Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Axle Strike

American_axle The Washington Post has an interesting article on an employer that has gone from hero to goat in the eyes of its employees:

American Axle and Manufacturing employees viewed their boss Richard E. Dauch as a hero. He bet against the odds when he led a group of investors who bought five decrepit auto parts plants 14 years ago. An outspoken champion of American manufacturing, he backed his words by pouring $3 billion into modernizing the old factories. The strapping Dauch often walked the assembly line, stopping to arm-wrestle employees or to ask about their children.

But times are changing, and Dauch is reneging on a critical part of the wager. The America-first chief executive says he can no longer afford the $73 an hour his employees cost. Without worker concessions, he said American Axle's five major U.S plants could be forced to close. His employees aren't buying it. They walked out Feb. 26 after rejecting the company's demands that the union said would cut wages in half. The job action has idled not only the 3,650 striking employees but also tens of thousands of workers in related industries. . . .

For years, Dauch told his workers that if they embraced technology and were dedicated to making better axles, they would prosper with the company. By most every measure, American Axle has made good products. It invested substantial sums in worker training and new manufacturing systems. Orders poured in to make parts for sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks that provide the bulk of its business. Workers did well, too, averaging $28 an hour in wages, with generous benefits.

But as SUV sales have fallen, even Dauch could not continue business the same way in the face of competitors who pay their workers far less for the same work. Two of Dauch's largest U.S. competitors that fell into bankruptcy, Delphi and Dana, have negotiated labor agreements that are less than half as costly as Americans Axle's, according to the company. Meanwhile, foreign firms that operate in the United States, including Bharat Forge, have far cheaper labor deals. Auto parts plants overseas have even lower labor costs.

The strikers see the job action as a last stand for the kind of factory wages that have supported the middle-class lifestyles of millions of manufacturing workers. Some have lashed out against free trade in response to the company's threat to move work out of the country to save money. If a profitable company refuses to maintain their wages, the workers ask, who will?

That final question pretty well sums up the union's position, although it ignores the fact that a company may be profitable in the short-run, but still be threatened in the long-run if its competitors are able to operate with significantly lower costs.  In the end, however, much of this dispute appears to revolve around exactly what American Axle's costs look like, with the union disputing the $73 and hour number among others.  Nothing like a strike to test each party's contentions, so we'll see what happens.


April 30, 2008 in Labor and Employment News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hey, Did Easterbrook Read My Glenn ERISA Analysis?

Scalesred Apparently not. 

Consider his lack of interest (pun intended) in the structural conflict of interest argument at stake in Metlife v. Glenn in this case, Williams v. The Interpublic Severance Pay Plan, 07-3146 (7th Cir. Apr. 29, 2008):

Williams contends nonetheless that we should review the decision de novo because the Plan is unfunded . . . .

This circuit has held otherwise, Perlman v. Swiss Bank Corp., 195 F.3d 975 (7th Cir. 1999), for three principal reasons. First, Firestone makes the standard of review a matter of contract. By using particular language, the plan’s sponsors can require deferential review. Trust law honors rather than overrides express contractual language specifying a trustee’s powers vis-à-vis a beneficiary. See generally John H. Langbein, The Contractarian Basis of the Law of Trusts, 105 Yale L. J. 625 (1995). ERISA has some rules that displace contracts, but the degree of an administrator’s fact-finding and interpretive discretion is not among the subjects on which the law supersedes private choice.

Second, one must not anthropomorphize “the administrator.” Rarely is a pension or welfare plan’s administrator a person whose own welfare is at stake. Administrators commonly are large organizations, and the real people who make decisions on its behalf are no more interested in the outcome than federal judges are “interested” in the resolution of a tax case. True, judges’ salaries won’t be paid if taxes can’t be collected, but the effect of any one case on federal finances is so small that the judge does not care who prevails. Just so with the people who act on requests for pension or welfare benefits. Corporations often find it hard to align employees’ incentives with stockholders’ interests; they use stock options, bonuses,
piece rates, and other devices. Administrators usually don’t try. There would be a real conflict of interest if a given administrator put in place a method of linking decisionmakers’ income to the substance of their decisions. A quota system (“grant no more than 50% of all applications”) or some other means of tying the wages or promotion of staff to its disposition of claims could call for non-deferential judicial review. But Williams has not argued that anyone who handled his claim had any personal interest in the outcome.

