This course will focus primarily on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark federal statute that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The emphasis will be on the major analytic frameworks for understanding what discrimination is -- and what the law should do about it.
We will examine some of the major disputes among courts and Congress about what counts as intentional discrimination; how the law should treat discrimination that is not intentional; what a plaintiff ought to have to prove in order to make out a claim of discrimination; how the Constitution interacts with employment discrimination statutes; and affirmative action. We will supplement the case law with relevant materials from other disciplines such as sociology and psychology. We will also discuss some related statutes including a new federal statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of genetic information.