Saturday, April 16, 2005

Recent NLRB Decisions

Here are the links to the last three most recent Weekly Reports from the NLRB:

April 1

April 8

April 15

April 16, 2005 in Labor Law | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Labor Quote Quiz - Answer

Here is the answer to this week Labor Quote Quiz.  The quote:

It is common sense that permanently replaced strikers means trading experienced, skilled employees for inexperienced ones.  Inexperienced replacement workers start at the bottom of the learning curve, a circumstance that can sometimes have grave consequences.  We wouldn’t have wanted rookies, for instance, assembling the tanks used by American soldiers fighting in Desert Storm.

is attributed to Senator Herb H. Kohl

Source: BigLabor.com

April 15, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Symposium Today on The Next Generation of Law School Rankings

IndianaFollowing up on our recent article, What Law Schools Can Learn from Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics, 82 Texas L. Rev. 1483 (2004), Paul Caron and I are moderating a symposium on The Next Generation of Law School Rankings today at Indiana-Bloomington:

The U.S. News & World Report annual law school rankings are the 800-pound gorilla of legal education. Although met with varying degrees of skepticism and hostility, the U.S. News rankings affect virtually all aspects of law school operations. A myriad of alternative rankings have emerged in recent years, seeking better and more accurate ways of measuring law school performance. The goal of this symposium is to deepen our understanding of rankings and their effects on legal education. The participants in this symposium will examine the need for law school rankings; the effects of rankings on legal education; and the various new approaches to addressing the public's insatiable demand for ever more and increasingly sophisticated rankings, which permeate not only legal education but also all aspects of American life.

8:30 - 8:35 a.m.  Lauren Robel (Dean, Indiana), Welcome

8:35 - 8:45 a.m.  Paul L. Caron (Cincinnati) & Rafael Gely (Cincinnati), Introduction

Panel 1:  Framing the Rankings Debate

8:45 - 9:05 a.m.  Papers

9:05 - 9:20 a.m.  Commentary

9:20 - 9:35 a.m.  Questions and Discussion

Panel 2:  Ranking Methodologies

9:35 - 10:20 a.m.  Papers:

10:20 - 10:40 a.m.  Commentary:

10:40 - 10:55 a.m.  Questions and Discussion

10:55 - 11:10 a.m.  Break

Panel 3:  Ranking Methodologies

11:10 - 11:55 a.m.  Papers:

11:55 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.  Commentary:

12:15 - 12:30 p.m.  Questions and Discussion

12:30 - 1:45 p.m.  Lunch

Panel 4:  Other Voices in the Rankings Debate

1:45 - 2:15 p.m.  Papers:

2:15 - 3:00 p.m.  Commentary

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.  Questions and Discussion

3:30 - 3:35 p.m.  Jeffrey E. Stake (Indiana), Closing Comments

The symposium is made possible through the generous financial support of Foundation Press, Thomson-West, and the Indiana-Bloomington School of Law.

April 15, 2005 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

On my way to Bloomington!

I am on my way to Indiana University for the Symposium that Paul Caron and I organized on The Next Generation of Law School Rankings

Here is the Symposium program:

Introduction and Welcome
8:30 - 8:35 a.m.

Lauren Robel, Welcome

8:35 - 8:45 a.m.

Paul L. Caron and Rafael Gely, Introduction

Panel 1: Framing the Rankings Debate
8:45 - 9:05 a.m.

Richard A. Posner (paper only),
"Evaluating Law School Rankings"

Cass R. Sunstein (paper only),
"Ranking Law Schools: A Market Test?"

9:05 - 9:20 a.m.

Russell Korobkin, Commentary

Brian R. Leiter, Commentary (paper only)

9:20 - 9:35 a.m.

Questions and Discussion

Panel 2: Ranking Methodologies

9:35 - 10:20 a.m.

Scott A. Baker, Stephen Choi and G. Mitu Gulati,
"The Rat Race as an Information Forcing Device"

Wendy Espeland and Michael Sauder,

"The Benefits of Multiple Evaluations: A Comparison of Law and Business School Rankings"

William Henderson and Andrew P. Morriss,
"Student Quality as Measured by LSAT Scores: Migration Patterns in the U.S. News Rankings Era"

10:20 - 10:40 a.m.

