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A Global System Of Work, A Global System Of Regulation?: Crowdwork And Conflicts Of Law, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2019

A Global System Of Work, A Global System Of Regulation?: Crowdwork And Conflicts Of Law, Miriam A. Cherry

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On-demand platforms are changing and reshaping our conceptions of both the firm and the work relationship in far-reaching and critical ways, allowing companies to hire workers and to seek customers across national boundaries. Confronted with low pay, wage theft, and other problematic working conditions, gig workers around the world have turned to the courts, attempting to invoke the protections of traditional labor and employment law. While some commentators believe existing forms of labor and employment regulations can stretch to cover on-demand work, others have called for new legal initiatives specifically crafted for online platforms. The goal of this paper is ...


The Motive Power In Public Sector Collective Bargaining, Martin Malin Jan 2018

The Motive Power In Public Sector Collective Bargaining, Martin Malin

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In the private sector, George Taylor referred to the strike as providing the “motive power” in collective bargaining. A major reason behind the enactment of public employee collective bargaining laws is to reduce the interruption of public services from job actions. This was the case with the enactment of New York’s Taylor Law.This paper, written for a conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Taylor Law and published in a special issue of the Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal focused on the Taylor Law, examines what, in the absence of a right to strike, provides the motive ...


Lessons From The Dramatists Guild For The Platform Economy, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2017

Lessons From The Dramatists Guild For The Platform Economy, Matthew T. Bodie

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Are platform workers part of a firm or are they working as individual businesses? Are they providing their labor as part of a team, or do they hold on to individual capital throughout their transactions? This essay explores the question of employee versus independent contract through the specific examples of dramatists and screenwriters. Dramatists have chosen to conduct their work as separate artists; they maintain copyright over their work, and they retain control over its use. Screenwriters, on the other hand, work as part of a team; they hand over their copyright to the production company and cede control over ...


The Best Way Out Is Always Through: Changing The Employment At-Will Default To Protect Personal Autonomy, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2017

The Best Way Out Is Always Through: Changing The Employment At-Will Default To Protect Personal Autonomy, Matthew T. Bodie

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Employment at-will is the default rule of termination for the vast majority of American employment relationships. The rule creates a presumption—a strong one—that the contract for employment allows either party to terminate the contract at any point in time. Since its inception, this bright line rule has given way to carefully curated exceptions, primarily to protect against discrimination and retaliation. This Article proposes that state courts create a new exception to the at-will rule—or, perhaps more accurately, acknowledge an intricacy within the existing default. The personal-autonomy presumption would modify at-will to make clear that employers will not ...


Privacy, Poverty, And Big Data: A Matrix Of Vulnerabilities For Poor Americans, Mary Madden, Michele E. Gilman, Karen Levy, Alice Marwick Jan 2017

Privacy, Poverty, And Big Data: A Matrix Of Vulnerabilities For Poor Americans, Mary Madden, Michele E. Gilman, Karen Levy, Alice Marwick

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This Article examines the matrix of vulnerabilities that low-income people face as a result of the collection and aggregation of big data and the application of predictive analytics. On one hand, big data systems could reverse growing economic inequality by expanding access to opportunities for low-income people. On the other hand, big data could widen economic gaps by making it possible to prey on low-income people or to exclude them from opportunities due to biases entrenched in algorithmic decision-making tools. New kinds of “networked privacy” harms, in which users are simultaneously held liable for their own behavior and the actions ...


The Afscme – State Of Illinois Negotiations: Traveling In Uncharted Waters, Martin Malin Jan 2017

The Afscme – State Of Illinois Negotiations: Traveling In Uncharted Waters, Martin Malin

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No abstract provided.


Employment As Fiduciary Relationship, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2017

Employment As Fiduciary Relationship, Matthew T. Bodie

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Under traditional agency law doctrine, employees are agents of their employers and owe an agent’s concomitant fiduciary duties. Employers, in turn, are merely principals and have no corresponding fiduciary duties. A new wave of thinking has unsettled this approach by concluding that only high-level employees have fiduciary responsibilities to their employers. Taking this controversy as a starting point, this Article reconceives the employment relationship as a mutual fiduciary relationship in which both employers and employees are fiduciaries of one another. Even though current law does not consider employers to be fiduciaries of their employees, employers have long had significant ...


Are Uber And Transportation Network Companies The Future Of Transportation (Law) And Employment (Law)?, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2017

Are Uber And Transportation Network Companies The Future Of Transportation (Law) And Employment (Law)?, Miriam A. Cherry

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Transportation network companies (“TNCs”) such as Uber and Lyft manage ridesharing platforms that have increased efficiency and convenience for many passengers. These platforms, however, have also opened the door to many legal and regulatory issues pertaining to their business practices, employment structures, and transportation law and policy. This article provides a perspective on the economic, social, technical, and political aspects of TNCs in two steps, focusing on transportation and employment. First, it examines the future of TNCs in transportation, noting that TNCs could do more in terms of environmentalism to live up to the promise of the “sharing” economy. Second ...


