Friday, December 11, 2020
I'm sadly reporting the news, from Alvin Goldman via Jeff Hirsch, that labor law legend Bob Covington died November 29 at the age of 84. Below is his bio from Vanderbilt, where he taught for 46 years. Please feel free to use the comment section to recall your memories of Bob.
Bob Covington joined the law school faculty immediately after his graduation from Vanderbilt Law School in 1961. During his 46-year tenure at Vanderbilt, Professor Covington established himself as a wide-ranging scholar and teacher, with a recognized expertise in labor law. In addition to his scholarship in labor law, over the course of his distinguished career, Professor Covington published books and articles on evidence, insurance, legal method and legal education. He has recently published the third edition of Employment Law in a Nutshell (Thomson West, 2009) and will publish a fourth edition of Legal Protection for the Individual Employee in late 2010 (Thomson West, forthcoming 2010, with Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, Clyde W. Summers, Alvin L. Goldman and Matthew W. Finkin). In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the university, he received the University's Thomas Jefferson Award in 1992. Professor Covington was a visiting professor at a number of prominent law schools, including Michigan, Texas, and California. He retired from Vanderbilt's law faculty in 2007.
Monday, July 13, 2020
Congratulations to Michael Green, who announced today that he is leaving Fort Worth in fall 2021 to join the faculty at Chicago-Kent. At Chicago-Kent he will work with Marty Malin over the next year as Marty phases into a well-deserved retirement. When Marty retires, Michael will step into some really large shoes and become Director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace. Congratulations to all, and most especially to Chicago-Kent on a fantastic hire.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
It is with great sadness that I write to report (thanks, Mitch Rubinstein, for letting me know) the passing of long-term and much-beloved Professor David Gregory (St. John's). Here's an excerpt from his law school obituary. Remembrances in the form of comments to this post would be much appreciated.
David L. Gregory  served as the Law School’s Dorothy Day Professor of Law from in 1982 to 2017.
Professor Gregory came to St. John’s after working as an equal employment opportunity counselor with the Postal Service, a labor relations representative with Ford Motor Company, and an attorney with a prominent management labor and employment law firm in Detroit. He brought a keen intellect, a love of teaching and learning, and an encyclopedic knowledge of rock and roll to the classroom, where he enthralled generations of students.
And his students were always at the heart of Professor Gregory’s endeavors at the Law School, where he founded the Center for Labor and Employment Law with a focus on the importance, and the sanctity, of doing good work in the world. “The Center strives to show students, by engagement and example, that they can be successful practitioners who also give back to their communities,” Professor Gregory said early on.
Under his leadership, the Center met its mission with a range of offerings, from courses in Employment Discrimination, Labor and Employment Arbitration, Public Sector Labor and Employment Law, and ERISA to international conferences and symposia in Dublin, at the University of London, and at Cambridge University, to distinguished guest speakers at the Law School―including three chairs of the National Labor Relations Board, a Solicitor General of the United States, a former EEOC chairman, AFL-CIO presidents, His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan, the former Archbishop of New York, and Cesar Chavez, founder of United Farm Workers of America, among others.
Friday, July 12, 2019
... two or more entry-level or pre-tenure lateral new faculty, including in labor/employment law. Below is a brief summary of the position announcement; here's the full copy. Thanks to César Rosado for the heads-up.
Chicago-Kent College of Law expects to hire two or more entry-level or pre-tenure lateral faculty to join our vibrant and nationally recognized intellectual community. We are especially interested in candidates with a demonstrated commitment to scholarship and teaching in ... fields [which include] first-year subjects (including Legislation) and Labor/Employment law.
Sunday, June 16, 2019
Ron McCallum has been blind from birth. When he was a child, many blind people spent their lives making baskets in sheltered workshops, but Ron's mother had other ideas for her son. She insisted on treating him as normally as possible.
In this endearing memoir, Ron recounts his social awkwardness and physical mishaps, and shares his early fears that he might never manage to have a proper career, find love or become a parent. He has achieved all this and more, becoming a professor of law at a prestigious university, and chairing a committee at the United Nations.
Ron's glass is always half full. He has taken advantage of every new assistive technology and is in awe of what is now available to allow him and other blind people to realise their potential. His is a life richly lived, by a man who remains open to all people from all walks of life.
