Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Seiner's New Book On SCOTUS LEL

Seiner's bookA huge congratulations to Joe Seiner (South Carolina) on the publication this week by Cambridge University Press of his book The Supreme Court's New Workplace: Procedural Rulings and Substantive Worker Rights in the United States. Here's the publisher's description:

The US Supreme Court has systematically eroded the rights of minority workers through subtle changes in procedural law. This accessible book identifies and describes how the Supreme Court’s new procedural requirements create legal obstacles for civil-rights litigants, thereby undermining their substantive rights. Seiner takes the next step of providing a framework that practitioners can use to navigate these murky waters, allowing workers a better chance of prevailing with their claims. Seiner clearly illustrates how to effectively use his framework, applying the proposed model to one emerging sector - the on-demand industry. Many minority workers now face pervasive discrimination in an uncertain legal environment. This book will serve as a roadmap for successful workplace litigation and a valuable resource for civil-rights research. It will also spark a debate among scholars, lawyers, and others in the legal community over the use of procedure to alter substantive worker rights.

Congratulations, Joe!

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September 12, 2017 in Book Club, Employment Common Law, Employment Discrimination, Workplace Trends | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Edition of Labor Law: A Problem-Based Approach

LLCongratulations to Paul Secunda, Jeff Hirsch, and Mike Duff on the publication of the second edition of Labor Law: A Problem-Based Approach (2d ed. 2017). Here's the publisher's description:

The problem-based approach of Labor Law: A Problem-Based Approach moves beyond lectures, the Socratic teaching model, and the casebook method, while developing the critical reasoning skills required to be a successful attorney. The problem-based pedagogical method will directly help students by synchronizing the way labor law is taught with the way it is typically tested. The book is updated through the end of 2016 and features the most important cases, documents, and articles for students to become proficient in the practice of American private-sector labor law.

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July 19, 2017 in Book Club, Books, Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Covington & Seiner: Employment Law Nutshell (4th ed.)

NutshellCongratulations to Joe Seiner (South Carolina) and Bob Covington (Vandedrbilt) on the publication of the fourth edition of  the Employment Law Nutshell. Here's the publisher's description:

This Nutshell provides an overview of individual employee rights and responsibilities. It addresses a number of areas, including establishing and ending the employment relationship, protection of employee privacy and reputation, discrimination, regulation of wages and hours, employee physical safety, fringe benefits, and employee duties of loyalty. This edition includes a substantially revised treatment of discrimination law, expanded discussion of employment-based health care, and takes into account a number of recent Supreme Court decisions and the use of executive orders. It further addresses how employment law directly impacts the modern economy, discussing how this area of the law effects on-demand workers in the technology sector.

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May 31, 2017 in Book Club, Employment Common Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sperino & Thomas: New Book on Enforcing Employment Laws

UnequalCongratulations to Sandra Sperino (Cincinnati) and Suja Thomas (Illinois) on the publication of their new book Unequal: How America’s Courts Undermine Discrimination Law (Oxford Univ. Press May 2017). Here's a description of this critical and timely book:

It is no secret that since the 1980s, American workers have lost power vis-à-vis employers. Along with the well-chronicled steep decline in private sector unionization, American workers alleging employment discrimination have fared increasingly poorly in the courts. In recent years, judges have dismissed scores of cases in which workers presented evidence that supervisors referred to them using racial or gender slurs. In one federal district court, judges dismissed more than 80 percent of the race discrimination cases filed over a year. And when juries return verdicts in favor of employees, judges often second guess those verdicts, finding ways to nullify the jury's verdict and rule in favor of the employer.

Most Americans assume that that an employee alleging workplace discrimination faces the same legal system as other litigants. After all, we do not usually think that legal rules vary depending upon the type of claim brought. As the employment law scholars Sandra A. Sperino and Suja A. Thomas show in Unequal, though, our assumptions are wrong. Over the course of the last half century, employment discrimination claims have come to operate in a fundamentally different legal system than other claims. It is in many respects a parallel universe, one in which the legal system systematically favors employers over employees. A host of procedural, evidentiary, and substantive mechanisms serve as barriers for employees, making it extremely difficult for them to access the courts. Moreover, these mechanisms make it fairly easy for judges to dismiss a case prior to trial. Americans are unaware of how the system operates partly because they think that race and gender discrimination are in the process of fading away. But such discrimination remains fairly common in the workplace, and workers now have little recourse to fight it legally. By tracing the modern history of employment discrimination, Sperino and Thomas provide an authoritative account of how our legal system evolved into an institution that is inherently biased against workers making rights claims.

