Saturday, May 2, 2020

Areheart on Antidiscrimination and Organizational Justice


A special congratulations to prolific scholar and friend of blog Brad Areheart, who just posted his fascinating new piece on SSRN, Organizational Justice and Antidiscrimination, which was recently published in the Minnesota Law Review. From the abstract:

Organizational Justice and Antidiscrimination, 104 Minnesota Law Review 1921 (2020).  Despite eighty years of governmental interventions, the legal system has proven ill-equipped to address workplace discrimination. Potential plaintiffs are reluctant to file discrimination claims for a host of social and economic reasons, and the relatively few who do file face steep structural barriers. This Article argues that the most promising way to curb workplace discrimination is not through amending statutes or trying to change the behavior of individual bad actors; instead, we must modify the workplace itself. Specifically, this Article argues that Organizational Justice—a theory empirically grounded in behavioral science—provides novel guidance for how to proactively restructure workplace policies around the principles of fairness and equity. This Article further claims, based upon empirical evidence, that Organizational Justice can do the work of antidiscrimination by: (1) decreasing discrimination in the first place, (2) moderating the effects of discrimination, and (3) increasing internal reporting of harassment and discrimination. Finally, this Article provides insights for how to design policies that promote both actual justice and perceptions of justice in the workplace.

Brad’s work always makes substantive contributions to our field, and this article is another wonderful piece of scholarship. Definitely take a look if you have the time this spring or summer!

Joe Seiner

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