Saturday, October 23, 2004

ALI-ABA Airline and Railroad Labor Law

Concluding today is the 17th Annual ALI-ABA Course of Study on Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law

Program included panels on:

The Railway Labor Act and Its Application to the Airline and Railroad Industries
Representation Matters Before the National Mediation Board
Election Campaigns
Collective Bargaining under the Railway Labor Act
The Mediation Process and Emergency Boards
Strikes, Intermittent Work Stoppages, Picketing, Unilateral Action, and Impasse Procedures
Grievance and Arbitration Procedures
Is There "Protected Activity" under the RLA?
International Labor and Employment Issues: International Conflicts
Labor Relations under the Bankruptcy Code in the Airline and Railroad Industries
Affiliations, Mergers, and Consolidations
Recent Trends in Litigation of Employee Rights: Preemption and Domestic Conflicts; Workplace Environmental and Safety Laws: Federal and State Issues
Drug Testing Issues
Individual Rights Against the Employer-Carrier and the Labor Organization
Laws Affecting Hours, Wages, and Working Conditions in the Airline and Railroad Industries
Post-September 11 Issues and Recent Developments in the Railroad and Airline Industries

October 23, 2004 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 22, 2004

Struggling Unions

Struggling Unions, Merrimack Film's newest video, examines how the new generation of labor leaders is struggling to reform and revitalize their unions. This 35-minute video has case studies of three unions undergoing dramatic change: the Carpenters union, the Teamsters, and District 37 of AFSCME, the large New York City municipal union. Interviews with union leaders, union reformers, and labor experts tie the struggles in these three unions to the broader effort to reverse the long-term decline in union membership.

October 22, 2004 in Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What women want.

What Do Women Want?
Mel Gibson? No (from the "What Women Want" movie)

Des Moines? Yes

According to this Business Week's article, progressive companies and easier lifestyles are lurking women away from the coasts and into this mid-size Iowa city. As families continue to re-evaluate the right balance between work and family, and "at a time when skyrocketing home prices, the threat of terrorist attacks, and a half-an-hour a day of face time with the kids are high on working moms' worry list, Des Moines offers a growing number of them some unexpected peace of mind." What Do Women Want? Des Moines

The article notes the importance of achieving a "critical mass":

"this midsize city in a state that is the No. 1 producer of corn and hogs is surprisingly appealing to manager moms. In the Des Moines metropolitan area, 70% of families with children under six have both parents in the workforce, beating the big cities. The working mom as the demographic norm offers a détente in the cultural war that often erupts elsewhere between stay-at-home moms and those who work. The critical mass also means companies have little choice but to cater to women. Ernst & Young and Bankers Trust allow women to design their own work schedules. Meredith offers the chance to buy more vacation with pretax dollars. At Principal Financial Group Inc. (PFG ), where two-thirds of its 14,000 employees are women, nursing moms pump in deluxe lactation centers."

October 22, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Justice Without Unions

New book by Hoyt N. Wheeler, Brian S. Klaas, and Douglas M. Mahony (Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina). In Wjwu_1 Workplace Justice Without Unions, the authors:

"provide a thorough analysis of organizational justice systems by exploring nonunion systems of workplace justice and comparing them with the union system, American courts, and systems in 11 other countries. The U.S. nonunion workplace justice system includes protective federal legislation, labor arbitration, and a host of management-initiated procedures including the use of open-door policies, ombudsmen, mediation, peer review panels, and the most recent and controversial method, employment arbitration. The latter method—arbitration of workplace disputes in a nonunion setting—receives special attention from the authors, who include a discussion of the law concerning employment arbitration along with an intensive survey that investigates its practice. Wheeler, Klaas, and Mahony conclude by discussing a number of important issues for employment and organizational policy, including the effects of the decline in unionization on workplace justice systems and the trend toward using employment arbitration as a substitute for the court system."

October 21, 2004 in Book Club | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

13 Years Ago.

What were you doing 13 years ago? In 1991 Microsoft released MS DOS 5.0, Mikhail Gorbachev received his 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, and Clarence Thomas was confirmed as Supreme Court Justice. In California:

When Margaret Munoz walked off her job at the world's largest walnut processing plant, she had one grandchild. Now she has seven. Munoz was among more than 600 workers who launched a strike against the Diamond of California plant 13 years ago, convinced the growers' cooperative would quickly buckle to their demands in the autumn rush to harvest and process half the nation's walnuts.

In, 13-year strike at world's largest walnut plant could end, Don Thompson (Associated Press) reports the possible "beginning of the end of the walkout" involving Diamond Walnuts' employees. Last week the plant's permanent and seasonal workers voted 311-262 to join the Teamsters union.

October 21, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Do we really need law schools?

On the category of "tangentially related to labor and employment law, but plenty interesting." The New York Daily News reports that the attorney representing Fox News Channel producer Andrea Mackris in her sexual-harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly, is a law-school drop-out (Ben-there-done-that lawyer, TRACY CONNOR). According to the Daily News, Benedict Morelli, became a lawyer without a law degree by clerking at a firm, and made his name with personal injury and medical malpractice cases that brought jury awards of up to $40 million. points out that seven states (California, Maine, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington) allow individuals who have not graduated from law school to join the practicing bar. According to

In New York, where Morelli heads his own law firm, the requirement is that a prospective lawyer must have completed at least one year at an ABA-approved law school. After that, the future attorney can fulfill his educational requirements by engaging in something called "law office study" or "clerking for the bar"—in essence, an apprenticeship at a law firm. (Skip Law School, Be a Lawyer Anyway - Can law school dropouts really join the bar?, by Brendan I. Koerner)

October 20, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Workers rights and civil rights

An interesting newspaper article on the tensions and possibilities faced by labor unions as they address both the rights of minority and immigrant workers. In, Can both worker rights and civil rights win in hotel talks?, David Bacon (San Francisco Chronicle) notes:

In the current hotel conflict, most attention has focused on the proposed contract length and the dispute over who pays health-care benefits. But another issue also separates the two sides -- civil rights and the relationship between African American and immigrant workers.

