NOTE: Labor Law is now part of a new course, Labor Law and Statutory Employment Law
This course focuses on the laws governing collective bargaining by unions and employers, the relationship between individuals and the union, and the ways that these collective bargaining laws also govern concerted activities in non-union workplaces. Both the Labor-Management Relations Act and state collective bargaining law for public employees will be examined. Starting in the non-union sector, the course examines various rulings declaring company handbook provision for employees to be unlawful, or finding unlawful the discipline of employees expressing opinions about working conditions in the social media or otherwise. The course then examines the American labor law concept of “exclusive representation” and reviews the ways that unions win or lose the legal right to represent “bargaining units” of employees. The course then shifts to the duty to bargain in good faith that arises when a union becomes the legal exclusive bargaining agent, and the laws affecting the interpretation and application of collective bargaining contracts resulting from the bargaining process. Grievance arbitration is explored as well as interest arbitration. The course then shifts to the various ways the parties can and cannot employ economic coercion to promote their views about what the wages, hours, and conditions of employment should apply via strikes, boycotts, lockouts, and unilateral changes in working conditions. Finally, the course reviews the various ways the rights of individuals vis a vis their union are protected by the labor laws.