LS_EmploymentLaw_JOSEPH-1 - Work and Society 1800s theme of...

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Work and Society 1800s : theme of US employment law dealt with the individual making a contract with the employer (no state involvement); freedom to bargain 1840s : industrial revolution (textiles, cotton) highlighted social problems; factories with immigrant workers; accident-creating activity; doctrine of vicarious liability 1860s : doctrines of contributory negligence and fellow servant rule (can’t sue employer for vicarious liability if suing a fellow employee) as defenses of the employer against a suit by the employee - employer defenses were difficult obstacles to overcome; almost all work-related injuries were non-compensable - employees had no protections, no ability to bargain 1870s : Railroad Industrial Revolution - labor market grows, immigration increases, employment increases 1880s : political crises; increase of work-related injuries leads to commissions being set up to look at the problem, leads to workers’ comp legislation (struck down in 1911) 1890s : Railroad union legislation held unconstitutional (because took away substantive due process rights of employers) - still have idea that the state had no power to alter the employment contract 1920s : Railroad Labor Law upheld; every state has workers’ comp legislation - takes workplace-related injuries out of tort law 1930s : FDR reform statutes (NLRA, FLSA, SSA, etc.) passed - grants rights and obligations to the employment contract (only to employees) - all rights concern money in some way 1940s : controlled economy, wages frozen; employee frustration leads to strikes 1960s : Equal Pay Act, Civil Rights Act 1970s : OHSA, ERISA 1980s : Polygraph Protection Act 1990s : ADA, Family & Medical Leave Act Laborem Exercens Pope John Paul II’s description of work - any activity, includes both intellectual and manual labor - distinguishes us from the animals, makes us human (unlike with other creatures, our work is not necessary for sustaining our lives), makes us a community Work in America An obvious economic purpose of work is to make a living, provide goods and services - can network and make connections to make more money Work also shapes our sense of identity, contributes to self-esteem, provides us with friends and social status Collective Bargaining Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act): established the National Labor Relations Board to regulate union organizing, representation elections and unfair labor practices 1
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- gave employees the right to self-organize and collectively bargain - prohibited certain employer unfair labor practices - law applies to everyone regardless of companies’ size Pre- Wagner : no concern to an employer if one employee refuses employment because of low wages - key to collective bargaining is the collectivization of rights; now employees can strike for wages and hours, get “just cause” termination requirement Taft-Hartley Act (Labor Management Relations Act): whittled down union power - gave employees the right to refrain from (as well as participate in) union activities - named prohibited unfair labor practices Landrum-Griffin (Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act): Bill of rights for
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LS_EmploymentLaw_JOSEPH-1 - Work and Society 1800s theme of...

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