Third, even if the employer made the decision directly, its financial interest would not necessarily imply a thumb on the scale. Interpublic adopted this Plan to attract and retain good workers. If it chisels on those benefits in the course of implementation, that would undermine its reputation for treating workers well. Unless a firm is on the verge of bankruptcy, that reputational interest leads it to make honest decisions on applications for health and
welfare benefits. See Van Boxel v. Journal Co. Employees’ Pension Trust, 836 F.2d 1048 (7th Cir. 1987). Even though Campbell Mithun no longer has a Chicago office, employees in other cities may well learn whether the workers in Chicago have been treated well following the sale. Poor treatment of workers at a divested office would jeopardize Campbell Mithun’s ongoing business.

And just so were clear that Easterbrook may be unfamiliar with my oral argument analysis, but not the pending decision in Glenn:

The Supreme Court may decide this spring in MetLife v. Glenn, cert. granted, 128 S. Ct. 1117 (2008) (argued April 23, 2008), whether an administrator’s financial conflict of interest affects the standard of judicial review. We need not hold this appeal for the outcome of MetLife, however, because Williams loses even under de novo review.

Of course, Glenn is unlikely to say the new standard for dual-role insurers is de novo, but Easterbrook is apparently hedging his bets.

Hat Tip: Dana Muir


April 30, 2008 in Pension and Benefits | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Public Employment On The Rise At All Levels

Graph_up USA Today reports:

Federal, state and local governments are hiring new workers at the fastest pace in six years, helping offset job losses in the private sector.

Governments added 76,800 jobs in the first three months of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

That's the biggest jump in first-quarter hiring since a boom in 2002 that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. By contrast, private companies collectively shed 286,000 workers in the first three months of 2008. That job loss has led many economists to declare the country is in a recession.

Job numbers for April, out Friday, will show if the trend is continuing. Some economists say a government hiring binge could soften a recession in the short term.

Hey, at least on the federal level (the federal government increased its workforce by 13,800 in the first three months of 2008), I thought Republican administrations were about smaller government?  Probably just doing its best to fight the recession it created . . . .


April 30, 2008 in Public Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Stone Receives Guggenheim

Stone Congratulations to Katherine Van Wezel Stone (UCLA) for receiving a 2008 Gugenheim fellowship.  She will be working on The Remaking of Labor Relations in the Twenty-First Century

Kathy joined UCLA School of Law in 2004.  Before UCLA, she taught concurrently at Cornell Law School (where I was privileged to study under her) and at the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations.  Prior to that, she taught at the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University. She has  visited at Chicago, Stanford, and Yale.  Kathy's most recent book, published by Cambridge University Press in 2004, is From Widgets to Digits: Employment Regulation for the Changing Workplace.  Other books include Arbitration Law (Foundation Press, 2003) and Private Justice: Alternative Dispute Resolution and The Law (Foundation Press, 2000).



April 30, 2008 in Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Lesson in How Not To Challenge A Board Bargaining Order

Goya_2 NLRB attempts to issue affirmative bargaining orders are often resisted by courts (see D.C. Circuit), so employers almost automatically challenge such orders.  Employers have numerous grounds for such challenges, which unfortunately often involves significant delay by the Board (it's a cruel twist that employees must bear the burden of delay caused by the Board, frequently with help from an employer raising a multitude of issues).  The Eleventh Circuit, however, recently rejected an employer's challenge in a case that illustrates what not to do if you're the employer.  In NLRB v. Goya Foods (11th Cir. April 25, 2008), the court upheld the Board's affirmative bargaining order against Goya Foods, which had committed numerous unfair labor practices following UNITE-HERE's certification at one of its facilities.

An ALJ had issued its recommendation in March 2001, but the Board's decision took until September 2006--over 5 1/2 years later.  Not surprisingly, Goya argued that conditions had changed in the meantime and that a bargaining order was no longer appropriate.  One problem though: 

Notwithstanding the extensive delay between the ALJ decision . . . and the Board’s decision . . . , Goya filed nothing with the Board to indicate that significant changes had occurred during this passage of time. Thus, at the time of the Board’s decision challenged by Goya, the record before the Board revealed no changed circumstances. Promptly after receiving the Board’s decision, Goya filed a motion for reconsideration and to reopen the record for consideration of certain listed changed circumstances, including employee turnover. In the most peculiar aspect of the posture of this case, Goya’s brief on appeal fails to fairly raise a challenge to the Board’s denial of its motion for reconsideration. . . .

