Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1096353
 
 

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Disabling Prejudice


Michael Evan Waterstone


Loyola Law School Los Angeles; Northwestern University - School of Law

Michael Ashley Stein


William & Mary Law School; Harvard Law School


Northwestern University Law Review, Forthcoming
Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2008-3

Abstract:     
This is a review of Mark C. Weber's book DISABILITY HARASSMENT. Weber's work provides powerful evidence of an important but often unacknowledged form of intentional discrimination against people with disabilities. It also provides a doctrinal formulation by which to address this issue, as well as normative arguments for why we should. Weber's work draws insight from social science research suggesting that discomfort and anxiety relating to disability can lead non-disabled people to deliberately stigmatize people with disabilities. Yet a growing body of legal and social science research suggests that the discomfort generated by minorities, women, and people with disabilities in the workplace also leads to less acknowledged, even unconscious forms of discrimination. Like the blunt disability harassment Weber discusses, courts and legislatures have found that this less blatantly recognized variant of discrimination is difficult to confront and address.

We therefore address invidious unconscious discrimination in this Review Essay by making the case for why people with psycho-social (also called, mental) disabilities, who are largely considered to be among the most stigmatized individuals, should and can be integrated into the workplace. In doing so, our assertions go beyond legal protections to argue that occupationally integrating individuals with mental disabilities is also beneficial for their co-workers without disabilities.

Part I of this Review Essay sets forth Weber's thesis, arguments, and conclusions regarding disability-based harassment. Part II briefly overviews the influence of deeply embedded unconscious discrimination, especially as it affects occupational participation by minority groups, including people with disabilities. Next, Part III provides an initial treatment of why people with mental disabilities normatively should and practically can be incorporated into the workforce. In doing so, we highlight some of the less currently appreciated benefits of integrating these workers. We conclude with a few thoughts on how incorporating individuals with psycho-social disabilities may be seen as part of the overall dynamic of increasing flexibility in the evolving workplace, including some advantages that redound to their non-disabled peers.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

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Date posted: February 25, 2008 ; Last revised: March 13, 2008

Suggested Citation

Waterstone, Michael Evan and Stein, Michael Ashley, Disabling Prejudice. Northwestern University Law Review, Forthcoming; Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2008-3. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1096353

Contact Information

Michael Evan Waterstone (Contact Author)
Loyola Law School Los Angeles ( email )
919 Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1211
United States
Northwestern University - School of Law ( email )
375 E. Chicago Ave
Unit 1505
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-1855 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/profiles/MichaelWaterstone/
Michael Ashley Stein
William & Mary Law School ( email )
South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States
(757) 221-3762 (Phone)
Harvard Law School ( email )
1563 Massachussetts Avenue
Pound Hall 423
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1726 (Phone)
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