We have a fundamental right to dignity at work

The Dignity At Work Act is about granting our fundamental human right to dignity at work. Workplace abuse (or workplace bullying) often involves a person in power, such as a manager or supervisor, taking advantage of a less powerful employee. 

What workplace abuse is

Abuse of power is too often a symptom of implicit bias — a problem discrimination law stopped helping since the 1980s when courts moved from focusing on impact to intent. Intent is a high threshold that makes the law mostly ineffective at addressing bias and disrupting hierarchies at work that create haves and have-nots when those in power “other” people. More than 50 years after Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, white men still occupy the vast majority of power positions in the U.S. workforce.

Abuse may take the form of:

  • Interpersonal abuse like public ridicule, disrespect, overwork, and overcontrol, including put-downs, screaming, excessive criticism, destructive gossip, false...

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How race determines access to legal representation

A form of institutional and interpersonal racism, people of color are far less likely to obtain legal representation due to these factors, according to Rights on Trial:

Their search for lawyers: inadequate information and networks, a lack of trust in the legal profession, and high cost (including fees for initial assessments). Payment for attorneys falls into three categories:

Contigency fee, paying the bulk only if a client prevails, and contingency fee plus, an upfront fee designed to screen serious clients or an hourly fee added to funds from the award if the case prevails.

Crucial factors to make economic sense: potential damages, which excludes low wage earners given their average annual earnings; potential to win, which often requires smoking gun evidence; minimal work in case of loss.

Hourly fee, guaranteeing payment regardless of outcome.

Crucial factors to make economic sense: clients understanding the unpredictability of recovery; clients with money. It’s a backup...

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