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May 8, 2017 in Book Club, Employment Common Law, Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Doorey's New Book: The Law of Work

WorkCongratulations to David Doorey (York-Osgoode) on the publication of his new book The Law of Work: Complete Edition  (Emond Publishing 2017). Here's a brief description from David: 

The book is the first Canadian text to explore in depth all three regimes of work law, including Common Law, Regulatory Law, and Collective Bargaining Law and it emphasizes the interaction between the three regimes.   For those interested in understanding Canadian work law, this is the book.  Also, you might be interested in knowing that the book was written to be accessible to non-lawyers, including the thousands of business, HRM, industrial relations, labour studies students learning work law in Canada.  I wrote it because I frequently teach business students and there was no book in Canada that explained the law of work in a sophisticated, contextual manner but that doesn’t also assume the readers have already studied law for a year or two.   Finally, the book also extends the subject matter beyond most labor law texts, by including chapters on subjects such as work and intellectual property law, work and privacy law, trade law, immigration law, and bankruptcy law. 

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April 7, 2017 in Book Club, Employment Common Law, International & Comparative L.E.L., Labor Law, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Harpur's New Book: Discrimination, Copyright, and Equality

Paul's bookCamabridge University Press has just published, as part of the Cambridge Disability Law and Policy Series, Paul Harpur's (Queensland Law) Discrimination, Copyright and Equality: Opening the e-Book for the Print-Disabled. Here's the publisher's description:

  • While equality laws operate to enable access to information, these laws have limited power over the overriding impact of market forces and copyright laws that focus on restricting access to information. Technology now creates opportunities for everyone in the world, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, to be able to access the written word – yet the print disabled are denied reading equality, and have their access to information limited by laws protecting the mainstream use and consumption of information. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the World Intellectual Property Organization's Marrakesh Treaty have swept in a new legal paradigm. This book contributes to disability rights scholarship, and builds on ideas of digital equality and rights to access in its analysis of domestic disability anti-discrimination, civil rights, human rights, constitutional rights, copyright and other equality measures that promote and hinder reading equality.
  • A valuable resource for advocates, law makers, librarians and others who seek to reform laws, policies and practices that reduce reading equality.
  • Provides a comparative analysis of how copyright and anti-discrimination laws interacts.
  • Provides an in-depth analysis of advances in international and domestic laws.

Congratulations, Paul!!!

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March 29, 2017 in Book Club, Disability, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

New Book by ILO: Comparative Labor Dispute Resolution

IloAaron Halegua (NYU) writes to give us the heads-up on a free, downloadable book by the ILO: Resolving Individual Labour Disputes: A Comparative Overview. Here's the ILO's description of the book:

The number of individual disputes arising from day-to-day workers’ grievances or complaints continues to grow in many parts of the world. The chapters in this book cover individual labour dispute settlement systems in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Each chapter examines and assesses the institutions and mechanisms for settlement of individual labour disputes, including the procedures and powers available, the interaction of these institutions and mechanisms with other labour market institutions (e.g. collective bargaining and labour inspection) and the broader system for resolution of legal disputes (e.g. courts of general jurisdiction, specialist commissions and tribunals).

And here's Aaron's description of the chapter he wrote on the U.S.:

I contributed a chapter on the United States, which I think provides a good overview of the role played by administrative agencies (USDOL, EEOC, NLRB, New York State DOL, NYS Division of Human Rights, etc.), federal and state courts, firm's internal efforts, and both labor and employment arbitration -- as well as how ADR is used in all those contexts. It also seeks to evaluate each one and pulls together statistics on the performance of each institution. I think that people already familiar with the United States might find the evaluation/statistics part and use of ADR in these institutions useful. I also think it would be particularly useful for people trying to understand our complex system with its web of overlapping institutions, or professors ... who might be teaching such students.

