Tuesday, October 25, 2022

2023 Louis Jackson Student LEL Writing Competition

Chi-kentNicole Porter (Chicago-Kent) is distributing a flyer for the 2023 Louis Jackson Memorial National Student Writing Competition in Employment & Labor Law, sponsored by Chicago-Kent’s Martin H. Malin Institute for Law & the Workplace and Jackson Lewis P.C. She encourages students writing papers in the labor and employment law field to submit. The deadline for submissions is January 17, 2023.

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October 25, 2022 in Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Lobel's New Book: Equality Machine

LobelCongratulations to Orly Lobel (San Diego) on the publication of her new book, The Equality Machine: Harnessing Digital Technology for a Brighter, More Inclusive Future (PublicAffairs 2022). Here's the author's description:

The Equality Machine is a cautiously optimistic response to the current techlash and fears of AI, automation, and datafication. I envision a more balanced path forward, one where we redirect digital technology for good. Much has been written about the challenges tech presents to equality and democracy. I argue that while we cannot stop technological development, we can steer its course according to our most fundamental values. Already, digital technology frequently has a comparative advantage over humans in detecting discrimination, correcting historical exclusions, subverting long-standing stereotypes, and addressing the world’s thorniest problems: climate, poverty, injustice, literacy, accessibility, speech, health, and safety. The book offers vivid examples, new research, and stories of leaders from academia, policy, and industry—from labor markets to dating markets-that inspire to have skin in the tech game and restore human agency in a rapidly evolving artificial reality.

 

Congrats, Orly!

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October 20, 2022 in Book Club, Employment Discrimination, Scholarship, Workplace Trends | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Harkavy's Annual Update & Review of SCOTUS Arbitration Cases

HarkavyJonathan Harkavy (Patterson Harkavy) has just posted on SSRN both his annual Employment Law Update and an essay on SCOTUS's four recent compelled arbitration decisions. Here are the abstracts:

 

 

 

2022 Supreme Court Commentary: Employment Law

This article is the author's longstanding annual review of the Supreme Court's employment-related decisions of the term just ended. This year's article about the 2021 Term first summarizes every employment-related decision rendered by the Court through the end of the term in July of 2022. Each case summary is followed by the author's comments about the decision's significance to workplace stakeholders. Also included in this section are abbreviated summaries of all opinions and orders from the so-called "shadow docket" that are of consequence to employment relations. Next, the article provides short statements about each grant of certiorari for the upcoming term on issues affecting employment and labor law. The article concludes with brief additional commentary on the Supreme Court's work as it affects the American workplace.

Fresh Focus: the Supreme Court Confronts Compelled Employment Arbitration

This essay examines briefly four 2022 decisions of the United States Supreme Court dealing with forced arbitration of workplace disputes. The paper summarizes the factual background of each case and posits the effect of each decision on both employers and employees. The paper concludes by relating these four decisions to the Court's continuing embrace of compelled arbitration of employee claims.

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September 13, 2022 in Arbitration, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

New and Emerging Voices in Workplace Law Call for Papers

Daiquiri Steele writes us the e following call for papers:

 

Call for Papers: New and Emerging Voices in Workplace Law Session at 2023 AALS Annual Meeting

The AALS Section on Employment Discrimination Law and AALS Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law is inviting submissions for a joint program, New and Emerging Voices in Workplace Law, at the AALS 2023 Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, January 3-6, 2023.

Overview: This works-in-progress session will give emerging workplace law scholars the opportunity for engagement on a current project with leaders in the field. Each selected scholar will present a work-in-progress and receive comments from an assigned commentator, as well as from an audience of scholars in the field. The session will provide new scholars a supportive environment in which to receive constructive feedback.

Eligibility: Full-time faculty members of AALS member and fee-paid law schools are eligible to submit proposals. This call for papers is targeted to scholars with seven or fewer years of full-time teaching experience. Visitors (not full-time on a different faculty) and fellows are eligible to apply to present at this session.

Submission Format: Please submit an abstract, précis, and/or introduction of the article that is sufficiently developed to allow the reviewers to evaluate the thesis and proposed execution of the project.

