Free Enterprise and Labour Law: The Case of Employee Termination and Managerial Rights in the United States
AbstractToday the United States is the last industrialised country that does not have a comprehensive system for the regulation of dismissals and redundancies. The relative neglect of dismissal protection can be attributed to the union-employer disputes over plant closures and redundancies. Initially US courts adhered to English employment law which had evolved in the context of a primarily agricultural, feudalistic society. In the mid 19th century, the adoption of 'employment-at-will' by US courts brought about a drastic rejection of older rules. Ultimately, however, the at-will system was not compatible with a modern society in which unions were to play a legitimate role. The evolving legislative responses, particularly the dismissal protection provided within the National Labor Relations Act, created a paradox. This paradox unravelled during the post-war years, when a series of court decisions made it clear that union claims for involvement in redundancy and termination decisions were incompatible with managerial interests. Pushed by a wave of disputes arising from plant closures, US courts, by the early 1980s, came to increasingly interpret legislation so as not to intefere with managerial rights. The ensuing series of court rulings highlights the tension between free market capitalism and the statutory regulation of redundancies, which was ultimately resolved in favour of employers.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm in its series CRIEFF Discussion Papers with number 9714.
Date of creation: Oct 1997
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
Phone: 01334 462420
Fax: 01334 462438
Web page: http://crieff.wordpress.com/
More information through EDIRC
Redundancies; Dismissals; Economic Regulation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
- K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statistics
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bram Boskamp).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.