The Personal Responsibility Pandemic: Centering Solidarity in Public Health and Employment Law
Our nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has revealed fundamental flaws in our legal regimes governing both public health and employment. Public health orders have called on individuals to make sacrifices to protect society as a whole. Simple fairness dictates that the burdens should be shared as widely as the benefits. And the case for burden-sharing does not rest on fairness alone. Public health measures are more likely to succeed when those who are subject to them understand them as fair1 and when their cooperation is supported. 2 Predictably, our pandemic response has placed disproportionate burdens on those who are already disadvantaged due to economic, racial, gender, disability, immigration, and criminal injustice.3 Elected officials have asked each of us to take personal responsibility for weathering this crisis rather than providing community supports and legal protections that would cushion the blow, spread the costs more widely, and enable everyone to abide by and benefit from public health recommendations.
Wiley, Lindsay F and Samuel Bagenstos. "The Personal Responsibility Pandemic: Centering Solidarity in Public Health and Employment Law." Ariz. St. L. J. 52 (2020): 1235-1302.
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