Submission Instructions: To be considered, proposals should be submitted electronically to Professor Matt Bodie, The University of Minnesota School of Law, at mbodie@umn.edu and Professor Daiquiri Steele, The University of Alabama School of Law, at dsteele@law.ua.edu. The deadline for submission is Friday, September 2, 2022.

Selection: Presenters will be selected after review by the Chairs of both sections. Selected authors will be notified by September 23, 2022. Presenters will be responsible for paying their annual meeting registration fee. To facilitate valuable feedback at the session, presenters should provide a substantial draft by December 9, 2022.

Questions: Any inquiries about the Call for Papers should be submitted to the Chair for the Section on Employment Discrimination Law, Daiquiri Steele, The University of Alabama School of Law, at dsteele@law.ua.edu and/or the Chair for the Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law, Matt Bodie, at mbodie@umn.edu.

 

Jeff Hirsch

August 9, 2022 in Conferences & Colloquia, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 25, 2022

Ohanesian on Administrative Deference & the NLRB

OhanesianNicholas Ohanesian (ALJ, Social Security Administration) has just posted on SSRN his article Administrative Deference and the National Labor Relations Board: Survey and Analysis. Here's the abstract:

A majority of the current members of the Supreme Court have expressed an interest in altering or doing away with entirely deference to administrative agencies. Prior to upending the existing regime, it is useful to understand the impact of the existing deference apparatus upon the affected administrative agencies. Much of the scholarship up to this point has focused on the merits of deference, its role in the separation of powers, the proper allocation of power between the three branches of government, and the practical effects of deference on administrative decision-making. What is mostly absent is an accounting of how deference is systematically applied to administrative agencies.

This article will examine how the existing deference regime is applied to the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB is an interesting case study in the role of administrative deference in federal courts. It is a small agency in terms of its annual budget and the number of the employees. It is also an agency that originates in the New Deal and has a long history of litigation in federal courts, particularly before the United States Supreme Court. This article adds to the existing scholarship concerning the impact of deference on various agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Social Security Administration and the like.

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July 25, 2022 in Labor Law, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Prince on the Current State of Employee Classification Laws

Samantha Prince now has the final version of her new article, The Shoe Is about to Drop for the Platform Economy: Understanding the Current Worker Classification Landscape in Preparation for a Changed World, up on SSRN and it looks very informative. The abstract:

Whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee is of great significance in many countries, including the United States. This label drives whether a worker is entitled to many protections and benefits, including, minimum wage, overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, anti-discrimination protection, NLRA protection, etc. The difficulty inherent in accurately classifying workers as either independent contractors or employees cannot be overstated. First, there are so many tests spanning all levels of our government. Second, there are so many ways that people work and with the increased popularity of app-based work, classification becomes even more difficult. Simply, some of the tests have not been working well when applied to precarious app-based work. As a result, policymakers are forced to finally bring these issues to the forefront.

Worldwide policymakers and leaders are implementing changes to protect app-based workers. In the United States, the federal government is evaluating whether these changes in the workforce require changes in national labor and tax laws. While campaigning, President Biden pledged to establish a uniform worker classification test for purposes of all federal labor, employment, and tax laws. Subnational governments – states and cities – are also evaluating and making changes in their policies and laws.

In order to make these decisions, policymakers will need to be familiar with the current landscape of tests and statutes. Policymakers should evaluate the approaches that currently are being used and how they have fared so that they can decide whether to strike out with a novel test or adopt one already in use. Although prior articles have considered worker classification laws, and the benefits associated with various classification approaches, things have evolved so quickly that in some respects most of those articles are at least partially out of date. And, having all of this information in one place is critical for ease in policymaking research and deliberations.

This Article fills the current knowledge gap by providing an up-to-date compendium of the current state of worker classification laws. The Article starts with a segment on instabilities and health issues experienced by app-based workers. Then it covers the latest on worker classification laws around the world including the EU Commission's Proposed Directive. It then turns to tests that the U.S. is using, which include traditional tests and new tests from both the state and city levels. The Article explains how these tests are used and summarizes commentary about the strengths and weaknesses of each of these tests. As national, state, and local policymakers consider how best to move forward in regulating the app-based economy and its workers, they are likely to find the information in this Article useful to their deliberations.

