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Employment and Labor Law

Full-time Faculty
Jennifer Gordon Tanya Hernandez

At its core, the practice of Labor and Employment Law involves the interpretation and application of the myriad rules governing the relationship between employees and their employers. These rules, some of which have been created by federal, state or local legislatures and some of which are part of the common law, govern one of the most important aspects of our lives.

Labor and Employment Law practitioners generally represent one of three types of clients: corporations, unions, or individual employees. In the course of a typical month, a Labor and Employment Law practitioner representing management might counsel a client about the legality and advisability of a new benefit plan, the attempt of a union to organize and represent the company's employees, collective bargaining negotiations between a company and with an existing union which already represents the employees, a plant closing or relocation, or the discharge of an executive who has an employment agreement. The same lawyer might appear in court or before an arbitration panel or a government agency representing a client who is either complaining of or defending against charges of sexual harassment, discrimination, the refusal of a company to bargain with a union or the alleged breach of a collective bargaining agreement or an employment contract. A Labor Law practitioner representing unions might advise union staff about the legality and advisability of a campaign tactic, appear before the National Labor Relations Board to press a claim of discrimination against an employer, participate in the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, or represent union members in grievances against management. An Employment Law practitioner representing individual plaintiffs might be negotiating an employment contract on behalf of one client, suing another's former employer on charges of discrimination, and preparing a brief in a class action suit about overtime wages.

The Law School offers several upper level courses for those students interested in this area of law. Labor Law covers the rights of employers, unions, and employees with principal emphasis on the federal National Labor Relations Act (as amended by the Taft-Hartley and Landrum-Griffin Act). Employment Discrimination Law & Practice introduces the major statutory bases used to vindicate equal employment in the workplace, focusing on Title VII and on the ADA, while Employment Law is a survey course that covers a variety of topics, including employment discrimination, employment security, and a brief overview of wage and hour law. In addition to these survey courses, the Labor and Employment Law curriculum includes several courses for students who desire more advanced or specialized offerings. Students should consult the course guide for any prerequisites.

Upper Level Survey & Introductory Courses

Upper Level Courses in Specialized Topics

Additional Related Upper Level Courses

Related Subject Areas