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February 12, 2017 in Arbitration, Book Club, International & Comparative L.E.L. | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Book: Public Sector LEL

Public sectorThe New York State Bar Association has just published Lefokwitz on Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (4th ed. 2016), edited by William A. Herbert, Philip L. Maier, and Richard K. Zuckerman. Here's the publisher's description:

This landmark text is the leading reference on public sector labor and employment law in New York State. Editors William Herbert, Philip Maier, and Richard Zuckerman bring together leading attorneys in the field to contribute their expertise to this two-volume work.

Covering all aspects of this area of law, Lefkowitz on Public Sector Labor and Employment Law includes chapters on the Taylor Law, the representation process, the duty to negotiate, improper practices, strikes, mini-PERBS, arbitration and contract enforcement, and more. Much of the discussion in this two-volume resource has been revised and contains updated case and statutory references throughout. Practitioners new to the field, as well as the non-attorney, will benefit from the book's clear, well-organized coverage of what can be a very complex area of law. All practitioners will benefit from the exhaustive coverage of this book, whether they represent employees, unions or management.

With this edition, this treatise has been renamed to recognize Jerome Lefkowitz, who served as former Public Employment Relations Board chair, as Editor-in-Chief of the first three editions, and who transformed New York's labor landscape by helping to write the Taylor Law.

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December 28, 2016 in Book Club, Public Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 16, 2016

New Book: Arnow-Richman & Ruan on Workplace Skills

Workplace lawCongratulations to Rachel Arnow-Richman and Nantiya Ruan (both at Denver) on the publication of their new book Developing Professional Skills: Workplace Law (West 2016). Here's the author's description:

Incorporating professional skills and ethics into the traditional workplace law course is a critical but challenging undertaking. This easy-to-use book simplifies the effort, offering eleven discrete exercises designed to help students develop skills in the key areas of drafting, counseling, negotiation and advocacy. Each exercise involves a different substantive area of workplace law, including covenants-not-to compete, wage and hour law, employment discrimination, whistleblower protection and general common law and tort principles. The book is flexible enough to supplement any doctrinal casebook, or can be used to teach a stand-alone skills course.

Marty Katz (Denver) reviewed the book in a blog post at IALS Online. Here's an excerpt from his post:

Fortunately for us in the field of workplace law, Rachel Arnow-Richman and Nantiya Ruan have just eliminated a tremendous amount of that work. Over several iterations, they developed a first-rate experiential course in this field. And they are willing to share their work, so that we do not have to reinvent this well-designed wheel. The result is their forthcoming book (due for release in the next week or so), Developing Professional Skills: Workplace Law.

This narrow volume provides a rich set of workplace law problems that can be used, off the shelf, to teach a problem-based course. There are 11 chapters, each of which contains a detailed but manageable workplace law scenario. And while all of the scenarios are fun and thoughtfully crafted, you might consider using even a subset of them, given the book’s low price point ($25, from what I understand).

This is terrific. Developing the material for teaching skills is by far the hardest and most time-consuming part.This book is a very welcome addition to our pedagogical toolbox.

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December 16, 2016 in Book Club, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Green: New Book on Organizational Discrimination

LaundryCongratulations to Tristin Green (San Francisco) on the publication of her new book Discrimination Laundering: The Rise of Organizational Innocence and the Crisis of Equal Opportunity Law by Cambridge University Press. Here's the publisher's description:

While discrimination in the workplace is often perceived to be undertaken at the hands of individual or ‘rogue’ employees acting against the better interest of their employers, the truth is often the opposite: organizations are inciting discrimination through the work environments they create. Worse, the law increasingly ignores this reality and exacerbates the problem. In this groundbreaking book, Tristin K. Green describes the process of discrimination laundering, showing how judges are changing the law to protect employers, and why. By bringing organizations back into the discussion of discrimination, with real-world stories and extensive social science research, Green shows how organizational and legal efforts to minimize discrimination – usually by policing individuals over broader organizational change – are taking us in the wrong direction, and how the law can do better by creating incentives for organizational efforts that are likely to minimize discrimination, instead of inciting it.