The Sharing Economy And The Edges Of Contract Law: Comparing U.S. And U.K. Approaches, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2017

The Sharing Economy And The Edges Of Contract Law: Comparing U.S. And U.K. Approaches, Miriam A. Cherry

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Technology and the rise of the on-demand or sharing economy have created new and diverse structures for how businesses operate and how work is conducted. Some of these matters are intermediated by contract, but in other situations, contract law may be unhelpful. For example, contract law does little to resolve worker classification problems on new platforms, such as ridesharing applications. Other forms of online work create even more complex problems, such as when work is disguised as an innocuous task like entering a code or answering a question, or when work is gamified and hidden as a leisure activity. Other ...


People Analytics And Invisible Labor, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2017

People Analytics And Invisible Labor, Miriam A. Cherry

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This article explores two trends in labor and employment law: people analytics and invisible labor. People analytics includes the practice of employers using quantitative data to make objective decisions regarding employees. Invisible labor includes work that is unrecognized because it involves emotional work, or that is hidden due to the intermediation of technology. The article then discusses the paradox of the two trends. As people analytics relies on data for decision-making, how can employers use data analytics if there are increasingly invisible components to work? The article considers solutions: should people analytics include components of hidden labor, explicitly recognize and ...


Dependent Contractors' In The Gig Economy: A Comparative Approach, Miriam A. Cherry, Antonio Aloisi Jan 2017

Dependent Contractors' In The Gig Economy: A Comparative Approach, Miriam A. Cherry, Antonio Aloisi

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Lawsuits around the misclassification of workers in the on-demand economy have ballooned in the United States in recent years. That is because employee status is the gateway to many substantive legal rights. Inresponse, some commentators have proposed an in-between hybrid category just for for the gig economy. However, such an intermediate category is not new. In fact, it has existed in many countries for decades, producing successful results in some, and misadventure in others. We use a comparative approach to analyze the experiences of Canada, Italy, and Spain with the intermediate category. In Italy, the quasi-subordinate category created an opportunity ...


The Next Iteration Of Progressive Corporate Law, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2017

The Next Iteration Of Progressive Corporate Law, Matthew T. Bodie

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A wave of progressive corporate law scholarship in the late 1980s and early 1990s reimagined corporate law from the perspective of employees, consumers, and other stakeholders left behind by shareholder primacy. Almost thirty years later, it is time to revisit this literature and consider what progressive corporate law should be in the 21st Century. This essay argues for three changes: (1) a move to the theory of the firm as the underlying economic literature; (2) a focus on employees, rather than stakeholders more generally, and (3) an effort to change statutory and structural aspects of corporate law, such as board ...


Causation In Whistleblowing Claims, Nancy M. Modesitt May 2016

Causation In Whistleblowing Claims, Nancy M. Modesitt

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Whistleblowing cases have continued to increase in number in recent years as state and federal legislatures have added protections for employees who disclose illegal or wrongful activity by their employers. But even as the number of cases continues to climb, cohesive and coherent doctrines applicable in whistleblowing litigation have failed to emerge. A significant reason for this is that much of whistleblower protection is statutory in nature, and federal statutes vary greatly from state statutes, even as state statutes differ. A second reason is that courts have drawn upon doctrines developed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of ...


The Jocks And The Justice: How Sotomayor Restrained College Athletes, Phillip J. Closius Jan 2016

The Jocks And The Justice: How Sotomayor Restrained College Athletes, Phillip J. Closius

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Two judicial opinions have shaped the modem college athletic world. NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma declared the NCAA's exclusive control over the media rights to college football violated the Sherman Act. That decision allowed universities and conferences to control their own media revenue and laid the foundation for the explosion of coverage and income in college football today. Clarett v. NFL held that the provision then in the National Football League's (NFL) Constitution and By-Laws that prohibited players from being eligible for the NFL draft until three years from the date of their ...


The Three Phases Of The Supreme Court’S Arbitration Jurisprudence: Empowering The Already Empowered, Martin Malin Jan 2016

The Three Phases Of The Supreme Court’S Arbitration Jurisprudence: Empowering The Already Empowered, Martin Malin

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No abstract provided.


