By: Marissa Ditkowsky On March 1, 2017, American University Provost Scott Bass sent out a community-wide email surrounding the unionization of graduate assistants through the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 500. According to Provost’s email, SEIU Local 500 filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking to be a certified representative […]

By: Meikhel Philogene The travel ban imposed by President Donald J. Trump through Executive Order 13769, signed on January 27, 2017, has been one in a series of controversial executive orders signed by the President during his first two weeks of office.[1]  The travel ban immediately suspends U.S. entry to refugees and nationals from several […]

By: Brad O’Neil  Effective December 1, 2016, an update to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime provisions will automatically extend overtime pay eligibility to 4.2 million workers.  The update will entitle full-time salaried workers making less than $47,476 a year ($913 per week) to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per […]

By Michael Poupore In December of 2014, the NLRB upheld union rights for a group of full-time contingent faculty members at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Pac. Lutheran Univ., 361 N.L.R.B. No. 157 (Dec. 16, 2014).  The decision departed from the general rule that faculty at private universities are not protected under the National […]

BY Christopher Valencia On July 2, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed the Massachusetts Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights into law. See Massachusetts Bill of Rights, National Domestic Workers Alliance, (last visited Nov. 17, 2014). Under the new law, a domestic worker is defined as “an individual or employee who is paid by an employer […]

By Berna Shamansurova A Department of Veterans Affairs employee made a nonfrivolous allegation of a protected disclosure when he disclosed facts about an allegedly improper medication distribution procedure. He also alleged that veterans were given unauthorized access to restricted hospital areas. The Merit Systems Protection Board held that disclosure was a “contributing factor of the agency’s […]

By Nicholas J. Gleichman On July 29, 2014, General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Richard F. Griffin issued a statement instructing regional offices to include McDonald’s USA LLC as a “joint employer” with its franchisees in 43 pending unfair labor practices cases. This development comes two months after a wave of fast food […]

by Andrea De León On April 1, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board), in Hills and Dales General Hospital,found that policies prohibiting negativity, gossip, and negative representation of the employer violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Under Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA, it is “an unfair labor practice for an employer to […]

by Elan Cameron On March 6, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released additional guidance on religious accommodations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), specifically on issues of religious garb and grooming in the workplace. The guidance requires employers to make exceptions to their usual workplace policies to […]

by John Leddy If you have ever been frustrated by not being able to purchase priority mail envelopes on a weekend or send a package from the post office after the national news, you may be a fan of the Staples pilot program the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced in October of 2013. As […]

by Phoebe Ramsey  There has been a flurry of recent litigation challenging whether church-affiliated hospitals and healthcare systems’ pension plans are covered as “church plans,” and thus exempt from the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), including reporting and disclosure, minimum funding, and fiduciary duty requirements. The plaintiffs in these […]

by Christa Pitts As a recent college graduate from an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) school, I completely identify with the feeling of admiration that college students have for their schools’ athletes.  In many instances, these athletes are campus celebrities–students beg for their autographs and their pictures are plastered everywhere.  But as much as I reveled […]

by Emily Pantoja, Editor-in-Chief Every year, it seems that retailers are opening their doors earlier and earlier for eager Black Friday shoppers braving the crowds. The day after Thanksgiving is a tradition for many people hoping to get the best deals on toys, TVs, and electronics. But for employees who work at these retailers, it […]

Labor and Employment Law Resume Review Workshop On January 12, 2014, the faculty-led practice group concerned with labor and employment law will hold a resume review workshop for American University Washington College of Law students.  Each participant will be matched with a practitioner working in a particular sub-field of labor and employment law pertaining to […]

Effects of the Government Shutdown on Workers, the Economy, and Morale

By Joanna Solloway Most of United States is now aware of the federal government shutdown.  Throughout the country, members of Congress hurl insults and blame each other for the current calamity that affects thousands, if not millions, of Americans. While politicians continue their government standoff, much of the country is suffering. The media has drawn […]

by Daniel Clark In response to Kelley v. Conco Companies, in which the California Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of a same-sex sexual harassment claim for lack of proof that the harassment was “an expression of actual sexual desire or intent,” the state legislature approved and Governor Brown signed S.B. 292, which will revise […]

by Eileen Lohmann, Online Editor On June 24, the United States Supreme Court handed down rulings in two cases involving employment discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, each of which resulted in a five-to-four decision for the employer. First, in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, a […]

