Labor Law, the NLRA and Unions

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
WED 3:45 - 5:35 pm JON 6.207/8

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Final exam May 14, 2020


Is labor law the last bastion of hope for disenfranchised employees or justifiably headed for extinction?  Is the National Labor Relations Act still accomplishing it’s intended purpose of balancing employer and employee interests in labor/management disputes?  This 2 credit course will be an untraditional introduction to labor law with an emphasis on participation and debate.  In addition to studying the National Labor Relations Act, the structure of the NLRB and the foundational case law interpreting the Act, we will discuss the reasons for the decrease in private sector unionization rates from its peak in the 1950s of 33%  to now just 6% in the private sector.  We will also explore signs of hope for the labor movement, potential reformation of the Act and debate hot current labor topics, including:  unionizing in the gig economy; whether graduate students and independent contractors should be able to unionize; free speech in the workplace; the fight for $15; nonunionized employee demonstrations and public sector unionization.  Guest speakers will include NLRB officials and labor law practitioners from both union and management side.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Labor Law: A Problem Based Approach *
Secunda, Hirsch and Duff
Carolina Academic Press , edition: 2nd
ISBN: 978-1-5310-0136-0
Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor (optional)
Steven Greenhouse
Deckle Edge Publishing
National Labor Relations Act *
University of Michigan Press


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
04/20/2020 Exam information updated
Room(s) changed