The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law

“That they may truly and impartially administer justice”

Gender and Labor: What's Working?

Eidman Courtroom, UT Law School
October 19th – 20th, 2006

2006 Gender and Labor Conference

Streaming Video of the Gender and Labor Conference Available in Windows Media Format: (Requires Windows Media Player )

This conference critically examined labor governance (broadly conceived) in the U.S. and its impact on women. Our panelists examined legislation and other governance structures adopted at the federal level to address specific issues affecting women and work. They addressed factors that make these challenging times for working women, the labor movement, and women's advocacy groups. They also considered emerging reforms, innovations, and alternatives to federal governance structures.

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Download this fileDownload the poster for this conference (PDF, 59K)
Download this fileDownload participants' bios (PDF, 115K)

Co-organized by:

Co-sponsored by:

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Thursday, Oct. 19th

Keynote Address (.wmv file): Eidman Courtroom 4:00 – 5:30

Judith Scott, General Counsel, Service Employees International Union

Judith Scott has been a union-side labor lawyer for over three decades, has served as General Counsel for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) since 1997, and is recognized as one of the country's leading labor lawyers. Over her career, she has given special attention to issues affecting women workers. As an attorney for the UAW, Scott was instrumental in implementing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1979. She serves on the Board of the National Partnership for Women and Families, and is the co-author of Organizing and the Law.

Reception: Jamail Pavilion 5:30 – 6:30

_________________________________________________________________________ Friday, October 20th

Welcome 8:15 – 8:30

Mechele Dickerson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, UT Law School

Panel 1 - Women in the Labor Movement (.wmv file) 8:30 – 10:10
Chair: Laurie Green, Assistant Professor of History, UT Austin

Legislative Response/Governance Structure: National Labor Relations Board

Alternatives: different forms of labor organizing for women; efforts to form coalitions between labor, civil rights, women's rights, and disability rights groups; and efforts to reform the labor movement and labor agreements in a more woman friendly direction

Panelists:

  • Cynthia Estlund, Catherine A. Rein Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Julius Getman, Earl E. Sheffield Regents Chair, UT Law
  • Jaribu Hill, Executive Director, Mississippi Workers' Center for Human Rights
  • Judith Scott, General Counsel, Service Employees International Union

Panel 2 - Workplace Discrimination (.wmv file) 10:25 – 12:05
Chair: Christine Williams, Professor of Sociology, UT Austin

Legislative Response/Governance Structure: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Alternatives: private tort actions, reconceptualizations of sexual harassment

Panelists:

  • Irma Herrera, Executive Director, Equal Rights Advocates
  • Nancy MacLean, Professor of History and African American Studies, Northwestern University
  • Vicki Schultz, Ford Foundation Professor of Law, Yale Law School
  • Brad Seligman, Executive Director, Impact Fund

Luncheon Presentation 12:15 – 1:15

Eileen Boris, Hull Professor of Women's Studies and Director of the Center for Research on Women and Social Justice, UC Santa Barbara

“The Carework Economy: Old Labor, New Rights, and the Struggle for Social Justice” (audio only)

Panel 3 - Work and Family (.wmv file) 1:30 – 3:10
Chair: Gretchen Ritter, Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Women's and Gender Studies, UT Austin

Legislative Response/Governance Structure: Family and Medical Leave Act

Alternatives: state efforts to fund paid leave; reconceptualizations of work (care allowances, etc.)

Panelists:

  • Netsy Firestein, Director, Labor Project for Working Families
  • Joel Handler, Richard C. Maxwell Professor of Law, UCLA Law and UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research
  • Kathie Lingle, Director, Alliance for Work-Life Progress
  • Julie Nelson, Senior Research Associate, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University

Panel 4 - Trade Governance as a Labor Issue (.wmv file) 3:20 – 5:00
Chair: Karen Engle, W.H. Francis, Jr. Professor of Law and the Director of Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, UT Law School

Legislative Response/Governance Structure: North American Free Trade Agreement

Alternatives: efforts to regulate Walmart (to pay medical benefits, etc.); Fair Trade campaigns; Living Wage campaigns that connect the plight of American women workers to globalization issues

Panelists:

  • Dana Frank, Professor of History, UC Santa Cruz
  • Lisa McGowan, Senior Program Specialist, AFL-CIO Solidarity Center
  • Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, UC Davis
  • Natacha Thys, Project Director, Rights for Working Women Campaign, International Labor Rights Fund

Closing Wrap-up 5:00 - 5:30

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Planning Committee:

  • Kamran Ali , Associate Professor of Anthropology, UT Austin
  • Mary Crouter , Lecturer and Assistant Director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, UT Law
  • Karen Engle , Professor and Director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, UT Law
  • William Forbath , Professor of Law, UT Law
  • Julius Getman , Professor of Law, UT Law
  • Laurie Green , Assistant Professor of History, UT Austin
  • Eden Harrington , Clinical Professor and Director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, University of Texas School of Law
  • Cynthia Osborne , Assistant Professor of Public Affairs, LBJ School of Public Affairs , UT Austin
  • Gretchen Ritter , Director, Center for Women's and Gender Studies, UT Austin
  • Gerald Torres , Professor of Law, UT Law
  • Christine Williams , Professor of Sociology, UT Austin
  • Zipporah Wiseman , Professor of Law, UT Law