Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 80

Full-Text Articles in Law

Agents Of Inequality: Common Ownership And The Decline Of The American Worker, Zohar Goshen, Doron Levit Jan 2022

Agents Of Inequality: Common Ownership And The Decline Of The American Worker, Zohar Goshen, Doron Levit

Faculty Scholarship

The last forty years have seen two major economic trends: wages have stalled despite rising productivity, and institutional investors have replaced retail shareholders as the predominant owners of the U.S. equity markets. A few powerful institutional investors — dubbed common owners — now hold large stakes in most U.S. corporations. And in no coincidence, when U.S. workers acquired this new set of bosses, their wages stopped growing while shareholder returns increased. This Article explains how common owners shift wealth from labor to capital, thereby exacerbating income inequality.

Powerful institutional investors pushing public corporations en masse to adopt strong corporate governance …


Can Contract Emancipate? Contract Theory And The Law Of Work, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller Jan 2021

Can Contract Emancipate? Contract Theory And The Law Of Work, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Contract and employment law have grown apart. Long ago, each side gave up on the other. In this Article, we re-unite them to the betterment of both. In brief, we demonstrate the emancipatory potential of contract for the law of work.

Today, the dominant contract theories assume a widget transaction between substantively equal parties. If this were an accurate description of what contract is, then contract law would be right to expel workers. Worker protections would indeed be better regulated by – and relegated to – employment and labor law. But contract law is not what contract theorists claim. Neither …


Ending At-Will Employment: A Guide For Just Cause Reform, Kate Andrias, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez Jan 2021

Ending At-Will Employment: A Guide For Just Cause Reform, Kate Andrias, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez

Faculty Scholarship

In the United States, the vast majority of private-sector employers have free rein to discipline or fire workers for good reasons (for harassing other workers), bad reasons (a personal dislike of the worker or a worker’s off-duty activities), or even no reason at all so long as the employers’ justification is not otherwise barred by law. And even if a worker suspects they have been fired for an illegal reason – for instance, because of their race, ethnicity, or gender – the burden is on the worker, not the employer, to collect the necessary evidence, prove discriminatory intent, and mount …


Law In The Time Of Covid-19, Katharina Pistor Apr 2020

Law In The Time Of Covid-19, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Books

The COVID-19 crisis has ended and upended lives around the globe. In addition to killing over 160,000 people, more than 35,000 in the United States alone, its secondary effects have been as devastating. These secondary effects pose fundamental challenges to the rules that govern our social, political, and economic lives. These rules are the domain of lawyers. Law in the Time of COVID-19 is the product of a joint effort by members of the faculty of Columbia Law School and several law professors from other schools.

This volume offers guidance for thinking about some the most pressing legal issues the …


Harassment, Workplace Culture, And The Power And Limits Of Law, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2020

Harassment, Workplace Culture, And The Power And Limits Of Law, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This article asks why it remains so difficult for employers to prevent and respond effectively to harassment, especially sexual harassment, and identifies promising points for legal intervention. It is sobering to consider social-science evidence of the myriad barriers to reporting sexual harassment – from the individual-level and interpersonal to those rooted in society at large. Most of these are out of reach for an employer but workplace culture stands out as a significant arena where employers have influence on whether harassment and other discriminatory behaviors are likely to thrive. Yet employers typically make choices in this area with attention to …


The New "Essential": Rethinking Social Goods In The Age Of Covid-19, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Jan 2020

The New "Essential": Rethinking Social Goods In The Age Of Covid-19, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

The Covid-19 crisis has laid bare the fragility of social insurance systems in the United States and the lack of income security and basic benefits for many workers and residents. The United States has long had weaker protections for workers compared to other liberal democracies racial and economic disparities among those most affected by these dislocations (analyses are hampered by a paucity of demographic data). Those who were socially and economically vulnerable before the pandemic (for example due to homelessness, immigration status, or incarceration) are likely to suffer the most harm. Changes in workplace conditions as a result of the …


Will Artificial Intelligence Eat The Law? The Rise Of Hybrid Social-Ordering Systems, Tim Wu Jan 2019

Will Artificial Intelligence Eat The Law? The Rise Of Hybrid Social-Ordering Systems, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Software has partially or fully displaced many former human activities, such as catching speeders or flying airplanes, and proven itself able to surpass humans in certain contests, like Chess and Jeopardy. What are the prospects for the displacement of human courts as the centerpiece of legal decision-making? Based on the case study of hate speech control on major tech platforms, particularly on Twitter and Facebook, this Essay suggests displacement of human courts remains a distant prospect, but suggests that hybrid machine – human systems are the predictable future of legal adjudication, and that there lies some hope in that combination, …


