The Ohio State Law Journal at Moritz College of Law presents Torts and Civil Rights Law: Migration and Conflict on November 15, 2013.
Increasingly, courts and commentators have labeled federal statutory anti-discrimination claims torts or tort-like claims, without thoroughly discussing the implications of this classification. Particularly since the U.S. Supreme Courts 2011 ruling applying the controversial concept of proximate cause to a claim of employment discrimination, the lower courts have stepped up their efforts to reshape a number of anti-discrimination doctrines to align with general tort concepts, often with the effect of limiting the scope of statutory civil rights protection. Thus, tort law is playing a more prominent role in statutory interpretation under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
This symposium will explore the theoretical and doctrinal affinities and tensions between tort and anti-discrimination law, while fostering dialogue between tort and anti-discrimination scholars. Symposium participants will explore whether the connections are strong enough to justify robust use of tort principles in anti-discrimination analysis and whether anti-discrimination law should be interpreted through a torts lens. They also will discuss whether tort law should selectively adopt anti-discrimination norms and analyses.