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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 is contract ...


Distributional Arguments, In Reverse, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2020

Distributional Arguments, In Reverse, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

What should the government do about the distribution of resources and outcomes in the society? Two arguments have shaped academic debates about this question for several decades. The first argument states that economic regulation should focus on efficiency alone, leaving distributional considerations for the tax-and-transfer system. The second argument objects to government assistance for people unintentionally harmed by legal reforms. Taken together, the two arguments impose major restrictions on the range of possible distributional policies.

This Article contends that a growing body of research in the economics of trade, immigration, industrial organization, labor, and environmental regulation reveals that the core ...


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 legal ...


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 pandemic has had a particularly grave impact on people of color and low-income individuals, while also affecting a wide array of tenants, students, and health care, service and “gig” workers. One consequence for law and policy is that addressing the social dislocations caused by the pandemic might lead to profound changes in what Americans consider essential goods for a sustainable society. This chapter examines government efforts to buttress the ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 and ...


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 aspire to equal distribution ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


The Architecture Of Inclusion: Interdisciplinary Insights On Pursuing Institutional Citizenship, Susan Sturm Jan 2007

The Architecture Of Inclusion: Interdisciplinary Insights On Pursuing Institutional Citizenship, Susan Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

Structural inequality has captured the attention of academics, policymakers, and activists. This structural reorientation is occurring at a time of judicial retrenchment and political backlash against affirmative action. These developments have placed in sharp relief the mismatch between structural diagnoses and the dominant legal frameworks for addressing inequality. Scholars, policymakers, and activists are faced with the pressing question of what to do now. They share a need for new frameworks and strategies, growing out of a better understanding of institutional and cultural change.

I am honored that the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender has used the publication of The Architecture ...


International Union, U.A.W. V. Johnson Controls: The History Of Litigation Alliances And Mobilization To Challenge Fetal Protection Policies, Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Susan P. Sturm Jan 2007

International Union, U.A.W. V. Johnson Controls: The History Of Litigation Alliances And Mobilization To Challenge Fetal Protection Policies, Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Susan P. Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

The Supreme Court's decision in Johnson Controls is the culmination of a long legal campaign by labor, women's rights, and workplace safety advocates to invalidate restrictions on women's employment based on pregnancy. This campaign powerfully demonstrates the use of amicus briefs as opportunities to link the efforts of groups with overlapping agendas and to shape the Supreme Court's understanding of the surrounding empirical, social and political context. But Johnson Controls also provides important lessons about the narrowing effects and fragility of litigation-centered mobilization. The case affirmed an important anti-discrimination principle but ironically left women (and men ...


Cataclysmic Liability Risk Among Big Four Auditors, Eric L. Talley Jan 2006

Cataclysmic Liability Risk Among Big Four Auditors, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

Since Arthur Andersen's implosion in 2002, policymakers have been encouraged with ever increasing urgency to insulate the auditing industry from legal liability. Advocates of such insulation cite many arguments, but the gravamen of their case is that the profession faces such significant risk of cataclysmic liability that its long term viability is imperiled. In this Essay, I explore the nature of these claims as a legal, theoretical, and empirical matter. Legally, it is clear that authority exists (within both state and federal law) to impose liability on auditing firms for financial fraud, and courts have been doing so sporadically ...


Grutter At Work: A Title Vii Critique Of Constitutional Affirmative Action, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2006

Grutter At Work: A Title Vii Critique Of Constitutional Affirmative Action, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This Note argues that Title VII doctrine both illuminates internal contradictions of Grutter v. Bollinger and provides a framework for reading the opinion. Grutter's diversity rationale is a broad endorsement of integration that hinges on the quantitative concept of critical mass, but the opinion's narrow-tailoring discussion instead points to a model of racial difference that champions subjective decisionmaking and threatens to jettison numerical accountability. Title VII doctrine supports a reading of Grutter that privileges a view of diversity as integration and therefore cautions against the opinion's conception of narrow tailoring. Grutter, in turn, can productively inform employment ...


The Architecture Of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace Equity In Higher Education, Susan P. Sturm Jan 2006

The Architecture Of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace Equity In Higher Education, Susan P. Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

This Article develops a paradigm for advancing workplace equality when the problems causing racial and gender under-participation are structural, and the legal environment surrounding diversity initiatives is uncertain. It first analyzes three key dilemmas that have limited the efficacy of prior diversity initiatives: limited capacity to institutionalize change, a legal minefield, and ineffective public accountability. It then offers three related ideas in service of advancing workplace equity through institutional transformation. Although its focus is on higher education, the Article develops an approach with more general applicability. First, it develops the norm of institutional citizenship as a justification and goal for ...


The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen Jan 2006

The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Arguably the most important social science research of the past decade has centered on comparative law and economics. In a celebrated series of articles, the economists Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, Andrei Shleifer, and intermittent collaborators have explored empirically how a country's legal origin – English common law, French civil law, Germanic code, Scandinavian law, or Soviet socialist law – affects its subsequent institutional and economic development. The common law emerges as the hero of this analysis: Compared with other countries and especially with civil law countries, common law bearers have, ceteris paribus, better legal protection of shareholders and creditors; greater ...


The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen Jan 2006

The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This paper critiques The Regulation of Labor, an empirical study recently published by Juan C. Botero, Simeon Djankov, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. The Regulation of Labor extends these authors' comparative research to the realm of employment, collective-relations, and social-security laws, and finds that legal origin is a stronger predictor of all of these than political or economic variables, with common law associated with the lowest levels of regulation. While these findings are suggestive and help deepen the case for regulatory complementarity, the methodological weaknesses are severe. This paper explores the ...


