Tuesday, April 9, 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
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
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.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
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.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
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. :>)
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
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.
Friday, January 18, 2013
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.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
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!
Thursday, December 27, 2012
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.
Monday, December 17, 2012
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.
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).
Friday, December 7, 2012
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.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Congratulations to Paul and Jeff on their new book, Labor Law: A Problem Based Approach (LexisNexis 2012), complete with video promotional materials.
From the more traditional promotional materials:
Labor Law: A Problem Based Approach covers the essential introductory labor law topics on organizing, collective bargaining, and concerted activities. It also includes materials for advanced labor law classes on topics such as: individual rights in a labor union, union security clauses, and federal preemption. The problem-based approach of this exciting new Book provides practical experience to students in the day-to-day practice of labor law.
Labor Law: A Problem Based Approach emphasizes recent labor law developments and controversies including: NLRB election and posting rules, the Boeing controversy, and recent attempts at labor law legislative reform. And, it is also highly interactive with hyperlinks to blogs, law review articles, government web sites, and other digitized sources.
The authors of Labor Law: A Problem Based Approach bring more than twenty-years of combined experience in practice, teaching, and scholarship in labor law to the book. Professor Hirsch is former appellate attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, while Professor Secunda is former management-side labor law attorney at several major law firms.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
It is at Canada's newest law school at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C. David tells me that it is in a beautiful part of Canada, with wine vineyards and ski mountains, a couple of hours east of Vancouver.
Here is a link to the job posting on David's blog.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Friends of the blog Angela Onwuachi-Willig (Iowa) and Rebecca Lee (Thomas Jefferson) write about the joint newsletter for the AALS sections on Employment Discrimination and Labor and Employment Law. Here is their call for submissions:
We are putting together a joint annual newsletter for the AALS Section on Employment Discrimination and the Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law, and we need your help as readers and section members. Please forward this message to any and all people you know who teach or write in the Employment Discrimination, Labor Law, and Employment Law fields.
First, if you have news of any faculty visits, lateral moves, entry-level hires, or promotions and tenure not included here (http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2012/04/workplace-prof-moves-for-2012-2013.html), please e-mail that news to Angela Onwuachi-Willig at email@example.com.
Second, please e-mail Angela Onwuachi-Willig at firstname.lastname@example.org with any information about conference announcements and calls for papers, employment or fellowship opportunities, honors and awards, and reports on recent conferences or other events of interest to the two Sections' members.
Third, we want to include a list of relevant employment or labor law-related publications published in 2012; please hold your forthcoming 2013 publications for next year's newsletter. These publications can be books, articles, and chapters. Please also send a list of your published 2012 articles to Angela Onwuachi-Willig at email@example.com.
Fourth and finally, we want to solicit anyone who would be interested in writing a brief description of a recent "big" labor and employment case or significant new labor or employment legislation. Your subject could be a Supreme Court decision (but it does not have to be), a significant circuit court decision (or emerging circuit split), a state supreme court decision, or an innovative and potentially influential new federal, state, or local law. The description should be fairly short (under 2 pages). If you're looking for an easy way to get your name out there or want a quick outlet for your ruminations about a case or new law, this could be a good opportunity. Just let us know what you are interested in writing on. Please send submissions to Rebecca Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send all submissions by November 18, 2012.
November 5, 2012 in Commentary, Conferences & Colloquia, Employment Common Law, Employment Discrimination, Faculty Moves, Faculty News, International & Comparative L.E.L., Labor and Employment News, Labor Law, Pension and Benefits, Public Employment Law, Religion, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Congratulations to friend-of-the-blog Matthew Fletcher (MSU) who has just been named Reporter for the incipient Restatement of the Law of American Indians. Matthew has been great about sending along recent LEL cases involving American Indians -- especially cases involving issues of NLRB jurisidiction.
Topics to be considered for the new Restatement include federal/tribal relations, state/tribal relations, tribal jurisdiction and authority, and Indian Country business law.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
He just received a decision denying discovery for his plaintiff’s immigration status: Reyes v Snowcap Creamery, Inc., -- F. Supp. 2d ---, 2012 WL 4888476 (D. Colorado Oct. 15, 2012).
