Organizational Justice and Antidiscrimination

68 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020 Last revised: 11 Jun 2020

See all articles by Bradley A. Areheart

Bradley A. Areheart

University of Tennessee College of Law

Date Written: April 25, 2020


Despite eighty years of governmental interventions, the legal system has proven ill-equipped to address workplace discrimination. Potential plaintiffs are reluctant to file discrimination claims for a host of social and economic reasons, and the relatively few who do file face steep structural barriers. This Article argues that the most promising way to curb workplace discrimination is not through amending statutes or trying to change the behavior of individual bad actors; instead, we must modify the workplace itself. Specifically, this Article argues that Organizational Justice — a theory empirically grounded in behavioral science — provides novel guidance for how to proactively restructure workplace policies around the principles of fairness and equity. This Article further claims, based upon empirical evidence, that Organizational Justice can do the work of antidiscrimination by: (1) decreasing discrimination in the first place, (2) moderating the effects of discrimination, and (3) increasing internal reporting of harassment and discrimination. Finally, this Article provides insights for how to design policies that promote both actual justice and perceptions of justice in the workplace.

Keywords: behavioral science, corporate compliance, new governance, freedom of choice, accountability, transparency, equal employment opportunity, employment discrimination, reporting, discrimination, sexual harassment, antidiscrimination, organizational justice

JEL Classification: J2, J3, J7, K10, K30, K31, L50, L51

Suggested Citation

Areheart, Bradley A., Organizational Justice and Antidiscrimination (April 25, 2020). 104 Minnesota Law Review 1921 (2020), University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 390, Available at SSRN:

Bradley A. Areheart (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

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