As I frequently tell my students, administrative law and its procedures often play a crucial role in litigation.  This is yet another example of why.


April 29, 2008 in Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Secunda on "Me Too" Evidence

Secunda Paul Secunda (Mississippi for a few more days, then to Marquette) has just posted on SSRN his essay (forthcoming Northwestern U. L. Rev. Colloquy) The Many Mendelsohn 'Me Too' Missteps: An Alliterative Response to Professor Rubinstein.  Here's the abstract:

Although one might have the misimpression that the missteps referred to in the title of this paper indicate a criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court's ADEA decision of Mendelsohn v. Sprint/United Management Co., it does not. I believe the unanimous Court opinion is correct: 'Me too' evidence should be admissible in certain instances based on evidentiary principles and based on the overriding importance of context in such cases, as further discussed in Professor Mitchell Rubinstein's Colloquy Essay, 'Mendelsohn v. Sprint/United Management: The Supreme Court Appears to Punt Whether 'Me Too' Evidence of Discrimination is Admissible or Does It?'
Rather, the missteps I have in mind are three and include: (1) my own misstep for writing in a previous Workplace Prof Blog post, before the decision, that a per se rule against this type of evidence would be adopted by the usual conservative Supreme Court Justice suspects; (2) the misstep made by the Supreme Court for granting certiorari in the first place in this rather mundane (legally speaking) employment discrimination case; and (3) the misstep of Professor Rubinstein in suggesting that the decision in Mendelsohn will provide 'important medicine' for employment discrimination plaintiffs and in concluding that this 'me too' evidentiary issue may again raise its narcissistic head before the Court.

I agree with Paul on this one.  The Supreme Court didn't exactly punt in Mendelsohn -- it appropriately held that trial courts are in the best position to make evidentiary rulings.  That being said, as Paul points out, most of these evidentiary rulings are likely to go in employers' favor for the near future because so many federal judges have been appointed from the defense bar.

Update:  Mitch's reply, both to Paul and to an essay by David Gregory, is here.


April 29, 2008 in Employment Discrimination, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Cameron on Reclassification of Workers at IBM

Ccameron Chris Cameron (Southwestern) was quoted in the following NPR Marketplace story about the reclassification of workers from salaried to hourly at IBM, and related litigation:

From the transcript of the story:

KAI RYSSDAL: It should be a pretty good time at IBM's annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, N.C. tomorrow. After Big Blue reported a 25 percent jump in profits a couple of weeks ago the stock is near a six-year high. But employees aren't feeling any of that love. Workers are planning to protest the meeting over something called "reclassification." The word's getting a lot of play in corporate America these days. And in the courts, too. As Marketplace's Lisa Napoli explains.

LISA NAPOLI: It was just another workday for David Canizares, a network administrator for IBM. Then his boss called him and gave him the news.

    David Canizares: They said they wanted to be more compliant with federal regulations, so they were going to take us from exempt status to non-exempt status.

That was a fancy way of telling Canizares he still had a full-time job with benefits, but he'd no longer be classified as a salaried worker. He would be paid by the hour. And that wasn't the biggest change.

    Canizares: They had to cut our pay 15 percent.

IBM said the cut was necessary because the reclassified workers would now get to earn overtime. In fact, to make the same pay as before, those workers would have to put in extra hours. But for a third of the reclassified employees at IBM, working overtime isn't a possibility. So they're taking home less money.

    Christopher David Ruiz Cameron: It's about the bottom line.

Christopher David Ruiz Cameron teaches labor law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Welcome, he says, to the modern workplace.

    Cameron: Every manager's job is to figure out how to get as few employees to do the most work for as little money as possible. There's nothing evil about that. That's just how that works.

But as more companies have cut costs by reclassifying workers, the lawsuits just keep coming.

    CAMERON: There's a reason why they call wage and hour litigation the plaintiff lawyer's full-employment act.

One case that's dragged on for years has to do with agents at insurance company Allstate. They filed a class action against the company after being reclassified as independent contractors back in 1999, and being told they couldn't collect overtime. In some cases, courts have found workers haven't been fairly compensated.

    CAMERON: In the last 10 to 15 years, major settlements for millions of dollars to settle wage and hour claims for unpaid overtime and rest breaks and meal breaks has been paid out by Starbucks, by Microsoft . . .