Building A Good Jobs Economy, Dani Rodrik, Charles F. Sabel Jan 2019

Building A Good Jobs Economy, Dani Rodrik, Charles F. Sabel

Faculty Scholarship

Conventional models are failing throughout the world. In the developed world, the welfare state-compensation model has been in retrenchment for some time, and the drawbacks of the neoliberal conception that has superseded it are increasingly evident. Yet there is no compelling alternative on offer. In the developing world, the conventional, tried-and-tested model of industrialization has run out of steam. In both sets of societies a combination of technological and economic forces (in particular, globalization) is creating or exacerbating productive/technological dualism, with a segment of advanced production in metropolitan areas that thrives on the uncertainty generated by the knowledge economy co-existing …


Trade Openness And Antitrust Law, Anu Bradford, Adam S. Chilton Jan 2019

Trade Openness And Antitrust Law, Anu Bradford, Adam S. Chilton

Faculty Scholarship

Openness to international trade and adoption of antitrust laws can both curb anti-competitive behavior. But scholars have long debated the relationship between the two. Some argue that greater trade openness makes antitrust unnecessary, while others contend that antitrust laws are still needed to realize the benefits of trade liberalization. Data limitations have made this debate largely theoretical to date. We study the relationship between trade and antitrust empirically using new data on antitrust laws and enforcement activities. We find that trade openness and stringency of antitrust laws are positively correlated from 1950 to 2010 overall, but the positive correlation disappears …


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

Faculty Scholarship

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 …


Peril And Possibility: Strikes, Rights, And Legal Change In The Era Of Trump, Kate Andrias Jan 2019

Peril And Possibility: Strikes, Rights, And Legal Change In The Era Of Trump, Kate Andrias

Faculty Scholarship

Thank you, I am delighted to be here. When Professor Fisk and the editors of the Journal asked if I would be willing to give the Feller Lecture this year, I did not hesitate for a moment. It goes without saying that, for a labor law professor, to give a lecture that commemorates David Feller is truly a special honor. While I never had the chance to meet him, his work as an advocate and scholar serves as an example for everyone in the field. I am grateful to the Journal and to the Feller family for the opportunity to …


Janus's Two Faces, Kate Andrias Jan 2019

Janus's Two Faces, Kate Andrias

Faculty Scholarship

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, transitions, and endings. He is often depicted as having two faces, one looking to the future and one to the past. The Supreme Court’s Janus v AFSCME case of last Term is fittingly named.Stunning in its disregard of principles of stare decisis, Janus overruled the forty-year-old precedent Abood v Detroit Board of Education.The Janus decision marks the end of the post – New Deal compromise with respect to public sector unions and the First Amendment. Looking to the future, Janus lays the groundwork for further attack on …


Does Labour Law Need Philosophical Foundations? (Introduction), Hugh Collins, Gillian L. Lester, Virginia Mantouvalou Jan 2018

Does Labour Law Need Philosophical Foundations? (Introduction), Hugh Collins, Gillian L. Lester, Virginia Mantouvalou

Faculty Scholarship

This is the introductory chapter of the book Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law (Collins, Lester, Mantouvalou eds, OUP, 2018). It argues that labour law needs philosophical foundations and explains that careful reflection about underlying moral and political principles and values can serve to provide firm foundations and a clear sense of direction for labour law. At a time when many appear to doubt the value of labour laws and workers’ rights at all, the chapter suggests that it is necessary to reassert that the values and principles that provide the foundations for a system of labour law are not those …


The Case For Dropping Preferential Rules Of Origin, Jeffrey Selbin, Justin Mccrary, Joshua Epstein Jan 2018

The Case For Dropping Preferential Rules Of Origin, Jeffrey Selbin, Justin Mccrary, Joshua Epstein

Faculty Scholarship

An estimated one in three American adults has a criminal record. While some records are for serious offenses, most are for arrests or relatively low-level misdemeanors. In an era of heightened security concerns, easily available data, and increased criminal background checks, these records act as a substantial barrier to gainful employment and other opportunities. Harvard sociologist Devah Pager describes people with criminal records as “marked” with a negative job credential.

In response to this problem, lawyers have launched unmarking programs to help people take advantage of legal record clearing remedies. We studied a random sample of participants in one such …


The Ideological Roots Of America's Market Power Problem, Lina M. Khan Jan 2018

The Ideological Roots Of America's Market Power Problem, Lina M. Khan

Faculty Scholarship

Mounting research shows that America has a market power problem. In sectors ranging from airlines and poultry to eyeglasses and semiconductors, just a handful of companies dominate. The decline in competition is so consistent across markets that excessive concentration and undue market power now look to be not an isolated issue but rather a systemic feature of America’s political economy. This is troubling because monopolies and oligopolies produce a host of harms. They depress wages and salaries, raise consumer costs, block entrepreneurship, stunt investment, retard innovation, and render supply chains and complex systems highly fragile. Dominant firms’ economic power allows …


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

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

Faculty Scholarship

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 …


Employment From Mining And Agricultural Investments: How Much Myth, How Much Reality?, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olle Östensson, Perrine Toledano Jul 2016

Employment From Mining And Agricultural Investments: How Much Myth, How Much Reality?, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olle Östensson, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Employment creation is often seen as a key benefit of investment in natural resources. However, this benefit sometimes falls short: job estimates may be inflated, governmental policies may fail to maximize employment generation, and, in some cases, investments may lead to net livelihood losses. A more thorough examination of employment tied to mining and agricultural investments is thus useful for assessing whether and how employment from natural resource investments contributes to sustainable economic development – a particularly timely topic as countries consider how they will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.

