An invaluable guidebook to disability law for American employers.

THE DISABLED WORKFORCE

WHAT THE ADA NEVER ANTICIPATED

An overview of the history, strengths, and unforeseen weaknesses of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Shaw’s smart, comprehensive nonfiction debut deals with how the ADA, signed into law in 1990, drastically changed the landscape of American workplaces. Prior to it, the physically disabled faced a host of obstacles if they wanted to join or return to the workforce: they often encountered buildings that they couldn’t enter—it’s startling to remember, while reading this book, how recent entrance ramps and other handicapped-access features are—and they faced the perception that they were lesser employees or even lesser people. Since the ADA’s passage, this situation has changed greatly, but Shaw believes that, in many cases, the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction—particularly as the concept of “disability” has expanded to include psychological and emotional disorders. This has led to increased possibilities for fraud, the author contends, which has brought American employers to a crossroads: “We need and want to do what’s right for workers, while still adhering to the ADA,” she writes. “However, the influx of requests increasingly include those filed by workers who are not disabled.” She goes on to offer a systematic analysis and playbook for employers who might face overstated or false disability claims. She also specifically runs through the kinds of accommodations that employers are legally obligated to provide under the ADA and what may or may not constitute “reasonable accommodations.” Shaw effectively takes readers through different situations that employers may encounter, including dealing with especially litigious claimants and outright malingerers; her writings on mental disabilities, in particular, will likely be very useful. Shaw’s prose is clear and encouraging throughout, and she adroitly manages a tricky balancing act between skepticism and advocacy. As a result, she comes off as both a champion of the disabled and a mentor for businesspeople looking to avoid fraudsters.

An invaluable guidebook to disability law for American employers.

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5447-0859-1

Page Count: 244

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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