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An American Approach To Social Democracy: The Forgotten Promise Of The Fair Labor Standards Act, Kate Andrias Jan 2019

An American Approach To Social Democracy: The Forgotten Promise Of The Fair Labor Standards Act, Kate Andrias

Articles

There is a growing consensus among scholars and public policy experts that fundamental labor law reform is necessary in order to reduce the nation’s growing wealth gap. According to conventional wisdom, however, a social democratic approach to labor relations is uniquely un-American—in deep conflict with our traditions and our governing legal regime. This Article calls into question that conventional account. It details a largely forgotten moment in American history: when the early Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) established industry committees of unions, business associations, and the public to set wages on an industry-by-industry basis. Alongside the National Labor ...


The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias Mar 2018

The Fortification Of Inequality: Constitutional Doctrine And The Political Economy, Kate Andrias

Articles

As Parts I and II of this Essay elaborate, the examination yields three observations of relevance to constitutional law more generally: First, judge-made constitutional doctrine, though by no means the primary cause of rising inequality, has played an important role in reinforcing and exacerbating it. Judges have acquiesced to legislatively structured economic inequality, while also restricting the ability of legislatures to remedy it. Second, while economic inequality has become a cause célèbre only in the last few years, much of the constitutional doctrine that has contributed to its flourishing is longstanding. Moreover, for several decades, even the Court’s more ...


Social Bargaining In States And Cities: Toward A More Egalitarian And Democratic Workplace Law, Kate Andrias Sep 2017

Social Bargaining In States And Cities: Toward A More Egalitarian And Democratic Workplace Law, Kate Andrias

Articles

A well-documented problem motivates this symposium: The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not effectively protect workers’ rights to organize, bargain, and strike. Though unions once represented a third of American workers, today the vast majority of workers are non-union and employed “at will.” The decline of organization among workers is a key factor contributing to the rise of economic and political inequality in American society. Yet reforming labor law at the federal level—at least in a progressive direction—is currently impossible. Meanwhile, broad preemption doctrine means that states and localities are significantly limited in their ability to address ...


Disability Rights And Labor: Is This Conflict Really Necessary?, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jun 2017

Disability Rights And Labor: Is This Conflict Really Necessary?, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

In this Essay, I hope to do two things: First, I try to put the current labor-disability controversy into that broader context. Second, and perhaps more important, I take a position on how disability rights advocates should approach both the current controversy and labor-disability tensions more broadly. As to the narrow dispute over wage-and-hour protections for personal-assistance workers, I argue both that those workers have a compelling normative claim to full FLSA protection—a claim that disability rights advocates should recognize—and that supporting the claim of those workers is pragmatically in the best interests of the disability rights movement ...


Labor And Employment Arbitration Today: Mid-Life Crisis Or New Golden Age?, Theodore J. St. Antonie Jan 2017

Labor And Employment Arbitration Today: Mid-Life Crisis Or New Golden Age?, Theodore J. St. Antonie

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The major developments in employer-employee arbitration currently do not involve labor arbitration, that is, arbitration between employers and unions. The focus is on employment arbitration, arbitration between employers and individual employees. Beginning around 1980, nearly all the states judicially modified the standard American doctrine of employment-at-will whereby, absent a statutory or contractual prohibition, an employer could fire an employee "for good cause, for no cause, or even for cause morally wrong." Under the new regime, grounded in expansive contract and public policy theories, wrongfully discharged employees often reaped bonanzas in court suits, with California jury awards averaging around $425,000 ...


The New Labor Law, Kate Andrias Oct 2016

The New Labor Law, Kate Andrias

Articles

Labor law is failing. Disfigured by courts, attacked by employers, and rendered inapt by a global and fissured economy, many of labor law’s most ardent proponents have abandoned it altogether. And for good reason: the law that governs collective organization and bargaining among workers has little to offer those it purports to protect. Several scholars have suggested ways to breathe new life into the old regime, yet their proposals do not solve the basic problem. Labor law developed for the New Deal does not provide solutions to today’s inequities. But all hope is not lost. From the remnants ...


The Future Of American Labor And Employment Law: Hopes, Dreams, And Realities, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2009

The Future Of American Labor And Employment Law: Hopes, Dreams, And Realities, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

In many respects the US is a deeply conservative country. Unique among the major industrial democracies of the world, it imposes the death penalty, provides no national health insurance, fixes a high legal drinking age, and subscribes to the doctrine of employment at will. Perhaps not surprisingly, its labor movement is also one of the most conservative on earth, eschewing class warfare and aiming largely at the bread-and-butter goal of improved wages, benefits, and working conditions. Yet American employers have generally never been as accepting of unionization as their counterparts in other countries (Bok 1971; Freeman and Medoff 1984). Over ...


