Discrimination, Suits

Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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5 Responses

  1. Michael Drew says:

    So this Rand Paul thing has got you asking yourself some questions, I see…Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Michael Drew says:

      @Michael Drew,

      Not really. I’ve had this factoid in my head the writing of my article “Never a Neutral State” last year, but it didn’t really relate to the argument there, so I didn’t make use of it. Here, though, it might be more interesting to ask about, given the efforts to assess the impact of anti-discrimination laws.

      An elementary prediction is that these laws will help most those who already have the most resources to work the legal machinery, and I recall that this claim is borne out empirically. I have to admit that I am having trouble substantiating it. Stay tuned, I’ll keep looking.Report

      • @Jason Kuznicki, I don’t know of any empirical data off the top of my head, but that data would be generally in line with my personal experience. I’m trying to think of any Title VII/ADA cases in which I’ve been involved where the Plaintiff was other than a Caucasian. And, honestly, I’m drawing a blank. I’ve been involved with a couple of retaliation cases where the Plaintiff claimed to have been a whistleblower on behalf of a racial minority, but in both those instances, the Plaintiff themselves was a Caucasian. And I’ve only ever been involved with one employment suit where the Plaintiff made less than about $55,000, and that had nothing to do with Title VII, the ADA, or the state law equivalents. I’ve been aware of cases in firms I’ve worked where the Plaintiff was not Caucasian or made less than $55,000, but those are by far the exception rather than the rule, and more often involve a pro se plaintiff.Report

      • Zach in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        @Jason Kuznicki, White males overwhelmingly represent the members of the workforce who are going into retirement (to a decreasing degree every year, obviously). My guess would be that most of these suits involve age discrimination in regards to failing to receive promotions or being forced into retirement. The wealth of performance reviews and data-driven management provides an abundance of evidence to prove discrimination as well.

        During the Rand Paul dust-up, I was surprised no one asked him some about specific examples of work place discrimination and whether or not he thought they should be legal, if odious. Those questions could move beyond the act itself to how it’s been interpreted. Specifically, I’d ask him whether or not it should be legal to address a female employee exclusively as “you slut” as a condition of her employment and promise to fire her if she tells anyone about this. Or whether it would be legal to force a black employee to work shirtless and in chains being addressed by the n-word. In both cases, the behavior would be behind the scenes and the employees bound to keep it secret, so Paul’s “I wouldn’t patronize a place like that!” excuse wouldn’t hold.

        Anyway, the only things brought up in discussions with him were examples of discriminating against customers in public and private venues. It’d be more interesting to address more recent developments in civil rights law, but I suppose it’s a non-starter if he’s cool with arresting folks for eating lunch.

        It is amazing that he was allowed to brush off discussion of the civil rights acts as some arcane subject that didn’t have any bearing on legislation likely to come before him in the Senate. Is the DC press incapable of putting two and two together and asking Paul about Lily Ledbetter, congressional districts under observation under the CRA, etc? Not a lawyer, but is there any similarly aged piece of legislation that’s revisited in court and in law as often as the civil rights acts? Not including legislation establishing programs like Medicare, obviously.Report

  2. Alan Scott says:

    The inclusion of age in various anti-discrimination rules has always bothered me–specifically, that it’s usually one-sided: Discriminating against the middle-aged and elderly is prohibited, but discriminating against the young is perfectly fine.Report