Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yamada on Intellectual Activism and the Role of Academics as Public Intellectuals

DyamadaAlthough not a traditonal piece of labor and employment law scholarship, David Yamada (Suffolk) has written up a blog post on issues relating to intellectual activism and the role of academics as public intellectuals. It includes, among other things, a link to a short article David recently posted to SSRN, "If It Matters, Write About It: Using Legal Scholarship to Promote Social Change," which discusses how legal scholars can harness their scholarship for change initiatives and discusses some of the advocacy and public education work David has been doing on workplace bullying, unpaid internships, and other topics.

I thought this subject matter would be of interest to many readers of this blog, who through their own work seek to effect social change through intellectual activitism in the labor and employment law context.


December 4, 2013 in Faculty News, Scholarship, Worklife Issues | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rothstein on Disability Law, Legal Ed, and the Legal Profession

RothLaura Rothstein (Louisville) has just posted on SSRN her essay Disability Discrimination Law: The Impact on Legal Education and the Legal Profession.  Here's the abstract (the much-longer version of this article will be published by the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law in the spring as the lead article in a symposium issue):

Disability discrimination law affects every lawyer, even those who do not plan to represent clients with disabilities or practice in the area of discrimination law. It also affects every law school and every institution of law, from the courts to federal governmental agencies. It affects gatekeepers to legal practice - the Law School Admission Council and the state bar admission authorities. It applies to areas of concern for the American Bar Association accreditation process and the Association of American Law Schools membership requirements. The fortieth anniversary of the beginning of federal policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability is a good time to reflect on the impact on legal education and the legal profession.

I've had the pleasure of knowing Laura as a disability expert and advocate since the days I was still practicing in Houston and we served together on the Texas Bar Association Disability Committee together.  What Laura doesn't say in her essay -- but I will say here -- is that many if not most of the changes she describes in her essay have happened in large part because she pushed hard for them -- not just in her scholarship but in the trenches -- and often despite fierce opposition from entrenched interests or from equally powerful inertia.  Laura is a law school professor who has made a profound difference in the lives not only of her students, but in society at large.


September 12, 2013 in Disability, Faculty News, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shout Out to Chaumtoli Huq's New Law at the Margins Blog

Chaumtoli-Huq-web2Thanks to Chaumtoli Huq (New York Law School) for introducing her Law at the Margins Blog to us.  Today's post is entitled: Labor's Renaissance:  Bold Organizing and Partnerships Needed in the New Economy.

Here is an excerpt from that post:

How might we structure the inclusion of worker groups into a new labor movement by expanding legal protections without squashing the same radicalism that promises to reinvigorate the labor movement? . . . .

[F]or the labor movement to experience a full renaissance, it must understand the features of the new economy, and restructure our state and federal labor laws such that it maximizes worker participation and allows for innovative organizing techniques long used by worker centers to flourish.

If you are interested in this blog, or labor issues generally, you can follow Chaumtoli on Twitter @lawatmargins or join Law@theMargins Facebook page.

According to Chaumtoli, Law@theMargins uses social media as a dynamic platform from which to highlight the ways laws and legal institutions expand or limit the social justice aspirations of people and communities. Inspired by feminist theorists like bell hooks, the site seeks to make both activist and theoretical interventions to social justice issues in hopes to create a space to inspire alternate discourses on law and social justice.

Once a month, Chaumtoli hopes to feature original guest posts, so if any readers of the Workplace Prof Blog would like to submit a piece, she would welcome such contributions.  The criteria is that the post should highlight an area that is not covered in mainstream discourse. Think Critical Legal Studies meets the Labor Law/Social Movement Theory on blogs.  Chaumtoli can be reached at

Welcome to the blogosphere, Chaumtoli, and we wish you much success on this worthwhile endeavor!


August 28, 2013 in Commentary, Faculty News, Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Congratulations to Supreme Court Fellow Dave Sidhu

SidhuCongratulations to Dave Sidhu (New Mexico) who this academic year will be a Supreme Court Fellow

Dave teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, national security, civil rights, and as you can see in the post below, employment discrimination.  His scholarly interests concern the rights and experiences of marginalized communities, including the urban poor, post-9/11 detainees, and Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim in the United States after 9/11.

Before joining UNM in 2011, Dave taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law, held research/fellowship posts at Harvard, Georgetown, and Stanford universities, worked as a staff attorney in the policy arm of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and clerked for U.S. District Judge David. G. Campbell.  Dave has drafted, on a pro bono basis, amicus briefs for scholars and community-based organizations in several cases: Ashcroft v. Iqbal (S. Ct.), al-Maqaleh v. Obama (D.C. Cir.), Padilla v. Yoo (9th Cir.), United States v. Hatch (10th Cir.), and Knight v. Thompson (11th Cir.).

Congrats, and enjoy your fellowship!


August 19, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lester Named Interim Dean at Berkeley

LesterCongratulations (and condolences) to Gillian Lester, who has been named interim dean at U.C.-Berkeley.  Here's the news:

Berkeley Law Dean Christopher Edley, Jr., today announced that he is taking medical leave (as of Monday, August 19) and will end his nine years of service as head of the law school on December 31, 2013.

