Litigation, Courts, and Women Workers

By Karen J. Maschke | Go to book overview

As these and other problematic issues of employment discrimination continue to reach the federal courts, there is no certainty that judges will render decisions in a manner that will bring about equality in the workplace. Indeed, there may be limits to the usefulness of litigation to achieve equal rights for women workers in light of the dramatic change in personnel on the federal bench. Provided with an unprecedented opportunity to reshape the federal judiciary, President Reagan appointed many judges who agreed with his conservative philosophy regarding antidiscrimination laws. 9

While the personnel changes in the federal judiciary do not mean that women workers will automatically lose sex discrimination cases, the changes do suggest cause for concern about the direction in which the law of sex discrimination will develop in the coming decade. However, by interpreting the sex discrimination provision in a manner never intended by the author of the "sex amendment," courts gave meaning to the concept of sex discrimination and thereby expanded the rights of women workers. Whether judges will relock the "chains of protection," or limit women's employment opportunities in other ways, remains to be seen. 10


NOTES
1
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 ( 1954).
2
Richard A. L. Gambitta et al., Governing through Courts (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1981), 276.
3
Frances Kahn Zemans, "Legal Mobilization: The Neglected Role of the Law in the Political System", American Political Science Review 77 ( 1983): 690-703.
4
For example, see Craft v. Metromedia, 766 F.2d 1205 (8th Cir. 1985).
5
Hopkins v. Price Waterhouse, 825 F.2d 458 (D.C. Cir. 1987).
6
See Wayne v. McIntosh, "Litigating Scientific Creationism, or 'Scopes' II, III, . . .", Law and Policy 7 ( 1985):375-89; Susan M. Olson, Clients and Lawyers. Securing the Rights of Disabled Persons ( Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1984).
7
Gambitta et al., Governing through Courts, 276.
8
See EEOC v. Sears, Roebuck and Company, 45 FEP 1257 (7th Cir. 1988), affirming 39 FEP 1672 (N.D. Ill. 1986).

-105-

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Litigation, Courts, and Women Workers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Note 4
  • Part I - From Wards of the State to Equal Employment Opportunity 5
  • 2 - Protecting Women Workers 7
  • Notes 15
  • 3 - Title VII and the Eeoc 19
  • Notes 34
  • Part II - Principles, Precedents, and Policies 39
  • 4 - Pregnancy and Protection Under Title VII 41
  • Notes 60
  • 5 - Sexual Harassment and Comparable Worth 65
  • Notes 77
  • Part III - The Litigation Process 81
  • 6 - Characteristics of Title VII Cases 83
  • 7 - Conclusion: Courts and the Litigation Process 101
  • Notes 105
  • Select Bibliography 107
  • Index 115
  • About the Author 118
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