The Americans with Disabilities Act: A Model for Title VII Enforcement
17 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 23, 1992
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 19642 forbids sex discrimination in employment and condemns the practices of the past that were facially neutral, yet disparate in their effects upon women workers. The denial of family leave arguably impacts women workers more heavily than men, and thereby is open to Title VII attack, provided we temper the broad deference typically bestowed upon business discretion. The author argues that a balanced approach is needed to reconcile both business' and workers' particular needs. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides such balance on a grand scale. The ADA requires employers to take reasonable affirmative steps to accommodate the impairments of workers with disabilities - the largest minority in America. If valuing each human person requires business to take some account of the ways workers with disabilities live their lives, then fairness and the indispensable human family demand a like concern for the family lives that all workers live.
Keywords: employment, Title VII, women, business practices, family leave
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