In a letter to law school faculty and staff, Edley reiterated his commitment to the school’s capital campaign and offered to assist on special projects while on leave. Professor Gillian Lester has agreed to serve as acting dean in the interim, as UC Berkeley begins a replacement search.

And here's a bit about Gillian:

Gillian Leter is the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law and the Werner and Mimi Wolfen Research Professor of Law.  Gillian's principal subject areas include employment law and policy, and contracts. Her research has explored topics including distributive justice and the welfare state, workplace intellectual property, and paid family leave.

Lester holds a J.S.D. from Stanford Law School and LL.B. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where she served as editor in chief of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review. Lester began her teaching career in 1994 at the UCLA School of Law, where she became full professor in 1999. She joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 2006, and is currently appointed as Acting Dean (Dec. 2012 - ), Associate Dean for the JD Program and Curriculum Planning (2010 - ), and Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law. She has also held appointments as Sidley Austin Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School (2008-09), Sloan Fellow and Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center (2000), and has held short visiting appointments at USC Gould School of Law and the University of Chicago Law School.

Lester's books include, Employment Law Cases And Materials, Fifth Ed. (Lexis-Nexis, 2012) (with Willborn, Schwab & Burton), Family Security Insurance: A New Foundation for Economic Security (Workplace Flexibility 2010 and Berkeley Center for Health, Economic and Family Security, 2010), and Jumping The Queue: An Inquiry Into The Legal Treatment Of Students With Disabilities (Harvard Press, 1997) (with Mark Kelman). Articles and chapters include "Can Joe the Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, and Sustainable Policy Design, in Tax Law Review (2011); Beyond Collective Bargaining: Modern Unions and Social Solidarity, in Brian Langille and Guy Davidov (eds.), The Idea of Labor Law pp. 329-343 (Cambridge University Press, 2011); "Restrictive Covenants and Choice of Laws: An American Perspective," in Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal (2010); "A Defense of Paid Family Leave" in the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender (2005), and "Unemployment Insurance and Wealth Redistribution" in the UCLA Law Review (2001).

Congrats, Gillian, and best of luck to you!  I look forward to seeing you at the various dean's funcions this year!


August 18, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shout Out to New Labor and Employment Law Blog: Ross Runkel Report

Ross_Runkel_aLong-time friend of the Workplace Prof Blog, Ross Runkel (Willamette Emeritus), is blogging at a new location on the internet: Ross Runkel Report: Arbitration, employment law, labor law

Ross already has up some great posts, characteristically taking on the most interesting labor and employment law cases and topics of the day.

Here's a sample of one of today's posts, entited: Quit Rehab Twice, get fired. No help from ADA or FMLA:

Bryan Shirley had a problem with Vicodin, so he took medical leave to get treatment for addiction. After completing a detox period, he left the treatment program early. Kept using. The boss gave him a second chance. After one day of detox, he checked out of the program.

The employer fired him for violating its drug-free workplace policy which provides that an employee “who rejects treatment or who leaves a treatment program prior to being properly discharged will be terminated.”

Shirley sued claiming ADA and FMLA violations. Denied, and denied. Shirley v. Precision Castparts (5th Cir 08/12/2013).

You can't beat Ross's legendary laser-like analysis of recent labor and employment case law.  Ross's new blog is a must daily read for all labor and employment law profs and practitioners. Check it out!


August 14, 2013 in Commentary, Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Temple Hiring in Employment/Employment Discrimination Law

TempleBrishen Rogers writes to let us know that Temple law school is looking to hire, among other areas, an employment/employment discrimination faculty member.  The announcement:

Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law invites applications from both entry-level and lateral candidates for full-time, tenure-track faculty positions to commence in the Fall Semester 2014.  We welcome applications from candidates with a wide variety of interests.  Although areas of need are subject to change, priority areas are likely to include health law, business and commercial law, civil procedure, intellectual property, law and technology, trust and estates, torts, and employment law/employment discrimination. 

Lateral candidates should contact Professor Gregory Mandel, Lateral Faculty Appointments Subcommittee (  Entry level candidates should contact Professor Donald Harris, Faculty Appointments Subcommittee (  Temple University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all in every aspect of its operations.  The University has pledged not to discriminate on the basis of an individual’s age, color, disability, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or veteran status.


August 13, 2013 in Faculty News, Labor and Employment News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Shout Out to Sachs and Goldsmith's New "On Labor" Blog

ComputerIt is my pleasure to bring to the attention of the readers of this blog the recent launch of a new academic labor law blog, jointly run by Ben Sachs and Jack Goldsmith (both of Harvard Law).  It is aptly titled: On Labor.

A little taste of the blog's aspirations from the "About" section:

On Labor is a blog by Benjamin Sachs and Jack Goldsmith devoted to workers, unions, and their politics. We interpret our subject broadly to include the current crisis in the traditional union movement (why union decline is happening and what it means for our society); the new and contested forms of worker organization that are filling the labor union gap; how work ought to be structured and managed; how workers ought to be represented and compensated; and the appropriate role of government – all three branches – in each of these issues.