Beyond Misclassification: The Digital Transformation Of Work, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2016

Beyond Misclassification: The Digital Transformation Of Work, Miriam A. Cherry

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The first part of this article provides a brief litigation update on various worker lawsuits within the gig economy. While the O’Connor v. Uber case has received the lion’s share of attention and analysis, similar lawsuits on labor standards have been filed against other on-demand platforms. Analysis of the ongoing litigation reveals several important themes, including an emphasis on the labor law of California. The second part of the article shifts from the doctrinal issues around misclassification to look at broader trends, arguing that we are currently experiencing a far-reaching digital transformation of work. The changes include thegrowth ...


Legal And Governance Structures Built To Share, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2016

Legal And Governance Structures Built To Share, Miriam A. Cherry

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This short piece, scheduled to appear in the book "The Rise of Platform Cooperativism" (editors Trebor Scholz & Nathan Schneider), discusses the legal issues around choice of entity and governance for on-demand platforms. While platforms are currently established as for-profit businesses that typically match or hire workers, this is not the only option. Instead, new worker owned platforms are being established that could incorporate heightened labor standards. While there are no existing statues that have been written just for platform cooperatives, existing legal structures such as LLCs or B Corporations could be modified for this purpose. While not a perfect fit ...


Crowdwork, Corporate Social Responsibility, And Fair Labor Practices, Miriam A. Cherry, Winifred R. Poster Jan 2016

Crowdwork, Corporate Social Responsibility, And Fair Labor Practices, Miriam A. Cherry, Winifred R. Poster

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Crowdwork, in which large numbers of workers find and perform paid tasks through online platforms, is a paradox. It can make job-matching and production processes more efficient, but it can also lead to a decline in labor standards. We seek to link ethical labor practices in virtual work with well-established notions of corporate social responsibility, that include concerns for worker well-being and fair treatment. We present a typology of trends in labour, and argue that the new phase of ‘crowdwork’ is distinct from previous eras of ‘industrial’ and ‘digital’ employment. The chapter then outlines three best practices for crowdwork. First ...


Gig Economy: Settlements Leave Labor Issues Unsettled, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2016

Gig Economy: Settlements Leave Labor Issues Unsettled, Miriam A. Cherry

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This short paper, which appeared on the Law360 blog, is an effort to think through the consequences of the proposed April 2016 settlement of the Uber drivers' lawsuits. This paper makes reference to the special issue of the Journal of Comparative Labor Law & Policy that is dedicated to the legal and economic issuessurrounding crowdwork.


En-Gendering Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman Jan 2016

En-Gendering Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman

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We live in an era of growing economic inequality. Luminaries ranging from the President to the Pope to economist Thomas Piketty in his bestselling book Capital in the Twenty- First Century have raised alarms about the disparity between the haves and the have-nots. Overlooked, however, in these important discussions is the reality that economic inequality is not a uniform experience; rather, its effects fall more harshly on women and minorities. With regard to gender, American women have higher rates of poverty and get paid less than comparable men, and their workplace participation rates are falling. Yet economic inequality is neither ...


The Surety's Exposure For Wages And Related Liabilities, Lisa D. Sparks, Marc A. Campsen Sep 2015

The Surety's Exposure For Wages And Related Liabilities, Lisa D. Sparks, Marc A. Campsen

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A surety faces potential exposure to a multitude of liabilities under payment and performance bonds issued for state and federally funded bonded projects as well as from the express obligations imposed by private common law performance and payment bonds. This paper, however, focuses only on a surety’s potential exposure for wage and related liabilities.

Under federal law, a surety faces possible liability under a Miller Act Payment Bond to laborers for the bonded principal’s failure to pay wages. Union trusts may also recover against a surety under a Miller Act Payment Bond for the bonded principal’s failure ...


Our Uneasiness With Police Unions: Power And Voice For The Powerful?, Marcia L. Mccormick Jan 2015

Our Uneasiness With Police Unions: Power And Voice For The Powerful?, Marcia L. Mccormick

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The police shooting of Michael Brown, and the other recent police shootings of black men and boys, gave rise to many important discussions about race, inequality, power, and policing. But one issue not as widely discussed was the the role and propriety of police unions. This Essay describes the history and uniqueness of public sector unions, such as police unions, and why they are both useful and problematic.

This Essay describes ways police unions might be used to help solve the current problems, such as helping to connect officers with the community. The Federal and State governments have provided recommendations ...


Income Inequality And Corporate Structure, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2015

Income Inequality And Corporate Structure, Matthew T. Bodie

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Efforts to address income inequality generally focus on wealth redistribution through taxation and government benefits. But these efforts do not attack the core problem -- the unfair distribution of wealth at the firm level. This essay, a contribution to the "Inequality, Opportunity, and the Law of the Workplace" symposium, argues that workers need power within their firms to stake their claims to larger slices of the corporate pie. Even though the current law of the workplace does provide regulatory support for workers, it fails to change internal firm governance. Policymakers who want to take on income inequality as a structural matter ...


