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Law Firms as Defendants: Family Responsibilities Discrimination in Legal Workplaces

Joan C. Williams

This article discusses a rapidly expanding area of employment discrimination law known as family responsibilities discrimination or FRD. The author defines FRD as discrimination against workers based on their family caregiving responsibilities for children, elderly parents, or ill spouses and partners. According to Williams, FRD includes not only pregnancy discrimination and the maternal wall that blocks women's advancement when they become mothers, but also discrimination against men who seek to take on a larger family caregiving role for young children, elderly parents, or ill spouses than traditional gender stereotypes of men envision. The article touches on Supreme Court cases in this area, law firm culture and susceptibility to FRD, and lessons for law firms.
  • Print Location Joan Williams, Law Firms as Defendants: Family Responsibilities Discrimination in Legal Workplaces, 34 Pepp. L. Rev. 393 (2007).

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