And here's a brief description of Ron from his U. Sydney bio:
Ronald C McCallum AO was the foundation Blake Dawson Waldron Professor in Industrial Law in the University of Sydney Law School. He took up this position in January 1993 and retired from this position on 30 September 2007. This Blake Dawson Waldron professorship was the first full professorship in industrial law at any Australian university. Ron is the first totally blind person to have been appointed to a full professorship in any field at any university in Australia or New Zealand. Ron McCallum was employed on a fixed-term contract as a Professor of Labour Law in Sydney Law School from 1 February 2008 until 31 December 2010. In January 2011, he was appointed to an Emeritus Professorship in Sydney Law School.
Neither of these descriptions do Ron justice, even halfway. His faculty bio somehow omits the fact that he was a longstanding and very successful dean at Sydney, and I think it's fair to say that he was the first "modern" dean of the law school in the sense that he elevated the position from that of a mostly internal administrator to an external representative of the Law School to the external world at a global level. More than that, Ron was extremely generous with his time mentoring generations of young labor academics, and one of the nicest, down-to-earth academic leaders I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Apropos of this, here's a tribute from Paul Harpur (Queensland), one of Ron's biggest fans:
Ron has had a profound impact upon those he has touched. I lost my eyesight at the age of 14 in a train accident and followed Ron’s career with interest. It was no surprise that I followed Ron into labor law. in 2003 Ron and I became friends and ever since then I have seen Ron as a hero. It is no surprise that Ron and I are both blind, both labor lawyers, both academics, and both with an interest in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Ron on formerly charring the CRPD Committee and Paul publishing on that same committee). Outside work Ron’s stories and generosity has influenced tens of thousands, and through his work on the UN CRPD Committee all persons with disabilities across the globe.
Thanks to Dennis Nolan (emeritus, South Carolina) for providing a heads-up on Ron's memoir.
UPDATE: Ron wrote to ask me to post the following:
Thank you for all of the very kind comments. I am truly humbled by your words. My life has been devoted to the teaching and practice of labour law to play my part in seeking to ensure fairness between workers and entrepreneurs. My book is titled “Born At The Right Time: A Memoir” and it comes out on 1 July in Australia and is published by Allen and Unwin. Overseas friends can purchase it through the book depository website.
Ron McCallum AO
Friday, May 17, 2019
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Congratulations to Paul Harpur for having been awarded a Future Scholarship Fellowship (funded by The Kinghorn Foundation, Harvard University, Syracuse University, and the University of Queensland) entitled “Universally Designed for Whom? Disability, the Law and Practice of Expanding the 'Normal User'”. Harpur will use his Fulbright Futures Scholarship to spend 3 months between the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and Harvard University. H will be collecting data and building relationships between Australian and U.S. advocates and researchers involved with the development and promotion of design that is accessible to everyone in society, whether they be able or disabled. Harpur’s research project aims to combat ableism’s influence on human life, so that in the future different ability is not associated with disablement, but instead is accepted as a part of human diversity.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
If you're on the law teaching job market this year, this post is for you. Among the areas that Minnesota Law School is searching for is labor & employment law. Here's the job announcement:
The University of Minnesota Law School plans to fill one tenure-track junior (entry-level and/or lateral) faculty position, to begin in the 2019-20 academic year. Rank upon hire will depend on qualifications. This is a full-time, nine-month appointment.
Qualifications-Applicants should hold a J.D. or degree of equivalent rank and should demonstrate outstanding potential in scholarship and teaching. We are especially interested in the following academic subject areas: constitutional law, employment/labor law, administrative law, civil procedure, environmental law, health law, international law, intellectual property law, property law, and tort law; however, the Law School will consider outstanding candidates with interest or expertise in other subject matter areas.
People of color, women, individuals with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, and other candidates who will contribute to the cultural and intellectual diversity of the faculty are strongly encouraged to apply. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity employer.
To apply, please go to http://humanresources.umn.edu/jobs and reference job ID 326112.
