May 13, 2013
Penn State Labor Studies and Employment Relations Program Elevated to "School" Status
Paul Clark, Professor and Director of the new School of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Penn State University wrote the LERA listserv this morning:
I am pleased to announce that on May 3rd, Penn State’s Board of Trustees voted to elevate our program from a Department to a School. The change is effective immediately.
Our new School of Labor and Employment Relations offers six degree programs in residence (BA & BS in LER, MS in HRER, 5-Year BS in LER/MS in HRER, 5-Year BS in Spanish/MS in HRER, and 4-Year JD/MS in HRER degrees) and five programs online ((BA & BS in LER, MPS in HRER, 5-Year BS in LER/MPS in HRER, and BS in Organizational Leadership degrees). The elevation of the program to school status is the culmination of a lot of hard work by faculty, staff, and alumni over our 70 year history. In recent years we have established a successful research Center on Global Workers Rights and are in the process of starting a new International Human Resources Management Project that will become a full-fledged center in the next year or two. We also have reinstated our Labor Education and Research Program and created a new management outreach program called the Academy of Human Capital Management.
While our name will change, we will remain a part of the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State.
We think the change in our status is a positive thing for our program and for the field of labor and employment relations. We look forward to working with other programs to help move our field forward in the years ahead.
I, of course, agree whole-heartedly. There has been too many shuttering of industrial relations programs in the US in the last decade or so, while focus has shifted to corporate-oriented Management and Human Resources programs in business schools around the country. I can only hope the success at Penn State resonates with other campuses around the country. As income inequality in this country grows dramatically and unions face increasing attacks from their corporate-sponsored opponents, these types of schools are essential to provide an academic viewpoint slowly disappearing.
May 09, 2013
Seiner Awarded 2013 Outstanding Faculty Publication Award from South Carolina Law
From the webpage announcement:
Professor Joe Seiner received the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Publication Award at the University of South Carolina School of Law, which is presented to a faculty member who has written an outstanding piece of scholarship. Seiner received this year's honor for his article, "Punitive Damages, Due Process, and Employment Discrimination," 97 Iowa L. Rev. 473 (2012). A faculty committee reviews eligible publications each year and selects the winner, and this year’s award was presented by Robert Wilcox, Dean of the law school. The paper proposes – for the first time – a uniform analytical framework for analyzing punitive damages in employment discrimination cases after the Supreme Court’s high profile decisions in Philip Morris v. Williams and Exxon Shipping v. Baker.
Congratulations, Joe! Well-deserved.
May 07, 2013
Doorey's Law of Work Blog Updated
David Doorey is a labour law professor at York University in Toronto who many of you know. His popular blog on labour and employment law, Law of Work Blog, has had a professional makeover.
You should check it out as a great source of issues and events in Canadian law and policy. Last year it received the honour of Best Law Blog in Canada.
Defintely worth a look.
April 29, 2013
Bagchi Selected As One of New York Law Journal's 2013 Rising Stars
Please join me in congratulating Fordham Law Associate Professor Aditi Bagchi on her selection as one of the New York Law Journal’s 2013 Rising Stars. She is the only law professor among 44 honorees selected from more than 200 nominations of young lawyers who have established a record of accomplishments and demonstrated that they are top contributors to the practice of law and their communities. Read the NYLJ announcement.
Professor Bagchi—Fordham Law’s youngest tenured faculty member—has rapidly established herself as a leading academic in the field of contract law. As the recent recession has caused policymakers to reconsider methods of economic regulation, she has offered ways to reconcile interests in efficiency and equity within existing common law traditions. Her scholarship includes philosophical analysis of the nature of contractual obligation as well as detailed analysis of particular classes of contract, especially employment agreements.
Congratulations, Aditi! Well deserved.
Hat Tip: Mike Zimmer
April 25, 2013
McCormick and Sperino Receive Teaching AwardsCongratulations to Sandra Sperino (Cincinnati) and Marcia McCormick (SLU), both of whom have just received teaching awards at their respective schools. Sandra received the Goldman Prize for Teaching Excellence, and Marcia the Student Government Association Faculty Excellence Award. It's a well-deserved honor, Sandra & Marcia!
