This week’s lesson articulated the difference between disparate treatment and disparate impact discrimination, and reviewed some of the fundamental protections of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Consider and comment on the following questions:
1. Do you think that a distinction should be drawn between religion and the other classes protected by the 1964 CRA, on grounds of mutability? The argument can be made that one can change an attribute such as gender with complex medical surgery, but even then such changes are not typically recognized by law. Religion, on the other hand, is the only class that at least on principle could be changed at the option of the individual. What do you think the logical underpinnings of the law are insofar as “choice” is concerned? If some choices are protected, should not all choices be protected?
2. Would you opine that Obama’s Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and all of the anti-discrimination legislation that preceded it is doing enough to combat gender-based pay discrimination? What would you suggest be changed or added to improve things, keeping in mind such factors as confidentiality of pay rates in the private sector and competition in the workplace?