Monday, September 11, 2006

Research Canon for Employment and Labor Law

Books_3Over at PrawfsBlawg, Matt Bodie (St. Louis) has set out on an ambitious "Research Canon" process, which he describes as follows:

[T]he purpose of this project is to get input from you, our readers, about the most important works of scholarship in the various areas of legal inquiry.

Legal academia assumes that entry-level candidates and new scholars have done the background research necessary for their area of expertise.  But it is left to the individual to get this knowledge. Certainly, the J.D. provides a baseline, and mentors are helpful in providing further direction.  But there is nothing akin to comps that sets forth a comprehensive listing for new folks to follow.

The Research Canons project is intended to fill this gap.

The Research Canon for Employment and Labor Law will be in the limelight on Wednesday, September 27th.  For those who are interested, you can make a contribution to the canon by making a comment on PrawfsBlawg on that day or alternatively, you can leave your suggestions on the comments to this post and I wil convey them to Matt.


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My first thought is that the lists for labor law and for employment discrimination would at least usually be quite different (as would lists for other employment laws -- wage and hours, occupational safety, etc.).

I've been holding off trying to come up with some sort of Master List, but instead I'll just list a few and reserve the right to add more later. For labor law, I would start with these four classic books:

Melvyn Dubofsky, _The State and Labor in Modern America_;

Paul Weiler, _Governing the Workplace _

James Atleson, _Values and Assumptions in American Labor Law_

Freeman & Medoff, _What Do Unions Do?_

And these two more recent pieces:

Katherine V. W. Stone, _From Widgets to Digits_; and

Cynthia Estlund, _The Ossification of American Labor Law _

Posted by: Joseph Slater | Sep 12, 2006 7:00:49 AM

Some thoughts for the Labor Law Research Canon:
The law regulating internal union affairs, i.e., the LMRDA, with a little RICO and DFR tossed into the mix, is a generally neglected corner of labor law. It is rarely taught in the basic course, but for those of us involved with the Assoc for Union Democracy, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, Labor Notes, and similar rank and file reform efforts, it can be an important tool in breathing new life into the labor movement.
The leading treatise for many years was Marty Malin's "Individual Rights Within the Union," but it is getting pretty outdated, so it has probably been superceded by the ABA treatise edited by William W. Osborne, Jr., "Labor Union Law and Regulation."
For those seeking a quick overview, see my article, "An Overview and Assessment of the Law Regulating Internal Union Affairs," 21 J Labor Research 15 (2000).
Some of the important pieces in this area over the years include:
Alan Hyde, "Democracy in Collective Bargaining," 93 Yale LJ 793 (1984); George Strauss, "Union Democracy" in Strauss, Gallagaher & Fiorito, eds., The State of the Unions (1991); Clyde Summers, "Democracy in a One Party State: Perspectives from Landrum-Griffin," 43 Md L. Rev. 93 (1984); Clyde Summers, The Individual Employee's Rights Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement: What Constitutes Fair Representation?" 126 U Penn L Rev 251 (1977); and my own "Cleaning Labor's House: Institutional Reform Litigation in the Labor Movement," 1989 Duke LJ 903. Jim Jacobs recent book, "Mobsters, Unions, and the Feds" (2006)is a good overview of the problem of union corruption and labor racketeering and the civil RICO monitorships and trusteeships that have been imposed on the Teamsters and other unions. For an excellent argument for union democracy as a key to a stronger labor movement, written from the perspective of union activists, see Mike Parker & Martha Gruelle, "Democracy is Power: Rebuilding Unions from the Bottom Up (Labor Notes Books, 1999). A very personal history of the union democracy movement is by Herman Benson, the founder of the Assoc for Union Democracy: "Rebels, Reformers, and Racketeers: How Insurgents Transformed the Labor Movement" (2005), available through the AUD.
-- Michael Goldberg
Widener Law School

Posted by: Michael Goldberg | Sep 28, 2006 8:48:26 AM

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