It looks like there will also be some other contributors to the blog who are students at Harvard Law School.

There are already some very interesting blog posts up, including one on the forthcoming Supreme Court Mulhall case, which Ben says "could be the most significant labor law case in a generation."

Check it out!


August 9, 2013 in Commentary, Faculty News, Labor Law, Union News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Shout Out to Richard Moberly's New Blog: Law of Secrecy Blog

MoberlyRichard Mobely (Nebraska) writes to tell us that he is finally dipping his toes in the blogging world (yes, he realizes it is 10 years too late!).

In particular, and in response to the crazy last week of whistleblower and secrecy news, including the whole Snowden affair, Richard has started the Law of Secrecy blog on Tumblr.

I have read all of the posts so far and they are excellent. Not surprising, given that Richard is a leading national expert on all forms of whistleblower law, as his vast writing in the area indicate.

Check out this new blog when you have the chance. I have a feeling that it will be mandatory reading for anyone wanting to keep up on the increasing news about the surveillance state and whistleblowing.


June 14, 2013 in Faculty News, Workplace Safety, Workplace Trends | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Schwab Leaving Cornell Law Deanship in 2014

Schwab5-24Stewart Schwab, Dean of the Cornell Law School and one of the Reporters of the ALI's Restatement of Employment Law, has announced that he is stepping down as dean of the law school in June 2014.

From the Cornell Chronicle:

“I have enjoyed my time as dean,” said Schwab. “Cornell Law has a collegial faculty that sees the best in each other; students who are talented, hardworking and enjoy learning the law; and loyal alumni who lead lives of distinction and are dedicated to improving the school. These factors have let us accomplish many things over the last decade.” . . . .

Other Law School milestones under Schwab’s leadership:
  • the most successful fundraising year in the history of the Law School, 2012;
  • expansion of the school’s business law curriculum with new deals and transactional law classes;
  • creation of new clinical studies opportunities in securities law, labor law, LGBT rights and juvenile justice;
  • the launch of several new programs, institutes and projects including the Clarke Business Law Institute, the Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa and the expansion of the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and
  • establishment and expansion of exchange partnerships with some two dozen universities around the world.

After a sabbatical during the 2014-15 academic year, Schwab will return to the faculty. Here's hoping that much more innovative labor and employment law scholarship is the happy result!


May 29, 2013 in Faculty Moves, Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Onwuachi-Willig's New Book: According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family

Onwuachi-willigCongratulations to worklaw prof Angela Onwuachi-Willig (Iowa) on the publication of her new book, According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale University Press 2013). 

Angela presented one of her chapters of the book to the Marquette Law faculty as part of our Faculty Workshop series and it really was quite captivating. Although the book focuses on issues surrounding family law, it also provides insights into many area of civil rights and work law as well.  Here is the press release.

You can purchase it through Amazon, Yale University Press, or an indpendent book store.


May 28, 2013 in Book Club, Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Feldblum Nominated to EEOC for Another Term

Feldblum-chai_1Congratulations to Chai Feldblum (EEOC, Georgetown) for her nomination to the EEOC for a second term. President Obama announced the nomination yesterday along with a group of other positions here. Given her extensive background on antidiscrimination issues in the legislative clinic at Georgetown and her central involvmement in drafting, coalition building, and passage of the ADA and ADAAA, Chai has been a very effective commissioner. She and Commissioner Lipnic, one of the President's Republican nominees, in particular have been able to work with business and employee advocates on enforcement issues. Here's hoping the Senate confirmation process goes smoothly this time around as well.

h/t Marcy Karin (Arizona State)


May 24, 2013 in Beltway Developments, Employment Discrimination, Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Penn State Labor Studies and Employment Relations Program Elevated to "School" Status

Pennstate-lserSome counter-momentum for schools of industrial relations in the United States?:

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 13, 2013 in Faculty News, Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Seiner Awarded 2013 Outstanding Faculty Publication Award from South Carolina Law

SeinerCongratulations to friend of the blog and Twiqbal scholar extraordinaire, Joe Seiner (South Carolina), for winning the faculty publication award at his school this year.

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 9, 2013 in Employment Discrimination, Faculty News, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Doorey's Law of Work Blog Updated

D_dooreyDavid 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.


May 7, 2013 in Faculty News, International & Comparative L.E.L. | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Bagchi Selected As One of New York Law Journal's 2013 Rising Stars

AbagchiFrom Dean Michael Martin at Fordham Law School:

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 29, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

McCormick and Sperino Receive Teaching Awards

Sperino2 MmCongratulations 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 25, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monahan Receives ALI Young Scholars Medal

MonahanCongratulations 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 22, 2013 in Faculty News, Pension and Benefits, Public Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Estreicher Receives Kaynard Award

EstreicherThe Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal has just announced that it will award Sam Estreicher (NYU) with its Kaynard award.  From the journal's announcement:

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.

Congratulations, Sam!



April 17, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, 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 11, 2013 in Employment Discrimination, Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)