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Labor and Employment Law

University of Michigan Law School

Employment discrimination

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission And Structural Reform Of The American Workplace, Margo Schlanger, Pauline T. Kim Jan 2014

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission And Structural Reform Of The American Workplace, Margo Schlanger, Pauline T. Kim

Articles

In one of its most-watched recent cases, the United States Supreme Court struck down a class action alleging that Wal-Mart stores discriminated against female employees in pay and promotion decisions. The plaintiffs alleged that Wal-Mart’s corporate culture and highly discretionary decision-making practices led to sex discrimination on a company-wide basis, and they sought injunctive relief as well as backpay for individual employees. Reversing the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Supreme Court held in Wal-Mart v. Dukes that the proposed class failed to meet the requirements for class action certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules ...


Mandatory Employment Arbitration: Keeping It Fair, Keeping It Lawful, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2010

Mandatory Employment Arbitration: Keeping It Fair, Keeping It Lawful, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

President Obama's election and the Democrats' takeover of Congress, including what was their theoretically filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, have encouraged organized labor and other traditional Democratic supporters to make a vigorous move for some long-desired legislation. Most attention has focused on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). As initially proposed, the EFCA would enable unions to get bargaining rights through signed authorization cards rather than a secret-ballot election, and would provide for the arbitration of first-contract terms if negotiations fail to produce an agreement after four months. The EFCA would apply to the potentially organizable private-sector working population ...


Mandatory Arbitration: Why It's Better Than It Looks, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2008

Mandatory Arbitration: Why It's Better Than It Looks, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

"Mandatory arbitration" as used here means that employees must agree as a condition of employment to arbitrate all legal disputes with their employer, including statutory claims, rather than take them to court. The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of such agreements on the grounds that they merely provide for a change of forum and not a loss of substantive rights. Opponents contend this wrongfully deprives employees of the right to a jury trial and other statutory procedural benefits. Various empirical studies indicate, however, that employees similarly situated do about as well in arbitration as in court actions, or even ...


Labor And Employment Law In Two Transitional Decades, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2004

Labor And Employment Law In Two Transitional Decades, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Labor law became labor and employment law during the past several decades. The connotation of "labor law" is the regulation of union-management relations and that was the focus from the 1930s through the 1950s. In turn, voluntary collective bargaining was supposed to be the method best suited for setting the terms and conditions of employment for the nation's work force. Since the 1960s, however, the trend has been toward more governmental intervention to ensure nondiscrimination, safety and health, pensions and other fringe benefits, and so on. "Employment law" is now the term for the direct federal or state regulation ...


The Changing Role Of Labor Arbitration (Symposium: New Rules For A New Game: Regulating Employment Relationships In The 21st Century), Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2001

The Changing Role Of Labor Arbitration (Symposium: New Rules For A New Game: Regulating Employment Relationships In The 21st Century), Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

A quarter century ago, in a provocative and prophetic article, David E. Feller lamented the imminent close of what he described as labor arbitration's "golden age." I have expressed reservations about that characterization, insofar as it suggested an impending shrinkage in the stature of arbitration. But Professor Feller was right on target in one important respect. Labor arbitration was going to change dramatically from the autonomous institution in the relatively self-contained world of union-management relations which it had been from the end of World War II into the 1970s. When the subject matter was largely confined to union-employer agreements ...


Gilmer In The Collective Bargaining Context, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2001

Gilmer In The Collective Bargaining Context, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Can a privately negotiated arbitration agreement deprive employees of the statutory right to sue in court on claims of discrimination in employment because of race, sex, religion, age, disability, and similar grounds prohibited by federal law? Two leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions, decided almost two decades apart, reached substantially different answers to this questionand arguably stood logic on its head in the process. In the earlier case of Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., involving arbitration under a collective bargaining agreement, the Court held an adverse award did not preclude a subsequent federal court action by the black grievant alleging racial ...


Mandatory Arbitration Of Employee Discrimination Claims: Unmitigated Evil Or Blessing In Disguise?, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1998

Mandatory Arbitration Of Employee Discrimination Claims: Unmitigated Evil Or Blessing In Disguise?, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

One of the hottest current issues in employment law is the use of mandatory arbitration to resolve workplace disputes. Typically, an employer will make it a condition of employment that employees must agree to arbitrate any claims arising out of the job, including claims based on statutory rights against discrimination, instead of going to court. On the face of it, this is a brazen affront to public policy. Citizens are being deprived of the forum provided them by law. And indeed numerous scholars and public and private bodies have condemned the use of mandatory arbitration. Yet the insight of that ...


Integrity And Circumspection: The Labor Law Vision Of Bernard D. Meltzer, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1986

Integrity And Circumspection: The Labor Law Vision Of Bernard D. Meltzer, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Bernard Meltzer has testified under oath that he "rarely take[s] absolute positions." The record bears him out. While his colleagues among labor law scholars often strain to demonstrate that the labor relations statutes and even the Constitution support their hearts' desires, the typical Meltzer stance is one of cool detachment, pragmatic assessment, and cautious, balanced judgment. The "itch to do good," Meltzer has remarked wryly, "is a doubtful basis for jurisdiction" -or, he would likely add, for any other legal conclusion. In this brief commentary I propose to examine the Meltzer approach to four broad areas of labor law ...


National Labor Policy: Reflections And Distortions Of Social Justice, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1980

National Labor Policy: Reflections And Distortions Of Social Justice, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The impulse behind much of American labor law is profoundly moral. The sufferings and indignities inflicted on working men, women, and even children as the industrial revolution enveloped the western world during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries led many thoughtful observers to focus their attention on what was commonly called the "social question." Certain issues have been treated almost as if they posed questions of good and evil, when all they actually presented were problems of finding a proper balance of power between labor and management. This article shall develop these themes in several specific contexts.


Affirmative Action: Hypocritical Euphemism Or Noble Mandate?, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1976

Affirmative Action: Hypocritical Euphemism Or Noble Mandate?, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was adopted in an atmosphere of monumental naivete. Congress apparently believed that equal employment opportunity could be achieved simply by forbidding employers or unions to "discriminate" on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin," and expressly disavowed any intention to require "preferential treatment." Perhaps animated by the Supreme Court's stirring desegregation decisions of the 1950's, the proponents of civil rights legislation made "color-blindness" the rallying cry of the hour. Today we know better. The dreary statistics, so familiar to anyone who works in this field, tell ...