Welcome to the modern workplace, indeed. And look for more reclassification issues coming up in big time litigation to a courthouse near you.


April 29, 2008 in Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 28, 2008

11th Circuit Sexual Harassment Case

Scales In a rare reversal of summary judgment for the defendant, the Eleventh Circuit issued a decision today in Reeves v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, a sexual harassment case. As the court stated,

We must determine whether daily exposure to language and radio programming that are particularly offensive to women but not targeted at the plaintiff are sufficient to satisfy the “based on” and “severe or pervasive” elements of a hostile work environment claim. Because Reeves satisfied the “based on” element and a jury could reasonably conclude that the conduct at issue was sufficiently pervasive to support a hostile work environment claim, we reverse the entry of summary judgment in CHRW’s favor.

The plaintiff was the only woman who worked in her area. Her coworkers used gendered and sexually explicit language every day, and listened to a radio program

that was played every morning on the stereo in the office. Discussions of the following material on the show offended her: (1) breast size of female celebrities and Playboy Playmates; (2) sexual arousal and women’s nipples as indications thereof; (3) masturbation, both in general and with animals; (4) erotic dreams; (5) ejaculation; and (6) female pornography. Advertisements for or including the following material that were aired during the program also offended her: (1) sexual favors; (2) a bikini contest that instructed women to wear their most perverse bikinis; (3) a statement that a woman was found in bed with three elves and a candy cane; and (4) a drug called Proton that promised to increase sexual performance, please a partner, and make the user a “sexual tyrannosaurus rex.” When Reeves complained about the radio programming, she was often told that she could play her own music or change the station. She testified, however, that if she did so the other employees would soon change the radio back to the offensive program.

The court found that the language and the radio program were more degrading to women than to men and so the environment was hostile to Reeves "based on" her sex. The court further found that the frequency and severity of the degrading comments were severe and pervasive enough to create a hostile environment. Thus, the court reversed summary judgment granted for the defendant and remanded for trial.

This type of hostile environment case is often difficult to get past summary judgment because if both men and women are exposed to the conduct equally, then it's hard to say that one sex is treated differently from the other. The Eleventh Circuit got it right when it looked not at whether the sexes were exposed equally but whether the environment would be perceived as a hostile one by one sex more than the other. One interesting fact, Chief Judge Edmondson, widely regarded as very conservative, joined in this opinion. This may be a case if interest convergence: the views of more conservative justices about exposing women to this kind of coarse conduct might converge with the views of justices who look at the issue as one of discrimination, allowing both sets to reach this result.


April 28, 2008 in Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

More on Estreicher-Lester Concepts and Insights Employment Law

Employmentlaw As Rick pointed out a couple of weeks ago, Samuel Estreicher (NYU) and Gillian Lester (Berkeley) just published their new book Employment Law (Foundation Press; part of the Concepts and Insights Series).  Now fresh off the presses is the Table of Contents of this new book.

Here's a description of the book:

This textbook is a one-volume treatment of the basic analytical structure and legal policy issues informing U.S. employment law. The full range of the subject matter is examined with chapters on defining who are employees (as opposed to independent contractors); employment contracts; employment torts; workplace privacy; post-termination restraints and workplace intellectual property issues; employee benefits; wage-hour laws; occupational safety; workers' compensation; and unemployment compensation.

Introductory chapters are also included on the economic analysis of employment regulation, employment discrimination, union organization, and collective bargaining laws. The book is designed as a complement for all leading casebooks on employment law, in that it approaches the issues in a comprehensive manner that will enable the student to understand how these laws interact in particular cases. Unlike other employment law treatises, this book moves well beyond the descriptive to empower the student in tackling difficult analytical and policy issues in the field.


April 28, 2008 in Book Club | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Estreicher Asks About Ledbetter

Estreicher Seeking to provoke some thoughtful dialogue on the Ledbetter decision and the recent filibuster of the Ledbetter Bill in the Senate, Sam Estreicher (NYU and Director, NYU Center for Labor & Employment Law) poses the following comments for discussion:

All that Ledbetter held is that in a discrimination claim, it is legally insufficient for an individual plaintiff to be relying only on pay decisions taken outside of the charge filing period, where that plaintiff had notice of those pay decisions and their potentially discriminatory nature outside of the charge period.   T

The decision does not address:

(1)  whether the present effects of those prior decisions would state a timely claim under a disparate impact theory;

(2)  whether those prior pay decisions could be timely challenged as part of a pattern or practice claim on behalf of a class;

(3)  whether those prior pay decisions could be timely challenged if the plaintiff did not discover their potentially discriminatory nature until the charge filing period;

(4) whether and if so in what circumstances equitable tolling would apply to allow challenge to those prior decisions;

(5) whether a timely claim for those decisions would lie under the Equal Pay Act; and

(6) whether Ledbetter comes out the same way if there had been intentional discrimination during the limitiations period.

