Supreme Court

In the article “Ten Myths about Affirmative Action”, Plous talks about the myths that many people think about the way that affirmative action acts and how it affects people in the work place. The premise of this article is to inform the reader about the myths and then to dispel those myths. The goal of Plous is to show how the people that argue against affirmative do so by using “myths and misunderstanding” (Plous, “Ten Myths”, par. 1).

The myths that are talked about range from the comment that affirmative action has done nothing to aid in the representation of females and minorities in the workplace to the comment that affirmative action is nothing short of a liberal idea by Democrats to social engineer the workforce (Plous, “Ten Myths”, myth 9). Plous also does a nice job of wrapping the article up by saying that regardless of what the argument against affirmative action is, it does its job of counteracting prejudice and making the work place as much of a level playing field as it can ever be (Plous, “Ten Myths”, par. 13).

I enjoyed reading this article because it was interesting to see the reasons and excuses that people will use to argue against affirmative action. Nothing in this world is perfect, and like all things, affirmative action does have its glitches, but it also has a lot of positive sides to it that many forget to look at. It is the reason that now more then ever there is more gender and racial equality in the work place. Years ago, women would never have thought that they could do jobs like being a firefighter or bomb squad member.

Now, thanks to the equality that steps like affirmative action have taken, women have the right to do any job that they would like to do with worry about being harassed by the other employees. Thanks to the steps that affirmative action and other equality actions have taken, anyone can achieve their dream in this world of ours. In the article “Employment Discrimination Law in Michigan”, Hornberger discusses how the state of Michigan deals with the ever changing employment discrimination laws. He specifically talks about the coverage of discrimination statutes.

In the discussion of discrimination law, Hornberger talks about the employee’s rights and what will be expected of the employee if they want to bring suit against their employer and he also talks about what the employer must do to prove they have not discriminated against the employee (Hornberger, “Employment Discrimination”, par. 2-21). Hornberger takes a look at discrimination law from the point of view of what will happen if a case is brought to court that involves these statutes. He doesn’t really speak to what the statutes involve, except as a cursory note more intended for background to a court case then for informational purposes.

From the stand point of law, this article was very informative. It gave a clear and concise view of what each party could expect if a discrimination law suit is brought before the court in the state of Michigan. I did find the article lacking in more information. I would have liked Hornberger to give more background information of how Michigan came up with the statutes in the first place. For example, I would have liked to see a more in depth look at the legal precedent for the discrimination laws. Hornberger mentions the statutes as they stand now, but he doesn’t mention what precedents were used to establish these laws.

I would have also liked to see more information on how the employer in a discrimination law suit could articulate the reason for their actions. Hornberger gives this part of his article a very brief once over. After reading that brief paragraph I was left with still some questions. Hornberger left the reader with more questions then answers. In the article “Employment: Effect of arbitration clause on EEOC”, Zuckerman discusses the effect that the Supreme Court ruling on whether the arbitration clause had any legitimate effect on the EEOC.

The Supreme Court ruled that the EEOC is not precluded by an arbitration agreement between employer and employee from seeking victim-specific remedies in an enforcement action in court (Zuckerman, “Employment: Effect”, par. 1). Zuckerman basically gives the reader a brief run down of the ruling by the Supreme Court and then a history of why this was brought before the court. This action was brought to the court as an appeal on the 4th circuit’s decision that a mandatory arbitration agreement limited the EEOC remedies to seeking injunctive relief (Zuckerman, “Employment: Effect”, par 1).

The 4th circuit based their ruling on analysis of policies from different agencies and not strictly the EEOC. The inclusion of the dissenting vote also shed light on this issue. I found this article to be very informative. I had not realized that the EEOC might be precluded from taking some actions that it seems to be empowered to take. I also liked the fact that Zuckerman gave a brief look at what lead to the Supreme Court’s decision. It is often interesting and informative to look at the actions that led up to the current case, so that the reader can understand all the parameters of what they are reading.

If Zuckerman had just stuck to the Supreme Court decision, it would have made it harder for the reader to understand the decision completely. I also thought that the inclusion of the dissent in Zuckerman’s article was a nice touch. Authors that write about Supreme Court cases often forget to shed light on what the dissenting side has to say about the issue. By reading the dissent, it gives the reader the full picture of what the justices who sit on the Supreme Court all think about the issue that is being ruled on.

In the article “Employment Discrimination in a Disparate Impact Case”, Biddle discusses disparate impact as it is applied to employment discrimination cases. Biddle first discusses the definition of disparate impact, which is basically one possible means of proving employment discrimination against an individual or a group of individuals like a company (Biddle, “Employment Discrimination”, par. 1). In the end it comes down to the complaining party in the case has to prove a prima facie case that discrimination did occur and that it had significant impact on a group of individuals in the company.

Biddle then discuses the guideline requirements for disparate impact, and where those guidelines are silent and what their practical significance is in court cases. He ends the article by discussing a Supreme Court decision that has been affected by disparate impact. The case of Ward’s Cove is interesting because it resulted in what is now referred to as the trilogy testing for disparate impact cases. Trilogy testing involves threshold analysis, barriers analysis, and selection analysis. All three tests give evidence of whether or not there is sufficient cause to warrant proof of disparate impact (Biddle, “Employment Discrimination, par. 29).