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Labor and Employment Law

University of Michigan Law School

National Labor Relations Board

Articles 1 - 18 of 18

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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

Articles

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 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 ...


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 ...


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."


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 ...


Deferral To Arbitration And Use Of External Law In Arbitration, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1988

Deferral To Arbitration And Use Of External Law In Arbitration, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

proper definition of the appropriate roles of arbitrators, administrative agencies and the courts depends in great part on the notion that, generally speaking, in labor relations, the interpretation and application of contracts is for arbitrators, and the interpretation and application of statutes is for the administrative agencies and the courts. Arbitrators deal primarily with contract rights and administrative agencies, like the NLRB and the courts, deal primarily with statutory rights. If that distinction is maintained, the problems of deferral to arbitration and the use of external law in arbitration can be more easily resolved.


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

Articles

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 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.


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 ...


Judicial Valour And The Warren Court's Labor Decisions, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1968

Judicial Valour And The Warren Court's Labor Decisions, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Lawyers who practice regularly before the Supreme Court are likely to prepare their arguments with a specific Justice in mind. The choice does not necessarily turn on who might be the swing vote in a given case. Often it is just a matter of which Justice can be relied upon, because of his particular interests and his insight, to search out the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing positions, and to see that all the hard questions are asked. In a labor case during the early years of the Warren Court, that would usually have meant Justice Frankfurter. Later on ...


A Touchstone For Labor Board Remedies, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1968

A Touchstone For Labor Board Remedies, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Fashion dictates what lawyers argue about, and law professors write about, more than we may care to admit. In labor law, especially, the styles change with a rapidity that would impress a Paris couturier. During the past decade the spotlight has moved from union democracy to labor contract enforcement to the union organizing campaign. Today the "in" topic is National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) remedies. Yet if any subject deserves immunity from the vagaries of fashion, this is the one; for all rights acquire substance only insofar as they are backed by effective remedies. Coke said it long ago: "[W ...