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 the military. Federal civil rights…

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

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, among many other places. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/ [1] These sources…

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National Origin and Race Discrimination During the COVID-19 Outbreak

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, there are valid concerns that incidents of anti-Asian…

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Antidiscrimination Laws Can Help Combat Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Medicine

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 body of evidence suggests that…

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

“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 later, courts often do leave common…

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

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 the relevant part, the current act provides: (a) Statement of equal rights All persons within…

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

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 to question their overall competence. The…

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

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 minority voters by “packing” them into concentrated voting districts.…

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People With Criminal Records “Need Not Apply”: Criminal Background Checks and 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 no more likely to re-offend than an…

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