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CLWA's second reading group lunch featured Associate-in-law Jessica Clarke discussing her paper, "Beyond Equality? Against the Universal Turn in Workplace Protections".  Clarke discussed the current movements in changing sexual harassment protections into anti-bullying statutes and family leave time into leave for any reason.
  She compared the US workplace to other workplaces in Europe and Canada, where there have been many of these "universal" workplace protections implemented.  She warns against fully following this universal turn, citing ways discrimination would not only remain, but could intensify because of the underlying segregation and stratification of the US workplace, focusing on the ideas of essentialism, backlash, assimilation, and dilution.  The discussion covered ways in which the US workplace differs from other countries, gender stereotypes in various industries (as exemplified in The Devil Wears Prada), dangers in creating such a broad cause of action that judges raise the pleading standard too high, and the potential benefits that may come from protecting against all forms of bullying.


Pictured: Image from the Devil Wears Prada Movie
 


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