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Intermittent Labor Force Participation: a Source of Bias?: An Experimental Approach Examining Mechanisms and Types of Discrimination

Posted: 2/4/2019 ()

Kate Weisshaar, Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will present on mechanisms producing hiring penalties for applicants with intermittent employment. Employment interruption is a common experience in today’s labor market, most frequently due to unemployment from job loss and temporary lapses to care for family or children. Audit studies have documented that both unemployed job applicants and parents who “opted out” of work face disadvantages in re-gaining a job, relative to applicants with continuous employment histories. This research highlights the significance of ideal worker norms leading to employer decisions, and suggests that the organization of work and family contributes to cognitive biases against caretakers. I then extrapolate from this example to propose that this type of experimental framework could be used to test types of discrimination for other groups as well.

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Date: 02/08/2019

Time: 12:30-1:30 PM

Location: 121 Raitt Hall