Monday, July 16, 2018
Tenure-Track Assistant or Associate Professor Position in Conflict Resolution
The ILR School at Cornell University invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in the area of conflict/dispute resolution at either the Assistant Professor or Associate Professor level, to begin August 2019. Applicants should have research and teaching interests related to topics such as arbitration, mediation, negotiation, conflict management, dispute resolution, collective action, and social movements. We are open to scholars using qualitative, quantitative, legal, and mixed methods, and studying conflict at various levels of analysis including societal, organizational, group, or individual. Applicants should have a doctorate (PhD or JD) in a relevant field, such as industrial relations, organizational behavior, law, psychology, sociology, or management. A successful candidate’s appointment will be in either the Department of Labor Relations, Law, and History or the Department of Organizational Behavior. Faculty in these departments publish in top-tier journals in their field, such as ILR Review, Industrial Relations, Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, and in major law reviews. Evidence of very strong research and teaching potential is essential. Review of applications will begin October 1, 2018. Questions about this position can be directed to Professor Alex Colvin (email@example.com), Professor Harry Katz (firstname.lastname@example.org), Professor Marya Besharov (email@example.com), Professor Pam Tolbert (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Professor Kate Griffith (email@example.com).
Friday, June 15, 2018
Monday, May 21, 2018
Congratulations to David Yamada (Suffolk) on a couple of fronts. First, check out his new book, Workplace Bullying and Mobbing in the United States (Maureen Duffy & David C. Yamada eds., Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2018), a two-volume, multidisciplinary book set for scholars and practitioners, featuring 25 chapters and 27 contributors. Here's a brief description:
With over two dozen contributors (including a Foreword by Dr. Gary Namie of the Workplace Bullying Institute) and some 600 pages packed into two volumes, we believe this will be an important, comprehensive contribution to the growing literature on workplace bullying and mobbing, useful for scholars and practitioners alike. The project deliberately takes a U.S. focus in order to take into account the unique aspects of American employment relations.May 9 issue of
Second, David was quoted in Bloomberg Business Week in the article Companies Have an Aha! Moment: Bullies Don’t Make the Best Managers. Here's an excerpt:
The surprise announcement in March that 55-year-old Nike brand president Trevor Edwards—who had a reputation for humiliating subordinates in meetings—would leave following an internal investigation about workplace behavior issues suggests the coddling of tough guys may have come to an end. “Some companies are realizing that a bullying boss isn’t the best way to manage a company,” says David Yamada, a professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston who’s authored antibullying legislation. “Maybe we’re starting to see a tipping point.”
Monday, January 15, 2018
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Courtesy of Prawfsblawg, the following schools are in the market this year for faculty in the labor and employment law area. Feel free to add any schools in the comments section.
School: University of Alabama
Information in spreadsheet contained in post
School: Brooklyn Law School
Chairs: Minor Myers (entry levels); Alex Stein (laterals)
Committee Members: Bill Araiza, Julian Arato, Miriam Baer, Jocelyn
Simonson (entry levels); Dana Brakman Reiser, Christopher Beauchamp,
Robin Effron (laterals)
Subject Areas: securities regulation and corporate law; academic success;
and potentially civil procedure, constitutional law, labor law, antitrust, and
Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Number of positions: 2
Direct applications by email are welcome
School: University of Kansas School of Law
Chair: Lou Mulligan
Other Committee Members: Chris Drahozal, Laura Hines, Elizabeth Kronk-Warner
Subject Areas: We are particularly interested in evidence, but will consider other subject areas including: employment law, health law, real estate/commercial land use/housing law.
We are currently authorized to make one hire.
Applications should be made online at https://employment.ku.edu/academic/9594BR and should include cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a detailed statement of research interests and future plans, and the names of three references.
The law school will participate in the AALS Recruitment Conference in D.C. November 2-4, 2017.
For further information, contact Professor Lou Mulligan, University of Kansas School of Law, 1535 West 15th Street, Lawrence, KS 66045-7608, 785-864-9219, firstname.lastname@example.org
School: University of Richmond School of Law
Chair: Jessica Erickson
Other Committee Members: Jim Gibson, Hank Chambers, Carol Brown, Andy Spalding, and Allison Tait
Subject areas: Our primary areas of interest are employment law and corporate & securities law. We are also open to candidates in other areas, including critical theory, torts, professional responsibility, property law, and civil procedure.
Packets: We are happy to receive individualized expressions of interest from candidates via email.
Communication: You can email email@example.com.
Positions available: We have three open positions, and we are focused primarily on entry-level or junior lateral candidates.
School: The Wharton School
Chair: William Laufer
Committee: Eric Orts, Diana Robertson, David Zaring
Subject Areas: From the announcement: Applicants must have a demonstrated research interest in an area of law relevant to the Wharton School’s business education and research missions. Examples of such fields include, without limitation, corporate law, employment and labor law, financial regulation, securities regulation, and global trade and investment law.
Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org, apply through https://facultyrecruiting.wharton.upenn.edu/ApplicationPage.aspx?form_id=30088
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Yesterday, Jeff posted on Google Engineer Files NLRB Complaint Regarding Post-Memo Termination. Today's Wall Street Journal quotes Susan Bisom-Rapp (TJSL) and Matt Bodie (SLU) extensively on the viability of the engineer's claims. Here's an excerpt:
Thomas Jefferson School of Law Prof. Susan Bisom-Rapp, who researches employment discrimination law, said while she disagreed with Mr. Damore’s views, she could envision potential legal arguments he could make to invoke the NLRA.
That Mr. Damore’s letter doesn’t appear to be drafted in concert with other Google employees doesn’t in itself mean the law cannot be invoked. Protections can be triggered by a single employee trying to rally colleagues around a wider workplace issue.
Mr. Damore could try to argue that he’s “protected in expressing himself in an effort to engage in dialogue with co-workers about Google’s diversity efforts,” said Prof. Bisom-Rapp.
However, “an employee gripe or complaint standing alone, without that call to fellow employees to gather together, is not enough,” said Julie Totten, an employment defense lawyer with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in Sacramento.
Labor law also forbids employers from firing a worker for alleging an unfair labor practice, making the timing of Mr. Damore’s formal complaint potentially relevant in a legal dispute, said Prof. Bisom-Rapp.
Legal experts said federal antidiscrimination law could offer Mr. Damore another possible, albeit narrow, legal avenue. His memo suggested Google is engaging in reverse discrimination, citing “special treatment for ’diversity’ candidates.” Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act bans employers from retaliating against workers for complaining about unlawful workplace discrimination.
“You would have to show what Google is doing is illegal. That would be difficult,” said Prof. Matt Bodie, an employment law scholar at Saint Louis University Law School and a former NLRB field attorney.
The NLRB generally doesn’t impose remedies beyond reinstatement of employment and back pay, Mr. Bodie said.
The full WSJ article is available at Jacob Gershman & Sara Randazzo, Fired Engineer Likely to Face Obstacles in Challenging Google, WSJ 8/9/17.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Congratulations to Rafael Gely (Missouri-Columbia), who just received the David Petersen Award from the National Academy of Arbitrators. In addition to all his labor/employment work, Rafael directs Missouri-Columbia's Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution. He also is the founder of Workplace Prof Blog -- he created the blog and then handed it off to me way back when he was at Cincinnati. Here’s the announcement of the award, which is extremely well deserved:
The National Academy of Arbitrators conferred upon Rafael Gely the David Petersen Award at its annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The David Petersen Award recognizes and honors individuals who have given invaluable service to the Academy.
The Academy conferred the Petersen Award because of Professor Gely’s instrumental role in the startup and continual maintenance of arbitrationinfo.com, the neutral website which is a joint venture of the National Academy of Arbitrators and the University of Missouri School of Law. Through Professor Gely’s work as an editor of the site, he has written content on a regular basis, designed and updated the site, supervised student assistants, and crucially connected with journals both before and after articles are written. The Academy notes the creation of the website provided a source of information and education regarding arbitration for journalists, professionals, and the public. The Academy believes that the website has immeasurably improved the discourse and understanding of labor and employment arbitration in both United States and Canada.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
TaxProf Blog and Leiter Law School Reports have been covering the complaint by Columbia Law professor, George Fletcher. Very briefly, he alleges that Columbia discriminated against him based on his age by refusing to allow him to teach a required LLM course (Columbia cited poor evaluations), which among other things, might mean that he falls below the required number of teaching hours for the year. Among the other factors that threaten his teaching load is his desire to maintain his tradition of working a full semester in Israel and the fact that the elective course he was assigned to teach is at risk of being cancelled for low enrollment.
I obviously don't know what's really going on here, but I've got to say that the former Academic Affairs Dean in me sees several red flags about his teaching that makes me less inclined to be sympathetic to his claim. That's not to mention the fact that part of the problem is that he expects to be able to leave for half the year, every year.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Kathy Stone has been awarded the 2017 LLRN Bob Hepple Award for Lifetime Achievement in Labour Law, along with Prof. Kazoo Sugeno from Japan. The presentation will take place at this summer LLRN meeting in Toronto. According to LLRN:
The goal of the Award is to acknowledge exceptional and longstanding contributions to labour law scholarship. Such recognition from the global community of labour law scholars, which the LLRN represents, is intended to be meaningful both for the Award recipients and for the community bestowing this honour. The members of the Award Nominations Committee this year were Takashi Araki, Hugh Collins, John Howe, Kerry Rittich, and Mia Ronnmar (those interested in the guidelines detailing the process can find them at the LLRN website).
