Global HR Hot Topic - August 2013: Cross-Border Anti-Discrimination Initiatives


Discrimination law in the United States is more evolved than anywhere else on Earth. The leading treatise on US employment discrimination law (by Barbara Lindemann and Paul Grossman) runs to two volumes and 3,300 pages. By now, decades after America’s civil rights movement gave rise to tough, groundbreaking workplace discrimination laws, American jurisprudence has refined discrimination law concepts more complex than analogous doctrines anywhere else. Stateside employment discrimination disputes can implicate ideas as esoteric as “gender stereotyping,” “third-party retaliation,” “sex plus” discrimination against a protected “sub-class,” “differential,” “single-group” and “situational” validity in statistical adverse-impact analysis, and the requirement of a causal connection between an adverse employment action and a claim of “retaliatory animus.”

In response to increasingly rarified discrimination doctrines, American employers have engineered sophisticated tools to help eradicate illegal discrimination from their workplaces. These days, US employer best practices for fighting discrimination include, for example: imposing increasingly tough work rules against workplace discrimination, offering comprehensive discrimination training, implementing detailed reporting and whistleblowing mechanisms, isolating alleged targets from alleged discriminators, running statistical adverse-impact analyses, and project-managing internal investigations into specific allegations and incidents.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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