Beyond Sex-Plus: Acknowledging Black Women in Employment Law and Policy

33 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2021

Date Written: September 15, 2021

Abstract

It has been more than 30 years since Kimberlé Crenshaw published her pathbreaking article critiquing the inadequacy of antidiscrimination law in addressing claims at the intersection of race and sex discrimination. This Article focuses on the challenges Black women continue to face when bringing intersectional claims, despite experiencing high rates of discrimination and harassment. The new status quo has not resolved the problems that she documented, and has introduced a set of second generation intersectionality issues. Most significantly, many courts now recognize that Black women experience discrimination differently than do white women or Black men. Yet, despite the professionally and psychologically disabling consequences of such discrimination, judges have failed to develop a new analytic paradigm for addressing intersectional claims under Title VII. Likewise, Congress has failed to offer a legislative solution, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides scant guidance for employees, employers, and attorneys attempting to navigate these claims. Even the recent flurry of #MeToo-inspired state legislative reforms miss the opportunity to address this persistent problem. Despite vocal resistance to Critical Race Theory, the ongoing metoo movement and increased receptiveness to address systemic racism following the mass protests in 2020, make this an opportune time to renew our discussion of intersectionality and reshape the meager analytical framework of antidiscrimination law. This Article lays the foundation for future research and second generation law and policy proposals that will take crucial steps towards finally acknowledging and addressing the real discrimination Black women face.

Keywords: employment law, labor law, discrimination, black women, race, sex and law

Suggested Citation

Bowman Williams, Jamillah, Beyond Sex-Plus: Acknowledging Black Women in Employment Law and Policy (September 15, 2021). Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, Forthcoming.
(2021). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2407., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3924267 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3924267

Jamillah Bowman Williams (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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