Elizabeth Tippett studies behavioral ethics, employment law and decision-making. Her recent research examined how employee timekeeping software can erode compliance with wage and hour laws, and she has studied how contract terms may predict a company’s litigation risk. Tippett is also studying drug injury ads, through which attorneys recruit consumers for lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. Although these ads contain strong warning about medical risks, deceptive content in those ads remains largely unregulated. She is a co-author of the fifth edition of the textbook "Employment Discrimination & Employment Law: The Field as Practiced," and her research on disparate impact litigation has been cited in opinions issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals and Iowa Supreme Court. Her writing has appeared in the New Republic, Slate and The Daily Beast, and she has appeared on the BBC, Sirius Satellite Radio and Oregon Public Radio. In June, Tippett testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, regarding mass tort advertising.
Areas of Expertise (3)
Media Appearances (13)
Planet Money, NPR radio
Tippett is interviewed on NPR's Planet Money about the history of sexual harassment training videos.
Commentary: Why Matt Lauer’s Mega-Contract Couldn’t Save Him
Matt Lauer’s unceremonious termination from NBC reveals how quickly the balance of power between companies and their biggest stars has shifted in recent weeks.
Why sexual harassment training doesn't work
After analysing 74 examples of sexual harassment training from 1980 to 2016, Elizabeth Tippett, associate professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, also concluded that most training programmes are too narrow in their themes. In her analysis, Tippett compares the incremental content changes in the training to “software updates.” Training still focuses on legal language and obscure, unlikely misconduct scenarios.
#MeToo In The Workplace
Oregon Public Broadcasting, Think Out Loud radio
Tippett is interviewed about harassment in the workplace.
Companies need confidentiality clauses – but not to muzzle sexual abuse victims
"Ultimately, employers would do well to reconsider why they demand broad nondisparagement provisions in the first place. Silencing the victim is a short-term fix. Their long-term interests may be better served by dealing with the harasser."
This is what smart workplace harassment training might look like
“Current trainings do tend to portray harassment as a violation of company policy rather than a form of discrimination,” said University of Oregon professor Elizabeth Tippett, whose recent analysis of 74 harassment trainings spanning 1980 to 2016 found that many tended to “gloss over the discrimination-based origins and purpose of harassment law” that might serve as a “moral anchor” for training. Training also places an “overemphasis on sexual conduct,” she added: A majority of EEOC harassment charges deal with race, age, disability and other bases.
How workplace sexual harassment training has and hasn’t changed
Tippett writes that older workplace sexual harassment training videos better understood sexual harassment as an abuse of power.
Why Trump’s tirades are losing their potency
The Conversation online
Increased familiarity with Trump’s persuasive style affords some cognitive space for decision making by his listeners. Like the beer commercial, we can recognize the persuasion tactics and consciously decide how to respond – whether that means by calling it out, ignoring or discounting the message, or focusing on other issues of public importance.
That’s not complacency. That’s democracy at its best.
What Are Some Risks Of Being A Whistleblower?
One of the biggest health-care scandals in the state and ultimately the country started with a whistleblower. In 2014, three Phoenix VA employees came forward with the news that the hospital wasn’t adequately monitoring suicidal veterans in the emergency room.
Two of them retained their positions, and one left for a different job. Their information changed the way the VA operates on a national level. But what are some of the risks of being whistleblower?
To talk more about this, I’m joined by Elizabeth Tippett, an assistant professor and co-director of the master’s program in dispute resolution at the University of Oregon School of Law...
Uber’s Dismissive Treatment of Sexism Is All Too Typical in Corporate America
The Washington Post
Uber has suffered a spate of bad publicity in recent days after allegations of harassment and discrimination from a former software engineer.
In a blog post, Susan Fowler described being propositioned by her supervisor within weeks of starting her job...
Donald Trump's Conflicts of Interest Leave Him Vulnerable
As it stands, Trump’s failure to address his conflicts means that he remains exposed to the possibility of a full-blown conflicts-of-interest scandal. All it would take is for President Trump to have another conversation with British politicians about those pesky wind farms near his golf course in Scotland, this time from the Oval Office.
Yes, it would be a blow to the office of the presidency. But on the upside, it would — to borrow the President’s favored phrase — make ethics great again.
How timekeeping software helps companies nickel and dime their workers
The Conversation online
If you work on an hourly basis, you may not have given much thought to what happens to your hours after you log out of your workstation. You might assume those hours are simply converted into dollars and show up on your paycheck.
However, there are a lot of ways employers can manipulate your time using timekeeping software, some of which are legal and others highly questionable.
Timekeeping Software Can Disadvantage Hourly Workers
University of Oregon, School of Law online
A new study by Elizabeth Tippett of the University of Oregon School of Law finds that timekeeping software for managing employee hours could undermine compliance with wage and hour laws. The study, “When Timekeeping Software Undermines Compliance,” is published in the Yale Journal of Law and Technology and is co-authored by Charlotte S. Alexander of Georgia State University, and Zev Eigen of Littler Mendelson...
Electronic timekeeping is a ubiquitous feature of the modern workplace. Time and attendance software enables employers to record employees’ hours worked, breaks taken, and related data to determine compensation. Sometimes this software also undermines wage and hour law, allowing bad actor employers more readily to manipulate employee time cards, set up automatic default rules that shave hours from employees’ paychecks, and disguise edits to records of wages and hours. Software could enable transparency, but when it serves to obfuscate instead, it misses an opportunity to reduce costly legal risk for employers and protect employee rights. This article examines thirteen commonly used timekeeping programs to expose the ways in which software innovation can erode compliance. Drawing on insights from the field of behavioral compliance, we explain how the software presents subtle situational cues that can encourage and legitimize wage theft. We also examine gaps in the Fair Labor Standards Act’s recordkeeping rules – unchanged since the 1980s – that have created a regulatory vacuum in which timekeeping software has developed. Finally, we propose a series of reforms to those recordkeeping requirements that would better regulate timekeeping data and software systems and encourage wage and hour law compliance across workplaces.
This preliminary study examines whether the presence or absence of certain terms in a company’s form contracts can reveal its level of litigation risk.
Attorneys sponsor television advertisements that include repeated warnings about adverse drug events to solicit consumers for lawsuits against drug manufacturers. The relationship between such advertising, safety actions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and healthcare use is unknown.
Although ostensibly about civil procedure, the Supreme Court decision in Dukes v. Wal-Mart garnered considerable attention from the media, businesses, and commentators alike. It was the largest employment class action lawsuit in American history, consisting of approximately ...
Employment law has traditionally protected whistleblowers through anti-retaliation remedies, which provide whistleblowers with a cause of action against their employers if they suffer retaliation for their protected disclosure...