, the authors trace the myth of bureaucratic neutrality back to its origins and highlight how it has institutionalized inequity, both legally and culturally. Ultimately, the authors demonstrate that the only way to move towards equity is to understand how inequity has become institutionalized, and to constantly work to improve our systems and decision making. With constituents across the globe demanding institutional changes in government that will establish new practices and mediate generations of inequality, The Myth of Bureaucratic Neutrality is required reading for public administration scholars, practitioners, and students.