April 22, 2013
Monahan Receives ALI Young Scholars Medal
Congratulations to Amy Monahan (Minnesota), who is one of two law professors receiving American Law Institute's Young Scholar's Medal. Here are some excerpts from ALI's press release:
Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court who chaired the Young Scholars Medal Selection Committee, said "Professor Monahan's work on public pension reform and employee benefits has contributed significantly to some of the most important debates now playing out at the local, state, and federal levels."
Professor Monahan's scholarship centers on the intersection of health care reform and public sector pensions. Her teaching and research focuses primarily on the topics of taxation and employee benefits. She has written 17 articles or book chapters since the beginning of her law teaching career. Professor Monahan holds a J.D. from Duke University School of Law and a B.A. in international studies from Johns Hopkins University.
"Amy has rapidly established herself as one of the country's top scholars in health policy and employee benefits law," said David Wippman, the dean of the University of Minnesota Law School. "She's also a terrific teacher and colleague and richly deserves the Young Scholars Medal."
April 17, 2013
Estreicher Receives Kaynard Award
Samuel Estreicher, Dwight D. Opperman Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, is the recipient of the 2013 Samuel M. Kaynard Award for Excellence in the Fields of Labor & Employment Law from the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal. The award is named for Samuel Kaynard ’42, who was a National Labor Relations Board official in Brooklyn, and who oversaw the effort by New York taxi drivers to form a union in 1965. According to a press release from the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal, this award is "given annually in recognition of those who hold strong ideals, who display keen legal acumen, and who make outstanding contributions to the fields of labor and employment law." Estreicher will receive the award at a banquet hosted by the Journal on Thursday, April 18.
April 11, 2013
Brief of Employment Law Professors As Amici Curiae in Support of Respondent in Nassar Title VII Retaliation Case
Update: Rebecca Hamburg Cappy (National Employment Lawyers' Association (NELA)) has helpfully provided the link to NELA's brief in Nassar (joined by 19 other organizations) and the brief of the SG, EEOC, and DOJ in Nassar.
Sandra Sperino (Cincinnati), Deborah Widiss (Indiana-Bloomington), and Mike Zimmer (Loyola-Chicago) filed an amicus brief on behalf of a group of employment law professors (including me) yesterday in the Nassar U.S. Supreme Court Title VII retaliation case. Here is a copy of the brief.
From the Summary of Argument Section:
The analysis in this case is straightforward. The text of Title VII, its consistent interpretation over time, and a long line of cases holding that retaliation is encompassed within discrimination all confirm that a plaintiff can proceed under a motivating factor standard . . . .
Amici request that the Court interpret Title VII to require a plaintiff to establish that protected activity was a motivating factor in the employment decision. This interpretation affirms the consistent meaning of Title VII’s provisions as expressed in Title VII’s original language, this Court’s precedent, and the 1991 amendments. It is also the standard that best advances the underlying purpose of the retaliation provision.
Needless to say, check out the whole thing! We all hope the Court does.
April 09, 2013
Workplace Prof Moves: 2013-2014 Edition and Call for Conference on Academic Future of Labor and Employment Law
Let me start this annual post by remarking on the unbelievable lack of movement, at all levels, in our ranks from this year compared to last year. This might change somewhat once people supply more information through the comments, but the lack of movement in all directions in our collective fields cannot be denied.
Indeed, I think the time has come (again?) to consider where we stand in the larger legal academic community as labor and employment law scholars. My sense (anecdotally mostly) is that there is an underappreciation of both the importance and necessity of having one or more full-time labor and employment law scholars (of all stripes) on a large number of law school faculties. There is particularly a glaring lack of traditional labor law scholars at a large number of law schools (including some of the best) and I fear this dwindling number may be consistent with the preciptious decline in unions and other workers' rights organizations throughout the US (and Canada too).
Let me suggest preliminarily that the time might be ripe to convene a national conference on the academic future of our field. How do we as a labor and employment law community "collectively" persuade our colleagues about the importance of our work to a strong, robust democratic society? I look forward to hearing from others in the comments if this is a concern that they share and feel should also be addressed. Ideas for what such a conference might look like and where it might be held are also very much welcome.
