Because of Sex

Because of Sex

One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work

Book - 2016
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Baker & Taylor
Discusses ten Supreme Court cases about discrimination in the workplace and how their verdicts changed the lives of working American women.

McMillan Palgrave
A compelling look at ten of the most important Supreme Court cases defining women’s rights on the job, as told by the brave women who brought the cases to court

“Meticulously researched and rewarding to read…Thomas is a gifted storyteller.” —The New York Times Book Review

Best known as a monumental achievement of the civil rights movement, the 1964 Civil Rights Act also revolutionized the lives of America’s working women. Title VII of the law made it illegal to discriminate “because of sex.” But that simple phrase didn’t mean much until ordinary women began using the law to get justice on the job—and some took their fights all the way to the Supreme Court. Among them were Ida Phillips, denied an assembly line job because she had a preschool-age child; Kim Rawlinson, who fought to become a prison guard—a “man’s job”; Mechelle Vinson, who brought a lawsuit for sexual abuse before “sexual harassment” even had a name; Ann Hopkins, denied partnership at a Big Eight accounting firm because the men in charge thought she needed "a course at charm school”; and most recently, Peggy Young, UPS truck driver, forced to take an unpaid leave while pregnant because she asked for a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting.

These unsung heroines’ victories, and those of the other women profiled in Gillian Thomas' Because of Sex, dismantled a “Mad Men” world where women could only hope to play supporting roles; where sexual harassment was “just the way things are”; and where pregnancy meant getting a pink slip.

Through first-person accounts and vivid narrative, Because of Sex tells the story of how one law, our highest court, and a few tenacious women changed the American workplace forever.

& Taylor

Provides a detailed look at ten of the most important Supreme Court cases that helped define women's rights at work, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that disallowed sex discrimination and a pregnant truck driver who was forced into unpaid leave.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : St. Martin's Press, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781137280053
Branch Call Number: 344.73014 T363b
Characteristics: xi, 291 pages ; 25 cm


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Nov 16, 2017

A must read for all - for both the lay person and the legal professional. Well written in clear, concise language accessible to all. An important book.

Oct 15, 2016

Great book! Informative and easy to read. Incredible to see how much gender discrimination has come in the last 50 years (and how much it still needs to go). Great admiration for the women who have fought for their rights and benefited all women, even though, in the end, not necessarily themselves. Also huge respect for Justice Thurgood Marshall and Justice Ruth Ginsberg. Let's hope more Justices like them get nominated to the Court!


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