And here's just one of the many strong endorsements:

Tristin Green brilliantly illuminates the origins and effects of disturbing new trends in employment discrimination law that serve to protect high-level officials and their organizations – while leaving those who experience discrimination and lose opportunities more vulnerable. Green is an excellent guide, combining both a readable writing style with technical expertise.

-John Skrentny, University of California, San Diego

Conveniently timed for end-of-year gift-giving and library acquisitions, Tristin's book is available from Cambridge in softback for $34.99 and hardback for $151, and from Amazon in both hard copy forms and in kindle form ($21.49).

Congratulations, Tristin!

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December 5, 2016 in Book Club, Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Spitko on Anti-Gay Bias

BiasGary Spitko (Santa Clara) has just published Antigay Bias in Role-Model Occupations (U. Penn. Press 2016). What impeccable timing, given the current political environment. The book explores how employment discrimination against gay role models (teachers, major league athletes, military service members, etc.) has been used to reinforce social understandings about the inferior nature of gay people. The book also argues that there is a reciprocal relationship between this type of discrimination and the bullying of LGBT youth, and proposes a reform agenda to combat antigay bias in role-model occupations grounded in an understanding of the nature of this reciprocal relationship.

For a 20% discount, enter code "PH41".

Congrats, Gary, and many thanks for your well-timed tome. Would that your message resonated farther north in our executive-branch.

rb

November 17, 2016 in Book Club, Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Davidov's New Labour Book

DavidovGuy Davidov's book A Purposive Approach to Labour Law (Oxford Univ. Press) is now available in the U.S. The analysis is not specific to any legal system and relies on examples from various jurisdictions, including the US.

Per the publisher's notes, this book examines the crisis of labour law through a study of the policy aims informing legislation and the means used to achieve them; explores the societal goals behind labour laws and analyses what actions are required to change or improve the laws themselves in order to better advance the goals; draws on multiple jurisdictions, including Israel, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States; and provides suggestions for labour law reform through purposive interpretation as well as legislative changes.

Guy notes that if you're interested in purchasing a copy, you can write him to get a discount code.

Congrats, Guy!

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August 8, 2016 in Book Club | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Abarams: New Book on the Practice of Labor Arbitration

BookRoger Abrams (Northeastern) has just published The Labor Arbitration Workshop: An Experiential Approach (Carolina Academic Press, 2016). The book is a fascinating collection of (mostly) arbitration awards. An accompanying website contains simulations that can be used to develop lawyering skills. Here's the publisher's description:

Using these unique experiential materials, students explore the important role of alternative dispute resolution in the workplace. Using court and arbitration decisions as well as supplementary materials and problems, students discuss the role of the advocate, the relationship between arbitration and the judicial system, issues of arbitrability, evidence and procedure, as well as a variety of substantive contractual issues normally addressed in arbitration, such as seniority, fringe benefits, wages and hours, subcontracting and union security. In particular, the workshop focuses on "just cause" discharge and discipline cases. Using transcripts and simulations provided in a supplementary website, students draft an arbitration brief based on a transcript of a hearing and participate in an arbitration simulation using witnesses and documentary evidence.

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February 1, 2016 in Book Club, Labor Law, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Transnational labourCongratulations to Adelle Blackett (McGill) and Anne Trebilcock (University of Paris and Georg-August University, German), editors, on the publication by Edward Elgar Publishing of Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law. Here's the publisher's description:

The editors’ substantive introduction and the specially commissioned chapters in the Handbook explore the emergence of transnational labour law as a field, along with its contested contours. The expansion of traditional legal methods, such as treaties, is juxtaposed with the proliferation of contemporary alternatives such as indicators, framework agreements and consumer-led initiatives. Key international and regional institutions are studied for their coverage of such classic topics as freedom of association, equality, and sectoral labour standard-setting, as well as for the space they provide for dialogue. The volume underscores transnational labour law’s capacity to build bridges, including on migration, climate change and development.

And here's a more-detailed description of the Handbook, with a special price discount.

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December 18, 2015 in Book Club, International & Comparative L.E.L., Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

New Book: Comparative Labor Law

ComparativeCongratulations to Matt Finkin (Illinois) and Guy Mundlak (Tel Aviv) on the publication by Elgar of their book Comparative Labor Law. Here are the publisher's notes and the list of contributors:

Economic pressure, as well as transnational and domestic corporate policies, has placed labor law under severe stress. National responses are so deeply embedded in institutions reflecting local traditions that meaningful comparison is daunting. This book assembles a team of experts from many countries that draw on a rich variety of comparative methods to capture changes and emerging trends across nations and regions.

