April 15, 2008
Estlund on Regulating Self-Regulation
As union representation has declined and employment law regulations that offer no collective representation have proliferated, employees must find different ways to assert themselves in the workplace to make sure their rights are protected, according to Cynthia A. Estlund, the Catherine A. Rein professor or law at New York University School of Law. As employers implement internal compliance programs to deflect employment regulations and potential litigation and employees are shut out of those self-regulatory schemes, there will be no workplace democracy, Estlund argued, speaking on "Corporate Self-Regulation and the Future of Workplace Governance" at Chicago-Kent College of Law.
I agree with Cindy and would take her point one step further. Cindy has argued for procedural due process rights which would act as a right to expression in the workplace. I think we should be careful of depending too much on such due process rights, especially where such process is given by an employer in a perfunctory manner. This can be especially problematic in a politicized public employment environment, but in the private sector as well.
So pushing for due process-type rights in the workplace is part of the response to this self-regulation movement/self-governance movement, but other responses are necessary, including introducing corrective legislation on the federal and state level and fashioning arguments to overcome employee-unfriendly, judicially-made law.
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