Check it out!

Jeff Hirsch

May 18, 2022 in Employment Common Law, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 21, 2022

Shnitser: Professional Employer Organizations & Workplace Benefits

ShnisterNatalya Shnitser (Boston College) has just posted on SSRN her article "Professional" Employers and the Transformation of Workplace Benefits (39 Yale Journal on Regulation Bulletin 99 (2021)). Here's the abstract:

Workers in the United States depend on their employers for a host of benefits beyond wages and salary. From retirement benefits to health insurance, from student loan repayment to dependent-care spending plans, from disability benefits to family and medical leave, U.S. employers play a uniquely central role in the financial lives of their employees. Yet not all employers are equally willing or capable of serving as such financial intermediaries. Larger employers commonly offer more and better benefits than smaller employers. In recent years, so-called Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) have pitched themselves as a private-sector solution to the challenges traditionally faced by smaller employers. PEOs have pioneered and marketed a “co-employment” model pursuant to which a business and the PEO agree to share certain employer rights and responsibilities, with the PEO taking on all of the human resources matters and the client-employer otherwise retaining control over the business.

While PEOs respond to long-standing challenges faced by smaller employers and have the potential to increase access to workplace benefits, this Article argues that they also introduce new and significant governance concerns that are not adequately addressed by the existing regulatory framework. Empirical evidence suggests that as currently structured, PEOs may not, in fact, provide “Fortune 500” benefits to employees at smaller companies and may instead lock participating employers into costly benefit bundles and expose them to the risk of unpaid employment taxes and health insurance claims. To protect participants in arrangements where PEOs provide key workplace benefits, this Article recommends strengthening and uniformly applying registration, disclosure and oversight requirements for all non-employer intermediaries, including PEOs. In the longer term, comprehensive retirement reform is needed to account for the transformation of workplace benefits in the United States.

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March 21, 2022 in Pension and Benefits, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Duff Rethinks Workers' Comp

DuffMichael Duff (Wyoming, en route to SLU) has just posted on SSRN his new article (forthcoming Kentucky L.J.) Fifty More Years of Ineffable Quo?: Workers' Compensation and the Right to Personal Security. I usually edit down abstracts to one paragraph, but one paragraph won't do justice to this critically important article. Here's the full abstract:

During the days of Covid-19, OSHA has been much in the news as contests surface over the boundaries of what risks of workplace harm are properly regulable by the federal government. Yet the original statute that created OSHA—the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970—was not exclusively concerned with front-end regulation of workplace harm. Just over fifty years ago, the same Act mandated an investigation of the American workers’ compensation system, which consists of a loose network of independent state workers’ compensation systems. The National Commission created by the Act to carry out the investigation issued a report of its findings in 1972 and concluded that American workers’ compensation was neither fair nor adequate. The Commission made nineteen “essential recommendations” for the system’s improvement. The federal Department of Labor shifted into high gear to monitor state compliance with the recommendations under implicit, but vague, threat of workers’ compensation federalization if progress was not achieved. In what is perhaps the most interesting part of the story, nothing changed. Today, the Department of Labor no longer monitors workers’ compensation’s attainment of any benchmarks, although some organizations monitor workers’ compensation “trends.”

Lost in discussions of workers’ compensation is any sense of a baseline. Why does this matter? Because workers’ compensation was conceived as a “Grand Bargain” or “quid pro quo,” in which workers surrendered tort rights for adequate statutory benefits. This article contends that the absence of investigation as to whether workers’ compensation benefits are too low has effectively unmoored workers’ compensation from the faintest echoes of the tort rights for which it was exchanged. The article seeks to provoke discussion of what it means, as a matter of both policy and constitutional law, for a state to dispossess injury remedies by converting workers’ compensation from a reasonable substitute remedy for tort to a pale, anti-destitution law relegated to functioning as a form of “welfare.” The article explores the phenomenon of permanent partial disability benefits paid to workers for injuries according to bizarre schedules that are not to any degree based on workers’ lost earning capacity nor on any rational criteria that anyone can identify. Permanent partial benefits—the largest component of workers’ compensation indemnity benefits—are arbitrary.