Less importantly, and second, it is hard to believe that the first list that we compiled for this annual post was completed in 2005-2006! This is the eighth time we have compiled this list and my hope is that it continues to connect us all as a virtual and vibrant labor and employment law professor community.
So without further ado, here is the annual report of workplace law professors comings, goings, etc. (as always, if you have additional information, please provide in the comments). This post will be updated as additional information comes in.
Entry Level Hires
- Victoria Schwartz (Bigelow Fellow at University of Chicago) to Pepperdine
- Annie Lai (Yale Cover Fellow) to UC-Irvine
- Claire Mumme to Windsor (Canada)
- Tammy R Pettinato (from VAP at Louisville) to North Dakota
- Michael Oswalt (SEIU) to Northern Illinois
- Leora Eisenstadt (Freedman Fellow at Temple Law) to the Dept. of Legal Studies at Temple's Fox School of Business
Promotions and Tenures
- Marica McCormick (St. Louis) has been promoted to full professor
- Paul M. Secunda (Marquette) has been promoted to full professor
- Matthew W. Green (Cleveland-Marshall) has been granted tenure
- Ariana Levinson (Louisville) has been promoted to associate professor
- Kerri Stone (Florida International) has been granted tenure
- Craig Senn (Loyola-New Orleans) has been granted tenure
- Jessica Fink (California Western) has been granted tenure
Administrative Appointments and Honors
- Rick Bales (Northern Kentucky) to be Dean at Ohio Northern University
- Seth Harris (formerly NYLS) appointed Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor
- Israel Horowitz (PBGC Chief Counsel and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown Law) named to serve on the Labor and Pensions Advisory Committee to the American Bankruptcy Institute's Chapter 11 Reform Commission
- Jeff Hirsch (North Carolina) named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
- Steve Befort (Minnesota) named Associate Dean for Planning and Research
- Sharona Hoffman (Case Western) has received a chair and was named the Edgar A. Hahn Professor of Jurisprudence
- Paul M. Secunda (Marquette) appointed to ERISA Advisory Council
- Emily Spieiler (Northeastern) to Chair of Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee
- Richard Moberly (Nebraksa) to Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee
- Charlie Sullivan (Seton Hall) named Recipient of the Second Annual Paul Steven Miller Award for Scholarly Contributions to Labor and Employment Law
- Jennifer Drobac (Indiana-Indianapolis) appointed to American Law Institute (ALI)
- Melissa Hart (Colorado) appointed to American Law Institute (ALI)
- Michael Waterstone (Loyola-LA) appointed to American Law Institute (ALI)
- Harris Freeman (Western New England) appointed to serve as one of three
members of the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board in Massachusetts
- Jeremi Duru (Temple) to American
- Brendan Maher (Oklahoma City) to Connecticut
- Noah Zatz (UCLA) to Yale (2013-2014)
- Lorraine Schmall (Northern Illinois)
- None to report
April 03, 2013
Bales Named Dean at Ohio Northern
Congratulations to our own Rick Bales, who has just been named the Dean of the Claude W. Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University. From the press release:
Ohio Northern University President Daniel A. DiBiasio announced today that Richard Bales, director of the Chase Center for Excellence in Advocacy at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, has been named dean of ONU’s Pettit College of Law. Bales replaces Stephen C. Veltri, who has served as interim dean for the past year, and David C. Crago, who became ONU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs last summer.
“Ohio Northern University is pleased to welcome Dean Bales to our campus and leadership team,” DiBiasio said. “Rick’s impeccable academic credentials and scholarly body of work, along with his enthusiasm and passion for teaching students, make him the ideal choice to head the Pettit College of Law.”
Bales, who joined Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law in 1998, has authored or co-authored five books and more than 80 scholarly articles. He has spoken widely on topics pertaining to dispute resolution, labor/employment law, and innovative ways of teaching law. Bales spent July 2010 as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and, before starting at ONU, he will spend May 2013 as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has spoken on labor/employment or ADR topics in Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, Italy, Cambodia, France, Vietnam, Colombia and Australia.
