Saturday, February 12, 2005

Sexual Orientation and Wages

A recent article by Christpoher Carpenter in the Industrial and Labor Relations Review finds on the relationship between sexual orientation and earnings. Here is the abstract:

Researchers using the 1988-96 General Social Survey (GSS) have found that behaviorally gay/bisexual men earn 15-30% less, and behaviorally lesbian/ bisexual women earn 20-30% more, than similar heterosexuals. This study uses confidential data on self-reported sexual orientation for 50,000 adults in California in 2001, providing more than five times as many respondents who identify themselves as sexual minorities as does the GSS. Previous approaches are extended by using more complete data on earnings, work effort, and job characteristics. Apart from the well-documented marriage premium, the author finds no statistically or economically significant independent effect of a gay or lesbian sexual orientation on earnings. There is some evidence that bisexual men and women earn less than heterosexuals. Analysis of more recent GSS data (including data from 1998-2000) suggests the findings of previous studies are somewhat sensitive to the time period considered.

Self-Reported Sexual Orientation and Earnings: Evidence from California. By Christopher S. Carpenter.  Vol. 58, No. 2 (January 2005), pp. 258-273.

February 12, 2005 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 11, 2005

Blogging about Work

The reports on more employees being "dooced" for blogging at work.

"Under the pseudonym of Sarcastic Journalist, Rachel Mosteller wrote this entry on her personal Web log one day last April:  "I really hate my place of employment. Seriously. Okay, first off. They have these stupid little awards that are supposed to boost company morale. So you go and do something 'spectacular' (most likely, you're doing your JOB) and then someone says 'Why golly, that was spectacular.' then they sign your name on some paper, they bring you chocolate and some balloons."

February 11, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Employment Contracts

From our friends at ContractsProf Blog, an interesting discussion of a case involving the employment contract of Wrestler Terry Bollea, a/k/a "Hulk Hogan" and "Hollywood Hogan."  (Here)

February 11, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 10, 2005

War on Terror affects Employers and Employees

Employers and employees are beginning to feel the financial consequences of the extended war efforts in both Afghanistan and Iraq, according to

"Employers’ military leave pay policies for their National Guard or Reserve employees on active duty has changed for the worse, at least as far as their employees are concerned. “The changes in salary payments to active duty reservists and guard members represent a landmark shift,” commented Susan Schoenfeld, BLR’s senior compensation editor. “This unintended consequence of extended active duty tours in Iraq and Afghanistan is severely affecting employers – and the nation’s citizen soldiers.”

In 2003, 33% of employers paid exempt employees their full salary while on military leave; this is anticipated to drop to 15% in 2005. Meanwhile, the number of employers who pay nothing to their active duty employees has increased — from 31% in 2003 to an anticipated 50% in 2005. Many companies are still willing to make up the difference between what employees earn during military service and their normal wages (36% in 2003, declining slightly to an estimated 34% in 2005)."

War Moves: Fewer Employers Pay Their Guard and Reserve Employees Full Salary While on Military Leave – Reports

February 10, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More on blogs at work

"Dooced" for blogging

ABC News reports on the terminations of various employees for blogging about their jobs.

Heather Armstrong worked as a Web designer for a Los Angeles software company. In February 2001, she started a blog — a Web log or online journal.

"It's sort of my hobby," she said. "Other people like to play instruments; I like to write online."

No names were used in her blog — not hers, her co-workers', nor her company's. But she was terminated after company executives were tipped off and read her posts, which included unflattering descriptions of many of them.

"What I was doing was completely benign," Armstrong said. "I never mentioned any trade secrets. I never mentioned the company."

Her Web site is located at Since her termination, some bloggers have taken to calling the act of being fired because of one's Web site being "dooced."

Blogging Can Get You in Trouble at Work (by Jake Tapper & Audrey Taylor)

(Thanks to Len Bierman for the tip.)

For earlier posts on this issue see here and here.