Rafael Gely, Commentary

Michael E. Solimine, Commentary

10:40 - 10:55 a.m.

Questions and Discussion

10:55 - 11:10 a.m. Break

Panel 3: Ranking Methodologies

11:10 - 11:55 a.m.

Bernard S. Black and Paul L. Caron,
"Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance"

Tracey E. George,
"Law Schools and the New Legal Science"

Jeffrey E. Stake,
"The Interplay of Rankings Criteria and Their Effects"

11:55 - 12:15 p.m.

Lawrence A. Cunningham, Commentary

Theodore Eisenberg, Commentary

12:15 - 12:30 p.m. Questions and Discussion
12:30 - 1:45 p.m. Lunch

Panel 4: Other Voices in the Rankings Debate

1:45 - 2:15 p.m.

Alex M. Johnson, Jr.,
"Destruction of the Holistic Approach to Admissions: The Pernicious Effect of Rankings"

Gene R. Nichol (paper only),
"Law Schools, Rankings, and Public Mission"

Nancy B. Rapoport,
"Eating Our Cake and Having It, Too: Why Real Change Is So Difficult in Law Schools"

2:15 - 3:00 p.m.

Rachel F. Moran, Commentary

Lauren Robel, Commentary

Patrick O'Day, Commentary

Sam Kamin, Commentary

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Questions and Discussion

3:30 p.m.

Jeffrey E. Stake, Closing Comments

April 14, 2005 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thanks but no thanks!

Teamsters Decline Labor Award from Red Cross Due to Labor Disputes -

"The International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced today that it will not accept the 2005 Samuel Gompers National Labor Award from the American Red Cross until the organization resolves labor disputes in three states where workers are fighting for Teamster representation.

According to the news report:

Workers in Arizona, Missouri and Ohio have been repeatedly denied their right to union representation by management at Red Cross locations despite the majority of the workers signing representation authorization cards.

More than 500 workers have encountered strong resistance by the Red Cross in the form of unlawful intimidation and anti-union campaigns by the organization. These dedicated employees continue their important work despite inadequate healthcare packages and long hours with low wages.

Click here for the rest of the story.

April 14, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Bloggers talk about judges

David Wallace-Wells of Slate.com summarizes what bloggers are saying regarding the recent controversy regarding recent attacks on the judiciary by politicians and other groups.  Judging the Judges

April 14, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NHL Labor Dispute

The NHL and the Players' Union go back to the bargaining table.  According to the SFGate.com,

"It is expected that a new idea will be on the table during this next round of talks that could help bridge the divide on whether player costs should be linked to league revenues.

The NHL has maintained that it prefers a direct relationship that ties player costs to league revenues, while the union has mostly rejected that idea. This new, mixed plan would appear to incorporate elements from both concepts."

NHL Labor Negotiations to Resume in NY, by Ida Podell

April 14, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Labor Quote Quiz

Who said?

It is common sense that permanently replaced strikers means trading experienced, skilled employees for inexperienced ones.  Inexperienced replacement workers start at the bottom of the learning curve, a circumstance that can sometimes have grave consequences.  We wouldn’t have wanted rookies, for instance, assembling the tanks used by American soldiers fighting in Desert Storm.

The answer will be posted tomorrow, but if you cannot wait check out here at BigLabor.com.

April 14, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Stress as an actionable work injury

According to the National Business Review, an engineering firm in New Zealand has been successfully prosecuted for causing an employee too much stress.

According to the report:

The prosecution was taken by the Department of Labour under the Health and Safety in Employment Act (HSEA), which was amended in 2002 to include work-related stress....

DOL said it investigated after the woman had been diagnosed as suffering depression and hypertension as a result of the work-related stress.

National operations manager Mike Cosman said the mental and physical harm the female employee suffered was the direct result of work pressures and poor work organisation, which the company failed to deal with despite numerous complaints.

"She was working in an environment where poor communication was the norm, and the work culture was non-supportive. Even after complaining many times over several months, the company did nothing substantive to address her concerns," he said.

Firm convicted for stressing employee out

April 13, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Race and Sex Discrimination Report

One out of five workers in the U.S. claims that racial or ethnic discrimination exists in the workplace, according to a national survey by Hudson. 