In its essence this article is about whether state legislatures have carte blanche to annihilate meaningful remedies for workers wrongfully injured in the workplace. Furthermore, to the extent that state legislatures pursue such objectives, the article presses for recognition of a Blackstonian “absolute” right to personal security. Evisceration of remedies not only makes workers poorer, but also leads to their insecurity because they work for actors with insufficient incentives to act safely. The solution to the problem is for legislatures to be more transparent about the relationship between workers’ compensation benefits and foregone negligence remedies—particularly because the original Grand Bargain was struck at a time when negligence affirmative defenses would instantly defeat tort claims, a situation that no longer obtains. The time for benefit inscrutability and ineffability is over.

Well-done, Michael -- I can't agree more.

rb

March 1, 2022 in Scholarship, Workplace Safety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Conference Celebrating Karl Klare

From Northeastern University comes word of a conference on April 8, 2022, celebrating the vision and advocacy of labor law scholar Karl Klare.

The conference will be in-person with a live stream for a virtual audience. The four conference panels are titled “Transformative Constitutionalism”, “Unions and Workers (Solidarity Forever)”, “The Law School Classroom (Teaching as a Tool of Progress)”, and “Critical Legal Studies (Why Karl Starts with K)”. For details, including the extraordinary list of speakers and how to register, see here.

– Sachin S. Pandya ORCID logo

February 5, 2022 in Faculty Presentations, Labor Law, Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Labor & Green New Deal Symposium

Shirley Lin (Pace) write to let us know about the 2022 Labor and Green New Deal Symposium:

The Pace Environmental Law Review is accepting submissions for its 2022 Symposium, “Labor and the Environment – Envisioning a Green New Deal.”  On April 1, 2022, the symposium will gather regulators, law makers, policymakers, and academics to discuss the possibility of a comprehensive and effective Green New Deal (GND). Abstracts are due February 13, 2022 (extended deadline).  Submission details are provided here.  

Please send (1) an abstract of 300-500 words with anticipated wordcount for the final article; and (2) a CV to pelracq@law.pace.edu.  If accepted, articles may be 6,250-19,000 words, and essays may be 2,500-6,250 words.  Final article deadline: May 4, 2022.

Jeff Hirsch

January 16, 2022 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Call for Papers: “What has Critical Race Theory Contributed to the Law of the Workplace?”

César F. Rosado Marzán writes to inform us about a great call for papers:

 

CALL FOR PROPOSED PAPERS:

Final papers due February 1, 2022

Employee Rights & Employment Policy Journal, Annual Symposium:

“What has Critical Race Theory Contributed to the Law of the Workplace?”

 

Some influential media pundits, politicians, state legislatures, and the administration of Donald J. Trump launched a frontal attack on Critical Race Theory (CRT). Reasons for the assault on CRT include that CRT theorists allegedly argue that the United States, white people, and other racial groups are inherently and irremediably racist and evil. Attacks include banning teaching CRT in public schools and other institutions of learning and forbidding implicit bias training.

But CRT has, for the most part, been a scholarly theoretical perspective focused mostly on exploring structures of race and racism. It has inspired a large body of work identifying how race and racism pervade in U.S. society despite the end of slavery and Jim Crow. As such, it has contributed to correcting our understandings of bias and to making U.S. law more sensitive to overt and hidden forms of discrimination. Far from arguing that groups are irremediably racist, it has also inspired research on how bias can change and how racism can be transcended, including by law and through worker training.

Unsurprisingly, labor and employment law has been affected by CRT. It has helped expand and historicize legal perceptions of race, color, and national origin; guide legislatures and courts on how appearance, grooming, and hair rules are colored by racist perceptions; understand how immigration status might be racialized; and explore intersectional realities, among other contributions.

