Working for Justice

Race Discrimination

Congress Must Open the Courthouse Doors to Uphold Military Members’ Civil Rights

Workers and students who experience civil rights violations have a plethora of legal tools at their disposal to seek accountability and relief—ranging from constitutional, to statutory, to tort claims. But the courthouse doors have long been closed to one group, whose exclusion from remedies by the government which they defend is particularly jarring: members of […]

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Time for Long Overdue Reparations—Support H.R. 40

Posted June 17th, 2020 by in Race Discrimination.

In this cultural moment, the conversation surrounding reparations for American’s cardinal sin of slavery, segregation, and racial oppression will likely gain momentum. It is about time for this issue to become of part of mainstream social and political discourse and for significant progress to be made. The case for reparations has been laid out here, […]

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National Origin and Race Discrimination During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Posted April 9th, 2020 by in Race Discrimination.

Asian Americans are facing a surge of discrimination and harassment, and in some cases, violence, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The STOP AAPI HATE reporting center has documented over 1,100 reports of coronavirus-related discrimination since March 19, 2020. While many of these incidents occur in the few places still available to the public, […]

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Antidiscrimination Laws Can Help Combat Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Medicine

Posted August 9th, 2018 by in Race Discrimination.

A few months ago, I blogged about the considerable evidence of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the medical profession. Here, I turn to the persistent racial and ethnic disparities among physicians. Like gender disparities, racial and ethnic disparities in medicine manifest in multiple forms—in pay, promotions, and harassment from colleagues and patients. A growing […]

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Race Discrimination at Work: Title VII Should Cover Bias Against Dreadlocks

Posted April 9th, 2018 by in Race Discrimination.

“We need not leave our common sense at the doorstep when we interpret a statute,” wrote a four-Justice plurality of the Supreme Court in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 241 (1989), the seminal ruling that gender stereotyping by an employer is actionable as sex discrimination under Title VII. And yet, nearly three decades […]

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42 U.S.C. § 1981: A Recipe for Race Relations and Reconciliation in the Wake of Charlottesville?

Posted February 14th, 2018 by in Race Discrimination.

Congress initially enacted the protections of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The act was passed between the ratification of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In relevant part, the current act provides: (a) Statement of equal […]

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Study Shows Implicit Bias against African-American Attorneys at Law Firms

Posted July 26th, 2017 by in Race Discrimination.

Ever feel like you’ve received extra scrutiny because of your race?  Research suggests that these fears may be well founded.  A recent study indicates that supervisors are far more likely to overlook or forgive the mistakes of white employees – while African-American employees are far more likely to have their mistakes caught, criticized, and used […]

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Supreme Court Update:  Justices Send Racially “Packed” Voting Districts Packing

Posted May 24th, 2017 by in Race Discrimination.

The Supreme Court handed a major victory to voting rights plaintiffs on May 22, with a decision that struck down the boundaries of two congressional districts in North Carolina as impermissibly effecting race discrimination.  Cooper v. Harris, with a majority decision written by Justice Kagan, takes aim at the practice of diluting the power of […]

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Supreme Court Rules Cities Can Sue Banks Over Racially Discriminatory Lending Practices

Posted May 19th, 2017 by in Race Discrimination.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bank of America v. City of Miami (decided the same day as a companion case, Wells Fargo & Co. et al. v. City of Miami, Florida) has been declared a mixed bag by many legal commentators. While the Court confirmed years of precedence in finding that cities, like […]

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People with Criminal Records “Need Not Apply”: Criminal Background Checks and Race Discrimination

Posted April 7th, 2017 by in Race Discrimination.

More than 90% of employers rely on criminal background checks to make hiring decisions, but this common practice raises numerous concerns.  First, there are practical issues about whether background checks actually provide employers with meaningful information.  For example, recent research indicates that after a certain amount of time, individuals who have committed a crime are […]

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“Master of None” and the Freedom to Be Average

Posted November 17th, 2015 by in Race Discrimination.

Racial disparities on television are nothing new. When I was a child in the late 1980s, I remember having an internal struggle about whether my career of choice would be professional athlete or superhero. I also remember coming to the conclusion that because no superheroes had brown skin, that professional athlete would be the more […]

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Beyond Seventy-Eight Percent

Posted April 7th, 2015 by in Race Discrimination.

Sometimes lost in the discussion about the wage gap between male and female workers is the role of race. Though white women earn a mere 78% of what their male counterparts earn in America, the gap is far greater for women of color. African American women earn 64%, American Indian women earn 59%, Native Hawaiian […]

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Honoring Hong Yen Chang: A Pioneer for a More Inclusive Legal Profession

Posted April 1st, 2015 by in Race Discrimination.

Recently, the California Supreme Court posthumously granted Hong Yen Chang admission to the California Bar – reversing a 125-year-old decision that denied his application because of his race and national origin. (Read the Court’s decision here; read more about the case here, here, and here.) Chang was born in China and immigrated to the United […]

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Stepping Out of the Shadows

Posted December 11th, 2014 by in Race Discrimination.

Last month, my colleague David Tracey discussed some of the benefits of President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration.  He explored how the executive action might help address the challenges confronted by undocumented farmworkers.  As David explained, undocumented female farmworkers are vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and violence at the hands of male supervisors who count […]

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Kara Walker’s A Subtlety and The Double Wage Gap

Posted July 24th, 2014 by in Race Discrimination.

This summer, an estimated 130,000 visitors descended upon an abandoned, soon-to-be-demolished sugar factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to take in the latest exhibit by renowned artist-slash-provocateur Kara Walker. Housed in the historic Domino Sugar Refinery, the exhibit was titled “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby: an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined […]

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