Neoliberalism and the Lost Promise of Title VII

Deborah Dinner, Beyond “Best Practices”: Employment-Discrimination Law in the Neoliberal Era, 92 Ind. L.J. 1059 (2017). Henry L. Chambers, Jr. In Beyond “Best Practices”: Employment-Discrimination Law in the Neoliberal Era, Professor Deborah Dinner explores how neoliberalism of the late twentieth century has influenced Title VII’s interpretation and destroyed Title VII’s ability to transform the American workplace into one where employees are properly treated, fairly valued, and fully compensated. She suggests that neoliberalism’s focus on a minimal role for state intervention and on the individual worker as a completely realized market actor capable of protecting her interests through negotiation with an employer is problematic. It has led to an interpretation of Title VII that functionally expands employer prerogatives regarding terms of employment, limits employee power, and legitimates the economic inequality and class…

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