In this light, the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal is calling for submissions for its annual 2022 symposium related to the contributions of CRT to the law of the workplace. Contributions can also focus on the legal rights that school and university administrators and educators have to resist political intrusions into academic freedom, such as those banning instruction of CRT.

We are seeking abstract submissions to be sent to us by November 12, 2021. Please submit to César F. Rosado Marzán (cesar-rosadomarzan@uiowa.edu) an abstract that is developed enough to allow the editors to evaluate the thesis and proposed execution of the project as a proposal. Please send the document in Microsoft Word format. Selected authors will be notified by Nov. 23, 2021, if not sooner, of the interest in potential publication. Completed papers will be expected by February 1, 2022. Any inquiries about the Call for Papers should be submitted to cesar-rosadomarzan@uiowa.edu.

This Symposium is sponsored by The Labor Law Group, a non-profit trust of labor and employment law scholars who collaborate on various educational projects. Labor Law Group member César F. Rosado Marzán (Iowa Law) will serve as symposium editor working with journal co-editors Michael Green (Texas A&M) and Noah Zatz (UCLA).

Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal is a faculty-edited, peer-reviewed journal co- published by The Labor Law Group and IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Authors uniformly praise the Journal’s editing process. The Journal has a student staff who provide cite checking and Bluebooking, but their work is reviewed by the faculty editors, and authors do not deal directly with students.

 

-Jeff Hirsch

October 6, 2021 in Employment Discrimination, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 13, 2021

Eisenstadt on #MeTooBots and the AI Workplace

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A huge congratulations to Friend-of-Blog Leora Eisenstadt (Temple) on her wonderful new piece, #MeTooBots and the AI Workplace, which is forthcoming in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law.  This paper, which looks at the intersection of technology and the #MeToo movement, is definitely worth adding to your early semester reading list!  Professor Eisenstadt wanted me to make sure to acknowledge two of my wonderful colleagues, Marcia McCormick and Matt Bodie, for their extraordinary efforts and help with this great new Article, which is available on SSRN.  The abstract is below:

"Responding to the #MeToo Movement, companies across the United States and Europe are beginning to offer products that use AI to detect discrimination and harassment in digital communications. These companies promise to outsource a large component of the EEO compliance function to technology, preventing the financial costs of toxic behavior by using AI to monitor communications and report anything deemed inappropriate to employer representatives for investigation. Highlighting the problem of underreporting of sexual harassment and positing that many victims do not come forward out of a fear of retaliation, these “#MeTooBots” propose to remove the human element from reporting and rely on AI to detect and report unacceptable conduct before it contaminates the workplace.

This new technology raises numerous legal and ethical questions relating to both the effectiveness of the technology and the ways in which it alters the paradigm on which anti-discrimination and anti-harassment doctrine is based. First, the notion that AI is capable of identifying and parsing the nuances of human interactions is problematic as are the implications for underrepresented groups if their linguistic styles are not part of the AI’s training. More complicated, however, are the questions that arise from the technology’s attempt to eliminate the human reporter: (1) How does the use of AI to detect harassment impact employer liability and available defenses since the doctrine has long been based on worker reports? (2) How does this technology impact alleged victims’ vulnerability to retaliation when incidents may be detected without a victim’s report? (3) What is the impact on the power of victim voice and autonomy in this system? and (4) What are the overall consequences for organizational culture when this type of technology is employed?

This Article examines the use of AI in EEO compliance and considers whether the elimination of human reporting requires a reconsideration of the U.S.’s approach to discrimination and harassment. Appearing on the heels of revelations about the use of non-disclosure agreements and arbitration clauses to silence victims of sexual harassment, this Article posits that the use of AI to detect and report improper communications, an innovation that purports to help eradicate workplace harassment, may, in reality, be problematic for employers and employees alike, including functioning as a new form of victim abuse. Lastly, the Article considers the difficult work of creating open, healthy workplace cultures that encourage reporting, and the impact of outsourcing this work to Artificial Intelligence. Rather than rejecting what may be an inevitable move towards incorporating artificial intelligence solutions in the workplace, this Article suggests more productive uses of AI at work and adjustments to employment discrimination doctrine to be better prepared for an AI-dependent world."

