A bill pending in the Missouri Legislature would make it more difficult for workers who experience discrimination or lose their job because of whistleblowing to hold their employers responsible, says an expert on employment law at Washington University in St. Louis.
American employers increasingly rely on large datasets and computer algorithms to decide who gets interviewed, hired or promoted. Pauline Kim, employment law expert, explains that when algorithms rely on inaccurate, biased or unrepresentative data, they may systematically disadvantage racial and ethnic minorities, women and other historically disadvantaged groups.
Litigation and legislative reforms have achieved formal rights to equal treatment for women in employment. But women continue to perform disproportionate amounts of caregiving in the home, to suffer economic penalties for childbearing and to face discrimination on account of motherhood in the workplace. “The disconnect between formal equality and the deepening work-family conflict is no accident,” says Deborah Dinner, JD, legal historian and associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.
This summer, the Supreme Court will rule whether to allow the district court certification of the class action gender bias case against Wal-Mart. While much of the attention has focused on the enormous size of the class, the impact of the case is likely to be felt across a range of class action and employment discrimination cases, says Pauline Kim, JD, the Charles Nagel Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis and employment law expert.