Keeping Discrimination Theory Front and Center in the Discourse Over Work and Family Conflict

21 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2007

See all articles by Laura T. Kessler

Laura T. Kessler

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Abstract

This essay is a contribution to a symposium on balancing career and family. It frames the problem of work/family conflict as a form of sex discrimination. It demonstrates that many of the constructs commonly used to illustrate an absence of employment discrimination - such as the accident, opt-out, time-lag theories - actually fit quite comfortably within various discrimination frameworks. It also contextualizes the problem of work/family conflict within the larger issue of gender bias in the workplace, demonstrating how each contributes to and works together to produce workplace inequality for women. This approach contrasts with the traditional bifurcation of gender bias and work/family conflict into distinct categories of employment discrimination.

Keywords: employment discrimination, sex discrimination, gender bias, Title VII, feminist theory, feminist legal theory, work/family conflict, structural discrimination, unconscious discrimination, discrimination, new institutionalism, cognitive bias, family leave, human capital theory

JEL Classification: J16, J22, J23, J24, J70, J71, J78, K31

Suggested Citation

Kessler, Laura T., Keeping Discrimination Theory Front and Center in the Discourse Over Work and Family Conflict. Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 34, p. 313, 2007; U of Utah Legal Studies Paper No. 06-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=956955

Laura T. Kessler (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 South University St.
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
801-585-9697 (Phone)
801-581-6897 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.utah.edu/u0294453-LAURA_T_KESSLER/hm/index.hml

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