Employment & Labor Law

Employment and Labor Law include all areas of the law that touch upon the employee-employer relationship, including discrimination law and traditional labor law. Please note that some courses are not offered every year.

Foundational Courses

4 credits

The course focuses on race, sex, age, and disability employment discrimination prohibitions. Affirmative action, religious discrimination, constitutional protections of public sector workers, anti retaliation and whistleblower laws, and common law protection against arbitrary dismissals are also covered. Important procedural issues, including arbitration, are highlighted.

SPRG 2017: LAW JD 834 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Maria O’Brien Hylton LAW 413

3 credits

Survey of modern labor management and union relations law in the private sector. Organization of workers and the representation process; collective bargaining; unfair practices, employer and union; negotiation and enforcement of collective agreement, including arbitration; regulation of strikes and lockouts. Administrative law and federalism principles will be treated. Employment discrimination and other individual employee protection laws are not treated in this course.

General Courses

3 credits

The Civil Litigation Program gives students the opportunity to use their lawyering skills in all courtroom levels - from local trial and housing courts, to the state's Supreme Judicial Court, to the federal court. In fact, several landmark decisions by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court began as student-represented cases in the Civil Litigation Program. Students in the Civil Litigation Clinic choose from two options: *Housing, Employment, Family and Disability Clinic (HEFD) (full-year program) - The average HEFD clinic caseload over two semesters typically includes 4-5 cases in areas such as domestic relations, eviction defense, employment law and Social Security appeals. Other kinds of cases may also be assigned. *Employment Rights Clinic (ERC) (one semester program, fall or spring) - Students will represent clients in unemployment compensation cases, and a possibility of working on wage and hour disputes, discrimination/sexual harassment cases, and Family Medical Leave Act cases. PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE (HEFD OPTION): If you have not already done so, you must take Evidence during the first semester to satisfy the student practice rule. If you have already taken Trial Advocacy, you will still need to take the clinical section. It is closely integrated with your field work. PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE (ERC OPTION): Spring ERC students must take Evidence and Professional Responsibility concurrently with the Employment Rights Clinic, or students must have already taken these courses. Fall ERC students must take Evidence concurrently, or have already taken this course. NOTE: This clinic satisfies the upper-class professional skills requirement.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 861 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
FALL 2016: LAW JD 861 B1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 861 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 26th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 861 B2 , Jan 17th to Apr 26th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Robert G. BurdickConstance A. Browne

3 credits

This seminar focuses on selected developments in employment law as seen from the perspective of a practitioner. Topics include exceptions to the at-will doctrine and expanding theories of job protection; emerging trends such as family responsibilities discrimination and retaliation claims; the role of unions in an increasingly non-union private sector workplace; and cutting edge issues in discrimination and harassment claims. The grade for the course will be based on weekly comments to problems, a paper, and class participation. PREREQUISITE: A prior course in labor or employment law, or permission of the instructor, is required. NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. OFFERING PATTERN: This class is frequently offered in alternating years. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

3 credits

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and its subsequent amendments (including the Affordable Care Act). Special attention is paid to the creation and maintenance of both pension and welfare plans and to plan operation, funding, amendments, accrual and vesting. For pensions, the focus is on qualified plans and the special problems presented by highly compensated employees, IRS "anti-discrimination" rules and by bankruptcy and divorce. The course also covers the regulation of self insured and traditionally insured health care plans as well as long and short term disability, severance and plan termination. The semester ends with an introduction to the responsibilities of plan fiduciaries, ERISA preemption, and section 502(a) claims and remedies.

Related Courses

3 credits

This seminar surveys the evolution of federal law as it relates to people with disabilities. We will cover disability discrimination in the areas of employment, education (elementary, secondary and higher education), government services, public accommodations run by private entities, and housing. In exploring these areas we will examine relevant case law and statutes (i.e. the ADA and its amendments, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the IDEA, and the Fair Housing Act) and their implementing regulations and guidance. In addition to studying legal authorities, we will engage in practical classroom exercises and hear from attorneys practicing in disability law-related settings. Readings will be assigned from Colker & Grossman, The Law of Disability Discrimination (8th ed. 2013); Colker & Grossman, The Law of Disability Discrimination Handbook: Statutes and Regulatory Guidance (8th ed. 2013)(also available online), and supplemental material. Grades will be based on class participation and a final paper. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

2 credits

Regulation of pension and profit sharing plans by the Internal Revenue Code and Employee Retirement Income Security Act, with particular attention to rules applicable to tax-qualified pension and profit-sharing plans, including rules governing the structure of benefits and taxation of contributions and distributions.

FALL 2016: LAW TX 905 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 4:20 pm 6:20 pm 2 Russell A. Gaudreau LAW 209
FALL 2016: LAW TX 905 OL , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 2 Russell A. Gaudreau

3 credits

This seminar will survey a range of legal issues presented by sports in America. There are no pre-requisites. However, students should be prepared to learn and apply basic principles of antitrust law and labor law. Intellectual property law, constitutional law, administrative law, anti-discrimination law, contract law and tort law also will be applied. Topics will include the regulation of the professional sports labor market. The course also will treat the regulation of agent representation of athletes, the regulation of sports franchises and sports leagues, and the regulation of intercollegiate sports, with special attention to the NCAA. Grades will be based on client-directed writing and on oral class participation, including an advocacy presentation. Some students may satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement. There is no examination. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. OFFERING PATTERN: This class not offered every year. Students are advised to take this into account when planning their long-term schedule. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 886 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Michael C. Harper LAW 418