Offshore Outsourcing And Worker Rights, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2006

Offshore Outsourcing And Worker Rights, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

For the workers in the Rust Belt of the United States, concentrated in Southern New England, Western New York State, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, it doesn't make much difference whether their jobs are outsourced or lost to North Carolina or Mexico or China. In any event the sources of income that have existed for generations are gone and the economic and psychic pains are much the same. Nonetheless, for purposes of national policy it plainly matters whether the work is moving to another part of the country or is leaving the United States entirely. I am going ...


After 70 Years Of The Nlrb: Warm Congratulations -- And A Few Reservations, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2005

After 70 Years Of The Nlrb: Warm Congratulations -- And A Few Reservations, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The following essay is based on a talk the speaker was invited to deliver to the National Labor Relations Board on June 3 in Washington, D.C., on the occasion of the agency's 70th anniversary.


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 ...


Contract Reading' In Labor Arbitration, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2000

Contract Reading' In Labor Arbitration, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

A quarter century ago, I used the phrase "contract reader" to characterize the role an arbitrator plays in construing a collective bargaining agreement. This phrase has almost invariable been misunderstood to refer to reading or interpreting the contract. When I spoke of the "contract reader," it was in the context of judicial review of an award. My point was this: When a court has before it an arbitrator's award applying a collective bargaining agreement, it is as if the employer and the union had signed a stipulation stating: "What the arbitrator says this contract means is exactly what we ...


Why Mandatory Arbitration May Benefit Workers, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1997

Why Mandatory Arbitration May Benefit Workers, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Would employees-including union employees-be better off with mandatory arbitration, even of statutory employment claims? The answer to this important question should depend less on abstract notions about the importance of statutory claims and the sanctity of the right to a jury trial, and more on a pragmatic assessment of what is likely to be best for the great majority of workers. Employing this type of analysis, which would take into account an overworked, underfunded Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, backlogged court dockets and other practical problems, my view is that most employees might well be better off with mandatory arbitration, provided ...


Divergent Strategies: Union Organizing And Alternative Dispute Resolution, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1994

Divergent Strategies: Union Organizing And Alternative Dispute Resolution, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations, the so-called "Dunlop Commission," is focusing on three principal subjects: (1) union organizing, (2) worker participation in management decision making, and (3) alternative dispute resolution (ADR). I am going to concentrate on the last, but first I would like to say a few words about union organizing. After all, unionization and collective bargaining - and for that matter, worker participation as well - can fairly be viewed as special forms of alternative dispute resolution.


The Government And Union Democracy, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1991

The Government And Union Democracy, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The desirability of union democracy is generally regarded today as a self-evident proposition. In this Symposium Clyde Summers treats it as a "fundamental premise." But there have always been reputable scholars who would support the thesis, in greater or lesser degree, that "democracy is as inappropriate within the international headquarters of the UAW as it is in the front office of General Motors."


Afterword To Chicago-Kent Law Review, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1990

Afterword To Chicago-Kent Law Review, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

A unifying theme of this Symposium is as old and enduring as the common law: when and how can a well-established, successful adjudicative institution be adapted to meet the demands of new and substantially different situations? There have been splendid triumphs of transference, such as Lord Mansfield's appropriation of the law merchant in the eighteenth century as a major building block of modem commercial law. There have also been embarrassing failures, like the abortive effort to transport American labor law concepts en masse into the alien British environment of the early 1970s. The common question confronting the participants in ...


Commentary On 'Multiemployer Bargaining Rules': The Limitations Of A Strictly Economic Analysis, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1989

Commentary On 'Multiemployer Bargaining Rules': The Limitations Of A Strictly Economic Analysis, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Labor law bulks large on the docket of the United States Supreme Court. Yet never would I have included Charles D. Bonanno Linen Service, Inc. v. NLRB, dealing with the seemingly mundane issue of an employer's right to withdraw from multiemployer bargaining, in the select company of cases addressing such pulse-quickening subjects as affirmative action, picketing as free speech, and union antitrust liability. Professor Douglas Leslie's elegant and provocative article shows just how wrong I was--or at least just how far imaginative analysis can go toward seeing a world in a grain of sand. I lay no claim ...


Prevention Of Antiunion Discrimination In The United States, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1988

Prevention Of Antiunion Discrimination In The United States, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Nearly all rank-and-file employees in private businesses of any substantial size in the United States are protected by federal law against antiunion discrimination. The Railway Labor Act applies to the railroad and airline industries. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applies to all other businesses whose operations "affect [interstate] commerce" in almost any way. Supervisory and managerial personnel, domestic servants, and agricultural workers are excluded from this federal scheme. Separate federal law covers the employees of the federal government. About thirty of the fifty states have statutes ensuring the right to organize on the part of some or most of ...


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 ...


Federal Regulation Of The Workplace In The Next Half Century, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1985

Federal Regulation Of The Workplace In The Next Half Century, Theodore J. St. Antoine

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Even the general circulation press, from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times to Business Week, has taken to examining the current malaise of the labor movement and the increased emphasis upon ensuring the safety, health, and economic security of employees through direct governmental regulation rather than through collective bargaining. What accounts for this upsurge of scholarly and popular interest in labor relations and labor law? There are undoubtedly multiple causes but I should like to focus on a couple of reasons that seem preeminent to me.


