Friday, February 24, 2012

General Counsel Solomon and the Boeing Case

SolomonThe Seattle Times recently had a story on Lafe Solomon, the NLRB's General Counsel, with a focus on the controversy surrounding the Boeing case.  It also provides a nice background of how he first started with the NLRB.  If nothing else, and whether you agreed with his decision to pursue a complaint or not, you can't deny that he showed courage in doing what he thought was best.  From the article:

Last year, just before the National Labor Relations Board accused Boeing of illegally punishing strike-prone Puget Sound-area Machinists by building a new 787 assembly plant in South Carolina, that state's senior senator privately warned the agency's top lawyer of "nasty, very very nasty" consequences if he didn't yank the complaint.

Otherwise, Sen. Lindsey Graham pledged, he would go "full guns ablazing," according to notes taken at the time by Lafe Solomon, the NLRB's acting general counsel.

Nine days later, in April 2011, Solomon greenlighted the unfair-labor practice case against Boeing. Graham — along with many of his fellow conservatives — was furious. . . . 

Hat Tip:  Patrick Kavanagh


February 24, 2012 in Labor and Employment News, Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Live Blogging from Symposium on Democracy in the Workplace

DemoworkI'm live blogging today from UNLV's symposium on Democracy in the Workplace.  Joel Rogers (Wisconsin PoliSci) and Cynthia Estlund (NYU) have given terrific keynotes; here's a description of the program:

Collective bargaining has become an issue in the United States, riots have roiled Britain, and the Arab spring continues to change politics in many ways. Protests by people who work and who are out of work are becoming more common. To explore the connection between having a voice at work and a voice in democracy, the Saltman Center will host a symposium at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from Thursday, Feb. 23 to Saturday, Feb. 25. Leading scholars and practitioners in labor and employment law, human resource management, dispute resolution, dialogue and deliberation, and democracy will speak on the topic.


February 24, 2012 in Conferences & Colloquia, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Call for Papers for Seventh Annual Labor and Employment Law Colloquium

ConfMy, how times flies when we are all having so much fun. But it is time to start thinking about submitting paper proposals for the Seventh Annual Labor and Employment Law Colloquium, to be held in Chicago this year on September 15-16, 2012.  Mike Zimmer and Kim Yuracko, the co-organizers, especially encourage new and junior members of the labor and employment law prof community to come and participate.

Here are the details:

Northwestern University School of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law are pleased to announce that they will co-host the Colloquium on Current Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law on September 14 and 15, 2012 in Chicago, IL. Registration is available here.

The Colloquium provides an opportunity for labor and employment law scholars to present works-in-progress and receive feedback from their colleagues in the field.

Participants are expected to pay their own travel expenses. The law schools will provide facilities, support, and continental breakfasts on Friday and Saturday, lunch on Friday and Saturday, and a dinner on Friday night.


Friday, September 14, 2012 - Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Saturday, September 15, 2012 - Northwestern University School of Law

Both Northwestern and Loyola law schools are located near Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile
Hotels. There are reasonably priced hotels located near the law schools:

Tremont: 100 E. Chestnut, 312.751.1900
Allerton: 701 N. Michigan, 312.440.1500
Affinia: 166 E. Superior, 312.787.6000
Talbott: 20 E. Deleware: 312.944.4970
Seneca: 200 E. Chestnut, 312.787.8900

Conference Organizers

Kimberly Yuracko, Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
Michael Zimmer, Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

For more information please contact Michael J. Cooper at (312) 503-1570 or  Also please visit the Colloquium webpage here.


February 23, 2012 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DOMA Unconstitutional and Gendered Legos

GenderThese have nothing to do with each other except that they both relate to issues relevant to my gender seminar--and in part to employment discrimination. First, the District Court for the Northern District of California has struck down the defense of marriage act, applying heightened scrutiny to the federal office of personnel management's refusal to award spousal benefits to an employee married to someone of the same sex. The woman whose benefits are at issue is an employee of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Chief Judge had ordered OPM to provide the benefits on the grounds that not doing so violated the Ninth Circuit's policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. When OPM continued to refuse, Lambda Legal filed the law suit that was just decided, challenging DOMA.

And for a fun diversion, see here (and follow the link) to swap the audio for Lego ads for boys and girls. You can probably guess how I feel about "girl" toys and "boy" toys. . . . . Let's just say, one of my favorite acts of civil disobedience was when the Barbie Liberation Organization swapped the voices for Barbie and G.I. Joe in toys in at least two states. 


February 22, 2012 in Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Live Blogging from Symposium on Concepcion


I'm live blogging from Penn State's symposium on U.S. Arbitration Law in the Wake of AT&T Mobility vs. Concepcion.  The Symposium is sponsored by the Penn State University Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation.  Hiro Aragaki (Loyola), Jill Gross (Pace), Richard Reuben (Missouri), Ian Mitchell (NKU Chase 2L), and I all spoke on various aspects of Concepcion's antifederalism.  Sandra Partridge (AAA) is speaking now on the practical impact of Concepcion -- she just made the point that a sizeable minority of class-action cases that have been filed with AAA are employment cases.

