745 Labor Relations - §001, Fall 2012

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Instructor(s) Clauss, Carin

The first semester of Labor Relations Law, usually offered in the Fall and often referred to as "Labor and Employment Law" is the basic introductory labor course. It examines the various mechanisms for regulating the workplace relationship--market regulation (including collective bargaining and other forms of bilateral determination of workplace rules) and statutory regulation--and provides an in-depth look at the methods of implementing each of these mechanisms (court action, administrative enforcement, administrative regulation and/or arbitration). The course examines the scope of the employment relationship, issues of federalism and preemption, and constitutional issues raised by workplace regulation. The course provides a brief introduction to the National Labor Relations Act and its promotion of collective bargaining; it examines the conflict between collective rights and individual rights and looks at the regulation of economic weapons.

In addition, the course introduces the student to anti-discrimination law, wage laws, safety and health laws, worker compensation law, and the regulation of pension and health benefits. The course contains some comparative law material and looks very briefly at some of the recent efforts to provide international labor standards in an increasingly global economy. The materials include a brief survey of emerging common law doctrine prohibiting wrongful discharge, and prohibiting invasions of privacy, fraudulent inducements and failures to disclose.

A more detailed examination of these and other areas of labor law is provided in a number of advanced courses and seminars, for which "Labor and Employment Law" (the Fall component of Law 745: Labor Relations Law) is a prerequisite. These advanced courses include: "Labor Relations II" (the Spring component of Law 745); Protective Labor Law; and Arbitration. Courses are also offered in Equal Employment Law and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), for which "Labor and Employment Law" is not a prerequisite.

The second semester of this course, usually offered in the Spring and often referred to as "Labor Relations II" is a detailed examination of the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act with an emphasis on representation issues, collective bargaining, protection of individual rights, enforcement of the collective bargaining agreement and regulation of economic weapons used by both management and labor. Student grade is based on completion of simulation assignments based on the typical labor law practice.

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