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Full-Text Articles in Law

Employer Liability For Sex Harassment Through The Lens Of Restorative Justice, Emily Rees Apr 2021

Employer Liability For Sex Harassment Through The Lens Of Restorative Justice, Emily Rees

Cleveland State Law Review

Title VII cases alleging sex harassment have become almost completely deferential to employers who have anti-harassment policies. In this Note, I discuss legal and sociological influences on this development and propose using restorative justice focused mediation to avoid rendering Title VII entirely ineffective. Mediation should only be compelled as a remedy—after a court finds that harassment occurred, but that the plaintiff cannot prove her employer knew about the harassment. Instead of dismissing these cases—where judges have already found illegal discrimination—some corrective action should be imposed on the employer for its failure to maintain a harassment-free workplace. Focusing ...


Whose Choice?: The Future Of Construction (And Maybe All) Labor Law, Michael J. Hayes Apr 2021

Whose Choice?: The Future Of Construction (And Maybe All) Labor Law, Michael J. Hayes

Catholic University Law Review

The current National Labor Relations Board ("Board') since 2018 has indicated an interest in changing the law on employee representation by unions in the construction industry, culminating in a final rule issued on April 1, 2020. As the article discusses, this proposal is likely to have effects in many industries other than construction, because many other industries in the U.S. are becoming more like the construction industry has long been. The Board’s rule has changed what's required for a construction union to remain the representative of a construction employer's employees, which the Board justified as serving ...


Compensation, Commodification, And Disablement: How Law Has Dehumanized Laboring Bodies And Excluded Nonlaboring Humans, Karen M. Tani Apr 2021

Compensation, Commodification, And Disablement: How Law Has Dehumanized Laboring Bodies And Excluded Nonlaboring Humans, Karen M. Tani

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Injury Impoverished: Workplace Accidents, Capitalism, and Law in the Progressive Era. by Nate Holdren.


The Ragged Edge Of Rugged Individualism: Wage Theft And The Personalization Of Social Harm, Matthew Fritz-Mauer Apr 2021

The Ragged Edge Of Rugged Individualism: Wage Theft And The Personalization Of Social Harm, Matthew Fritz-Mauer

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Every year, millions of low-wage workers suffer wage theft when their employers refuse to pay them what they have earned. Wage theft is both prevalent and highly impactful. It costs individuals thousands each year in unpaid earnings, siphons tens of billions of dollars from low-income communities, depletes the government of necessary resources, distorts the competitive labor market, and causes significant personal harm to its victims. In recent years, states and cities have passed new laws to attack the problem. These legal changes are important. They are also, broadly speaking, failing the people they are supposed to protect.

This Article fills ...


Structural Labor Rights, Hiba Hafiz Feb 2021

Structural Labor Rights, Hiba Hafiz

Michigan Law Review

American labor law was designed to ensure equal bargaining power between workers and employers. But workers’ collective power against increasingly dominant employers has disintegrated. With union density at an abysmal 6.2 percent in the private sector—a level unequaled since the Great Depression— the vast majority of workers depend only on individual negotiations with employers to lift stagnant wages and ensure upward economic mobility. But decentralized, individual bargaining is not enough. Economists and legal scholars increasingly agree that, absent regulation to protect workers’ collective rights, labor markets naturally strengthen employers’ bargaining power over workers. Existing labor and antitrust law ...


Because Of Bostock, Noelle N. Wyman Jan 2021

Because Of Bostock, Noelle N. Wyman

Michigan Law Review Online

On a below-freezing January morning, Jennifer Chavez, an automobile technician, sat in a car that she was repairing to keep warm while waiting for delayed auto parts to arrive. Without intending to, she nodded off. Her employer promptly fired her for sleeping on the job. At least, that is the justification her employer gave. But Chavez had reason to believe that her coming out as transgender motivated the termination. In the months leading up to the January incident, Chavez’s supervisor had told her to “tone things down” when she talked about her gender transition. The repair-shop owner said that ...


Workers' Comp And Contagious Disease: History And Future, Kate E. Britt Jan 2021

Workers' Comp And Contagious Disease: History And Future, Kate E. Britt

Law Librarian Scholarship

Modern workers’ compensation schemes set out to provide financial relief to employees who contract an occupational disease during employment, like miners contracting black lung or contractors exposed to asbestos. Certain professions are understood to stand a particular risk of exposure to contagious diseases. Health-care workers interact with persons carrying contagious disease as a matter of course. What workers’ compensation does not cover are diseases which are so prevalent they are considered an “ordinary disease of life.” These diseases, like the common cold, influenza, or pneumonia, could be contracted by persons regardless of their profession, and workers’ compensation acts generally limit ...