Legal Barriers To Worker Participation In Management Decision Making, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1984

Legal Barriers To Worker Participation In Management Decision Making, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Collective bargaining lies at the heart of the union-management relationship. It is the end and purpose of the whole effort to protect employees against reprisals when they form an organization to represent them in dealing with their employers. Collective bargaining is grounded in the belief that industrial strife will be checked, and the workers' lot bettered, if workers are given an effective voice in determining the conditions of their employment. My thesis is that federal law, even while placing the force of government behind collective bargaining, has so artificially confined its scope that the process has been seriously impeded from ...


The Bildisco Case And The Congressional Response, James J. White Jan 1984

The Bildisco Case And The Congressional Response, James J. White

Articles

Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act authorizes one in bankruptcy to "assume or reject any executory contract ...of the debtor." The most frequent use of the section arises when a lessee goes into Chapter 11 and decides either to reject its real estate lease with its lessor or, if the lease is at a favorable rental rate, to assume it and assign it to another. A less frequent but more controversial use of section 365 is to reject one's collective bargaining agreement with his employees.


Free Speech Or Economic Weapon? The Persisting Problem Of Picketing, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1982

Free Speech Or Economic Weapon? The Persisting Problem Of Picketing, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

"Peaceful picketing," the United States Supreme Court has said, "is the workingman's means of communication."' One line of analysis is that, as a means of communication, picketing is free speech and is therefore entitled to every constitutional protection afforded other forms of expression. This means that it cannot be subjected to special restrictions, such as antiboycott curbs, simply because it is picketing. The opposing line of analysis is that picketing is not simply speech; it is "speech plus." The "plus" element removes picketing from the realm of pure speech and enables it to be regulated in ways that the ...


The Regulation Of Labor Unions, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1982

The Regulation Of Labor Unions, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

This year completes exactly a half century in the federalization and codification of American labor law. Before that the regulation of both the internal affairs and external relations of labor organizations was left largely to the individual states, usually through the application of common or nonstatutory law by the courts. One major exception was the railroad industry, whose patent importance to interstate commerce made it an acceptable subject for federal legislation like the Railway Labor Act.


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.


Judicial Review Of Labor Arbitration Awards: A Second Look At Enterprise Wheel And Its Progeny, Theodore J. St. Antoine May 1977

Judicial Review Of Labor Arbitration Awards: A Second Look At Enterprise Wheel And Its Progeny, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Logic, so the cliche goes, is not the life of the law. But logic is very much like the DNA of the law-the structural principle without which all is sprawl and muddle. In the last ten years a controversy has raged over the role of the labor arbitrator in issuing awards, and the role of the courts in reviewing and enforcing those awards. This controversy has largely taken the form of a continuing debate among scholars and practicing arbitrators at the annual meetings of the National Academy of Arbitrators. With due respect to the thoughtful and experienced persons who have ...


Connell: Antitrust Law At The Expense Of Labor Law, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1976

Connell: Antitrust Law At The Expense Of Labor Law, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

From the outset, the difficulty in applying the antitrust concept to organized labor has been that the two are intrinsically incompatible. The antitrust laws are designed to promote competition, and unions, avowedly and unabashedly, are designed to limit it. According to classical trade union theory, the objective is the elimination of wage competition among all employees doing the same job in the same industry. Logically extended, the policy against restraint of trade must condemn the very existence of labor organizations, since their minimum aim has always been the suppression of any inclination on the part of working people to offer ...


Judicial Caution And The Supreme Court's Labor Decisions, October Term 1971, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1973

Judicial Caution And The Supreme Court's Labor Decisions, October Term 1971, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Labor law, like most other law in the making, is intensely political at its margins. On certain central themes, such as the right to join a union and freedom of contract, judges and administrators of widely varying outlooks may be able to reach a consensus. But along the frontiers of the law, no such accord can be expected. Conscientious decision-makers will inevitably differ with one another, depending on their diverse social values. They may even differ with their own prior positions, depending on shifts in the political climate. Moreover, if the decision-makers happen to be justices of the United States ...


Secondary Boycott: From Antitrust To Labor Relations, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1971

Secondary Boycott: From Antitrust To Labor Relations, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The ethos of the labor movement cuts against the American grain at several points. Our national instinct, reflected in many statutes and much judge-made law, is to exalt the rugged individualist over the anonymous group, to favor wide-open competition rather than a controlled market, and to prize the right of each person to remain aloof from the quarrels and concerns of his neighbors. It is not for nothing that our most universal folk hero is the frontiersman, who proudly stands alone and self-sufficient. Yet the ordinary workingman does not have the capacity to assume that heroic stance. For him strength ...