The Architecture Of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace Equity In Higher Education, Susan Sturm Jan 2006

The Architecture Of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace Equity In Higher Education, Susan Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

The path to workplace'equality has become a difficult one to navigate. No one can safely rely upon the strategies developed in the 1960s and 1970s to integrate workplaces. Employers face legal and political challenges both for failing to diversify their workplaces and for diversity efforts to overcome that failure. Civil rights and women's rights advocates battle to hold on to the litigation victories of the past, even as they acknowledge judicial remedies' shrinking availability and limited efficacy in addressing many aspects of current-day equality. Anti-discrimination regulators contend with inadequate resources to carry out their traditional enforcement activities, as ...


The "Inexorable Zero", Bert I. Huang Jan 2004

The "Inexorable Zero", Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

For over a quarter century, legal arguments about segregation, discrimination, and affirmative action have invoked the image of the "inexorable zero" – complete absence of any women or minorities at a given school or workplace. Yet as evocative as the phrase might be, its precise doctrinal import has remained elusive. This Note recounts the original use of the concept in a landmark Title VII case and documents a current circuit split. It then articulates theoretical grounds upon which the concept’s intuitive appeal might rest. Finally, it excavates a further, more complex rationale that the Supreme Court may have contemplated at ...


The "Inexorable Zero", Bert I. Huang Jan 2004

The "Inexorable Zero", Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

[F]ine tuning of the statistics could not have obscured the glaring absence of minority [long-distance] drivers .... [T]he company's inability to rebut the inference of discrimination came not from a misuse of statistics but from "the inexorable zero."

The Supreme Court first uttered the phrase "inexorable zero" a quarter-century ago in International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. United States, a landmark Title VII case. Ever since, this enigmatic name for a rule of inference has echoed across legal argument about segregation, discrimination, and affirmative action. Justice O'Connor, for instance, cited the "inexorable zero" in a major sex discrimination ...


Solving Problems V. Claiming Rights: The Pragmatist Challenge To Legal Liberalism, William H. Simon Jan 2003

Solving Problems V. Claiming Rights: The Pragmatist Challenge To Legal Liberalism, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Recent developments in both theory and practice have inspired a new understanding of public interest lawyering. The theoretical development is an intensified interest in Pragmatism. The practical development is the emergence of a style of social reform that seeks to institutionalize the Pragmatist vision of democratic governance as learning and experimentation. This style is reflected in a variety of innovative responses to social problems, including drug courts, ecosystem management, and "new accountability" educational reform. The new understanding represents a significant challenge to an influential view of law among politically liberal lawyers over the past 50 years. That view – Legal Liberalism ...


Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach, Susan Sturm Jan 2001

Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach, Susan Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

The judiciary's traditional rule-based approach has been successful in reducing overt discrimination against women and people of color. It has been less effective in addressing more subtle and complex forms of workplace inequity. These second generation forms of bias result from patterns of interaction, informal norms, networking, mentoring, and evaluation. Drawing on the potential of recent Supreme Court decisions, Professor Sturm proposes a structural regulatory solution to this problem of second generation employment discrimination. Her approach links the efforts of courts, workplaces, employees, lawyers, and mediating organizations to construct a regime that encourages employers to engage in effective problem ...


Restrictive Covenants, Employee Training, And The Limits Of Transaction-Cost Analysis, Gillian Lester Jan 2001

Restrictive Covenants, Employee Training, And The Limits Of Transaction-Cost Analysis, Gillian Lester

Faculty Scholarship

Restrictive covenants are an increasingly common feature of employment, used across a wide range of industries, occupations, and employees. In its most common form, a restrictive covenant prohibits an employee from competing with the employer within a certain geographic area fora specified period of time after departure, usually one or two years. Sometimes these clauses are drawn more narrowly, proscribing specific activities such as continued dealings with former customers. Regardless of scope, the typical remedy when an employee breaches such a covenant is injunctive relief.

A substantial literature within law and economics debates the merits of restrictive covenants from an ...


Unemployment Insurance And Wealth Redistribution, Gillian Lester Jan 2001

Unemployment Insurance And Wealth Redistribution, Gillian Lester

Faculty Scholarship

This Article evaluates the merit of liberalizing unemployment insurance eligibility as a means to achieve progressive wealth redistribution-an idea that has recently gained popularity among policymakers and legal scholars. Unemployment insurance (UI) provides temporary, partial wage replacement to workers who suffer unexpected job loss, but it tends to exclude workers who have very low wages or hours of work, or who quit for reasons considered "personal" (for example, to accommodate family demands). Professor Lester argues that while redistribution to workers who are poor or who have caregiving obligations is a desirable goal, expanding UI is a poor way to do ...


Ratcheting Labor Standards: Regulation For Continuous Improvement In The Global Workplace, Charles F. Sabel, Dara O'Rourke, Archon Fung Jan 2000

Ratcheting Labor Standards: Regulation For Continuous Improvement In The Global Workplace, Charles F. Sabel, Dara O'Rourke, Archon Fung

Faculty Scholarship

It is a brute fact of contemporary globalization – unmistakable as activists and journalists catalog scandal after scandal – that the very transformations making possible higher quality, cheaper products often lead to unacceptable conditions of work: brutal use of child labor, dangerous environments, punishingly long days, starvation wages, discrimination, suppression of expression and association. In all quarters, the question is not whether to address these conditions, but how.

That question, however, admits no easy answers. Globalization itself has freed capital from many of its former constraints – national workplace standards, collective bargaining, and supervisory state agencies and courts – designed to humanize working conditions ...