This report aims to clarify the processes …


Building Labor's Constitution, Kate Andrias Jan 2016

Building Labor's Constitution, Kate Andrias

Faculty Scholarship

This essay begins with a puzzle: scholars have built a robust set of constitutional claims about labor rights, claims with deep roots in the labor movement’s own past struggles and its own traditions of constitutional claim-making. Yet, workers’ movements today have made no use of these claims, Andrias reports. The reason, she suggests, has to do with the deep mutual hostility between workers’ movements and the courts. If past were prologue, workers could at least use such arguments outside the courts, but, she argues, “in our [contemporary] legal culture, constitutional arguments are primarily judicial arguments,” and have a way of …


The New Labor Law, Kate Andrias Jan 2016

The New Labor Law, Kate Andrias

Faculty Scholarship

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 of the …


Overcoming The Great Forgetting: A Comment On Fishkin And Forbath, Jedediah S. Purdy Jan 2016

Overcoming The Great Forgetting: A Comment On Fishkin And Forbath, Jedediah S. Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

Fishkin and Forbath’s (F&F’s) manuscript is a project of recovery. It portrays the present as a time marked by a “Great Forgetting” of a tradition of constitutional political economy. F&F name what has been forgotten the “democracy of opportunity” tradition. Recovering it would mean again treating the following three principles as linked elements at the core of our Constitution: (1) an anti-oligarchy principle that works to prevent wealth from producing grossly unequal political power; (2) a commitment to a broad middle class with secure, respected work; and (3) a principle of inclusion that opens participation in both citizenship and the …


Minimum Fees For The Self-Employed: A European Response To The "Uber-Ized" Economy?, Eva Grosheide, Mark Barenberg Jan 2016

Minimum Fees For The Self-Employed: A European Response To The "Uber-Ized" Economy?, Eva Grosheide, Mark Barenberg

Faculty Scholarship

In advanced market economies in Europe and North America, a large and growing percentage of the workforce is self-employed. This group earns a contractual fee from clients, rather than a wage or salary from employers, one form of the so-called "Uberization" of the labor market. Through an analysis of the Court of Justice of the European Union's (CJEU) rulings, this Article explores whether minimum fees for the self-employed could be implemented without infringing European Union (EU) competition law. In particular, it lays out four possible legal mechanisms – what the paper dubs "U-turns" – that swerve around the social harms …


Mandatory Disclosure And Individual Investors: Evidence From The Jobs Act, Colleen Honisberg, Robert J. Jackson Jr., Yu-Ting Forester Wong Jan 2015

Mandatory Disclosure And Individual Investors: Evidence From The Jobs Act, Colleen Honisberg, Robert J. Jackson Jr., Yu-Ting Forester Wong

Faculty Scholarship

One prominent justification for the mandatory disclosure rules that define modem securities law is that these rules encourage individual investors to participate in stock markets. Mandatory disclosure, the theory goes, gives individual investors access to information that puts them on a more equal playing field with sophisticated institutional shareholders. Although this reasoning has long been cited by regulators and commentators as a basis for mandating disclosure, recent work has questioned its validity. In particular, recent studies contend that individual investors are overwhelmed by the amount of information required to be disclosed under current law, and thus they cannot and do …


Admin, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2015

Admin, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

This Article concerns a relatively unseen form of labor that affects us all, but that disproportionately burdens women: admin. Admin is the office type work – both managerial and secretarial – that it takes to run a life or a household. Examples include completing paperwork, making grocery lists, coordinating schedules, mailing packages, and handling medical and benefits matters. Both equity and efficiency are at stake here. Admin raises distributional concerns about those people – often women – who do more than their share of this work on behalf of others. Even when different-sex partners who both work outside the home …


Obergefell At The Intersection Of Civil Rights And Social Movements, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2015

Obergefell At The Intersection Of Civil Rights And Social Movements, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

A judicial decision striking down formalized discrimination marks a crucial moment for those it affects and, in some instances, for the surrounding society as well. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges was unquestionably one of those instances.

