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Full-Text Articles in Law

Labor Law, Antitrust Law, And Economics Professors' Comment On The National Labor Relations Board's Proposed Joint-Employer Rule, Hiba Hafiz, Brishen Rogers, Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, Kate Bronfenbrenner Jan 2019

Labor Law, Antitrust Law, And Economics Professors' Comment On The National Labor Relations Board's Proposed Joint-Employer Rule, Hiba Hafiz, Brishen Rogers, Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, Kate Bronfenbrenner

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Comment drafted to the National Labor Relations Board's request for comment on a proposed rule-making to define what constitutes a "joint employer" for the purposes of the National Labor Relations Act's strictures.


Tax Issues In The Sharing Economy: Implications For Workers, Shu-Yi Oei, Diane M. Ring Nov 2018

Tax Issues In The Sharing Economy: Implications For Workers, Shu-Yi Oei, Diane M. Ring

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A growing number of individuals now perform work in the sector known as the “sharing economy,” and their participation raises important tax and regulatory questions. In this chapter, we survey some of the key tax issues confronting individuals operating in the sharing economy in the United States. Many of the tax implications that arise in sharing economy work stem from the threshold decision by many platforms to classify such individuals as independent contractors rather than employees. Therefore, we first discuss how the threshold classification decision affects the substantive and compliance-related tax issues faced by individuals operating in the sharing economy ...


Tax Issues In The Sharing Economy: Implications For Workers, Diane Ring, Shu-Yi Oei Nov 2018

Tax Issues In The Sharing Economy: Implications For Workers, Diane Ring, Shu-Yi Oei

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this chapter, we survey some of the key tax issues that have confronted individuals operating in the sharing economy. While our discussion focuses on the United States, these classification, documentation, and compliance challenges frequently arise in other countries. Many of the tax implications of this work stem from the threshold decision by many platforms to classify such individuals as independent contractors rather than employees. Therefore, we first discuss how the threshold classification decision affects the substantive and compliance- related tax issues faced by individuals operating in the sharing economy. We briefly summarize the doctrinal tax rules governing income taxation ...


Discriminatory Job Knowledge Tests, Police Promotions, And What Title Vii Can Learn From Tort Law, Mark S. Brodin Oct 2018

Discriminatory Job Knowledge Tests, Police Promotions, And What Title Vii Can Learn From Tort Law, Mark S. Brodin

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Nationally, the continued use of selection devices by police departments—such as multiple-choice examinations requiring memorization of police manuals—stifles advancement for a disproportionate number of otherwise qualified minority candidates, and hinders the desired diversification of the upper ranks. These exams have little to do with predicting success as a sergeant or other police supervisor. The traditional Title VII approach, a disparate impact challenge, has proven unsatisfactory given the relative ease with which the exams can be “content validated” in court. This Article proposes a new approach familiar to tort lawyers—the inference of intent from actions taken with foreseeable ...


How To End “Illegal Immigration”, Kari E. Hong Sep 2018

How To End “Illegal Immigration”, Kari E. Hong

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Since President Trump has taken office, it is clearer than ever that there are two ways to end “illegal immigration.” The first route — started by President Obama and ratcheted up by President Trump with relentless cruelty — is an actual effort to deport millions and exclude millions more. The second is to legalize those without status who have been, are, and will continue to contribute to America’s families, communities, and future.

This essay argues that the latter choice, restoring the paths to legalization that once were part of our nation’s laws, is the only realistic way forward to restore ...


How Irrational Actors In The Ceo Suite Affect Corporate Governance, Renee M. Jones Aug 2018

How Irrational Actors In The Ceo Suite Affect Corporate Governance, Renee M. Jones

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Healthcare Promises For Public Employees, Natalya Shnitser Jul 2018

Healthcare Promises For Public Employees, Natalya Shnitser

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

State and local governments have promised nearly $1 trillion in retiree healthcare benefits to public employees. Although retiree healthcare benefits represent a form of compensation, historically, state and local governments have not set aside any money to pay for the promised benefits. Compensating employees with promises of future benefits has enabled state legislatures to use public dollars for other priorities, while ignoring the growing liabilities associated with the healthcare promises. As these liabilities have come due, they have strained state and local budgets. Some public employers have simply cut the benefits, and public employees have had limited recourse to hold ...