-- Joe Seiner

September 13, 2021 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harkavy's Annual LEL SCOTUS Review

HMany thanks to Jonathan Harkavy (Patterson Harkavy) for sharing with us the 2021 edition of his annual review of the labor/employment decisions from the Supreme Court. As always, it's a great resource. Here's the abstract:

This article provides extended summaries and (separately) the author's take on every employment and labor law decision rendered by the Supreme Court during its most recent term. Also covered in this piece are abbreviated reviews of all grants of certiorari for the upcoming term and short summaries and analyses of all other employment-related opinions published by the Court this term, including those on the so-called shadow docket portion of the orders lists. The article concludes with additional commentary on the work of the Supreme Court as it affects the labor and employment law sector.

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September 13, 2021 in Employment Discrimination, Labor Law, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Elmore and Griffith on Franchisor Power as Employment Control

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Congratulations to Andrew Elmore (Miami) and Kati Griffith (Cornell) on the publication of their new piece, Franchisor Power as Employment Control, in the California Law Review!  The piece can be downloaded here.  This Article provides a wonderful analysis of this issue, and is an excellent read and contribution to the scholarship in the field.  The abstract is below:

Labor and employment laws are systematically underenforced in low-wage, franchised workplaces. Union contracts, and the benefits and protections they provide, are nonexistent. The Fight for Fifteen movement has brought attention to the low wages, systemic violations of workers’ rights, and lack of collective representation in fast-food franchises. Given that franchisees can be judgment-proof and cannot set industry standards, the deterrence, remedial, and collective bargaining goals of labor and employment laws can depend on holding the franchisor (the brand) responsible under the joint employer doctrine. In a series of cases, however, a dominant approach has emerged that essentially foreclosed the possibility that franchisors and their subordinate companies (franchisees) are joint employers. Recent political developments mirror this foreclosure and pose a historic narrowing of the scope of joint employer liability. This Article challenges courts, administrative agencies, and legislators to take more seriously franchisors’ power over their franchisees and the working conditions of low-wage fast-food workers. To advance this argument, we rely on insights from an original empirical data set of (1) forty-four contracts between leading fast-food franchisors and franchisees in 2016 and (2) comprehensive documentation provided in joint employer legal proceedings against two major fast-food franchisors in the United States: McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza. Our proposed “power as employment control” construct considers, within the confines of existing doctrines, the cumulative effects of lead franchisor firms’ reserved (unexercised) and exercised influence over the working conditions in their subordinate businesses. By giving power more consideration in analyses of joint employer liability, courts, administrative agencies, and policy-makers can bring more justice and consistency to this hotly contested area.

Joe Seiner


September 1, 2021 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Recent Posts on JOTWELL Worklaw

Books

For those of you that are interested in some cutting edge scholarship in the employment law area, there are some great recent reviews on JOTWELL's Worklaw Section.  In the last three months alone, the following wonderful reviews have been posted:

Kerri Stone's review of Kimberly Bailey's piece, Male Same-Sex "Horseplay": The Epicenter of Sexual Harassment, which is available here;

Alex Long's review of Michelle Travis's article, A Post-Pandemic Antidiscrimination Approach to Workplace Flexibility, which is available here; and

Charlotte Alexander's review of Yvette Butler's piece, Aligned: Sex Workers’ Lessons for the Gig Economy, which is available here.

Jotwell is a great way to keep up on some of the most important and emerging scholarship in our field.  You can take a look at all of the Worklaw Jotwell reviews here.  

-- Joe Seiner

September 1, 2021 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

COVID-Related Labor Arbitration Awards

CovidMy summer research project has been compiling and analyzing COVID-related labor arbitration awards. The result is an article that will be published this fall in the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution. The title is COVID-Related Labor Arbitration Awards in the United States and Canada: A Survey and Comparative Analysis; here's the abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 has changed working conditions for millions of Americans and Canadians quickly and dramatically. Employers responded by requiring employees to quarantine, implementing workplace COVID policies, disciplining employees who violated those policies, changing work schedules, cancelling leaves or vacations, and furloughing or laying off employees. Unions have challenged many of these actions, raising a variety of novel issues that are now being resolved through labor arbitration. This article surveys those labor arbitration awards and then comparatively analyzes the awards from Canada and the United States.