The chapters in this Research Handbook mingle subjects of long-standing comparative concern with matters that have pressed to the fore in recent years. Subjects like “soft law” and emerging geographic zones are placed in a new light and their burgeoning significance explored. Thematic and regional comparisons capture the challenges of a globally comparative perspective on labor law.

The fresh and thoughtful comparative analysis in this Handbook makes it a critical resource for scholars and students of labor law.

K. Banks, A. Bogg, S. Bonfanti, S. Butterworth, S. Cooney, L. Corazza, N. Countouris, G. Davidov, D. du Toit, K.D. Ewing, M. Finkin, R. Fragale, M. Freedland, N. Garoupa, S. Giubboni, F. Hendrickx, J. Howe, A. Hyde, E. Kovacs, R. Krause, N. Lyutov, E. Menegatti, L. Mitrus, G. Mundlak, R. Nunin, M. Pittard, O. Razzolini, K. Rittich, R. Ronnie, E. Sánchez, K. Sankaran, M. Schlachter, A. Seifert, A. Stewart, H. Takeuchi-Okuno, A. Topo

Hat tip: Howard Fenton.

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August 29, 2015 in Book Club, International & Comparative L.E.L. | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Compa & Brooks on NAFTA & Labor

NAFTA and the NAALCLance Compa and Tequila Brooks have just published NAFTA and the NAALC Twenty Years of North American Trade-Labour Linkage (2015). Here's a description from the authors:

The 20th anniversary edition of the NAFTA and NAALC monograph in the International Encyclopaedia of Laws, Labour Law and Industrial Relations by Lance Compa and Tequila Brooks provides an up-to-date retrospective on all of the citizen petitions filed under the NAFTA labour side agreement since 1994. The monograph includes early petitions filed about trade union rights at the Honeywell and Echlin plants in Mexico, the McDonald's case in Canada and the Washington Apple and DeCoster Egg cases in the United States as well as more recent petitions filed about migrant worker rights under the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in the US. In addition to being the most complete compilation of NAALC cases in existence today, NAFTA and the NAALC Twenty Years of North American Trade-Labour Linkage outlines the internal mechanics leading to the filing of a 2000 NAALC petition with the Government of Mexico about unequal treatment of migrant workers in the US, and describes changes in the treatment of petitions by US, Mexican and Canadian authorities over the last 20 years. It also contains a chapter that compares the NAALC to the OECD Guidelines for Multi-National Enterprises and highlights recent North American cases filed under the OECD Guidelines including the relatively lesser known 2004 Yucatan Markey Tex-Coco Tex petition which was dual filed under both mechanisms. Finally, the 20th edition introduces a new chapter that compares labour provisions in US and Canadian free trade agreements negotiated since 2000 and discusses recent labour petitions filed under the US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and US free trade agreements with Bahrain and Peru.

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March 1, 2015 in Book Club, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Stone Publishes GALS Annotated Bibliography

ToolCongratulations to Katherine V.W. Stone (UCLA) on the publication by Vandeplas Publishing of Globalization and Labor Standards Annotated Bibliography: An Essential Research Tool. Here's the publisher's description:

The Globalization and Labor Standards (GALS) Annotated Bibliography is a compendium of articles about international labor rights, national and transnational labor standards, and comparative labor law that have been published in law journals. All of the articles in the library are abstracted and cross-referenced by subject. Each article is accompanied by an annotation that describes its contents clearly and concisely. The annotations have been written by Professor Katherine V.W. Stone with the help of her students at the Cornell Law School, the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and UCLA School of Law. This volume compiles all of the content in the GALS bibliographic library from 2000 to 2014. The purpose of the book is to preserve the wealth of material developed over the past fifteen years and make it available to libraries and researchers.

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June 23, 2014 in Book Club, International & Comparative L.E.L. | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Heymann, Stein & Moreno's New Book: Disability and Equity at Work

BooksMichael Ashley Stein (Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability) writes to tell us of the new disability workplace law book he has co-edited with Jody Heymann and Gonzalo Moreno. 