The Law And Economics Of Corporate Social Responsibility And Greenwashing, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2014

The Law And Economics Of Corporate Social Responsibility And Greenwashing, Miriam A. Cherry

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In this symposium article, I explore the concept of greenwashing in more depth. In the first part of the article, I start with first principles, looking at the origins of greenwashing, its definitions, and identifying theeconomic incentives that lead firms into the practice. The second part of this article examines the legal structure that allows greenwashing to occur, and with it, explores the pervasiveness and extent ofgreenwashing. The third part of this article articulates the harms of greenwashing. Intuitively, greenwashing involves deception, falsity, and hypocrisy that reflexively seem problematic. Precisely identifying the actual harm inflicted by some forms of greenwashing ...


A Eulogy For The Eula, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2014

A Eulogy For The Eula, Miriam A. Cherry

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Participants in the Duquesne University Law Review were asked to write about the future of contract law, specifically contract law in 2025. My contribution is a short science fiction story that is set in 2025. Sometimes, conflicting terms in a contract can give you a headache...or a brilliant idea? Expect both theutopian and dystopian from this story, along with contract law theory.


Collective Representation And Employee Voice In The U.S. Public Sector Workplace: Looking North For Solutions?, Martin H. Malin Oct 2013

Collective Representation And Employee Voice In The U.S. Public Sector Workplace: Looking North For Solutions?, Martin H. Malin

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Legislation enacted in many states following the 2010 elections in the United States strengthened unilateral public employer control and weakened employee voice. This rebalancing of power occurred in the context of state public employee labour relations acts modeled on the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), but with a narrower scope of bargaining than in the private sector. This narrow scope channels unions’ voice away from the quality of public services and towards protecting members from the effects of decisions unilaterally imposed by management. The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the freedom of association guaranteed by the Charter of ...


Why Whistleblowers Lose: An Empirical And Qualitative Analysis Of State Court Cases, Nancy M. Modesitt Oct 2013

Why Whistleblowers Lose: An Empirical And Qualitative Analysis Of State Court Cases, Nancy M. Modesitt

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This Article was originally intended to be an analysis of the propriety, or impropriety, of the doctrines most commonly used by courts to decide employees’ whistleblowing retaliation claims against employers. However, upon conducting initial research, it quickly became apparent that there was very little data available on whistleblowing cases. Unlike employment discrimination cases, where several empirical studies have been conducted, there is only one empirical analysis of whistleblower claims, which focused solely on outcomes in the federal administrative process for claims brought under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). That study revealed that whistleblowers fare poorly for a number of reasons, but ...


Does Public Employee Collective Bargaining Distort Democracy? A Perspective From The United States, Martin H. Malin Apr 2013

Does Public Employee Collective Bargaining Distort Democracy? A Perspective From The United States, Martin H. Malin

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The beginning of the second decade of the 21st century saw renewed attacks on public employee collective bargaining, which included claims that allowing public employees to organize and bargain collectively distorts democratic processes. These renewed attacks included the traditional claim that public employee collective bargaining inappropriately gives one interest group, workers and their unions, an avenue of access to public decision-makers that is not available to other interest groups. The attack also raised a new claim of distortion of democratic processes: that unions are inappropriately advantaged in the broader political process through agency shop or fair share and dues check-off ...


Two Models Of Interest Arbitration, Martin H. Malin Jan 2013

Two Models Of Interest Arbitration, Martin H. Malin

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Most states prohibit public employees from striking and the federal government makes a strike by a federal employee a felony. Many public employee labor relations acts give organized employees a right to arbitrate when their union and employer are unable to reach agreement on the terms of a contract. Much discussion of such interest arbitration schemes has focused on whether the process inhibits bargaining (the chilling effect) or is habit forming (the narcotic effect). These discussions contrast the use of traditional interest arbitration, where the arbitrator may award any outcome that falls between the parties’ final offers, with final offer ...


Implausible Injuries: Wal-Mart V. Dukes And The Future Of Class Actions And Employment Discrimination Cases, Marcia L. Mccormick Jan 2013

Implausible Injuries: Wal-Mart V. Dukes And The Future Of Class Actions And Employment Discrimination Cases, Marcia L. Mccormick

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In 2001, a class action suit was brought against Wal-Mart, where plaintiffs sought to certify a class of every woman who did work for the giant retailer or had worked for it since 1998, seeking relief related to promotion and pay policies. Plaintiffs alleged that they were all discriminated against on the basis of sex. The Supreme Court agreed with Wal-Mart, finding that the class did not meet requirements for class actions set by Rule 23. This article explores the reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s split decision that the class did not meet the commonality standard, which relied significantly ...