The panels at today's conference will cover:

  • The Impact of AT&T Mobility on Federalism Interests.
  • The Consequences of AT&T Mobility on Procedure in Multi-Party Litigation.
  • Procedural Fairness After AT&T Mobility.
  • The Likely Legacy of AT&T Mobility.

Here's a description of the symposium:

The 2011 Supreme Court decision in AT&T Mobility vs. Concepcion last year has potentially changed the legal landscape in a number of areas including class actions and arbitration agreements between consumers and businesses. Renowned U.S. Legal Scholars will convene for the U.S. Arbitration Law in the Wake of AT&T Mobility vs. Concepcion.

Speakers this afternoon will include: Arthur W. Rovine (Fordham), Chris Drahozal (Kansas), Steve Bennett (Jones Day), Terry F. Moritz (Goldberg Kohn), & Michael Helfand (Pepperdine).


February 22, 2012 in Arbitration | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

EREPJ Call for Papers on Disability Discrimination

ErepjSteve Willborn sends us the following call for papers:

The Employee Rights & Employment Policy Journal is sponsoring a symposium issue dedicated to disability discrimination and the law.  Although all papers within this topical area will be considered, papers with particular emphasis on the ADA Amendments will be given special consideration.  The symposium issue is scheduled for publication as the first issue of 2013.  The symposium editor is Professor Ramona L. Paetzold of Texas A & M University.  Please submit all manuscripts to her no later than Friday, August 24, for consideration in the symposium issue.  Papers should be submitted in Word via email attachment to Prof. Paetzold.  Please direct all questions to this email address as well.


February 22, 2012 in Disability, Employment Discrimination, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More Time to Comment on FLSA Protections for Home Care Workers

DolUS Labor Department extends comment period on proposed rule to provide minimum wage and overtime protections for in-home care workers to March 12.

The proposed rule would expand minimum wage and overtime protections by ensuring that all home care workers employed by third parties such as staffing agencies receive these protections. It also would clarify that individuals performing skilled in-home care work are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. However, families that engage individuals for true companionship or fellowship activities, such as visiting with friends or pursuing hobbies, still would be considered "companions" and not be required to meet the act's labor standards provisions. To learn more about the proposed rule, visit


February 21, 2012 in Beltway Developments, Wage & Hour | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Recently Published Scholarship


  • Emily Nolan Litzinger, Willfulness, Good Faith, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, 12 Nevada L.J. 112 (2011).
  • Christine Neylon O'Brien, The First Facebook Firing Case Under Section 7 of the NLRA: Exploring the Limits of Labor Law Protection for Concerted Communication on Social Media, 45 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 29 (2011).
  • Larry A. DiMatteo, Robert C. Bird, & Jason A. Colquitt, Justice, Employment, and the Psychological Contract, 90 Oregon L. Rev. 449 (2011).
  • Alex B. Long, Employment Retaliation and the Accident of Text, 90 Oregon L. Rev. 525 (2011).
  • Andrew Powell & Richard Bales, Ethical Problems in Class Arbitration, 2011 J. Disp. Resol. 309.
  • Laura Browne, Missouri Courts Side with Employees Against the Eight Circuit: Continued Employment Does Not Constitute Acceptance and Consideration for Mandatory Arbitration Agreements, 2011 J. Disp. Resol. 447.


February 20, 2012 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Porter on ADA Coverage

PorterNicole Porter (Toledo) has just posted on SSRN her article Martinizing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Here's the abstract:

Prior to the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, relatively few cases proceeded past the initial inquiry of whether the plaintiff was covered by the ADA. Consequently, the scope of an employer’s obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation to an individual with a disability remains under-developed and under-theorized. Now that the Amendments have made it easier for a plaintiff to prove he has a disability under the ADA, we can expect to see more courts struggling with many difficult reasonable accommodation issues. The current case law is chaotic, providing little guidance to employers and courts in determining whether an accommodation is reasonable, and making it impossible to discern any unified principle to explain the chaotic results. This Article does just that. It identifies the scope of an employer’s obligation to reasonably accommodate its employees by proposing a unified approach to the reasonable accommodation provision.

I am facilitated in this endeavor by relying on a case under Title III, the public accommodations Title of the ADA. In PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, ...

Continue reading

February 19, 2012 in Disability, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

OSJDR Symposium on Public Sector Bargaining

OsjdrCongrats to the folks at the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution for hosting a terrific symposium Friday on The Role of ADR Mechanisms in Public Sector Labor Disputes.  I have never seen a larger -- or more participatory -- audience at a law review symposium before.  The room was packed, and not just with folks there to get inexpensive CLE credit, but with folks who feel passionately about the topic -- and there was an even mix of union folks, management folks, and neutrals.  Congrats also to the excellent presenters, who included Joe Slater, David Lipsky, Anne Lofaso, Charlie Craver, Mike Carrell, Marty Malin, and Michael Green.


February 19, 2012 in Conferences & Colloquia, Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)