Instructor(s) Leachman, Gwen
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. This course provides a basic introduction to labor and employment law. One goal is to familiarize students with the major rules regulating the terms and conditions of work, including in the area of labor management relations laws, contract law, torts, workers compensation acts, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Yet instead of examining these areas of law separately according to their doctrinal categorization, this course is organized topically, around the major issues where employee and employer interests tend to conflict. The interests we examine in some detail include: job security (individual and collective), privacy interests, employee voice and speech rights, the regulation of wages and hours, health and safety, and enforcement options (including court action, administrative enforcement, and arbitration). By examining the law of work through the lens of these interests, the course aims to illustrate how the rules overlap and relate to one another, fostering a more holistic understanding of the multiple legal structures governing the workplace.
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.