Some interesting points. Have at it people.


April 28, 2008 in Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Union Activities and First Amendment Public Concern Speech

Scalesred I never can resist commenting on a First Amendment free speech cases, especially ones where the plaintiffs win! However, lest you think this bodes something good for plaintiffs, the case did not involve an analysis of Garcetti, as it was decided before that bane of my existence.

Nevertheless, Davignon v. Hodgson (1st Cir. Apr. 24, 2008) does have some interesting discussions about the relationship between the public concern test of Connick and the participation of public employees in union activities as union officers.

Davignon and four other employees were union negotiators who were suspended without pay by a contention Sheriff in the state corrections environment during negotiations for a new union contract. The First Circuit found that although speech related to union activities was not a matter of inherent public concern sufficient by itself to dispense with a full analysis of whether the speech involved a matter of public concern; nevertheless, such evidence is a strong indication that public concern speech is involved.  And,as it turns out, the court concluded that informing the public of what Davignon and his fellow union negotiators considered to be unfair behavior on the part of the employer was a matter of public concern.

Also of interest is that although employers are usually very successful in security occupations win the Pickering balancing of interests case because of the security interests involved, the employees won here because it was pretty clear that the Sheriff was really just out to get employees he considered troublemakers.

So, interesting case, but one that does not do anything to ease my mind on the impact of Garcetti.

Hat Tip: MM


April 28, 2008 in Public Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Judicial Criticism of McDonnell-Douglass

Court Recall that last week, Paul posted on Brady v. Office of Sergeant at Arms, in which the D.C. Circuit criticized the prima facie case requirement of the McDonnell-Douglass circumstantial evidence test for proving employment discrimination.  Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich similarly criticizes the pretext requirement, in a law review article just published in Denver Law Review.  The article is Hon. Timothy M. Tymkovich, The Problem with Pretext, 85 Denver U. L. Rev. 503 (2008).

Judge Tymkovich argues that "[w]hile the Supreme Court initially insisted that [the McDonnell-Douglass burden-shifting framework] was necessary to ensure that plaintiffs have their day in court," there now is widespread recognition that the framework creates only confusion.  Judge Tymkovich provides as examples the compartmentalization of evidence, the artificial dichotomy between direct and circumstantial evidence, the artificial dichotomy between mixed-motive and single-motive cases, and the circuit split on the issue of whether judges should give the McDonnell-Douglass framework as a jury instruction.

Judge Tymkovich argues that the time is right for a "simpler, more direct method of evaluating the question of discrimination."  He proposes that

[t]he current framework, stemming from the tripartite scheme first announced in McDonnell Douglas, should be reconsidered in favor of a simple sufficiency of the evidence approach.  The plaintiff should maintain the burden of proof to convince the judge or jury that the adverse employment decision about which the plaintiff complains resulted from a discriminatory motive.  In this way, the focus of the case is on whether or not the employee suffered from discrimination.


April 28, 2008 in Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Recently Published Scholarship

Cunningham Levit Bronsteen Cuij_2


  • Keith Cunningham-Parmeter (top left), Fear of Discovery: Immigrant Workers and the Fifth Amendment, 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 27 (2008).
  • Nancy Levit (top second), Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform, 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008).
  • John Bronsteen (top third), Brendan S. Maher, & Peter K. Stris, ERISA, Agency Costs, and the Future of Health Care in the United States, 76 Fordham L. Rev. 2297 (2008).
  • Robert Sprague, From Taylorism to Omnipticon: Expanding Employee Surveillance Beyond the Workplace, 25 J. Marshall J. Computer & Information L. 1 (2007).
  • Colette Cuijpers (top right), ICT and Employer-Employee Power Dynamics: A Comparative Perspective of United States' and Netherlands' Workplace Privacy in Light of Information and Computer Technology Monitoring and Positioning of Employees, 25 J. Marshall J. Computer & Information L. 37 (2007).

