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Pregnancy as a source of discrimination: A comparative study of antidiscrimination legislation in the European Union and the United States of America.

MacLeod, Denise Broughton (2015) Pregnancy as a source of discrimination: A comparative study of antidiscrimination legislation in the European Union and the United States of America. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

While the antidiscrimination laws of the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (US) seek to prohibit pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, their approach to the problem has historically differed. US law has been defined by an ‘equal treatment’ approach. The contrasting EU laws reflect a holistic approach that seeks substantive equality by combining equal treatment with ‘special treatment’ measures, complemented by the strategy of gender mainstreaming. This thesis sets out to examine the extent to which US antidiscrimination law is shifting towards a more holistic approach that seeks greater substantive equality for pregnant workers. This examination is carried out on two levels: firstly, this thesis will comparatively study the two distinct models of equality that exist to address sex discrimination in the EU and the US, with a view to highlighting differences and similarities, and the availability of alternative measures, or serious limitations in their approach to pregnancy discrimination. Secondly, this thesis examines the antidiscrimination legislation that has been adopted and proposed on the national and state levels in the US, in order to draw attention to the increasing number of measures providing paid leave and workplace accommodations for pregnant workers, and imposing a duty to promote or achieve substantive equality. This examination is undertaken against a background of the distinct historical, legal, and conceptual context against which EU and US sex discrimination law has been adopted, and the discursive debate of feminist legal theorists regarding the role of law in both subordinating women, and in helping to end their inequality. EU and US law is studied in this wider context, because they have all been influential upon its development and provide a framework for assessing how far the trajectory of US antidiscrimination law is converging with that of the EU.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Law
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.675086
Depositing User: Mrs Denise Broughton MacLeod
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2015 16:41
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10611

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