Drawn to apply at Ohio Northern by the strong sense of community among the faculty, staff, students and alumni, Bales said, “I am extremely proud to become dean of this purpose-driven, student-centered law college. I am looking forward to continuing Ohio Northern’s strong tradition of innovative law teaching, personal approach to legal education, and consistently strong bar passage and employment statistics.”
Bales is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is actively involved in several sections of the American Bar Association, and chairs the ABA committee in charge of the national Negotiation Competition. He received several university-wide teaching and scholarship awards at NKU Chase.
“Rick is a great addition to the institution,” said Crago. “I am confident he will work closely with the faculty and staff to maintain and enhance the excellent tradition and reputation of the law college. I also would like to acknowledge Stephen Veltri’s strong leadership and dedication while serving as interim dean.”
Before arriving at Chase, Bales taught at the University of Montana Law School and the Southern Methodist University Law School in Dallas, and he served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Houston Law School. Prior to that, he litigated employment cases for the Houston-based law firm of Baker Botts and the Cleveland-based law firm of Baker Hostetler. He earned his law degree from Cornell Law School in 1993.
Congratulations to both Rick and Ohio Northern.
February 05, 2013
Zimmer and Sperino Amicus Brief in Mixed Motives Retaliation Case
Michael Zimmer (Loyola-Chicago) and Sandra Sperino (Cincinnati) are currently drafting an amicus brief to be filed in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar. This case addresses mixed motive issues in Title VII retaliation cases, and it is a pretty important issue. Michael and Sandra are interested in hearing from anyone who would like to comment on drafts of the amicus or who would be interested in signing or considering signing on to the finished brief. Please email Sandra at email@example.com if interested.
January 29, 2013
Secunda Named to NASI
Congratulations to Paul Secunda (Marquette) for being named to the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). Here's a description of the Academy:
Academy members are recognized experts in Social Security and retirement security, Medicare and health coverage, workers’ compensation, private employee benefits, unemployment insurance, and related social assistance programs. Individuals selected for membership have distinguished themselves by improving the quality of research, administration, or policymaking in one or more of these areas.
“Members are at the heart of NASI,” said NASI President Larry Atkins. “We expect our new members will be engaged – many of them prominently and from a variety of perspectives – on fundamental issues of the role of social insurance programs and their demographic and financial challenges in the next decade. We look forward to recognizing, using, and sustaining their expertise and enthusiasm. It is with great pleasure that we welcome them.”
New members are nominated by current Academy members in recognition of their significant and ongoing professional contributions to the field of social insurance. NASI members volunteer their time in study panels, advisory committees, and conferences. Members make significant contributions to NASI’s research, education, communication, and leadership development initiatives.
January 24, 2013
Former Law Prof Seth Harris Appointed Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor
Finally some sanity has returned to this insane world and Seth Harris (formerly a labor and employment law prof at New York Law School) and current Deputy Secretary of Labor has been named Acting Secretary of Labor with the departure of Hilda Solis. President Obama has not yet named a successor to Solis, but as far as I am concerned, I would just take the Acting title away from Seth and let him have at it.
You see, my friends, in my ideal world, law professors should run everything - especially the Labor Department. :>)
January 23, 2013
Lobel Named One of "The 50 Sharpest Minds of Israel"
Congratulations to Orly Lobel (San Diego) for being named one of "The 50 Sharpest Minds of Israel" by The Marker Magazine, Israel’s leading business journal. Featured in the magazine's January 2013 issue, Orly discusses her career choice, connections to Israel, upcoming book, and current research in the article. Read the article in Hebrew online or see the English translation at USD's press release. Here's a representative excerpt:
In a sunny morning in north Tel-Aviv, she closes our conversation by quoting Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will not have to work a day in your life.” This may be the secret to her happiness. Lobel is a professor of law at the University of San Diego, and one of the foremost scholars in her field. She became a professor at young age, published numerous studies, received awards and grants, and this year was one of the five scholars to receive a University Professorship at her university. Recently, she was invited to speak at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna about her research on human capital and the flow of knowledge – a rare honor for Israeli academics.
