Non-discrimination in cotracts (was: Queer Politics)

Steve Witham (
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 17:04:12 -0400

Dale Carrico asks-

>why can't we
>interpret acts of discrimination simply as breaches of contract? If we
>assume that most people imagine that they are being hired to do a job and
>do it well, why can't we say then that, should this be the case, an
>employer who fires demotes or otherwise unfairly treats an employee in the
>service of some fool prejudice is breaching contract with her -- unless
>something about the employer's racism, sexism, or whatever had a very
>conspicuous place *in* the contract to begin with?

I don't think either permanent employment or an unchanging or unconditional
definition of the job is usually assumed. Interesting idea to contractually
agree on what the job *isn't*, though, to put in something saying, "We
specifically don't care whether X, Y, Z... and we won't fire you for
those reasons." Advertising "An Equal Opportunity Employer" might be
taken to imply that, too. (Although saying that a legal


--           Steve Witham          web page under reconsideration
"Philosophers have often attempted to analyze perception into the Given and
 what is then done with the Given by the mind.  The Given is, of course,
 Taken..." --Daniel Dennett