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August 10, 2021 in Arbitration, International & Comparative L.E.L., Labor Law, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 25, 2021

New Edition of Craver/Crain/Hayden's Labor Relations Law

BookCongratulations to Charlie Craver, Marion Crain, and Grant Hayden on the publication of the fourteenth (!!!) edition of Labor Relations Law: Cases and Materials (Caroline Academic Press). The book will be available for courses this fall. Here's a description:

The casebook is designed for an intensive examination of the union-management relationship throughout its major phases. Largely tracking the organization of the National Labor Relations Act, it covers the right of employees to join together for organizational purposes, the regulation of the union-organizing process including the use of economic weapons, the development of bargaining relationships, the negotiation and enforcement of collective agreements, and, more briefly, the law governing internal union affairs. The text responds generously to the most significant current developments in the field and provides a set of materials that will be truly manageable in the usual three- or four-hour courses. The fourteenth edition includes over sixty new hypothetical problems designed to test students’ knowledge of existing doctrines and push them to explore issues that don’t admit of ready answers (with detailed answers and explanations in the teacher’s manual). As with previous editions, the book will come with a comprehensive teacher’s manual and a biennial supplement to keep the book up-to-date.

Faculty should contact Erin Matthews at Carolina Academic Press for electronic review copies (erin@cap-press.com or 919-489-7486 ext. 123).

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June 25, 2021 in Book Club, Labor Law, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Call for Submissions: Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal

From Marty Malin, one of the editors of the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal (along with Michael Green and Noah Zatz). Note that this is one of the few, peer-reviewed law journals. I may be biased, as I'm on the board of the journal and participate in the editing process, but I think they do a very good job of providing quick and useful reviews of submissions--especially with its accelerated review process. 

Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal invites you to submit your work for publication. This summer we are again using a special review process for submissions received by Thursday, July 1. For these submissions, we will complete our peer-review selection process by Friday, August 13. Selected articles will be published in the final issue of 2021 (volume 25). For more than twenty-four years, EREPJ has been a faculty-edited, peer-reviewed journal based at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Since 2016, it has been a joint project of Chicago-Kent and The Labor Law Group. Our process is quite different from the sometimes frustrating one typical of student-run law reviews. Our peer-review process provides authors with editorial suggestions from their peers who are knowledgeable about the areas in which the authors are writing, as well as light editing and rapid publication post-acceptance.

The one downside to the peer review process is that it often takes more time than the typical student-run law journal review process. To address this, EREPJ is committing itself to an accelerated review process: you send us your work by July 1, and we will give you an answer on or before August 13. This rapid turnaround means that if we do not offer to publish your work, you will still be able to submit it to student-run journals in the late summer/early fall submission season. During our review period, out of respect for the time of our colleagues who will be conducting the double-blind review, we ask that you not submit your article for consideration by another journal.

Submissions to EREPJ are treated to a double-blind review by members of the editorial board (a group of distinguished professors in labor and employment law and related disciplines) and edited by your peers—people who can help you improve your work, not just publish it. You receive suggestions that you may use at your discretion—we do not rewrite your article (although we do correct errant citations, grammar mistakes, typos, and the like). We have a student staff that performs Bluebooking and cite-checking but our authors never have to deal with them—we do!

Finally, under our standard publication agreement, you retain the copyright and give us a nonexclusive license to publish and to sublicense others. We respect our authors' time, we respect their expertise, we respect their writing styles, and we respect their intellectual property rights. We encourage you to publish with us.

Please submit articles by e-mail to erepj@kentlaw.iit.edu or use the submission portal at http://go.iit.edu/erepj (n.b. to facilitate the double-blind review, make sure that all identifying information—your name; institutional affiliation; postal and email addresses; and phone number—is on a separate cover).

