Thursday, February 16, 2012

Washington University Law School ERISA Conference: Employee Benefits in an Era of Retrenchment

Wash u. logoPeter Wiedenbeck (Wash U.) and I, as co-organizers, are happy to announce a one-day national conference for leading scholars and policy makers on ERISA: Employee Benefits in an Era of Retrenchment.

Here is a link to the conference web page with participants and panels. You will also find there information on travel and accommodations.  Papers will be published in the ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law later this year.

When:  Thursday, March 29, 2012
Where:  Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri
Sponsored by:  Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital and Washington University School of Law

For further information contact Shelly Henderson-Ford, Administrative Coordinator for the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital,, (314) 935-6161.


Employee Benefits in an Era of Retrenchment

Announcing a one-day national conference for leading scholars and policy makers.

When:  Thursday, March 29, 2012
Where:  Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri
Sponsored by:  Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital and Washington University School of Law

February 16, 2012 in Conferences & Colloquia, Pension and Benefits | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Electronic Drafts of Restatement of Employment Law Available

Ali logo

My friend and mentor, Sam Estriecher (NYU) writes to tell the readers of this blog that the American Law Institute (ALI) employment restatement chapters are now available free of charge – go to


February 16, 2012 in Employment Common Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Secunda Reviews Monahan's Public Pension Reform Piece

PaulSecundaPaul Secunda has just posted "Public Pension Plan Problems," on Jotwell--his review of Amy Monahan's "Public Pension Plan Reform:  The Legal Framework," which appeared in Education, Finance & Policy. An excerpt:

All this chaos in the public pension plan world requires some ordering principles. At least as far as organizing states’ various legal approaches to public pension plans, AmyMonahan’s paper, Public Pension Plan Reform: The Legal Framework, does exactly that.  Understanding that many states are either currently going through a process, or contemplating a process, to amend their public pension plans to save money in these difficult economic times, Monahan first explains the difference between private pension plans and public pension plans, and then effectively explains the primary legal approaches states have taken to protect public employee pension rights.

Check it out!



February 15, 2012 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

NELP Launches Immigrant Worker Justice Blog

NelpEunice Hyunhye Cho (Skadden Fellow – Immigrant Worker Justice Project) tells us that the National Employment Law Project has launched the Immigrant Worker Justice Blog.  The blog will provide thoughtful analysis, informative articles, updates on the latest immigrant worker news, and the ability to connect with others in the immigrant worker justice movement.  It's run by NELP’s Immigrant Worker Justice Project, which works at the intersection of labor and immigration law and policy to promote justice and fairness for immigrant workers, in partnership with economic and immigrant justice movements.

Check it out!


February 15, 2012 in Labor and Employment News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Green on Racial Justice Through Arbitration

GreenMichael Z. Green (Texas Wesleyan) has just posted on SSRN his article (forthcoming Indiana L.J. 2012) Reading Ricci and Pyett to Provide Racial Justice Through Union Arbitration.  Here's the abstract:

Despite a longstanding strategy employed by labor unions of staying out of the handling of statutory employment claims, this article suggests a framework and a rationale for unions to embrace arbitration of race discrimination disputes by analyzing the results from two key 2010 Supreme Court decisions, Ricci v. DiStefano and 14 Penn Plaza v. Pyett. In reviewing the statutory employment discrimination claims involved and comparing the actions of the union representing the firefighters in the Ricci case with the actions of the union representing the office security workers in Pyett, the article explains the difficulties faced by unions in taking the appropriate action to resolve these disputes while also identifying an arbitration process that will address the concerns of all the stakeholders. In applying interest-convergence analysis, the article proposes a unique approach of using arbitration to merge the interests of unions in fairly representing all employees without conflicts about choices related to the dispute resolution forum, the interests of employers in having a single efficient forum to resolve these disputes, and the interests of employees of color in having a fair forum with effective representation by their union to obtain a satisfactory resolution of their statutory discrimination claims.


February 15, 2012 in Arbitration, Employment Discrimination, Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recently Published Scholarship: ABA JLEL

AbajlelABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law
Volume 27, Number 1, Fall 2011


  • Catherine Fisk and Xenia Tashlitsky, Imagine a World Where Employers Are Required to Bargain with Minority Unions, pg. 1.
  • Allan G. King & Syeeda S. Amin, The Propensity to Stereotype as Inadmissible "Character" Evidence, pg. 23.
  • Christopher Lage, Avoiding and Dealing with Unethical Communications with Putative Class Members in Systemic Cases, pg. 43.
  • Robert B. Stulberg & Amy F. Shulman, Litigating Cross-Border Discrimination Claims in Multiple Jurisdictions: A Global Strategy for Expatriate Employees, pg. 61.
  • Philip A. Miscimarra, Capital Investment, Relocations, and Major Business Changes Under the NLRA, pg. 79.
  • Julius Getman, The Boeing Case: Creating Outrage Out of Very Little, pg. 99.
  • Louise N. Smith, Employers Beware: Civil RICO Provision Creates Private Enforcement of Immigration Laws, pg. 103.
  • J. Bennett Lebsack, Confusion Demands Simplicity: Applying FRCP 26 to ERISA Conflict of Interest Discovery Requests, pg. 121.


