Category Archives: Gender Discrimination

QUID PRO QUO SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE NEWS

News camera

Sexual harassment can take various forms in the employment context.  Perhaps the most straightforward example is a situation where an employee is the victim of unwelcome and unwanted sexual advances and/or physical contact.  Another form, called “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, has been making headlines this summer after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit accusing Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment.

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POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR U.S. WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM – BUT WILL IT MATTER?

Soccer

Back in March, members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging members of the team are paid less than members of the men’s team, violating the federal Equal Pay Act.  The players argue they are paid almost four times less than their male counterparts (for example, if the women’s team wins the world cup, each player gets a $75,000 bonus; if the men’s team wins, each player gets a staggering bonus of $9.375 million).

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DEVELOPMENTS IN TRANSGENDER RESTROOM LAWS

Restroom sign

North Carolina has made headlines recently for enacting laws requiring transgender people to use public bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex (as opposed to their gender identity).  North Carolina and the United States Justice Department filed competing lawsuits against each other yesterday regarding the legality of the restroom law.

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Classroom

On March 23, the New York Times reported on a sexual harassment and sex discrimination lawsuit filed recently by Enrichetta Ravina against Columbia University.  Ms. Ravina, an assistant professor, worked with another professor at the university to obtain data as part of her research which she hoped would eventually lead to tenure.  The professor had a relationship with the company that held the data and used that relationship to help Ms. Ravina get the data she needed.  Because of that relationship, the professor could also influence the company to revoke Ms. Ravina’s access to the data.  Among other things, Ms. Ravina says that when her research got to where taking the data away would have damaged the project, the professor harassed her and interfered with her research.  According to the lawsuit, the more Ms. Ravina rebuked the professor’s sexual advances, the worse his behavior became.  For its part, Ms. Ravina alleges Columbia ignored and marginalized her complaints, telling her to forget about the research and move on and comparing her situation to a soap opera.

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MUST READ: “BECAUSE OF SEX” BY GILLIAN THOMAS

Book

ACLU attorney Gillian Thomas has a new book about the legal history of sex equality in the workplace.  After reading today’s New York Times review of the book, it’s definitely at the top of my “to read” list.

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