Monday, April 17, 2006

High Court Weighs Retaliation at Work et al

High Court Weighs Retaliation at Work - Washington Post

Sex Bias Award Affirmed - Washington Post

Court Expands Right to Sue Over Retaliation on the Job - Washington Post

Laws limit us, by definition and philosophic origin. They define that which is minimally acceptable in society. There are no laws, for instance, that tell us how well we must treat each other – but rather they instruct us to just how poorly we may act before relief is granted.

This utilitarian-backed theory of law, and its influence on our constitution, is the backdrop our high court is again considering, this day, regarding employer retaliation in the workplace. Just how much may an employer injure you, in reprisal, before the law says enough?

The high court’s consideration is a fresh example of why laws we place our faith in leave us so short in the end. The founding fathers never meant to coax virtuosity from us, but rather compliance to minimum standards, for maximizing the greater good.

So then why did Blacks, and so many Whites, believe that civil rights legislation would bring a parity that we have yet to experience? How did they not see a legal system that at best defined the limits of poor treatment and could never lift a people from despair?

So regardless of what the Supreme Court decides in these coming months, about how poorly employers can behave, employees should better understand that our founders, via the constitution, had a different intention – far below our capacity and need.

James C. Collier


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