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Labor and Employment Law

University of Michigan Law School

Wrongful discharge

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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 ...


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 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 ...


The Model Employment Termination Act: Fairness For Employees And Employers Alike, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1992

The Model Employment Termination Act: Fairness For Employees And Employers Alike, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The Model Employment Termination Act (META), which state legislatures are expected to consider in the near future aims to prevent the unfair firing of Amer~ ican workers. At the same time, the Act aims to prevent devastating financial blows to American business. For both employees and employers, META offers streamlined dispute resolution procedures that would be simpler, less costly, and less time-consuming than the civil courts. The essence of the proposal is compromise-not as a matter of political expediency but as a practical, balanced accommodation of the competing worthwhile interests of employers and employees. Workers are entitled to be free ...


At-Will Employment: An Overview, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1989

At-Will Employment: An Overview, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The most dramatic development of the last decade has been the rapid judicial expansion of modifications in at-will employment doctrine.


A Seed Germinates: Unjust Discharge Reform Heads Toward Full Flower, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1988

A Seed Germinates: Unjust Discharge Reform Heads Toward Full Flower, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

In this paper, I shall briefly review the nature and limitations of the theories most frequently invoked by the courts in dealing with wrongful dismissal. I shall then examine the major arguments for and against a general overhaul of the doctrine of employment at will. Lastly, I shall discuss some of the particular questions that will have to be addressed in fashioning a statutory solution.


The Twilight Of Employment At Will? An Update, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1987

The Twilight Of Employment At Will? An Update, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

A 55-year-old white male, who has spent thirty years working his way up to a responsible middle-management position in his company, is asked for his resignation. No reason given. Even though the employee could demonstrate that he still is qualified to perform his duties, the employer's action in dismissing him would be quite unexceptionable under the conventional American common law doctrine of employment at will. The situation could be even more disturbing. If the employment-at-will principle were allowed its full scope, an employee would have no recourse even if he knew he was being discharged because he had refused ...


The Revision Of Employment-At-Will Enters A New Phase, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1985

The Revision Of Employment-At-Will Enters A New Phase, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The most significant development in the whole field of labor law during the past decade was the growing willingness of the courts to modify the traditional doctrine of employment-at-will. Applying either tort or contract theory, or both, judges in some thirty jurisdictions declared their readiness to blunt the worst rigors of the rule that an employment contract of indefinite duration can be terminated by either party at any time for any reason. These dramatic breakthroughs evoked almost universal acclaim from disinterested commentators, primarily on the grounds of simple justice. Now we may be entering a new phase of consolidation, refinement ...


You're Fired!, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1982

You're Fired!, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

In 1967 Professor Lawrence Blades of Kansas criticized the iron grip of the contract doctrine of employment at will, and argued that all employees should be legally protected against abusive discharge. The next dozen years saw a remarkable reaction. With rare unanimity, a veritable Who's Who of labor academics and labor arbitrators, Aaron, Blumrosen, Howlett, Peck, Stieber, and Summers, to name only some, stepped forth to embrace Blades' notion, and to refine and elaborate it. But the persons who counted the most, the judges and the legislators, hung back. In the 1960s, vast strides were taken at both the ...


Authority Of Allen V. Flood, Horace Lafayette Wilgus Jan 1902

Authority Of Allen V. Flood, Horace Lafayette Wilgus

Articles

In the case of Allen v. Flood, one of the Lords asked this interesting question, "If the cook says to her master, 'Discharge the butler or I leave you,' and the master discharges the butler, does the butler have an action against the cook?"' This, Lord Shand said, was the simplest form in which the very question in Allen v. Flood could be raised.