Piper Hoffman

Rock the Boat
Plaintiffs suing Costco for sex discrimination face another round of litigation thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent dismissal of the Wal-Mart sex discrimination case. Because of the Supreme Court’s decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the Costco trial court m…

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Article first published as Judge: Bloomberg Did Not Discriminate Against Women on Blogcritics. The judge who ruled that Bloomberg LP did not illegally discriminate against women for taking pregnancy leave raised an important policy question in her written opinion. Judge Preska did not drop “an…

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AUGUST 25, 2011 11:29AM

How to Stop Workplace Bullies

Employees often encounter unfair treatment in the workplace that can be upsetting and even unbearable, but isn’t illegal. Unless the treatment is based on the employee’s sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, age, or on another protected category, a lawyer probably can’t…

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What to do with old clothes? The cotton industry has come up with an innovative answer, one that helps both the environment and people in need while clearing space in your closet: they will recycle your unwanted denim into home insulation and donate it to Habitat for Humanity and others who…

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The news this week brings a reminder that while mandatory arbitration infringes on employees’ rights to a full trial in court, sometimes a full trial in court is no great shakes either. Jamie Leigh Jones, the Halliburton employee who accused seven of her co-workers of brutally raping her, lost…

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Lisa Bloom writes in HuffPost Books that “twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize.” Just from looking at people on the street I can see that a troubling number of women and girls are indeed working hard to make…

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JUNE 27, 2011 1:51PM

Standing Up for Animals in Court

It is extraordinarily difficult to protect non-human animals through the courts. For one thing, there are very few laws that protect non-human animals, so often there is nothing to ask the court to enforce. But even when there is a law that should protect an animal who is in a terrible…

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JUNE 27, 2011 10:43AM

Save Your Hearing

A while back I wrote about the damage that noise, such as the din in subways, concerts, and spinning classes, does to our hearing. This article describes evidence that noise is correlated to hearing loss. Wear those ear plugs. The more people do it, the less silly we’ll look! Tweet This…

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Excellent article on how Wal-Mart’s corporate culture fosters discrimination, and how the employees have now been stripped of their two best hopes: unions and class actions.

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JUNE 22, 2011 5:06PM

Childfree Rant

The New York Times published a funny rant from an older childfree woman. An excerpt: “I’m amazed that people would be bold enough to inquire as to why I never had kids, yet I would never be nervy enough to ask anyone why they had children. We’re not an agrarian society…

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Dos Equis has agreed to stop running an ad that appeared to advise men on hunting women (as in hunting with spears). Last month I wrote about a sexist ad Dos Equis was running that advised men to “[a]pproach women like you do wild animals, with caution and a soothing voice. 

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Today the Supreme Court sounded the death knell for Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the class action lawsuit accusing Wal-Mart of paying and promoting women less than similarly- or less-qualified men. To protect corporations from having to do more to prevent gender discrimination than pop a few politically correc/… Read full post »

Today the Supreme Court sounded the death knell for Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the class action lawsuit accusing Wal-Mart of paying and promoting women less than similarly- or less-qualified men. To protect corporations from having to do more to prevent gender discrimination than pop a few politically correc…

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JUNE 16, 2011 12:10PM

Childfree Without Regrets

Laura Carroll posted a well-researched argument that parents are more likely to regret their decision than people who choose not to have kids. I hope this encourages the nudges out there to stop telling the childfree that we will regret our decision when it’s too late — like the doctor wh…

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In a new contribution to the debate over the relationship between happiness and parenting, psychologist Ellen Walker proposes five explanations for her finding that childfree people are happier than parents. Here they are in her words: 1. It’s easier for childfree adults to stay physically heal…

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Article first published as Your Job or Your Rights: How Employers Force Workers Into Arbitration on Blogcritics. 


Seven of Jamie Leigh Jones’s male co-workers welcomed her to her new job in Iraq by drugging and gang-raping her, according to the federal Equal Employment Opp… Read full post »

“Approach women like you do wild animals, with caution and a soothing voice.” I encountered this ad for Dos Equis beer on the side of a bus stop on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. So women are nonhumans to be hunted? Good to know: if a man holding a Dos… Read full post »

Article first published as To Mother or Not to Mother? Is That the Question? on Blogcritics.

Does parenting promote or impede happiness? The latest scuffle in this debate began with a Shirley Wang article in The Wall Street Journal about the distinction between well-being, which roughly means long-t… Read full post »

MARCH 3, 2011 9:12AM

Ending Vivisection

Article first published as Ending Vivisection and Other Evils on Blogcritics.

The makers of Lipton tea were testing it on animals. And I don’t mean sitting bunnies down with a nice warm mug and a scone and tracking whether they preferred English Breakfast over Earl Grey. No, what I mean is:… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 4, 2011 10:15AM

Are Children Necessary?

Article first published as Are Children Necessary? on Blogcritics.

Why do many parents insist that having children is indispensable to human fulfillment, when the number of fulfilled childfree adults proves that it clearly isn’t? I considered this question in my first post on this blog, Read full post »

Article first published as Factory Farms Are Breeding More Than Cows on Blogcritics.
Antibiotics are overused, and as a direct result drug-resistant bacteria are developing that sicken and kill people (they are fatal in 30-60% of cases). This is old news. Doctors have responded by prescribing antib… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 17, 2010 1:55PM

Secrets of a Childfree Woman

 The conversation about choosing not to have children has moved from isolated listservs into the national press.  The national debate has generated some real support for childfree people and even for their reasons not to have children, such as the study discussed in The New York Times Magazine show… Read full post »

OCTOBER 30, 2010 8:39PM

The Rally to Restore Sanity: Yawn

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was, of all things, boring.  From a Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rally I expected something more.  I really didn’t know what — what is a rally to restore sanity anyway?  What is a rally to keep fear alive?  And what in the hell… Read full post »

OCTOBER 18, 2010 6:16PM


The CALM Act.  Sounds sort of Zen, maybe even a little flaky for Congressional legislation.  But CALM, or the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, is a significant recognition of a health risk few take seriously: noise-induced hearing loss.

 You have probably noticed that the volume o… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 6:13PM

Shoes That Kill (Your Dignity)

So many women love their high heels. They say the shoes make them feel sexy, confident, sophisticated, thinner, and more powerful. They say that high heels make their legs look better, make their butts look better, and pull their outfits together. They say that men love the look… Read full post »