James Whitehead : Courses and Seminars
Employment Discrimination Law
This seminar deals with the problem of discrimination in the American workplace and the federal and state statutes that have been enacted to prohibit it. Primary focus will be on the major federal equal employment opportunity statutes (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act), the types of claims that are brought under these laws (disparate treatment, disparate impact, mixed motives, and retaliation claims), and the varying burdens of proof/persuasion, procedural prerequisites, and remedies provided by these statutes, along with current proposals for legislative change. Enrollment will be limited to 20 students. The student's grade will be based on class participation and a final examination; students wishing to earn 3 credits for the class may write a 10-12+ page research paper in addition to the final exam.
This seminar is designed to provide the student with an overview of the common law principles and leading federal and state statutes that govern the private-sector employment relationship. Among the topics to be covered are (1) the contractual nature of the employment relationship and the employment-at-will doctrine; (2) contractual, tort-based, and statutory erosions of the employment-at-will doctrine; (3) the contractual and common law duties and obligations owed by an employee to the employer; (4) wage and hour, child-labor, and employee leave statutes, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); (5) other employee protective statutes, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act), state workers’ compensation laws, and federal and state whistle-blower protective statutes; and (6) arbitration of employment disputes. This seminar supplements, but will not cover the topics presented in, the Law School’s courses in Labor Law (LAWS 43101) and Employment Discrimination Law (LAWS 43401), which are not prerequisites to enrollment. Enrollment will be limited to 20 students. The student’s grade will be based on a final examination. Students wishing to earn 3 credits for the class may write a 10-12+ page research paper in addition to the final exam.