Scott provides some background on the case and his own particular interest in the subject matter of the case:
To try to prove undocumented immigrant status, and to fish for potentially relevant documents, the employer sought, and had been granted by the Magistrate Judge, discovery of not only plaintiff’s immigration status, but plaintiff’s immigration attorney’s files and ICE files; plaintiff actually was to sign releases allowing production of the latter two files. We appealed the Magistrate Judge’s ruling, and the District Judge reversed in full, denying any immigration status discovery with very broad language that “a plaintiff's immigration status is irrelevant in an FLSA action” and that even though there may have been some relevance to some of the discovery (e.g., immigration documents with job descriptions pertinent to whether plaintiff was FLSA-exempt), immigration discovery still should be denied “because of the in terrorem effect that discovery into such issues would have on litigants.”
This issue has been an old passion of mine ever since the Supreme Court in 2002 held in Hoffman Plastic Compounds that undocumented immigration status precludes certain post-termination pay continuation damages; at the time, my plaintiff-side employment law firm was terrified that the ruling would kill our FLSA practice, because so many wage claims are by immigrants. I had to litigate a motion on that issue almost immediately after Hoffman, and I got the first reported decision in the country holding that even if Hoffman makes immigration status relevant to post-termination pay continuation damages, immigration status remains irrelevant, and too prejudicial to be allowed in discovery, in FLSA unpaid wage cases: Liu v. Donna Karan Int'l, Inc., 207 F. Supp. 2d 191 (S.D.N.Y 2002). Liu is cited in our new decision, which is now the first decision District of Colorado holding the same – that in FLSA cases, immigration status is irrelevant and too prejudicial to be allowed in discovery.
This is a very interesting and important FLSA case and we appreciate Scott sharing his litigation experience in this case with us.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Holly Fechner (Covington & Burling D.C. office; photo left, bio below) will be teaching this spring for the first time a labor and employment policy course. She's looking for sample syllabi and recommendations on course materials. Although she's teaching her course to public policy graduate students at the Harvard Kennedy School, I'm sure she'd welcome course materials prepared for law courses.
Here's Holly's impressive bio:
Holly Fechner is co-chair of the firm’s Government Affairs Practice
Group.... She has two decades of legal,
legislative and public policy experience in the public and private
sectors. Ms. Fechner has a broad-based practice handling legislative
and regulatory matters for clients in areas including healthcare, tax,
intellectual property, education, and employee benefits. Drawing on her
extensive congressional and private sector experience, Ms. Fechner
offers clients comprehensive advocacy services, including strategic
advice, substantive legal and regulatory expertise, and policy and
message development. She has a proven track record in assisting clients
fulfill their government affairs goals.
Ms. Fechner was Policy Director for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). In that position, she developed policy initiatives, legislation and campaigns on a broad range of issues, including the economy, health care, employment, education, retirement policy, and civil rights. She was also Chief Labor & Pensions Counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. Ms. Fechner served as chief negotiator on legislation to reform the private pension system; increase the federal minimum wage; extend and reform unemployment insurance benefits; prevent genetic discrimination in health care and employment, and numerous other bills. In her eight years on Capitol Hill, she drove passage of over a dozen laws worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
I am so envious -- it's been way too long since I've had the opportunity to teach a course like this.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
If any other readers of Workplace Prof Blog have been similarly elected, let me know so I can post the good news.
Melissa and Michael will now, among other things, help with the formulation of the ongoing Restatement on Employment Law Project.
Welcome aboard Melissa and Michael!
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Congratulations to Charlie Sullivan, Recipient of Second Annual Paul Steven Miller Award for Scholarly Contributions to Labor and Employment Law
Last night, during the reception at the Seventh Annual Colloquium on Labor and Employment Law in Chicago, Charlie Sullivan, my co-blogger, friend, and mentor, received the Paul Steven Miller Award for significant contributions to the development of labor and employment law scholarship.
As I said in my remarks last night during the award ceremony (and Mike Zimmer made eloquent remarks as well to his good friend):
The Paul Steven Miller Award is of course about the influence one has had on the development of scholarship in labor and employment law. I would be hard pressed to think of someone (perhaps with the exception of last year's recipient, Mike Zimmer) who has a more profound and lasting effect on the development of employment discrimination law doctrine in the United States (of course, he has also written important pieces in employment law, antitrust law, and contracts law, to name a few other areas). Charlie started to write in this area as early as 1976, and has not let up in the sheer volume and quality of his scholarship in the last 35 and more years. The man is stunningly prolific . . . .
All you need to do is read any employment discrimination law article from any other law professor in the country to know that they have felt Charlie's influence and they, like me, are indebted to him for all that he has done for the development of employment discrimination law.
I know, tonight, that Paul Miller, an eminent Title VII scholar and government official, is looking down on us this evening and smiling that impish grin of his. He's saying: "You could not have picked a better and more deserving person for this honor!"