This essay considers the distinct ways in which the civil rights and social movements for marriage equality gave rise to this durable socio-political transformation. While some scholarship is skeptical about whether rights-focused advocacy can bring meaningful change to people’s day-to-day lives, I argue that the marriage equality movements demonstrate a synergistic relationship between law reform and social change efforts. During the …


Investment Treaties And Industrial Policy: Select Case Studies On State Liability For Efforts To Encourage, Shape And Regulate Economic Activities In Extractive Industries And Infrastructure, Lise Johnson Feb 2014

Investment Treaties And Industrial Policy: Select Case Studies On State Liability For Efforts To Encourage, Shape And Regulate Economic Activities In Extractive Industries And Infrastructure, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This paper, prepared in connection with a February 2014 conference organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, discusses some of the implications that investment treaties have for investments in infrastructure and the extractive industries. It focuses on liability for government conduct (1) in connection with tenders and negotiations; (2) when responding to questions regarding the legality of the investment; (3) in using performance requirements to leverage benefits and capture spillovers from the investment; (4) changing the legal framework governing an investment in response to evolving needs, circumstances, and interests; (5) administering the investment; and (6) requesting, and responding to …


The Judiciary And Fiscal Crises: An Institutional Critique, Peter Conti-Brown, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2014

The Judiciary And Fiscal Crises: An Institutional Critique, Peter Conti-Brown, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars have long debated the role for courts with respect to governmental action that responds to crisis. Most of the crises analyzed, however, are exogenous to the political process; the courts’ role in response to politically endogenous crises has received less attention. We evaluate the role of the judiciary in a subset of those endogenous crises: the judicial treatment of governmental efforts to resolve the crisis facing underfunded public pensions. Assessing institutional competence schematically with reference to an institution’s democratic accountability and fact-finding ability, we argue that, where institutions function properly, judicial intervention in politically endogenous economic crises should be …


Correcting Criminal Justice Through Collective Experience Rigorously Examined, James S. Liebman, David Mattern Jan 2014

Correcting Criminal Justice Through Collective Experience Rigorously Examined, James S. Liebman, David Mattern

Faculty Scholarship

Federal and state law confers broad discretion on courts to administer the criminal laws, impose powerful penalties, and leave serious criminal behavior unpunished. Each time an appellate court reviews a criminal verdict, it performs an important systemic function of regulating the exercise of that power. Trial courts do the same when, for example, they admit or exclude evidence generated by government investigators. For decades, judicial decisions of this sort have been guided by case law made during the Supreme Court's Criminal Procedure Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that the rule-bound, essentially bureaucratic regulatory …


Comment On The Definition Of "Eligible Organization" For Purposes Of Coverage Of Certain Preventive Services Under The Affordable Care Act, Robert P. Bartlett, Richard M. Buxbaum, Stavros Gadinis, Justin Mccrary, Stephen Davidoff Solomon, Eric L. Talley Jan 2014

Comment On The Definition Of "Eligible Organization" For Purposes Of Coverage Of Certain Preventive Services Under The Affordable Care Act, Robert P. Bartlett, Richard M. Buxbaum, Stavros Gadinis, Justin Mccrary, Stephen Davidoff Solomon, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This comment letter was submitted by U.C. Berkeley corporate law professors in response to a request for comment by the Health and Human Services Department on the definition of "eligible organization" under the Affordable Care Act in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. "Eligible organizations" will be permitted under the Hobby Lobby decision to assert the religious principles of their shareholders to exempt themselves from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate for employees.

In Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court held that the nexus of identity between several closely-held, for-profit corporations and their shareholders holding “a …


Cultivating Justice For The Working Poor: Clinical Representation Of Unemployment Claimants, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2011

Cultivating Justice For The Working Poor: Clinical Representation Of Unemployment Claimants, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

The combination of current economic conditions and recent changes in the United States' welfare system makes representation of unemployment insurance claimants by clinic students a timely learning opportunity. While unemployment insurance claimants often share similarities with student attorneys, they are unable to access justice as easily as student attorneys, and as a result, face the risk of severe poverty. Clinical representation of unemployment claimants is a rich opportunity for students to experience making a difference for a client, and to understand the issues of poverty and justice that these clients experience along the way. These cases reveal that larger lessons …


Choice Of Law And Employee Restrictive Covenants: An American Perspective, Gillian Lester, Elizabeth Ryan Jan 2010

Choice Of Law And Employee Restrictive Covenants: An American Perspective, Gillian Lester, Elizabeth Ryan

Faculty Scholarship

Employees are increasingly mobile across state lines. This is partly the result of technological change facilitating individual movement and communication, but also a result of corresponding changes in corporate organization to establish offices and interests in multiple jurisdictions. With these developments, there has been a rise in litigation surrounding the enforcement of employee covenants not to compete when the parties or issues involved have connections to multiple jurisdictions. The emerging body of law intrigues and confounds lawyers and commentators because of its complexity and unpredictability. This essay is an effort to describe recent legal developments in the United States, situating …