January 18, 2013
AALS Employment Discrimination Officers
I think my last responsibility as outgoing chair of the Employment Discrimination Section of AALS is to let people know who the new officers and executive committee are. ...
The 2013-14 officers for the AALS Employment Discrimination Section are: Deb Widiss (chair); Angela Onwuachi-Willig (vice chair); and Bradley Areheart (secretary). The executive committee is Michael Green, Wendy Greene, Marcia McCormick, Veronica Root, and Erika Kelsaw.
January 09, 2013
Kramer Sued over Law Review Article
Zachary Kramer (Arizona State) wrote a law review article describing an employment discrimination case in which a bank executive allegedly equated vegetarianism with homosexuality and taunted/harassed an employee on the basis of both. Now the bank executive is suing Kramer for defamation and invasion of privacy. The executive also is suing Washington University Law because its law review published the article, and Western New England College of Law because Kramer presented his article there.
Kramer's article is Of Meat and Manhood. The discussion of the underlying discrimination case begins at page 305. The article describes in detail the facts as alleged in the plaintiff's complaint that had been filed in a New York State court; the footnotes clearly indicate that Kramer's source is the complaint itself and that Kramer was not claiming an independent source of knowledge of the facts giving rise to the discrimination claim.
A plaintiff's recitation of facts in a complaint are of course subject to an absolute judicial privilege from defamation suits. Kramer's republication of those facts, in a context in which he makes it clear that he is claiming no independent source of knowledge of the facts, should be similarly privileged. A ruling to the contrary would stifle not only academic debate, but would preclude newspapers from reporting on just about any type of case filed in just about any type of court. 12(b)(6)?
On the upside: at least we know someone is reading our articles!
December 27, 2012
Kalmanovitz Intiative 2013 Practitioner Fellowship
Friend of the blog, Katie Corrigan (Georgetown) writes to tell us about the Kalmanovitz Initiative 2013 Practitioner Fellowship. They’ve just posted the application for 2013 (attached) and here’s additional information, including video interviews with recent fellows.
Katie look at the fellowship as a fantastic opportunity for folks in the labor movement or other worker rights cause to work up a new idea or creative project in a supportive, university environment. Please share the information about the fellowship with anyone you think has an interesting idea — particularly around organizing and bargaining. The deadline is February 15 but the committee will start looking at applications in mid-January.
December 17, 2012
Secunda Named to DOL's ERISA Advisory Council
Congratulations to our own Paul Secunda (Marquette). Today Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced his appointment to the 2013 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans – known as the ERISA Advisory Council. Here's a description; Paul will be representing the public:
The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. By law, members of the council serve for staggered three-year terms. Three members are representatives of employee organizations (at least one of whom represents an organization whose members are participants in a multiemployer plan). Three members are representatives of employers (at least one of whom represents employers maintaining or contributing to multiemployer plans). Three members are representatives of the general public. There is one representative each from the fields of insurance, corporate trust, actuarial counseling, investment counseling, investment management and accounting.
Labor Department Announces Members of New Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee
The Labor Department announced this past Thursday, the members of the new Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. The Committee wll consult with DOL on ways to improve an array of federal government whistleblower programs.
A number of law professors are members of the Committee, representing the general public. They include: Richard Moberly (Nebraska), Committee Chairwoman Emily Spieler (Northeastern), and Jonathan Brock (retired University of Washington).
For more information about the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, you can read the DOL website page on the Committee (which comes under the jurisdiciton of OSHA).
December 07, 2012
Penn State LSER Establishes the Center for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR)
Paul F. Clark, head of the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Penn State University, brings to our attention, that the Project for Global Workers’ Rights has been elevated to full research center status as of December 1, 2012.
Professor Mark Anner will serve as the founding Director of the Center for
Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR) and Professor Jill Jensen will serve as the Center’s Assistant Director.
From the press release:
The Center supports a rigorous academic research agenda on sweatshops, labor standards, and precarious work, and partners with both activists and practitioners in support of workers' rights, collective representation, social activism, and on-going efforts to hold accountable those who permit poor and dangerous work conditions, and violations of workers’ organizing rights. It also sponsors a Post-Doctoral Scholar each year.
You can find more information on the Center here.