Keeping Discrimination Theory Front and Center in the Discourse Over Work and Family Conflict
Laura T. Kessler
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law
Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 34, p. 313, 2007
U of Utah Legal Studies Paper No. 06-06
This essay is a contribution to a symposium on balancing career and family. It frames the problem of work/family conflict as a form of sex discrimination. It demonstrates that many of the constructs commonly used to illustrate an absence of employment discrimination - such as the accident, opt-out, time-lag theories - actually fit quite comfortably within various discrimination frameworks. It also contextualizes the problem of work/family conflict within the larger issue of gender bias in the workplace, demonstrating how each contributes to and works together to produce workplace inequality for women. This approach contrasts with the traditional bifurcation of gender bias and work/family conflict into distinct categories of employment discrimination.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: employment discrimination, sex discrimination, gender bias, Title VII, feminist theory, feminist legal theory, work/family conflict, structural discrimination, unconscious discrimination, discrimination, new institutionalism, cognitive bias, family leave, human capital theory
JEL Classification: J16, J22, J23, J24, J70, J71, J78, K31Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 15, 2007
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