According to report, employees say that they know of someone who has been denied a job, increased pay or promotion because of their ethnicity. That figure jumps to 31 percent for African-American workers, yet drops to 18 percent among white employees.

Here is a table from the report:

Percent Workers                           All Workers     Men     Women    White /      Black/
                                                                                                             Caucasian    African
                                                                                                                                 American
Know someone who
has been adversely
affected due to
Race or Ethnicity                                      20%        19%       21%       18%         31%

Know someone who
has been adversely
affected due to Gender                             23%        20%       27%       22%         34%

Employer Actively
Promotes Diversity                                    64%        63%       65%       69%         46%

One in Five U.S. Workers Reports Racial and Gender Discrimination Exists in the Workplace

April 13, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

BLS introduces new labor market analysis tool

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has added a powerful new tool for labor market analysis to its web site services: the Location Quotient Calculator.  The new calculator generates location quotients, a measure that is familiar to regional labor economists as a way to readily compare the industrial activity levels among different areas of the country. In general, location quotients are ratios that compare the concentration of a resource or activity, such as employment, in a defined area to that of a larger area or base. For example, location quotients can be used to compare State employment by industry to that of the nation; or employment in a city, county, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), or other defined geographic sub-area to that in the State. The new BLS location quotient calculator uses a timely data source that is especially rich in comprehensive industry and area detail – BLS's Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).

With just a few quick selections from the BLS Web form, the user can specify a base or reference area (usually the United States as a whole) and a base or reference industry (usually the private sector, all industries), where industries are classified on a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) basis. The user may choose up to three geographic areas to be compared to the base area and may choose numerous industries to be compared to the base industry. Users may choose standard industry lists, such as the NAICS SuperSector, Sector, or SubSector levels, or they may select any number of broad or narrowly defined NAICS industries for analysis. This innovative use of QCEW data allows for focused, detailed industry study at the desired geographic level.

(Thanks to Ronald Jones for the tip)

April 13, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Hottest Jobs

Laura Morsch, CareerBuilder.com reports on the fastest growing jobs.

"As the American population grows older and more dependent on technology, the number of medical and computer related jobs is escalating rapidly to keep pace with demand. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 15 of the 30 fastest-growing jobs in the United States are in healthcare, and another seven are computer related."

Here is the list:

Medical Assistants

Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts

Environmental engineers

Physician Assistants

Social and Human Service Assistants

Home Health Aides

Postsecondary Teachers

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

Computer Software Engineers

Fitness and aerobics instructors

Physical Therapist Assistants

Careers Where the Applicant has the Edge

April 13, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Major Work Stoppages 2004

The BLS issues its reports on Major Work Stoppages in 2004.  According to the BLS:

"The number of workers idled because of lockouts and strikes in 2004 rose from the prior year while the number of days of idleness fell.  As a result, the percent of estimated working time lost remained roughly the same as in 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.  These figures were still low by historical standards."

April 12, 2005 in Government Reports | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Five Questions on disability

Pamela Loprest, a senior research associate in the Urban Institute's Income and Benefits Policy Center, answers Five Questions on Disability and Employment

Pamela Loprest is a national expert on disabilities and employment. Her research details how the current benefit structure for the Social Security Administration's disability programs uses a one-size-fits-all eligibility definition that often leads to lifelong benefits. Loprest urges a stronger return-to-work focus. Policymakers, she writes, must weigh the costs of expanding current disability eligibility criteria to focus on work against the costs of the current all-or-nothing disability definition.

The five questions are:

1. What are the current trends in employment among the disabled?

2. Has government encouraged work among disabled adults?

3. What has the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act done?

4. How does health insurance factor into these trends?

5. Are disabled youth being prepared for the workforce?

See here for the answers.

April 12, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Falling Wages

Steven Greenhouse (NYT) reports that:

Even though the economy added 2.2 million jobs in 2004 and produced strong growth in corporate profits, wages for the average worker fell for the year, after adjusting for inflation - the first such drop in nearly a decade.

