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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 ...


How The Wagner Act Came To Be: A Prospectus, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1998

How The Wagner Act Came To Be: A Prospectus, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The Wagner Act of 1935, the original National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), has been called "perhaps the most radical piece of legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress."' But Supreme Court interpretations supposedly frustrated the utopian aspirations for a radical restructuring of the workplace." Similarly, according to another commentator, unnecessary language in one of the Court's earliest NLRA cases "drastically undercut the new act's protection of the critical right to strike."'


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 ...


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 ...


The Making Of The Model Employment Termination Act, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1994

The Making Of The Model Employment Termination Act, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Courts in about 45 states have ameliorated the harshness of employment at will, but the common-law modifications still exhibit serious deficiencies. Legislation is needed. The Model Employment Termination Act proposes a balanced compromise. It would protect most employees against discharge without good cause and it would relieve employers of the risk of devastating financial losses When liability is imposed. Arbitration procedures under the Model Act would also be simpler, faster, and cheaper than existing court proceedings.


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 Law And Arbitration: The Model Employment Termination Act, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1993

The Law And Arbitration: The Model Employment Termination Act, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The Model Employment Termination Act(META), which the Uniform Law Commissioners have recommended for adoption by all state legislatures, could provide the most significant legal change of this quarter century in the American workplace. In addition, if the annual case load of grievance arbitrations in this country now stands at somewhere around 65,000, the Act holds the potential for at least quadrupling that figure. Our colleague Jack Stieber has calculated that there are 60 million U.S. employees who are not protected by union contracts or civil service laws, and are thus subject to the employment-at-will doctrine. They can ...


Defining "Disability": The Approach To Follow, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1993

Defining "Disability": The Approach To Follow, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The definition of "disability" has once again become a central issue in workers' compensation law. I am partly responsible. A decade ago I served as the Governor's Special Counselor on Workers' Compensation. In my Reportto the Cabinet Council on Jobs and Economic Development, I stated: "If I could write on a clean slate, I would prefer to see the Michigan definition brought even closer into the mainstream of American law by declaring that 'disability' means a 'limitation of an employee's wage earning capacity in work suitable to his or her qualifications and training resulting from a personal injury ...


Employment-At-Will—Is The Model Act The Answer?, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1993

Employment-At-Will—Is The Model Act The Answer?, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Over the last quarter century, the most significant development in the field of labor and employment law has been a nationwide movement toward a revision of the at-will employment doctrine. Courts in over forty-five jurisdictions have used one or more of three main theories to carve out exceptions to the previously allpervasive principle. Unfortunately, though one can applaud the values embodied in these decisions, there are serious deficiencies in the common law modifications. The purpose of this Article is to outline those defects and to demonstrate that the interests of employees and employers alike would be better served by new ...


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 ...


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 ...


Bart Bartosic: What You See Is Not What You Get, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1990

Bart Bartosic: What You See Is Not What You Get, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

With "Bart" Bartosic, what you see is not necessarily what you get. Anyone even vaguely acquainted with him knows I am not talking about duplicity; on occasion, Bart can be almost painfully forthright. Nonetheless, on first meeting, most persons are likely to view him as the very soul of politesse - perhaps actually too deferential and accommodating. Yet behind that beguiling exterior can be found a backbone of cast iron, a mind like a steel trap, and (to extend the metallic figure) a willingness, when the situation demands, to be as hard as nails in dealing with either ideas or people.


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.


Hiring Ruled Contractual, Bill Gore, Douglas A. Kahn, Stan Shields Jan 1989

Hiring Ruled Contractual, Bill Gore, Douglas A. Kahn, Stan Shields

Articles

On December 29, 1988, the California Supreme Court decided Foley vs. Interactive Data Corp., perhaps the most eagerly awaited state supreme court decision in years. The Foley ruling, which immediately was hailed as a tremendous victory for California employers, eliminated punitive damage awards for many wrongfully terminated employees. That was good news for the employers. The decision, however, also provided employers with sobering news. Most significantly, the court ruled that employment relationships essentially are contracts, with terms created by the reasonable expectation of the parties. Thus, the majority of California employees now have a right to sue for breach of ...


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 ...


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.


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


The Wagner Act: Labor Law's Signal Event, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1985

The Wagner Act: Labor Law's Signal Event, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

There's no fun in stating the obvious. Sophisticated professionals bestow few kudos on those who declaim the conventional wisdom. Even so, one would have to be far more perverse than I, in this fiftieth anniversary year of the National Labor Relations Act, to suggest that the Wagner Act, wasn't the most important (and at the time of it- passage the most controversial) development in the last half-century 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.


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 ...


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.


Discrimination Bans Demonstrate Approaching Maturity Of Employment Law, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1984

Discrimination Bans Demonstrate Approaching Maturity Of Employment Law, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The pervasive message of this symposium sponsored by the Labor Relations Law Section, whether or not intended by the individual authors, is that American employment law is moving beyond adolescence and may be approaching maturity.


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.


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 ...


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 ...