Gendered Violence and Work: Reckoning with the Boundaries of Sex Discrimination Law
Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, Vol. 18, p. 61, 2008
57 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2008 Last revised: 1 Apr 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2008
Workplace discrimination based on sex persists despite decades of anti-discrimination law. Domestic and sexual violence survivors' treatment at work often reflects a subtle form of sex discrimination that inevitably informs and distorts workplace decisions involving domestic and sexual violence victims, yet, in many cases, remains legally insignificant. This article proposes an approach that draws on the growing literature documenting cognitive bias. It argues that survivors' experiences at work should be recognized for the ways those experiences reflect subtle gender-based bias. The proposed approach would interrupt the operation of unconscious bias at the points where it most frequently operates and would require evaluation of the actual, rather than presumed, role of abuse. This approach would produce a fuller and more accurate account of discrimination while protecting employers' legitimate interests in both performance and safety.
Keywords: gender, discrimination, domestic violence, sexual violence, workplace, equality
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