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Discrimination at Work

Comparing European, French, and American Law

Marie Mercat-Bruns (Author), Christopher Kutz (Foreword), Elaine Holt (Translator)

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Paperback, 386 pages
ISBN: 9780520283800
February 2016
$39.95, £30.00
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Do the United States and France, both post-industrial democracies, differ in their views and laws concerning discrimination? Marie Mercat-Bruns, a Franco-American scholar, examines the differences in how the two countries approach discrimination. Bringing together prominent legal scholars—including Robert Post, Linda Krieger, Martha Minow, Reva Siegel, Susan Sturm, Richard Ford, and others—Mercat-Bruns demonstrates how the two nations have adopted divergent strategies. The United States continues, with mixed success at “colorblind” policies, to deal with issues of diversity in university enrollment, class action sex-discrimination lawsuits, and rampant police violence against African American men and women. In France, the country has banned the full-face veil while making efforts to present itself as a secular republic. Young men and women whose parents and grandparents came from sub-Sahara and North Africa are stuck coping with a society that fails to take into account the barriers to employment and education they face.

Discrimination at Work provides an incisive comparative analysis of how the nature of discrimination in both countries has changed, now often hidden, or steeped in deep unconscious bias. While it is rare for employers in both countries to openly discriminate, deep systemic discrimination exists, rooted in structural and environmental causes and the ways each state has dealt with difference in general. Invigorating and incisive, the book examines hot-button issues such as sexual harassment; race, religious and gender discrimination; and equality for LGBT individuals, thereby delivering comparisons meant to further social equality and fundamental human rights across borders.
Marie Mercat-Bruns is Affiliated Professor at Sciences Po Law School and Associate Professor in Labor and Employment Law at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris. She is a member of the Research Institute LISE CNRS (Codirector of the program Gender, Categories and Policy) and also of the scientific committee of PRESAGE (Sciences Po/OFCE Research and Academic Program on Gender Thinking).
“Mercat-Bruns makes original use of comparative law to shed new light on the issue of discrimination at work. In addition to reviewing the literature, she enters into a rich dialogue with American experts about their core findings. This book makes a fascinating and useful contribution to one of today’s most pressing issues.”—Antoine Garapon, Secretary General, Director of the Comparative Law Program, Institut des Hautes Etudes sur la Justice (IHEJ)
“A very interesting and innovative approach to examining nondiscrimination law.”—Lisa Waddington, Professor of International and European Law, Maastricht University
“A dialogue among America’s most prominent contemporary theorists of discrimination, Discrimination at Work comprises a series of pluralistic, audacious, and critically considered reflections on discrimination in the workplace.”—Antoine Lyon-Caen, President of the International Institute for Comparative Studies (IIPEC), Professor Emeritus of French Labor Law, Paris West University Nanterre La Défense

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