February 10, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Faith at work

In recent weeks, I have posted (here, here, and here) about the issue of faith in the workplace.  An interesting interview in Religion & Ethics Newsweekly probes on the issue.  (Faith in the Workplace)

The report a dramatic increase in the few years both in the number of  "workplace ministries" in the U.S., and the number of religious discrimination complaints filed with EEOC.

Here is the introduction:

"Bob Abernethy: We have a special report today about practicing religion at work. In this country, as corporations grew bigger and more impersonal, business and worship often became separated. Now, more and more companies are making room for religious practices. Sometimes the results have been widely praised. Other times, some employees have taken offense. Lucky Severson begins our story near Baltimore, Maryland."

February 9, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

High-Paying Jobs

According to the Employment Policy Foundation, the nation's 12 top-paying jobs -- and the mean annual income reported in 2003 (the most recent year data was available) for each -- were:

Physicians and surgeons $147,000
Aircraft pilots $133,500
Chief executives $116,000
Electrical and electronic engineers $112,000
Lawyers and judges $99,800
Dentists $90,000
Pharmacists $85,500
Management analysts $84,700
Computer and information system managers $83,000
Financial analysts, managers and advisers $84,000
Marketing and sales managers $80,000

Education administrators

High-Paying Jobs in the U.S.

February 8, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

MRL Surveys Changes in State Legislation

The January issue of Monthly Labor Review Online reviews changes in state labor legislation, workers' compensation laws and Federal and State unemployment insurance in 2004

Here's an brief summary of 2004 state labor legislation:

"[T]he legislation that was enacted by the States addressed a significant number of employment standards areas and included many important measures. Worker privacy was the "hot-button" issue of the year, with more than 30 pieces of legislation enacted, while issues such as workplace violence and security, a variety of prevailing-wage issues, drug and alcohol testing in the workplace, the discharge of employees, child labor issues regarding hours of work permitted, payment of wages to employees, and plant closings were all included in new or amended legislation enacted in 2004."

Thanks to Law Librarian Blog for the tip.

February 8, 2005 in Government Reports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Shorter law review articles

Top Law Reviews To Limit Length of Articles

The American Constitution Society Blog reports that 11 top law reviews (but not California, Chicago, and NYU) have agreed to limit the length of articles:

The flagship law reviews of Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Michigan, Stanford, Texas, Penn., Virginia, and Yale have joined the following statement regarding the growing length of legal scholarship:

In mid-December, the Harvard Law Review conducted a nationwide survey of law faculty regarding the state of legal scholarship. Nearly 800 professors completed the survey and submitted their feedback. Complete tabulations of the survey will soon be available on the web. Importantly, the survey documented one particularly unambiguous view shared by faculty and law review editors alike: the length of articles has become excessive. In fact, nearly 90% of faculty agreed that articles are too long. In addition, dozens of respondents submitted specific comments, identifying the dangers of this trend and calling for action. Survey respondents suggested that shorter articles would enhance the quality of legal scholarship, shorten and improve the editing process, and render articles more effective and easier to read.
The law reviews listed above are very grateful for the constructive feedback and wish to acknowledge a role in contributing to this unfortunate trend in legal scholarship. To the extent that the article selection or editing process encourages the submission and publication of lengthier articles, each of the law reviews listed above is committed to rethinking and modifying its policies as necessary. Indeed, some have already done so. The vast majority of law review articles can effectively convey their arguments within the range of 40-70 law review pages, and any impression that law reviews only publish or strongly prefer lengthier articles should be dispelled. Ultimately, individual law reviews will have to decide for themselves how best to resolve these concerns. Please know, however, that editors across the country are cognizant of the troubling trend toward longer articles and are actively exploring how to address it.

As the statement implies, several of these law reviews will be limiting their articles selection process only to articles 70 pages in length or less. All 11 are committed to reducing the length of legal scholarship.

Thanks to Paul Caron at TaxProf Blog for the tip.