The Awards will be presented at a ceremony during the upcoming LLRN3 conference in Toronto. In the meantime, warmest congratulations to Kathy and Kazuo for this well-deserved honour!
You can also see UCLA's announcement here.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
The suit is brought by former faculty member Patrice Fulcher. Paul Caron has the details over at Tax Prof Blog, via National Jurist (paywalled). The Complaint alleges that Fulcher was steered toward a legal writing position rather than a doctrinal position and paid less than doctrinal colleagues, and that a year after getting tenure she was denied the salary raise that customarily accompanied tenure.
As Caron notes, this is the second time in four years JMLS-Atlanta has been sued for race discrimination. The former suit, by two former faculty members, was settled after the plaintiffs survived a motion dismiss.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
When you have good news to share, but are reticent to toot your own horn, send that news my way. Likewise, please send my way news you come across about the accomplishments of our comrades.
I'm always happy to brag on the accomplishments of everyone in our LEL community.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Congratulations to friend of the blog, Wendy Greene (Samford) whose article, Title VII: What’s Hair (and Other Race-Based Characteristics) Got to Do With It? was cited today by the Eleventh Circuit in EEOC v.Catastrophe Management Solutions. Wendy's article was cited for its discussion of the socially constructed nature of race.
Wendy describes the case:
In this case, CMS, an insurance processing company in Mobile, Alabama, rescinded an African American woman’s job offer to handle phone calls related to customer service support because she refused to cut off her locked hairstyle. Essentially, the employer made "no locks" a condition of employment for the applicant, though she was deemed qualified, interviewed and was offered the job with the hairstyle. And, apparently CMS’ human resources manager considered her hair well-groomed at the time of hire, yet remarked that the applicant’s locks might eventually become “messy.” The HR manager told the applicant she would be unable to hire her if she did not cut off her hair; the applicant refused do so, returned her initial paperwork as requested, and left the premises. The Birmingham office of the EEOC filed a Title VII intentional race discrimination case against CMS. In doing so, the EEOC attempted to overturn over 30 years of legal precedent affirming the legality of natural hairstyle bans (except those involving afros). Largely drawing upon legal scholarship of U.S. employment discrimination and race and law scholars, one of the EEOC's primary arguments centered around the immutability doctrine; the EEOC advanced that a biological notion of race, which treats race as an “immutable” characteristic, should no longer be employed when interpreting Title VII’s prohibitions against race discrimination. Rather, the notion of race should be expanded to include both immutable and mutable characteristics. Thus, a grooming policy prohibiting natural hairstyles, like locks, braids, twists, etc., which are associated with African descendants—in law and society—constitutes unlawful race discrimination.
Ultimately, the 11th Circuit declined to abolish the immutability doctrine in EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions and held that CMS’ “no locks” mandate did not violate Title VII, as the EEOC would be unable to produce evidence that all individuals who adorn locks are Black or that only individuals who adorn locks are Black. Though the court did not rule in the EEOC’s favor, it did engage in a fairly lengthy dialogue about the meaning of race and competing arguments of notable race and law scholars. Aside from the exploration of race, this opinion may be of interest to proceduralists and those interested in the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. UPS, the (purported) demarcation between disparate treatment and disparate impact theories of liability, and statutory interpretation more generally.
The opinion relied very heavily on legal scholarship for its analysis. In addition to citing Wendy, the opinion cites Ian Haney Lopez, Camille Gear Rich, Sharona Hoffman, Barbara Flagg, Richard Ford, Annelise Riles, Kenji Yoshino, Juan Perea, and Rhonda Magee Andrews in its discussion of what race is. Ultimately the court relied on what it believed Congress thought race was in 1964--a set of immutable physical characteristics--and its prior precedent. But the court's analysis went a bit further, too, considering the legal scholarship. The opinion expressed some concern about including cultural or behavioral practices as part of the identity protected by Title VII because those practices might vary by individual and change over time. The court was very uncomfortable with the idea that courts would have to decide what was an "authentic" part of a racial group's culture and what was not. Despite the court's reluctance to agree with many of the scholars it cited, the fact that the opinion considers this work so carefully is heartening.