Sex Discrimination in US

Our students (and others) generally think that Western countries have pretty good laws on very clear sex discrimination that can be recognised under what MacKinnon would call the Difference Approach. Paying A less than B simply because A is a woman and B is a man is very clearly discrimination– and we’d all like to think that our laws prohibit this. But a recent US Supreme Court Decision means that US law really doesn’t even do very well on this sort of discrimination. According to this decision, a complaint of sex discrimination must be filed within 180 days of the discrimination occurring. But it often takes women quite a while to find out that such discrimination has occurred: people don’t regularly discuss the details of their salaries with all and sundry. So now many, many of these very clear cases will never even come to court.