From the  press release by Oxford University Press on Disability and Equity at Work:

Despite international and national guarantees of equal rights, there remains a great deal to be done to achieve global employment equality for individuals with disabilities. In OECD countries, the employment rate of persons with disabilities was just over 40%, compared to 75% for persons without a disability; in many low- and middle-income countries, the employment rates are even lower.

There are numerous reasons why persons with disabilities fare poorly in the labor market; Disability and Equity at Work is the first book to document what can be done to improve this imbalance.

Follow the link above to find this important and timely book on the rights of the disabled in the workplace.  It is sure to be at the center of the conversation of how to improve employment outcomes for the disabled for many years to come.

PS

January 20, 2014 in Book Club, Disability | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Internships, Books, and Bulletins at ADAPT

AdaptOur international labor law friends at ADAPT in Italy have been very busy with many different types of exciting endeavors. Here is a summary of each:

1. New Book Volume: Labour Law and Industrial Relations in Recessionary Times. The Italian Labour Relations in a Global Economy, edited by Michele Tiraboschi, Cambridge Scholars Publishing - ADAPT Labour Studies Book Series.

This volume includes a number of papers written in English and published in the last fifteen years in which the Italian labour market underwent many changes. The intent here is to provide the international readership with a frame of reference - in both conceptual and legal terms - that helps to appreciate current Italian Labour Law.

2. Internships: In 2014, ADAPT will commence another selection procedure involving international students and recent graduates in law, economics, sociology and languages to undertake internships or research periods lasting 3 to 6 months in Bergamo (Italy).

Selected candidates will be involved in numerous ADAPT international projects and they will be offered a reimbursement of expenses - the amount of which will vary depending on their age and previous experience - as well as accommodation in our guest apartment in the upper town of Bergamo.

Those interested in undertaking an internship or research period at ADAPT may send their CV/resume and cover letter to: selezione@adapt.it.

3. New Bulletin: new Twitter-based version of the ADAPT International Bulletin, which collects the main documentation on labour issues published in the last two weeks.

The bulletin includes three commentary notes: "The New Deal for Apprenticeship in England and USA" by Alfonso Balsamo, "The Internationalisation of Education: Causes and Effects" by Alessandra Sartore and "Understanding regulations for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs)" by Meysam Salimi, all from the International doctoral school in Human Capital Formation and Labour Relations promoted by ADAPT and CQIA (University of Bergamo).

PS

December 13, 2013 in Book Club, International & Comparative L.E.L., Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Harris on Law in a Complex State: Complexity in the Law and Structure of Welfare

ManchesterCongratulations to Neville Harris (Univ. of Manchester School of Law (UK)) on the publication of his new book:  Law in a Complex State: Complexity in the Law and Structure of Welfare.

From the publisher:

Approximately half of the total UK population are in receipt of one or more welfare benefits, giving rise to the largest single area of government expenditure. The law and structures of social security are highly complex, made more so by constant adjustments as government pursues its often conflicting economic, political and social policy objectives. This complexity is highly problematic. It contributes to errors in decision-making and to increased administrative costs and is seen as disempowering for citizens, thereby weakening enjoyment of a key social right.

Current and previous administrations have committed to simplifying the benefits system. It is a specific objective of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, which provides for the introduction of Universal Credit in place of diverse benefits. However, it is unclear whether the reformed system will be either less complex legally or more accessible for citizens.

This book seeks to explain how and why complexity in the modern welfare system has grown; to identify the different ways in which legal and associated administrative arrangements are classifiable as 'complex'; to discuss the effects of complexity on the system's administration and its wider implications for rights and the citizen-state relationship; and to consider the role that law can play in the simplification of schemes of welfare. While primarily focused on the UK welfare system it also provides analysis of relevant policies and experience in various other states.

This book represents the culmination of Neville's project on 'complexity' in welfare systems throughout Europe.  Although the book focuses on the United Kingdom and some other non-US countries, the lessons to be learned are valuable ones as we consider going forward how to improve the complex social insurance system that we have here in the United States.

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November 6, 2013 in Book Club, International & Comparative L.E.L., Pension and Benefits | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)