 In the recent wave of employment, no minority head coaches were hired by a National Football League (NFL) team, instead, many of the positions were filled by current coordinator positions.  The NFL’s Rooney Rule, established in 2003, requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coach and front office positions.  The Rule was implemented […]

by Ashlyn Marquez It seems that hundreds of concession stand employees of the Honda Center will have to wait until July 1st to find out if they have lost their jobs. This date marks the expiration of the Honda Center’s contract with Aramark and the starting date of the contract with Anaheim Area Management (“Management”). […]

by Allison Pearson The April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon and subsequent manhunt for its perpetrators were national tragedies which left four dead and hundreds injured.  While the unfortunate series of events may seem quite removed from labor law, the bomber’s status as immigrants may have a larger impact than expected in the already […]

by Ryan Hatley   “Do you like girls?” This was the question that potential National Football League (NFL) draft pick and Colorado tight end Nick Kasa was allegedly asked at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. After Kasa said he was asked about his sexual orientation, at least two other draft prospects came forward and […]


" data-medium-file="" data-large-file=""/>

We are pleased to post these fantastic articles from our forthcoming book 3.1, which will be published to our Digital Commons site in the coming days.  Read, enjoy, and make sure to check back soon for a link to the full book. Cultural Cognition Insights Into Judicial Decisionmaking In Employee Benefits Cases, by Paul M. […]

By Joanna Solloway CVS has recently implemented a new policy that requires employees to report health information including height, weight, body fat, blood pressure, and other health indicators.  Those employees who refuse to submit such information will be fined $50/month.  Such policies are not uncommon among employers looking to cut healthcare costs.  Some companies already […]

By Jennifer Riso The Court of Arbitration of Sport recently ruled on the validity of human growth hormone (HGH) testing procedure. In deciding the appeal of Olympic cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu, the court held that “procedural issues in the testing process invalidated any suspension levied” by the International Ski Federation. The National Football League Players […]

By Ezinwanyi Ukegbu On March 14, 2013, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a comprehensive report on the major obstacles that hinder equal employment opportunity for African Americans in the federal workforce.  The agency’s internal African American work group produced this report after engaging in discussions and dialogues from 2010 to 2012 with EEOC […]

By Nicholas Devyatkin In a remarkable development, Cambodian workers have won back pay from Wal-Mart. Similar to their brethren in the United States, they have used direct protest action and public pressure, rather than traditional union collective bargaining, to force the hand of Wal-Mart. In September, 2012, The workers were told that the Kingsland apparel […]

By Jay Shannon Voss Lighting, a Nebraska based supplier of lighting products, announced on March 19th that it will settle a religious dicsrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Commision’s suit alleged that company personnal refused to hire Edward Wolfe at its Tulsa location due to his religious beliefs, in […]

By Vince Bruni In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama made news by calling for an increase to the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour. The issue has been one of contention for years. After the President’s speech, law makers, splitting mostly down party lines, both supported and opposed the idea. […]

By Heather Lothrop Currently, only New York State has legislation that requires domestic workers to be given meal breaks, paid for overtime, paid rest days, and protection against racial and sexual harassment. While these rights are expected in most professions, domestic workers often do not receive these protections from their employers. The employers are not […]

By Katrin Schulz On February 28, food service workers, community food activists, anti-hunger activists, and students joined in solidarity at the African American Civil War Memorial to demand real food and real jobs.  The “Real Food, Real Jobs” march and rally, organized by UNITEDHERE! Local 23, was held to raise awareness of two interconnected issues […]

By Emily Kaiser Ongoing negotiations between major U.S. business and labor interests have reflected the polarizing nature of immigration reform, while also suggesting areas of potential compromise, as lawmakers work to draft legislation that can win support from both sides of the aisle.  Representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. have held […]

By Eileen Lohmann On February 28, 2013, union leaders and elected officials in Miami Gardens, Florida, called for comprehensive immigration reform, expressing their support of the AFL-CIO’s immigration reform campaign.  Chair of the AFL-CIO’s Immigration Committee and executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, María Elena Durazo explained the union movement’s immigration […]

by Christy Wu Recently, the Office of Management and Budget issued guidance to agencies to reduce costs in contract spending, signaling the reality that federal contractors must tighten their belts under sequestration. Yet contracting employers have been guided by federal advice which has not always been clear or consistent. The House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, chaired by […]

by John Marsella An amicus brief filed by 286 companies and business groups, including: Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, EBay, Nike, and many others, sheds light on employers’ view of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA was enacted in Congress in 1996 and signed by President Clinton. Section 3 of DOMA defines marriage as a […]

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is meant to alleviate some of the “work, life” problems that arise every day in families across the country. FMLA is a federal law that requires employers to provide employees leave for qualified medical and family reasons, without risk to the employees job. The law sought […]

By Danielle Gonnella One of America’s largest retailers and private employers with 1.4 million employees, Wal-Mart, may face some troubles staffing its stores this holiday season. Wal-Mart workers are in the midst of record-setting “Black Friday” protests that could culminate in thousands of strikes over a nine-day span in areas such as Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Oklahoma, […]

By Basim Motiwala This past September, employees at Hostess Brands came together and overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer by the company that seeks to cut wages and benefits by as much as 32%.  The contractual dispute led to the workers deciding to begin a strike on November 9, 2012 against the well-known maker of Wonder […]

