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2016 Harold C. Schott Lecture

“Rethinking Discrimination Law”

Date: April 12, 2016
Time: 12:10 p.m.
CLE: (1.0 hr G), OH & KY

About the Lecture:

Over the past four decades the federal courts have created an increasingly complex set of frameworks for evaluating federal discrimination claims.  These frameworks structure the ways that courts, juries, and litigants think about discrimination.  Adding to the complexity of the frameworks is a recent theoretical move by the Supreme Court to declare Title VII a tort.  Several recent cases declare that discrimination law is a tort without fully exploring the textual or practical realities of such a claim.

Professor Sperino will discuss whether the courts should use the current frameworks to conceptualize discrimination. She will show how the frameworks and their supporting doctrines have become so complex that they actually distract courts away from the central question in most discrimination cases, whether a worker's protected trait played a negative role in an employment outcome.

About the Speaker

Sandra Sperino, Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Law, Professor Sperino teaches in the areas of civil procedure, torts, and employment law. She served as Chair for the AALS Section on Employment Discrimination Law and is a contributing editor to several employment law books published by the American Bar Association.

Professor Sperino’s scholarship focuses on employment discrimination, and her recent work focuses on the intersection of tort and discrimination law. She is a co-author (with Grover and Gonzalez) of Employment Discrimination: Cases and Materials, an employment discrimination casebook.  Her article, The Tort Label, was selected for the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Faculty Forum.  Her recent articles are published in the Michigan Law Review, the University of Illinois Law Review, the George Mason Law Review, and the Notre Dame Law Review.