February 8, 2005 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Symposium on Business, Labor and Globalization

Business, Labor and Law in the Global Economy - A Symposium at the University of Richmond School of Law, co-sponsored with the Robins School of Business, and the Jepson School of Leadership Studies March 17-18, 2005.

Here is the overview:

The world has changed. We communicate instantly with employees, customers, clients and colleagues, yet rarely pause to consider the legal, financial and human relations issues that are presented by the dramatic economic and technological changes that have occurred. Internationalization of business, trade policies, job losses and environmental concerns affect employers, employees, unions, government and the economy, presenting vital issues for the future of our country. Will the America of the future be a vibrant technological and service economy, a landscape of shuttered factories and unemployed workers, or something in between? Will we continue to be the world's economic superpower or will our star fade as other economies develop and strengthen in the international arena?

This symposium brings together an interdisciplinary group of speakers to explore these questions. Law, business, economics, labor studies, leadership and international studies all have a role to play in the crucial policy decisions that our country must address in the global economy of the 21st century. The symposium approaches the issues resulting from globalization from multiple perspectives: the academic and the practical; the employer, the employee and union; and the public and private sectors.

Among the questions to be considered are: What is happening in China, India, and Canada? How are American business and labor dealing with the global economy? How can American business continue to compete effectively? What new legal issues confront business and labor in the international arena? How is the global economy affecting Virginia? What mechanisms exist to protect employees from the devastation of job loss and the ever increasing pressure on business to lower labor costs?

The public and private decisions made on the economic and policy issues resulting from globalization will affect us all. Join the dialogue at the University of Richmond as experts debate the important questions for the future.

For a complete schedule see here.

February 8, 2005 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 7, 2005

Reactions to Andy Stern's Proposal

The Black Commentator reacts to Andy Stern's proposal to reorganize the union movement:

The push to “streamline” and consolidate the structures of the AFL-CIO threatens to diminish the influence of Blacks in the labor movement. “They want bigger unions,” said Bill Lucy, head of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), referring to leaders of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Teamsters, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and others. “They want power players, big unions in charge. The end result is diminution of community power.”

For the rest of the post click here.

(Thanks to Wythe Holt Jr. for the tip)

February 7, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tough Law

From our friends at ContractProf Blog:

"a woman in Germany may lose her unemployment benefits because she refused to take a job to which she was referred by the state job center—a brothel.  No, it wasn’t an error, apparently.  The state decided that brothels, which are legal in Germany, must be considered legitimate businesses."

February 7, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Change in data collection at the BLS

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that:

"A proposal by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to eliminate one mode of collecting data on female workers has raised concern among sociologists, who say the change will reduce what they know about men's and women's experiences on the job.

The concerns stem from a recent announcement by the bureau, part of the Labor Department, that it plans to discontinue the portion of its Current Employment Statistics survey that gathers and publishes information on the employment, hours, and earnings of women. Those data, known as the "women-workers series," are collected from businesses' payroll records."

Sociologists Protest Bureau's Plan to Stop Collecting Some Data on Female Workers (by Michelle Diament)

(Thanks to Whyte Holt Jr. for the tip)

February 7, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Union Membership Continues to Decline

U.S. union membership has steadily declined from a high of 20.1 percent in 1983, the first year for which comparable union. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2004 only 12.5 percent of working Americans were union members, down from 12.9 in 2003. In private employment it is only 7.9 percent and among government employees it is 36.4 percent.

Between 2003 and 2004 unions lost 304,000 members - 246,800 on private payrolls and 57,100 in government employment. Some highlights from the 2004 data are:

• Two occupational groups—education, training, and library occupations and protective service occupations—had the highest unionization rates in 2004, at about 37 percent each. Protective service occupations include fire fighters and police officers.

• Men were more likely to be union members than women.

• Black workers were more likely to be union members than were white, Asian, or Hispanic or Latino workers.

View the report.

Thanks to Joe Hodnicki for the tip.

February 7, 2005 in Government Reports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)