The ‘Quality’ of Employment Law Rights by Jeffrey Jones (Lewis & Clark College Law School)
Date: 3:30pm PDT April 12, 2013 Location: John R. Howard Hall 202
John R. Howard Hall 202
Employment law scholars are unanimous in their disappointment with U. S. employment law and the protections provided to employees. A few conservative and libertarian thinkers seek to further deregulate employment laws – that group will always be there. The majority of employment law scholars are searching for ways to provide employees with greater legal protection; protections they believe are required to approximate what might be called legal justice or fairness in work relationships. What is missing from the latter group’s scholarship is any clear moral or theoretical basis for mandating greater protection of employees. The law as it is certainly does not help. The U. S. has made clear it rejects the notion that employment rights are also human or even constitutional rights. Worse still, within the common law, employment protections regularly give way to other common law interests such as contracts and property. What is needed is an account of the interests at stake in employment and a showing that such interests are somehow fundamental rights that deserve greater priority in the American legal landscape. This work in progress looks at several ways to raise the value or moral quality of employment rights.