By Michael C. Fallings Former NBA superstar and current business mogul, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, faces allegations of age discrimination and wrongful termination by his former employee, Lanita Thomas.  Thomas, who worked almost eight years for Johnson as his personal flight attendant on his private jet, states that Johnson fired her after she was “15 minutes […]

By Lorna Lunney Less than a month after a major $3 million dollar gender discrimination suit filed against the NBA, the issue is now at the forefront of the NFL with a case filed against Detroit Lions Inc..  Kimberly Doverspike, 49, filed a complaint on October 31 in the Wayne Circuit Court with claims of […]

Uchendu Iwuanyanwu, exercise and sports science junior, drives the tram route to Bobcat Stadium April 16. Iwuanyanwu supports the petition regarding changes to employee’s contracts with First Transit, but will not participate in a strike.


" data-medium-file="" data-large-file=""/>

By Joanna Solloway In the midst of the presidential elections, AFL-CIO announced that workers at First Transit Region 3 overwhelmingly voted to form their own union with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757.  The honorable objective of this new union is to give a stronger voice to Region 3 in efforts to promote collective […]

By Allison Pearson Labor unions raise no shortage of controversies in the current American economy.  Some commentators have postulated that labor unions helped President Obama secure a second term by tipping the polls in his favor in Ohio. At the same time, however, an August 2012 Gallup Poll shows that public of approval of labor […]

By Staffer Angela Bouliakis Currently, federal law prohibiting job discrimination includes: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from […]

Fitting into this election season’s discussion of women’s rights, the NBA is facing a three million dollar gender discrimination suit. Longtime NBA employee Brynn Cone is suing the National Basketball Association, Inc., NBA Entertainment, Inc., and NBA Properties, Inc., alleging she was underpaid, under-promoted, and ultimately forced out of the organization because of her gender, […]

By Jennifer Girard Boeing’s recently opened plant in North Charleston, South Carolina is being targeted by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) to unionize its workers. But IAM faces an uphill battle. The South Carolina plant, Boeing’s second U.S. final assembly line, opened in July 2011 amidst controversy. In March 2010, the […]

By Eileen Lohmann On November 6, the people of the United States will choose between two fundamentally different presidential candidates, and in an economic climate in which the rate of unemployment is 7.8 percent, each candidate has offered his own solution to create jobs and grow the economy. President Barack Obama’s plan to revitalize the […]

By Josh Tucker This November, Michigan voters will not only be electing its local and national representatives, but will also be voting on six different state proposals, five of them potential amendments to the Michigan Constitution. Proposal 2, specifically, would constitutionally recognize Michigan public and private employees’ right to organize into labor unions and bargain […]

written by Articles Editor Emily Kaiser The manufacturer under fire for a recent explosion at an Apple iPad factory now faces a new controversy: the revelation of minors working in a Chinese facility that manufactures components for Nintendo’s yet-to-be-released Wii U game console.  Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest supplier of technology products, found […]

In the past, Wal-Mart has been criticized for labor violations in their factories in China. Starting in October, Wal-Mart has started to have problems with workers here in the United States. Workers in the retail stores and in warehouses associated with Wal-Mart have gone on strike earlier this month to improve their rights as Wal-Mart […]

Maybe this election year will finally put a stake through the heart of efforts by corporations and extremist right-wing millionaires to silence the voice of California’s working families in the political arena. This year, it’s called Prop. 32 and it’s a near-clone of 2005’s Prop. 75 and 1998’s Prop. 226, which voters defeated by 53% to 47%. Both times, huge mobilizations by […]

Many of our country’s record labels are based in the state of California, which is of no surprise since California is where people travel to make their dreams come true. However, many are not aware that California has specific labor laws that establish a seven-year rule for contracts. In 1944, the actress Olivia de Havilland […]

The H-2 visa program, which grants visas for noncitizens to perform unskilled agricultural labor in the United States, is one that is often contended. Many argue that it takes jobs away from United States citizens who would otherwise receive employment, while its supporters assert that it is only used for jobs that United States citizens […]

Currently, labor law recognizes workers providing services can be categorized as an independent contractor or an employee. Independent contractors and employees are differentiated by their degree of control and independence in their work, and laws generally provide employees with more employment rights and workers compensation. Uber classifies their drivers as independent contractors, evading expenses such as overtime pay, minimum-wage protections, […]

Recent triumph for faith in the workplace.

By Andrea De Leon In Young v. United States Parcel Service, Inc., the Supreme Court of the United States was tasked with deciding whether the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires an employer to provide the same work accommodations to an employee with pregnancy-related work limitations as to employees with similar, but not pregnancy-related, work limitations. […]

By Nicholas Gleichman In its analysis, the National Labor Relations Board restructured its standard for evaluating when to assert jurisdiction over colleges and universities holding themselves out as religious institutions. See N.L.R.B. v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago, 440 U.S. 490 (1979). Additionally, the Board considered the level of control that faculty members need to exert […]