February 14, 2012 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tomorrow's NPRM on FMLA

FmlaKenneth Shiotani (National Disability Rights Network) gives us the heads-up that the DOL's Wage & Hour Divison will post in tomorrow's Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to the Family Medical Leave Act.  Here's a summary of what will be covered:

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division proposes to revise certain regulations of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA or the Act), primarily to implement recent statutory amendments to the Act. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes regulations to implement amendments to the military leave provisions of the FMLA made by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, which extends the availability of FMLA leave to family members of members of the Regular Armed Forces for qualifying exigencies arising out of the servicemember’s deployment; defines those deployments covered under these provisions; and extends FMLA military caregiver leave to family members of certain veterans with serious injuries or illnesses. This NPRM also proposes to amend the regulations to implement the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act, which established new FMLA leave eligibility requirements for airline flight crewmembers and flight attendants. In addition, the proposal includes changes concerning the calculation of leave;reorganization of certain sections to enhance clarity; the removal of the forms from the regulations; and technical corrections of inadvertent drafting errors in the current regulations.


February 14, 2012 in Wage & Hour, Worklife Issues | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Public Hearings Tomorrow on Pregnancy and Caregiver Issues

EeocsealThe EEOC will hold public hearings tomorrow on pregnancy and caregiver discrimination. From the press release,

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public meeting on the subject of pregnancy discrimination and caregiver issues at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time) Wednesday, Feb. 15, at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the meeting is open for public observation of the Commission’s deliberations.

At the meeting, the Commission will examine recent trends in discrimination against pregnant workers and workers with caregiving responsibilities, examining these two forms of discrimination as a continuum. The Commission is scheduled to hear from the following invited panelists:

Panel 1: Understanding Pregnancy and Caregiver Discrimination in Today’s Workplace

      • Dr. Stephen Benard, Professor of Sociology, Indiana University (via VTC from our Indianapolis District Office)
      • Sharon Terman, Senior Staff Attorney, Gender Equity Program, The Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center
      • Maryann Parker, Associate General Counsel, Service Employees International Union
      • Lynn Friss Feinberg, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute
      • Deane Ilukowicz, Vice President for Human Resources, Hypertherm

Panel 2: Statutory Framework and Enforcement Efforts 

      • EEOC’s General Counsel P. David Lopez will provide introductory remarks.
      • Peggy Mastroianni, Legal Counsel, EEOC
      • Melvina Ford, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor
      • Emily Martin, Vice President and General Counsel, National Women’s Law Center

Panel 3: The Way Forward: Implications for the Future

      • Judy Lichtman, National Partnership for Women and Families
      • Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair, Director of the Center for WorkLife Law

Seating is limited and it is suggested that visitors arrive 30 minutes before the meeting in order to be processed through security and escorted to the meeting room.


February 14, 2012 in Beltway Developments, Employment Discrimination, Worklife Issues, Workplace Trends | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Arizona Proposes to Make Conservatism a Protected Class


Inside Higher Ed describes, in a post appropriately entitled "WTF, Arizona", the Arizona' legislature's proposal to give political conservatives protected class status.  Dean Dad has a nice post this morning on why this is a very bad idea.


February 13, 2012 in Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Organizing College Athletes Under State Law

AthleticsT. Ward Frampton and Nicholas Fram, both Berkeley Law 2012, have just posted on SSRN their article A Union of Amateurs: A Legal Blueprint to Reshape Big-Time College Athletics.  Here's the abstract:

College sports now generate billions of dollars every year, yet many of the athletes whose talent and labor sustains this enterprise live beneath the poverty line. In response to this basic inequality, several prominent commentators (and, significantly, college athletes themselves) have recently issued calls for fundamental changes. This Article offers a novel proposal for reform: under the labor law regimes of many states, college athletes are, in fact, “employees” entitled to collective bargaining rights. Prior scholarship has contemplated the status of college athletes under federal labor law. But this work has overlooked the basic fact that most college athletes go to public institutions exempt from coverage under the NLRA, has downplayed significant differences between state and federal labor law, and has disregarded the growing centrality of state law in American labor relations. By offering the first comprehensive state-level survey of relevant labor law, this Article provides a blueprint for college athletes to organize, and proposes that such efforts can be consistent with traditional notions of amateurism.


February 13, 2012 in Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)