Consent, Coercion, And Employment Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos Jul 2020

Consent, Coercion, And Employment Law, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

The Roberts Court has recently handed several high-profile wins in labor and employment law cases to anti-labor and pro-employer forces. This paper argues that those decisions replicate crucial moves made by some infamous Lochner-era cases — and that those same moves continue to underlie key elements of labor and employment doctrine more generally. In particular, these decisions rest on a contestable understanding of free worker choice. This paper begins by examining the key recent Roberts Court decisions and demonstrates that they appear to invoke at least two distinct and conflicting understandings of employee and employer choice. It then turns to the ...


A More Perfect Pickering Test: Janus V. Afscme Council 31 And The Problem Of Public Employee Speech, Alexandra J. Gilewicz May 2020

A More Perfect Pickering Test: Janus V. Afscme Council 31 And The Problem Of Public Employee Speech, Alexandra J. Gilewicz

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In June 2018, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited—and, for the American labor movement, long-feared—decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. The decision is expected to have a major impact on public sector employee union membership, but could have further impact on public employees’ speech rights in the workplace. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito’s broad interpretation of whether work-related speech constitutes a “matter of public concern” may have opened the floodgates to substantially more litigation by employees asserting that their employers have violated their First Amendment rights. Claims that would have previously been unequivocally foreclosed ...


Switching Employers In A Working World: American Immigrants And The Revocation Notice Problem, Julie Aust Jan 2019

Switching Employers In A Working World: American Immigrants And The Revocation Notice Problem, Julie Aust

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A current tension in U.S. employment immigration law involves the notice requirements for prospective permanent residency—”green card”—applicants. Foreign workers oftentimes do not receive their green cards for more than ten years after beginning the permanent residency process. For almost four decades after the first major employment immigration legislation was passed in 1965, green card applicants were unable to change employers during this extremely long process without abandoning their applications. In 2000, Congress sought to remedy the problem by passing legislation allowing foreign workers to change employers without sacrificing progress on their green cards. This legislation, however, created ...


Rwu First Amendment Blog: Michael J. Yelnosky's Blog: Janus V. Afscme And "Weaponizing The First Amendment 06-30-2018, Michael J. Yelnosky Jun 2018

Rwu First Amendment Blog: Michael J. Yelnosky's Blog: Janus V. Afscme And "Weaponizing The First Amendment 06-30-2018, Michael J. Yelnosky

Law School Blogs

No abstract provided.


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

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

Articles

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 to address ...


The Dubious Empirical And Legal Foundations Of Wellness Programs, Adrianna Mcintyre, Nicholas Bagley, Austin Frakt, Aaron Carroll Jul 2017

The Dubious Empirical And Legal Foundations Of Wellness Programs, Adrianna Mcintyre, Nicholas Bagley, Austin Frakt, Aaron Carroll

Articles

The article offers information on the dubious empirical and legal foundations of workplace wellness programs in the U.S. Topics discussed include enactment of Affordable Care Act for expanding the scope of incentives availas; analysis of financial incentives offered to the employees for encouraging their participation in wellness programs; and targeting incentives specifically toward individuals diagnosed with chronic diseases.


The Eeoc, The Ada, And Workplace Wellness Programs, Samuel R. Bagenstos May 2017

The Eeoc, The Ada, And Workplace Wellness Programs, Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

It seems that everybody loves workplace wellness programs. The Chamber of Commerce has firmly endorsed those progarms, as have other business groups. So has President Obama, and even liberal firebrands like former Senator Tom Harkin. And why not? After all, what's not to like about programs that encourage people to adopt healthy habits like exercise, nutritious eating, and quitting smoking? The proponents of these programs speak passionately, and with evident good intentions, about reducing the crushing burden that chronic disease places on individuals, families, communities, and the economy as a whole. What's not to like? Plenty. Workplace wellness ...


The New Labor Law, Kate Andrias Oct 2016

The New Labor Law, Kate Andrias

Articles

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 ...


Understanding Noncompetition Agreements: The 2014 Noncompete Survey Project, J. J. Prescott, Norman D. Bishara, Evan Starr Apr 2016

Understanding Noncompetition Agreements: The 2014 Noncompete Survey Project, J. J. Prescott, Norman D. Bishara, Evan Starr

Articles

In recent years, scholars and policymakers have devoted considerable attention to the potential consequences of employment noncompetition agreements and to whether legislatures ought to reform the laws that govern the enforcement of these controversial contractual provisions. Unfortunately, much of this interest—and the content of proposed reforms—derives from anecdotal tales of burdensome noncompetes among low-wage workers and from scholarship that is either limited to slivers of the population (across all studies, less than 1%) or relies on strong assumptions about the incidence of noncompetition agreements. Better understanding of the use of noncompetes and effective noncompetition law reform requires a ...


