Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Thank you to the regular bloggers at Workplace Prof Blog for allowing me to guest post this month. With their blessing, I will often be cross-posting from my new blog, Friend of the Court, available at http://friendofthecourtblog.wordpress.com/. Friend of the Court will explore cutting edge and emerging issues in employment discrimination law. It will provide in-depth, substantive commentary on each topic and discuss history, theory, doctrine and policy implications. The goal of the blog is to assist courts, lawyers, and policymakers as they navigate complex discrimination issues.
This blog's inspiration comes in part from Larry Solum's Legal Theory Blog and from Scott Moss' article, "Bad Briefs, Bad Law, Bad Markets: Documenting the Poor Quality of Plaintiffs' Briefs, Its Impact on the Law, and the Market Failure It Reflects." Their work has convinced me of the need for substantive, online resources and the potential of the blog platform.
Given the sophisticated audience of Workplace Prof Blog, I am hoping readers can provide me with their top picks for cutting edge issues. What issues would you like to read about? I look forward to reading your comments.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I'm sorry to report that John E. (Jack) Dunsford passed away earlier this week. Jack was emeritus at SLU, and the entire community here will miss him greatly. Jack was a beloved colleague, a wonderful teacher, and a preeminent scholar and arbitrator. This is from his faculty page here:
John Dunsford is one of the nation's foremost arbitrators and labor law scholars. For more than four decades, labor unions and companies have entrusted him to settle their differences.
"I view the selection to arbitrate as a privilege," says Professor Dunsford. "One of the highest compliments you can receive is to be asked by parties with adverse interests to consider their differences and offer solutions. It's very rewarding."
Dunsford was a young college professor when the legendary scholar and arbitrator Leo Brown, SJ, tapped him in the early 1960s to be an apprentice.
""Among the many things Fr. Brown taught me was to try to understand the underlying problem of whatever case is given to you,"" Dunsford remembers. "Sometimes it's not apparent and other times you have to dig for it, but if you can help the parties resolve their dispute and do something to help their relationship along the way then you've done a lot."
As Professor Dunsford's reputation as a thoughtful and unbiased arbitrator grew, so did his client list. Over the span of his career, Dunsford has arbitrated nearly 1,000 disputes for groups such as U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers of America and the National Football League and the Bert Bell Retirement and Pension Plan\; Southwestern Bell and the Communications Workers of America\; the International Revenue Service and the National Treasury Employees Union. He has arbitrated for virtually all of the U.S. airlines and their unions. Most recently, he participated in an interest arbitration between Alaska Airlines and the Transport Workers Union to set rates during the difficult economic times following 9/11. He is a permanent arbitrator for John Deere & Company and the United Auto Workers.
Professor Dunsford has held several leadership positions with the prestigious National Academy of Arbitrators, including serving as president in 1984-1985. In 2000, he was named a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. From 1987-1994, he directed the School's Wefel Center for Employment Law and remains a senior consultant. He was the McDonnell Professor of Justice in American Society from 1982-1987.
Except for a two-year break in the late 1970s when he practiced arbitration full time, Professor Dunsford has been teaching labor law at the School of Law since the early 1960s. In addition to a book, individuals and Unions, he has written numerous articles and chapters on labor law, arbitration, and the U.S. Constitution and personal freedom. Currently, his research interest is in the area of church-state relations, specifically tuition vouchers that allow parents the option of using state money to send their children to the schools of their choice.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog has a helpful roundup of media commentary on the decision by the NLRB's regional counsel that Northwestern football players were employees and eligible to bargain collectively, which Jason and Jeff posted about yesterday. Jon Hyman, the Ohio Employer's Blog, offers his thoughts here. Tom Crane, San Antonio Employment law blog, has posted this. Former guest blogger, Joseph Mastrosimone (Washburn), offered his perspective earlier this year in this post at the Huffington Post.
If you prefer to listen to commentary, here is an interview of Joe Slater (Toledo) on the Scott Sands show on Toledo's WSPD.
In the scholarship category, Thomas Frampton and Nicholas Fram wrote A Union of Amateurs: A Legal Blueprint to Reshape Big-Time College Athletics, published in the Buffalo Law Review, outlining the case for the players. The article argues that oft-overlooked Seattle Opera case, affirmed by the DC Circuit, provides the strongest support for the players--and it was relied upon by the regional director in the Northwestern decision.
