Friday, February 4, 2022
Lisa Bernt's article on workplace transparency may be of interest to readers. The article is Workplace Transparency Beyond Disclosure: What’s Blocking the View?, 105 Marquette Law Review 73 (2021). Here is the abstract.
Recent developments have exacerbated informational asymmetry between employers and workers. Employers increasingly use “black box” automated decision systems, such as machine learning processes where algorithms are used in recruitment and hiring. They have technological tools that enable intense monitoring of workers. Contemporary work relationships have changed, with trends toward remote and scattered worksites. Employees are more frequently bound by nondisclosure agreements, non-disparagement provisions, and mandatory arbitration agreements. These developments have made it more difficult for workers to communicate with each other and to act collectively. The result is that workers are kept in the dark when it comes to much of an employer’s decision-making. How might an employee know, for example, if she is being paid less than her male coworkers if she is being closely watched and is afraid of speaking? How might someone turned down for a job know whether the hiring process was discriminatory? We need to look beyond disclosure mandates, take a closer look at channels of communication in today’s workplaces, and consider the vantage point of workers. Developing effective transparency measures requires greater attention to the sightlines of workers who cannot get information they need to spot, articulate, and prove violations of workplace protections.
The article is available on SSRN here.