Special Treatment Stigma After The Ada Amendments Act, Nicole Buonocore Porter Mar 2016

Special Treatment Stigma After The Ada Amendments Act, Nicole Buonocore Porter

Pepperdine Law Review

This article explores a unique source of stigma suffered by individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Instead of focusing on those with the most stigmatizing disabilities, I focus on those individuals who have disabilities that are not perceived as very severe, yet they still suffer stigma. These individuals are stigmatized because of the special treatment they receive (or are perceived as receiving) through workplace accommodations provided pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In prior work, I have called this phenomenon “special treatment stigma,” the harm that arises from receiving special treatment in the workplace, especially when co-workers believe ...


Rejecting The Tattooed Applicant, Disciplining The Tattooed Employee: What Are The Risks?, Stephen Allred Jan 2016

Rejecting The Tattooed Applicant, Disciplining The Tattooed Employee: What Are The Risks?, Stephen Allred

Law Faculty Publications

In the last twenty years, there has been a significant rise in the popularity of tattoos. Once relegated to the marginal realm of sailors, motorcycle gang members, or dock workers, tattoos are now proudly displayed by NBA stars, rock artists, and film actors. Perhaps not surprisingly, American workers, particularly younger workers, have emulated their idols and obtained tattoos too—at a remarkable rate. In fact, a 2012 Harris Poll found that one in five American adults had at least one tattoo. And while increasing percentages of Americans view tattoos as acceptable (indeed, even as art), tattoos still carry a persistent ...


Towards Reasonable: The Rise Of State Pregnancy Accommodation Laws, Stephanie A. Pisko Jan 2016

Towards Reasonable: The Rise Of State Pregnancy Accommodation Laws, Stephanie A. Pisko

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision Young v. UPS, pregnancy accommodation in the workplace is once again at the forefront of employment law. Pregnancy is not considered a disability under the ADA, nor is it within the scope of Title VII protections, but states are passing their own pregnancy accommodation laws. These laws will affect employers and employees alike, but exactly how is uncertain. Perhaps the most natural (and obvious) result of the explosion of state pregnancy accommodation laws will be a federal law, or an amendment to the ADA categorizing pregnancy as a disability. But there are ...


Rwu Law: The Magazine Of Roger Williams University School Of Law (Issue 9) (2016), Roger Williams University School Of Law Jan 2016

Rwu Law: The Magazine Of Roger Williams University School Of Law (Issue 9) (2016), Roger Williams University School Of Law

RWU Law

No abstract provided.


Griggs At Midlife, Deborah A. Widiss Apr 2015

Griggs At Midlife, Deborah A. Widiss

Michigan Law Review

Not all Supreme Court cases have a midlife crisis. But it is fair to say that Griggs v. Duke Power Co., which recently turned forty, has some serious symptoms. Griggs established a foundational proposition of employment discrimination law known as disparate impact liability: policies that significantly disadvantage racial minority or female employees can violate federal employment discrimination law, even if there is no evidence that the employer “intended” to discriminate. Griggs is frequently described as one of the most important decisions of the civil rights era, compared to Brown v. Board of Education for its “momentous social consequences.” In 1989 ...


The Perversity Of Sexual-Harassment Law: Effects Of Recent Court Rulings, David Sherwyn, Michael C. Sturman, Zev J. Eigen, Michael Heise, Jenn Walwyn Feb 2015

The Perversity Of Sexual-Harassment Law: Effects Of Recent Court Rulings, David Sherwyn, Michael C. Sturman, Zev J. Eigen, Michael Heise, Jenn Walwyn

Michael Heise

The outcome of 109 motions for summary judgment filed since June 1998, in which employers argued that a hostile-environment case should be dismissed because the employer satisfied, as a matter of law, the affirmative defense are analyzed. The examination of these cases provides the opportunity to test past conjecture and describe how courts have implemented the Ellerh and Faragher rulings. It is found that employers are still able to prevail in summary-judgment motions. With evidence showing that employers can satisfy the affirmative defense, each of the three areas that commentators have suggested should have prevented such success is examined. What ...


The Problems Inherent In Litigating Employer Free Exercise Rights, Henry L. Chambers Jr. Jan 2015

The Problems Inherent In Litigating Employer Free Exercise Rights, Henry L. Chambers Jr.

Law Faculty Publications

This brief Article proceeds in four parts. Part I discusses the Supreme Court's recent cases that address employer free exercise rights. Part II notes problems that accompany providing free exercise rights to employers. Part III explores the expansion of employer prerogative in the context of providing employers additional free exercise rights. Part IV considers problems that arise when employee rights are not deemed central to litigation regarding employer free exercise rights. The Article concludes by proposing a refraining of the free exercise issue that will consider how to account for the interests of the employer, its stakeholders, and its ...


