Idle rights: Employees' rights consciousness and the construction of sexual harassment policies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article analyzes women's legal consciousness in responding to unwanted sexual attention in the workplace. By focusing on a particular social problem, this study is situated in the particular legal domain of sexual harassment laws and in a specific organizational context. Taking the perspective of the intended beneficiaries of sexual harassment policies and procedures - women with complaints about sexual conduct in the workplace - I show that the implementation of grievance procedures creates powerful obstacles to women's efforts to assert those rights. Moreover, the practices implementing the policies can alter the very definition of sexual harassment in that setting. Thus, in enacting grievance procedures, women and supervisors construct a legality in particular workplaces that offers only limited protection for women's rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-124
Number of pages42
JournalLaw and Society Review
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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