I'm sure many readers of the blog have also contributed to stories or have written on the subject--let us know. Post them in the comments or send me an email, and I'll add them to the list.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Although I stopped blogging one time before about five years ago, and of course restarted a number of months later, I have decide once and for all to take a permanent vacation from blogging. Today is my last day on the "job."
There are a number of reasons which led to this decision (as there always are with a decision such as this one), but none have anything to do with my wonderful co-bloggers, Rick, Jeff, Marcia, and Charlie. They have been supportive colleagues throughout this adventure together and I thank each of them for providing some of the best blogging content around to the labor and employment law community.
No, for me, it is simply just time to move on to a new phase of my legal and academic career. I no longer have the time or energy to do the numerous posts a week that a blog such as this demands. It's hard to believe, but I have been blogging for almost ten years now (Rick and I started blogging together in the fall of 2004). I still enjoy learning about labor and employment law developments, new papers, conferences, and faculty news from all of you, and I love the great virtual community we have built together through this blog. But now I will become, like the rest of you, solely a reader (and sometime commenter).
If you have the inclination, you will still be able to find some commentary and other such stuff from me concerning labor and employment law on my Twitter feed (@psecundawrkprof).
In the meantime, my four co-bloggers will "labor" on and continue to provide the top-notch news and analysis you have come to expect from this platform. And I suspect that there will be opportunities as well for new voices to emerge on this blog. Please note that a new Twitter Feed has been started for this blog - @WorkProfBlog - and I hope you will consider following it.
I look forward to continuing interacting with many of you by email, during conferences, and in other assorted venues. Thank you for making my time as a blogger here at Workplace Prof Blog so much fun.
To quote Garrison Keillor: "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."
Monday, February 10, 2014
Susan Harthill sends word that she left her faculty position at Florida Coastal Law School in Jacksonville this past December in order to start a new job today as Deputy Solicitor of Labor for National Operations in Washington D.C.
Among her other responsbilities, Susan's position oversees the Division of Plan Benefits Security, so I hope to see her in Washington in my role as a member of the ERISA Advisory Council in the coming years.
Good luck, Susan, on your exciting new job!
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Charlotte Garden (Seattle) and Matt Bodie (SLU) write to tell us that a group of labor law professors is submitting an amicus brief in support of the union and state respondents in Harris v. Quinn, currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. As many of you may know, the case is about whether Illinois may allow certain home health care workers to elect a union as their exclusive representative and require represented workers to pay an agency fee.
If you would like to see a copy of the brief in order to decide whether you would like to sign on to it, please contact Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday, Dec. 28.
Friday, December 13, 2013
AALS Section on Employment Discrimination and Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law 2013 Newsletter
Thanks to Jason Bent (Stetson) and Brad Areheart (Tennessee) for sending us the combined AALS Section on Employment Discrimination and Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law 2013 Newsletter.
From the Introduction:
The AALS Section on Employment Discrimination and the AALS Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law once again worked together to produce this year’s annual AALS Newsletter. This newsletter begins with a list of relevant AALS presentations. It continues with a list of new hires, promotions, moves, administrative appointments, visits, honors and awards, followed by a list of publications from the members of both sections. The newsletter concludes with a roundup of recent Supreme Court decisions in the area of employment law, prepared by members of the section.
Check it out and see what all of your LEL law prof friends have been up to this past year and what great panels are planned for the upcoming AALS January conference. Hope to see many of you in New York at AALS!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Although 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.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Laura 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.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Thanks 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 email@example.com.
Welcome to the blogosphere, Chaumtoli, and we wish you much success on this worthwhile endeavor!
Monday, August 19, 2013
Congratulations 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!
Sunday, August 18, 2013
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!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Long-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!
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Entry level candidates should contact Professor Donald Harris, Faculty Appointments Subcommittee (email@example.com). 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.
Friday, August 9, 2013
It 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!
Friday, June 14, 2013
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.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Stewart 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!
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Onwuachi-Willig's New Book: According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family
Congratulations 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.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Congratulations 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)
Monday, May 13, 2013
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.