Centering The Teenage "Siren": Adolescent Workers, Sexual Harassment, And The Legal Construction Of Race And Gender, Anastasia M. Boles Jan 2015

Centering The Teenage "Siren": Adolescent Workers, Sexual Harassment, And The Legal Construction Of Race And Gender, Anastasia M. Boles

Faculty Scholarship

Recent scholarship and media attention has focused on the prevalence of sexually harassing behavior directed at working teenagers, and the emergence of sexual harassment lawsuits by these minors against their employers. Although many of the legal issues concerning workplace sexual harassment and adult workers (and the various state and federal jurisprudence prohibiting it) have been widely discussed, there is surprisingly little discourse, research, and precedent addressing the problem of workplace sexual harassment and teen workers.

Currently, most sexual harassment cases brought by adolescent workers are litigated using the doctrinal framework for adult workers. Only the Seventh Circuit has developed an ...


My Coworker, My Enemy: Solidarity, Workplace Control, And The Class Politics Of Title Vii, Ahmed A. White Jan 2015

My Coworker, My Enemy: Solidarity, Workplace Control, And The Class Politics Of Title Vii, Ahmed A. White

Articles

No abstract provided.


Centering The Teenage "Siren": Adolescent Workers, Sexual Harassment, And The Legal Construction Of Race And Gender, Anastasia M. Boles Jan 2015

Centering The Teenage "Siren": Adolescent Workers, Sexual Harassment, And The Legal Construction Of Race And Gender, Anastasia M. Boles

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Recent scholarship and media attention has focused on the prevalence of sexually harassing behavior directed at working teenagers, and the emergence of sexual harassment lawsuits by these minors against their employers. Although many of the legal issues concerning workplace sexual harassment and adult workers (and the various state and federal jurisprudence prohibiting it) have been widely discussed, there is surprisingly little discourse, research, and precedent addressing the problem of workplace sexual harassment and teen workers. Currently, most sexual harassment cases brought by adolescent workers are litigated using the doctrinal framework for adult workers. Only the Seventh Circuit has developed an ...


Social Media And The Job Market: How To Reconcile Applicant Privacy With Employer Needs, Peter B. Baumhart Jan 2015

Social Media And The Job Market: How To Reconcile Applicant Privacy With Employer Needs, Peter B. Baumhart

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In the modern technological age, social media allows us to communicate vast amounts of personal information to countless people instantaneously. This information is valuable to more than just our “friends” and “followers,” however. Prospective employers can use this personal data to inform hiring decisions, thereby maximizing fit and minimizing potential liability. The question then arises, how best to acquire this information? For job applicants, the counter-question is how best to protect the privacy of their social media accounts. As these two competing desires begin to clash, it is important to find a method to mediate the conflict. Existing privacy law ...


Breastfeeding On A Nickel And A Dime: Why The Affordable Care Act's Nursing Mothers Amendment Won't Help Low-Wage Workers, Nancy Ehrenreich, Jamie Siebrese Oct 2014

Breastfeeding On A Nickel And A Dime: Why The Affordable Care Act's Nursing Mothers Amendment Won't Help Low-Wage Workers, Nancy Ehrenreich, Jamie Siebrese

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (also known as “Obamacare”), Congress passed a new law requiring employers to provide accommodation to working mothers who want to express breast milk while at work. This accommodation requirement is a step forward from the preceding legal regime, under which federal courts consistently found that “lactation discrimination” did not constitute sex discrimination. But this Article predicts that the new law will nevertheless fall short of guaranteeing all women the ability to work while breastfeeding. The generality of the Act’s brief provisions, along with the broad discretion it ...


Coercive Assimilationism: The Perils Of Muslim Women's Identity Performance In The Workplace, Sahar F. Aziz Oct 2014

Coercive Assimilationism: The Perils Of Muslim Women's Identity Performance In The Workplace, Sahar F. Aziz

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Should employees have the legal right to “be themselves” at work? Most Americans would answer in the negative because work is a privilege, not an entitlement. But what if being oneself entails behaviors, mannerisms, and values integrally linked to the employee’s gender, race, or religion? And what if the basis for the employer’s workplace rules and professionalism standards rely on negative racial, ethnic or gender stereotypes that disparately impact some employees over others? Currently, Title VII fails to take into account such forms of second-generation discrimination, thereby limiting statutory protections to phenotypical or morphological bases. Drawing on social ...


The Fourth Trimester, Saru M. Matambanadzo Sep 2014

The Fourth Trimester, Saru M. Matambanadzo

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article introduces a new conceptual framework to the legal literature on pregnancy and pregnancy discrimination: the fourth trimester. The concept of a fourth trimester, drawn from maternal nursing and midwifery, refers to the crucial three to six month period after birth when many of the physical, psychological, emotional, and social effects of pregnancy continue. Giving this concept legal relevance extends the scope of pregnancy beyond the narrow period defined by conception, gestation, and birth and acknowledges that pregnancy is a relational process, not an individual event. In the United States, however, antidiscrimination law has failed to acknowledge the demands ...