Fall 2017 Course Schedule

Employment & Labor Law (LAW-664-001)
Deborah Kelly

Meets: 06:00 PM - 08:50 PM (W) - Room Y115

Enrolled: 21 / Limit: 40

Administrator Access


I expect students to come to class prepared to discuss Class One’s reading.


This course is designed to acquaint you with most of the issues that arise in U.S. employment law. The class assumes you know nothing about this subject but is designed to prepare you to be employment counsel for a small company and make sure it complies with all applicable laws. As a lawyer who has practiced only employment law for twenty years, my goal is that you learn to (1) spot and evaluate some of the major employment and labor law problems a client (whether employee or employer) might face today; (2) give you an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the ways that the employment relationship is governed by statute, regulation and common law; (3) think about how employment conflicts might be resolved to without litigation; and (4) what position you would take to represent both parties if litigation occurs anyway. We will begin by looking at what it means to be an employee (thereby subject to such rules) versus other kinds of “workers” who are not governed by “employment” laws and regulations. We will look at how to structure the employment relationship from the proverbial cradle to grave—spending most (80%) of our time on the individual (“employment law”) but some (20%) of our time on collective workers’ rights through union representation (“labor law”). Understanding that an almost-three-hour-night- class is a long time to sit still and stay upright, once you get a sufficient understanding of the various topics “under your belt”, I will try to use the last hour of many classes to have you role-play/debate the issues we’ve covered and learn how to advocate from all four perspectives (employee, employer, union and management). WCL has separate classes on employment discrimination, pension and benefits law, labor law and international labor rights, so those won’t be the focus of our class. However, since discrimination cases are usually a big part of any court complaint (and those cases are a regular part of my workload), we will touch on them as appropriate. There will be one in-class final open-book exam. Class participation and attendance factor into your final grade. Students may not use the internet during class so they are not distracted by You-Tube videos that are more enthralling than me.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

The primary course materials for this course is the following casebook, plus articles I will post as appropriate to keep the materials current with ongoing developments in this area. WORK LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (MARION G. CRAIN, PAULINE T. KIM, AND MICHAEL SELMI, EDS., 3D ED, 2014) (CB) ISBN: 978-1-6328-1538-5 Note: Make sure you buy the 3d edition of this Casebook as it includes relevant statutory provisions, so you will not need to purchase a statutory supplement.

First Class Readings

CLASS ONE: Setting the Stage—What/who is an Employee? Reading: Casebook (“CB”) pp. 1-27; 43-96.


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