Is New Code Section 199a Really Going To Turn Us All Into Independent Contractors, Shu-Yi Oei, Diane Ring Jan 2018

Is New Code Section 199a Really Going To Turn Us All Into Independent Contractors, Shu-Yi Oei, Diane Ring

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

There has been a lot of interest lately in new IRC Section 199A, the new qualified business income (QBI) deduction that grants passthroughs, including qualifying workers who are independent contractors (and not employees), a deduction equal to 20% of a specially calculated base amount of income. One of the important themes that has arisen is its effect on work and labor markets, and the notion that the new deduction creates an incentive for businesses to shift to independent contractor classification. A question that has been percolating in the press, blogs, and on social media is whether new Section 199A is ...


Restoring Trade’S Social Contract, Frank J. Garcia, Timothy Meyer Jan 2018

Restoring Trade’S Social Contract, Frank J. Garcia, Timothy Meyer

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

As we write, the United States, Canada, and Mexico are meeting in Washington, D.C. to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These talks—and their possible failure—represent the biggest shift in U.S. economic policy in a generation. Since NAFTA came into force in 1994, it has transformed the North American economy. NAFTA has made possible continent-wide supply chains, in industries like the auto sector, that have reduced costs and allowed American automakers to remain competitive; it has opened markets for American agriculture; it has greatly increased the standard of living in Mexico; and it has ...


The Trouble With Gig Talk: Choice Of Narrative And The Worker Classification Fights, Shu-Yi Oei Jan 2018

The Trouble With Gig Talk: Choice Of Narrative And The Worker Classification Fights, Shu-Yi Oei

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The term “sharing economy” is flawed, but are the alternatives any better? This Essay evaluates the uses of competing narratives to describe the business model employed by firms like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and GrubHub. It argues that while the term “sharing economy” may be a misnomer, terms such as “gig economy,” “1099 economy,” “peer-to-peer economy” or “platform economy” are just as problematic, possibly even more so. These latter terms are more effective in exploiting existing legal rules and ambiguities to generate desired regulatory outcomes, in particular, the classification of workers as independent contractors. This is because they are plausible, speak ...


The Puzzle Of Deflategate: Private Agreements And The Possibility Of Biased Justice, Alfred C. Yen Apr 2017

The Puzzle Of Deflategate: Private Agreements And The Possibility Of Biased Justice, Alfred C. Yen

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, I study the implications of National Football League Management Council v. National Football League Players Association, the recent decision in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dealt New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady a stinging defeat in his so-called "Deflategate" case against the National Football League ("NFL"). I do so because, although most of the court's opinion follows well-established doctrine, a crucial portion of decision quickly glosses over important unanswered questions about federal arbitration law and the enforceability of pre-dispute arbitration agreements that contemplate the appointment of an evidently partial ...


Trusts No More: Rethinking The Regulation Of Retirement Savings In The United States, Natalya Shnitser Aug 2016

Trusts No More: Rethinking The Regulation Of Retirement Savings In The United States, Natalya Shnitser

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The regulation of private and public pension plans in the United States begins with the premise that employer-sponsored plans resemble traditional donative, or gift, trusts. Accordingly, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) famously “imports” major principles of donative trust law for the regulation of private employer-sponsored pension plans. Statutes regulating state and local government pension plans likewise routinely invoke the structure and standards applicable to donative trusts. Judges, in turn, adjudicate by analogy to the common law trust.

This Article identifies the flaws in the analogy and analyzes the shortcomings of a regulatory framework that, despite dramatic ...


