Reinforcing Title VII with Zero Tolerance Rules

32 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2016

See all articles by Stephen A. Plass

Stephen A. Plass

St. Thomas University School of Law

Date Written: 2005


The basic premise of this article is that regulation, public or private, can affect workplace behavior. This article evaluates the potential of private regulation, that is, zero tolerance rules to deter and reduce workplace discrimination. Part II traces the evolution of equal employment laws from Reconstruction to Title VII and argues that Title VII has failed to achieve its deterrence and compensation goals. The statute's preoccupation with intent proof requirements, its stringent procedural burdens on employees, and its limited remedial potential give discrimination victims only partial remediation. Moreover, although courts have interpreted the statute to permit narrow forms of affirmative action, it does not assure fair treatment at the outset. As such, the statute has had only a limited effect on workplace culture. While statutory prohibitions remain the foundation of workplace

Suggested Citation

Plass, Stephen A., Reinforcing Title VII with Zero Tolerance Rules (2005). Suffolk University Law Review, Vol. 39, No. 127, 2005, Available at SSRN:

Stephen A. Plass (Contact Author)

St. Thomas University School of Law ( email )

16401 N.W. 37th Ave.
Miami, FL 33054
United States

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