Addressing Segregation in the Brown Collar Workplace: Toward a Solution for the Inexorable 100%

Despite public perception to the contrary, segregated workplaces exist in greater number today than ever before, largely because of the influx of newly arrived immigrant workers to low-wage industries throughout the country. Yet existing antidiscrimination frameworks no longer operate adequately to rid workplaces of the segregation that results from targeting immigrant workers. This Article suggests a new anti-discrimination framework to address workplace segregation. The Article reviews how litigants have attempted to rid the workplace of conditions resulting from segregated departments through existing anti-discrimination frameworks. It then suggests a simple, yet powerful, shift in the inferences that can be drawn from the inexorability of a segregated workplace. It asks the reader to imagine an inference created from the “inexorable 100,” the mirror image of the inexorable zero inference, and a shorthand description for a segregated job category or department within a workplace. The Article proposes a segregation framework that views segregation as an expression of subordinated work conditions, and that offers courts the opportunity to craft broader remedies, both to eliminate segregation and improve the working conditions of segregated workers.