October 20, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New book on public sector unions

New book by Professor Joseph Slater (Toledo) on Public Workers: Government. Employee Unions, the Law, and the State, 1900-1962, (Cornell U. Press, 2004): Professor Slater shows:

how public-sector unions survived, represented their members, and set the stage for the most remarkable growth of worker organization in American history within a legal environment in which they had no legal right to strike, bargain, or arbitrate, and government workers could be fired simply for joining a union. Slater examines the battles of public-sector unions in the workplace, courts, and political arena, from the infamous Boston police strike of 1919, to teachers in Seattle fighting a yellow-dog rule, to the BSEIU in the 1930s representing public-sector janitors, to the fate of the powerful TWU after New York City purchased the subways, to the long struggle by AFSCME that produced the nation's first public-sector labor law in Wisconsin in 1959. Slater introduces readers to a determined and often-ignored segment of the union movement and expands our knowledge of working people of working men and women, the institutions they formed, and the organizational obstacles they faced.

October 20, 2004 in Book Club | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

First Annual Tony Coelho Lecture at New York Law School

The Labor & Employment Law Program (Professor Seth Harris, Director) at New York Law School presents The Honorable Steny Hoyer speaking on The Future of the ADA and the Employment of People with Disabilities next Thursday, October 21, 2004. Congressman Hoyer is the Democratic Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He helped guide the Americans with Disabilities Act to passage in 1990.

The Tony Coelho Lecture in Disability Employment Law & Policy seeks to promote our understanding of the issues associated with increasing the employment rate among people with disabilities. The Coelho Lecture is open to the public with a special emphasis on outreach to the disabilities, legal, and policy communities.

October 19, 2004 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New paper on Covenants Not to Compete

Eric A. Posner (Chicago), Alexander Triantis (University of Maryland School of Business) & George G. Triantis (Virginia) have posted Investing in Human Capital: The Efficiency of Covenants Not to Compete in the University of Virginia John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics Working Paper Series, part of the Bepress Legal Repository. Here is the abstract:

Covenants not to compete (CNCs) are used in employment contracts to prevent employees from working for other employers. The legal enforcement of CNCs varies across jurisdictions in the U.S.: some states ban them (notably, California) while a majority of other states enforce CNCs when they reasonably protect a legitimate interest of the employer. The discrepancy in the legal policy regarding CNCs is reflected in an academic debate over the economic efficiency of these covenants. One side argues that CNCs are bad because they restrict labor mobility; the other side argues that the restriction on the movement of workers is good because it prevents workers from appropriating their employers’ human capital investments (and CNCs thereby encourage such investment). This paper addresses together the two objectives of ex post (labor mobility) and ex ante (human capital investment) efficiency. It compares CNCs with the alternative contract breach remedies of specific performance and liquidated damages. A given CNC may be analyzed as a hybrid that adopts specific performance with respect to attempted movements to employers within its scope and liquidated damages equal to zero with respect to movements outside its scope. Among the results of the paper is the finding that, where a CNC can be renegotiated, first-best performance and first-best investment can be induced. The appropriate choice of the CNC scope can balance perfectly the overinvestment tendency of specific performance against the underinvestment effect caused by zero liquidated damages. Contracting parties, however, have the incentive to agree to excessively broad CNCs that enable them to extract rents from prospective new employers within the CNC scope. The law should be wary of this incentive in policing CNCs.

October 19, 2004 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 18, 2004

Susan Bisom-Rapp at California Western

Susan Bisom-Rapp (Thomas Jefferson School of Law) presents, Transnational Employment Law Practice and the Exporting of American Lawyering Styles to the Global Worksite, (25 COMP. LAB. L. & POL’Y J. (forthcoming 2005)) October 19, at noon at California Western School of Law.

October 18, 2004 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Distinguished Labor Leader Lecture

The Chicago Federation of Labor AFL-CIO and the Chicago Kent's Institute for Law and the Workplace (Martin Malin, Director) present the 6th annual Distinguished Labor Leader Lecture featuring Bruce S. Raynor (General President, UNITE HERE) next Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 12 noon. Mr. Rynor:

was president of UNITE, the union representing more than 200,000 workers in North America in the apparel and textile industries, including retail, industrial laundries and distribution centers. Described as a "rising star in the labor movement" (BusinessWeek, April 7, 2003), Mr. Raynor is a major force behind UNITE's successful organizing and bargaining agenda. UNITE was founded in 1995 as a result of the merger of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union and the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

October 18, 2004 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal Special Issue

The Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal presents a special issue on Monitoring International Labor Standards. 24 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol'y J. 281- 433 (2003).

"The papers in this issue focus on the availability and quality of information to measure progress toward achieving four core labor standards identified by the International Labor Organization (ILO). In the 1998 Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the 175 member nations of the ILO agreed to promote the following four core principles:
1. freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
2. the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor;
3. the effective abolition of child labor; and,
4. the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation." (p.281)

The special issue includes the following papers:

Margaret Hilton, Introduction

Lance Compa, Assessing assessments: a survey of efforts to measure countries' compliance with freedom of association standards

Kevin Bales, International labor standards: quality of information and measures of progress in combating forced labor

Constance Thomas, Information sources and measures of international labor standards on employment discrimination

Ritualo, Amy R., Charita L. Castro and Sarah Gormly. Measuring child labor: implications for policy and program design

October 17, 2004 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)