The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers: Evidence From Online Forums, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei Jan 2016

The Tax Lives Of Uber Drivers: Evidence From Online Forums, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, we investigate the tax issues and challenges facing Uber and Lyft drivers by studying their online interactions in three internet discussion forums: Reddit.com, Uberpeople.net, and Intuit TurboTax AnswerXchange. Using descriptive statistics and content analysis, we examine (1) the substantive tax concerns facing forum participants, (2) how taxes affect their driving and profitability decisions, and (3) the degree of user sophistication, accuracy of legal advising, and other cultural features of the forums.

We find that while forum participants displayed generally accurate understandings of tax filing and income inclusion obligations, their approaches to expenses and deductions were ...


Accounting And The Aca: New Choices And Challenges For Public Sector Retiree Health Plans, Natalya Shnitser Jan 2016

Accounting And The Aca: New Choices And Challenges For Public Sector Retiree Health Plans, Natalya Shnitser

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Most state and local governments provide employer-sponsored healthcare benefits to their retirees. In recent years, the Affordable Care Act and accounting changes adopted by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board have introduced new choices and challenges for public employers. As state and local governments look to reduce their unfunded retiree healthcare obligations, some have created dedicated trusts to take advantage of the immediate accounting benefits and the long-term savings that prefunding offers, while others have chosen to shift retirees onto the newly available public exchanges. In light of the new regulatory requirements and the evolving case law on plan modification, this ...


Can Sharing Be Taxed?, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei Jan 2016

Can Sharing Be Taxed?, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In the past few years, we have seen the rise of a new model of production and consumption of goods and services, often referred to as the “sharing economy.” Fueled by startups such as Uber and Airbnb, sharing enables individuals to obtain rides, accommodations, and other goods and services from peers via personal computer or mobile application in exchange for payment. The rise of sharing has raised questions about how it should be regulated, including whether existing laws and regulations can and should be enforced in this new sector or whether new ones are needed.

In this Article, we explore ...


Human Equity? Regulating The New Income Share Agreements, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei May 2015

Human Equity? Regulating The New Income Share Agreements, Diane M. Ring, Shu-Yi Oei

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A controversial new financing phenomenon has recently emerged. New “income share agreements” (“ISAs”) enable an individual to raise funds by pledging a percentage of her future earnings to investors for a certain number of years. These contracts, which are offered by entities such as Fantex, Upstart, Pave, and Lumni, raise important questions for the legal system: Are they a form of modern-day indentured servitude or an innovative breakthrough in human financing? How should they be treated under the law?

This Article constitutes the first real attempt in the legal literature to comprehensively address the public policy and legal issues raised ...


Funding Discipline For U.S. Public Pension Plans: An Empirical Analysis Of Institutional Design, Natalya Shnitser Jan 2015

Funding Discipline For U.S. Public Pension Plans: An Empirical Analysis Of Institutional Design, Natalya Shnitser

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Using newly collected data on over 100 state-administered pension plans, this Article shows that previously overlooked differences in institutional design are associated with the striking variation in funding discipline across U.S. public pension plans. As state and local governments grapple with unfunded pension obligations, this Article presents a timely examination of public plan governance across two key dimensions: the allocation of control over funding decisions and the transparency with respect to funding liabilities. It shows empirically that greater constraints on legislative control over funding decisions—typically through the delegation of control to pension-system boards—have been associated with better ...


Amended Brief Of Professor Nancy Gertner And Professor Kent Greenfield As Amici Curiae In Support Of Plaintiff, Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System V. The Hershey Company, C.A. No. 7996-Ml, Nancy Gertner, Kent Greenfield Mar 2014

Amended Brief Of Professor Nancy Gertner And Professor Kent Greenfield As Amici Curiae In Support Of Plaintiff, Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System V. The Hershey Company, C.A. No. 7996-Ml, Nancy Gertner, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Amicus brief filed by Nancy Gertner and Kent Greenfield in the case of Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System v. The Hershey Company, C.A. No. 7996-ML.