As usual, there is debate as to the cause and implications of this trend.  According to Greenhouse,

The problem is not with the jobs themselves. Most economists dismiss as overblown the widespread fear that the number of jobs will shrink in the United States because of foreign competition from China, India and other developing nations. But at the same time many of these economists argue that the increasing exposure of the American economy to globalization, along with other forces - including soaring health insurance costs that leave less money for raises - is putting pressure on wages that could leave millions of workers worse off.

"We're in for a long period where inflation-adjusted wages will be under acute pressure," said Stephen S. Roach of Morgan Stanley. "That's a most unusual development in a period of high productivity growth. Normally, real wages track productivity."

But some economists are more optimistic, saying that the wage sluggishness is temporary and that real wages have slipped only because a sudden spike in oil prices has briefly left workers behind the curve. These economists assert that wage stagnation will end soon, as normal growth brings a tighter labor market.

"What we're seeing now is not atypical; employers can't pay the wage bill to keep up with the oil price increase," said Allan H. Meltzer, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University. "I think the long-term trend will be that wages will right themselves and look like productivity growth on average."

Falling Fortunes of the Wage Earner

April 12, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 11, 2005

LexisNexis Sponsors Law Professor Blogs Network

Lexislogo200We are thrilled to announce that LexisNexis has agreed to sponsor all of the blogs in our Law Professor Blogs Network:

LexisNexis shares our vision for expanding the network into other areas of law, so please email us if you would be interested in finding out more about starting a blog as part of our network.

April 11, 2005 in About This Blog | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Labor Joke and Cartoon of the Week

Check out this week's Labor Joke & Labor Cartoon at BigLabor.com

April 11, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

What's in a name?

In The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names, Ronald Fryer & Steven Levitt argue that:

In the 1960s Blacks and Whites chose relatively similar first names for their children. Over a short period of time in the early 1970s, that pattern changed dramatically with most Blacks (particularly those living in racially isolated neighborhoods) adopting increasingly distinctive names, but a subset of Blacks actually moving toward more assimilating names. The patterns in the data appear most consistent with a model in which the rise of the Black Power movement influenced how Blacks perceived their identities. Among Blacks born in the last two decades, names provide a strong signal of socioeconomic status, which was not previously the case. We find, however, no negative relationship between having a distinctively Black name and later life outcomes after controlling for a child's circumstances at birth.

April 11, 2005 in Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The NHL Strike and Labor Law

FOXSports.com discusses the labor law issues regarding the widely spread believe that the NHL will use strike replacements for the 2005-06 season.

According to the report:

"It's been widely believed that, if the league opts to go with replacements for the 2005-06 season, with or without declaring an impasse, the PA would file a complaint with the NLRB accusing the league of bargaining in bad faith.

The association's hope would be that the NLRB would file an injunction preventing the NHL from hiring replacements while it considers the NHLPA's complaint.

By striking first, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman not only probably caught the NHLPA off-guard (not to mention the rest of the hockey world), but is also hoping to create divisions within the association.

The league's contention throughout the lockout was a significant number of players willing to return to action under its hard cap proposals were being held in check by NHLPA director Bob Goodenow and the association's hierarchy.

Indeed, league spokesmen and supporters called on Goodenow to hold the latest league proposals to a player vote but claim he's afraid to so because a large number of players would vote against him.

How much truth there is to these claims is anyone's guess, since much of this comes from so-called "insider information" that tends to be based on hearsay information with unnamed team representatives citing discussions with unnamed players.

The league claims in its complaint that the PA is using coercive tactics to keep its' membership online, but that may not be easy to prove and could potentially run afoul of any attempts by the NHL to return with replacement players."

Time to Learn About Labor Law

April 11, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Conference on Comparative and International Labor & Employment Law

A one day conference on COMPARATIVE AND INTERNATIONAL LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW will be held on May 25th at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams, Chicago, IL, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Scheduled speakers are an outstanding group of practitioners and academicians including Dr. Arturo Bronstein of the ILO, Clyde Summers, Roy Heenan, Andrea Christensen, Tom Miller, George Nicolau, Arnold Zack, Ted St. Antoine, Matthew Finkin, Charles Craver, Tom Kohler, Calvin Sharpe, Steve Befort, and Bill Heekin.

The program is sponsored by the US Branch of the International Society for Labor and Social Security Law.

April 10, 2005 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | TrackBack (0)