Jeff Hirsch 

May 29, 2021 in Labor and Employment News, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 24, 2021

Hayden & Bodie: New Article, Book on Codetermination & Corporate Governance

Hayden-Grant-M Bodie_matthewGrant Hayden (SMU) and Matt Bodie (SLU) have both a new article and a new book out. The article is Codetermination in Theory and Practice, 73 Fla. L. Rev. 321 (2021). Here's the abstract:

Codetermination—a system of shared corporate governance between shareholders and workers—has been mostly ignored within the U.S. corporate governance literature. When it has made an appearance, it has largely served as a foil for shareholder primacy and as an example of corporate deviance. However, over the last fifteen years—and especially in the last five—empirical research on codetermination has shown surprising results as to the system’s efficiency, resilience, and benefits to stakeholders.

This Article reviews the extant American legal scholarship on codetermination and provides a fresh look at the current state of codetermination theory and practice. Rather than experiencing the failures predicted by our law-and-economics framework of shareholder primacy, codetermination has fared better than alternative systems, particularly with respect to the ravages of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. At a time when corporate leaders, politicians, and academics are rethinking the shareholder primacy model, this Article presents an updated perspective on codetermination and invites U.S. scholars to reexamine their prior assumptions.

The new book is Reconstructing the Corporation: From Shareholder Primacy to Shared Governance (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2021). Here's a description:

Modern corporations contribute to a wide range of contemporary problems, including income inequality, global warming, and the influence of money in politics. Their relentless pursuit of profits, though, is the natural outcome of the doctrine of shareholder primacy. As the consensus around this doctrine crumbles, it has become increasingly clear that the prerogatives of corporate governance have been improperly limited to shareholders. It is time to examine shareholder primacy and its attendant governance features anew, and reorient the literature around the basic purpose of corporations. This book critically examines the current state of corporate governance law and provides decisive rebuttals to longstanding arguments for the exclusive shareholder franchise. Reconstructing the Corporation presents a new model of corporate governance - one that builds on the theory of the firm as well as a novel theory of democratic participation - to support the extension of the corporate franchise to employees.

Congratulations!!!

rb

May 24, 2021 in Book Club, Scholarship, Workplace Trends | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Can you Invest Your 401k in Bitcoin?

ZEdward Zelinsky explains, in Is Bitcoin Prudent? Is Art Diversified?: Offering Alternative Investments to 401(k) Participants, 54 Connecticut L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2021). Here's the abstract:

Whether any category of alternative investments ought to be considered for the menus offered to 401(k) participants is a fact-intensive question.Central to this inquiry are ERISA’s legal tests of prudence, diversification and loyalty. These tests require such fact-driven inquiries as the acceptability of a particular category of investments to investors in general and to professional defined benefit trustees in particular and the trustee’s motivation for embracing such investments. Another important concern when making this inquiry is the financial unsophistication of many (perhaps most) 401(k) participants.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) pass ERISA’s fiduciary tests because REITs now have a considerable track record amassed over six decades and have achieved broad acceptance, both among general investors and in the world of defined benefit pensions.In contrast, art funds, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are today not prudent to offer to 401(k) participants in light of such investments’ novelty and the failure to date of defined benefit trustees to embrace such investments.

ESG funds are like art funds and Bitcoin, not objectively prudent under present circumstances and therefore not appropriate as a class for 401(k) investment menus. Hedge funds and private equity funds are closer to REITs in light of the widespread acceptance of these funds by defined benefit trustees.Consequently, as a class, such funds, if appropriately limited,qualify as prudent for 401(k) menus even if the trustee would not personally deploy his personal resources to such funds and even if some (perhaps many) such funds examined individually fail ERISA’s fiduciary standards.

These determinations may change over time with new factual circumstances, e.g., greater acceptance of a particular asset class by investors including professional defined benefit trustees as gatekeepers for the 401(k) universe; the emergence of robust markets which provide more experience with particular investment categories. But the approach is ultimately what counts as the norms of prudence, loyalty and diversification, applied to current facts, govern the construction of 401(k) investment menus.

rb

April 13, 2021 in Pension and Benefits, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)