Ricci V. Destefano: The New Haven Firefighters Case And The Triumph Of White Privilege, Mark S. Brodin Jan 2011

Ricci V. Destefano: The New Haven Firefighters Case And The Triumph Of White Privilege, Mark S. Brodin

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Ricci v. DeStefano is the most important recent Supreme Court pronouncement on one of the landmark enactments of the 1960s, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The decision, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, held that the white firefighters who topped the civil service list by virtue of their test scores were entitled to promotion, notwithstanding the disparate impact the test had on African-American candidates. The case has the potential to significantly curtail impact litigation under the statute, and certainly will discourage employers from monitoring their selection devices to remove “artificial, arbitrary, and unnecessary barriers to employment when ...


The Free Speech Rights Of Off-Duty Government Employees, Mary-Rose Papandrea Jan 2011

The Free Speech Rights Of Off-Duty Government Employees, Mary-Rose Papandrea

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The Court’s jurisprudence with public employee speech rights leaves unclear what standard applies in cases where employees challenge government action taken in response to their “off-duty” expression. There remain so many flexible and undefined aspects to the multi-step inquiry the Court has fashioned for determining the scope of employee speech rights. When is an employee speaking as a “citizen” and not an “employee”? What is a matter of public concern, and is that inquiry even relevant in the context of off-duty expression? What speech is “work related”? How do we value the employee’s interest in engaging in her ...


Beyond The Ada: How Clinics Can Assist Law Students With “Non-Visible” Disabilities To Bridge The Accommodations Gap Between Classroom And Practice, Alexis Anderson, Norah Wylie Apr 2008

Beyond The Ada: How Clinics Can Assist Law Students With “Non-Visible” Disabilities To Bridge The Accommodations Gap Between Classroom And Practice, Alexis Anderson, Norah Wylie

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article examines how best to educate law students with disabilities so that they can successfully transition from classroom to practice. At the very time that the importance of experiential learning is being trumpeted as critical to the preparation of all law students for practice, all too little attention has been given to the role of clinical education in helping students with non-visible disabilities succeed in their chosen careers. Increasingly, law students are seeking accommodations for a range of mental health, cognitive, and learning disabilities. Law schools have become more adept at providing accommodations in academic classes to qualified students ...


Civil Procedure And The Establishment Clause: Exploring The Ministerial Exception, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, And The Freedom Of The Church, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J. Mar 2008

Civil Procedure And The Establishment Clause: Exploring The Ministerial Exception, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, And The Freedom Of The Church, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J.

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

What sort of defense is provided by the ministerial exception to employment discrimination claims? The ministerial exception bars civil courts from reviewing the decisions of religious organizations regarding the employment of their ministerial employees. While the exception itself is widely recognized by courts, there is confusion with respect to the proper characterization of the defense provided by the exception: should it seen as a subject matter jurisdiction defense, or as a challenge to the legal sufficiency of the plaintiff's claim? This Article argues that articulating the right answer to this question of civil procedure is crucial to a proper ...


Religion In The Workplace: Faith, Action, And The Religious Foundations Of American Employment Law, Thomas C. Kohler Jan 2008

Religion In The Workplace: Faith, Action, And The Religious Foundations Of American Employment Law, Thomas C. Kohler

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Hidden In Plain Sight: Achieving More Just Results In Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment Cases By Re-Examining Supreme Court Precedent, Elisabeth A. Keller, Judith B. Tracy Aug 2007

Hidden In Plain Sight: Achieving More Just Results In Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment Cases By Re-Examining Supreme Court Precedent, Elisabeth A. Keller, Judith B. Tracy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Lower federal courts often fail to provide plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases the relief intended by Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 and mandated by the Supreme Court when it recognized the cause of action twenty years ago. There is little doubt that sexual harassment in the workplace persists. However, lower courts misapply or ignore Supreme Court reasoning that would result in fairer and more consistent dispositions in hostile work environment sexual harassment cases. This article draws directly on reasoning from the Supreme Court cases to explain the sources of the confusion in the lower courts and offers ...