Student Scholarship

  • Matthew A. Glover, The Weight of Personal Responsibility: Obesity, Causation, and Protected Physical Impairments, 30 UALR L. Rev. 381 (2008).
  • Jonathan Segal, The Expressive Workplace Doctrine: Protecting the Public Discourse from Hostile Work Environment Actions, 15 UCLA Entertainment L. Rev. 1 (2008).
  • Regina L. Reading, Rethinking "The Plan": Why ERISA Section 502(a)(2) Should Allow Recovery to Individual Defined Contribution Pension Plan Accounts, 56 Buffalo L. Rev. 315 (2008).


April 28, 2008 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Top-5 Employment SSRN Downloads

Top-5 Labor SSRN Downloads

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Strike authorized at Bloomingdales

800pxbloomingdalesAccording to an AP story printed in New York's Newsday,

Workers have authorized a strike at Bloomingdale's flagship 59th St. store, which could lead to the first shutdown at the famed shopping destination in more than four decades.

A spokeswoman for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said talks were continuing, but the 2,000 workers at the store have authorized a walkout if a contract dispute is not resolved by Thursday.

Bloomingdale's spokesman David Ender said negotiations have been “mutually respectful,” and that the company expects an agreement before the contract expires Wednesday evening.

Union spokeswoman Carolyn Daly said the union and management are split over health care coverage and raises.
Negotiations began in February, and the contract was extended until Thursday.

Daly said no date has been set for a walkout.

The walkout, if it happens will only be at Bloomingdale's 59th Street store, near Central Park, and not at any of the other 36 stores across the country.

Bloomingdales is owned by Macy's (which used to be called Federated Department Stores before it bought Macy's). Macy's also owns Filene's and the May Department Stores. For an interesting article on the size of this behemoth of a department store company and its effects on prices, see my friend Mark Bauer's article, Give the Lady What She Wants--As Long as It's Macy's. It would be interesting to see what effects this consolidation of department stores has had on employment, as well.


April 26, 2008 in Labor and Employment News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rosen on Executive Compensation Reform

Rosen Kenneth Rosen (Alabama) has just posted on SSRN his article Who Killed Katie Couric? And Other Tales from the World of Executive Compensation Reform.  Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

With average Americans perturbed about executive pay, government officials are taking action. Officials appear to be racing against each other to battle corporate excess. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) engaged in major rulemaking related to the disclosure of executive compensation, and Congress quickly considered executive compensation legislation. More reform, however, is not always better. Concurrent reform by multiple regulators presents perils.

This Article adds to the dialogue about scandal-driven reform. While much discussion exists about the advisability of particular reforms, the focus here is on the process of reform. The Article conducts a comparative analysis of the SEC and House of Representatives' reform processes, which reveals that different policy-making processes may be more or less likely to yield positive reforms. The Article argues that promoting distinct, more delineated roles for certain public actors could improve synergies between regulatory reform efforts.


April 26, 2008 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Top-5 International Employment & Labor Law SSRN Downloads

Top-5 Benefits/Compensation/Pension SSRN Downloads

Friday, April 25, 2008

Glanville on Rookies and Veterans: A Workplace Lesson for All?

Mlblogo Al Brophy (Alabama) of The Faculty Lounge brings to my attention a piece by former Philadephia Phillie Doug Glanville in the New York Times today about the relationship between rookies and veterans:

You enter the big leagues (usually) as a young, vibrant, wide-eyed rookie, inspired and inspiring and still able to talk about your career with the excitement of a 5-year-old. Then, at the speed of light, you’re a seasoned veteran, with loads of “experience” by the ripe old age of 34, and it takes two whirlpool massages just to get ready for batting practice . . . .

I understood that I was now entrenched on the other side of the bell curve. I was sliding downward into the “long in the tooth” spiked pit. My competition’s relatively minimal major league experience had become more valuable, in a way, than my library of experience. Somehow I had missed the transition point in my career where my value to a team had intersected with the value of a new kid on the block . . . .

Young players don’t want feel dismissed just because they haven’t been around the block any more than veterans want to have their years of experience discarded. And after all, there are different types of contributions, to be made by young and old, that can get a team to the same place. It just depends on what you are looking for and how you want it done.

Is this a good lesson for all workers in this age of age discrimination in which we seem to live (note the five ADEA Supreme Court cases this Term alone)?

And, of course, GO PHILLIES!!!


April 25, 2008 in Workplace Trends | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)