The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman Aug 2006

The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In 1938, in NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co., the Supreme Court offered one of its earliest interpretations of the National Labor Relations Act. Although the Court’s holding provided that employers may not discriminate against employees for their union activity when the strike is over and workers are reinstated, dicta in the opinion also provided that under the NLRA employers enjoy an unrestricted right to replace strikers. In the 70 years since the Court’s announcement, scholars remain baffled by the contradictions presented by the “Mackay doctrine”—a rule that forbids employers from discharging legally protected strikers while, at ...


Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham May 2006

Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) structures information in documentary systems ranging from financial reports to medical records and business contracts. XML standards for specific applications are developed spontaneously by self-appointed technologists or entrepreneurs. XML’s social and economic stakes are considerable, especially when developed for the private law of contracts. XML can reduce transaction costs but also limit the range of contractual expression and redefine the nature of law practice. So reliance on spontaneous development may be sub-optimal and identification of a more formal public standard setting model necessary. To exploit XML’s advantages while minimizing risks, this Article envisions creating ...


The Notion Of Solidarity And The Secret History Of American Labor Law, Thomas C. Kohler Apr 2006

The Notion Of Solidarity And The Secret History Of American Labor Law, Thomas C. Kohler

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

“Solidarity,” a term not overly familiar to Americans, sometimes seems to have as many meanings as it has users. The concept became incorporated into American thought during the 19th and 20th century waves of Catholic and Jewish immigration. It provides a European vision of communitarian social order that competes with the “unencumbered self”—America’s unique brand of individualism. Among philosophers, politicians, religious thinkers, and social activists, solidarity theory sought to redefine the then-prevailing views of social bonds. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the American labor movement, which espouses as its core values the principles of unity and ...


The Fed’S New Model Of Supervision For “Large Complex Banking Organizations”: Coordinated Risk-Based Supervision Of Financial Multinationals For International Financial Stability, Cynthia C. Lichtenstein Jan 2006

The Fed’S New Model Of Supervision For “Large Complex Banking Organizations”: Coordinated Risk-Based Supervision Of Financial Multinationals For International Financial Stability, Cynthia C. Lichtenstein

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Large internationally active financial institutions, in particular multinational banks, have the capacity to create profound disturbances in the globalized financial markets in the event of failure. For that reason, these entities are supervised and examined in a manner that is completely different than the ordinary business corporation. This piece describes the new methodology that has been developed by the United States' central bank, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or "the Fed" for short, since 1995, for examining what the Fed calls "large complex banking organizations" or LBCOs and indicates how the system in fact carries out ...


Migrating Lawyers And The Ethics Of Conflict Checking, Paul R. Tremblay Sep 2005

Migrating Lawyers And The Ethics Of Conflict Checking, Paul R. Tremblay

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Lawyers often leave a practice setting and move to a new practice as their career paths advance or change. The incidence of lawyer migration has increased dramatically in the past decade, as law firms recruit more lateral hires and offer fewer partnership opportunities to their associates. As a lawyer prepares to change employment settings, her prospective new law firm asks her about the clients she has represented in the past. The new law firm must insist on this information, for without it the firm could not screen for possible conflicts of interest. Were the firm to hire a lawyer without ...


A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield Jun 2005

A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Written for the recent conference at St. John’s University Law School on “People of Color, Women, and the Public Corporation,” this paper evaluates recently applied methods of influencing corporate behavior on employment practices and recommends that a dormant legal doctrine be revitalized and added to the “tool box” of activists and concerned shareholders. The methods of influencing corporate behavior that are evaluated include class action lawsuits and shareholder proposals to amend corporate policy. In both contexts, there are procedural hurdles to achieving success. Even when success is achieved, there are limits to the actual changes in organizational behavior that ...