THE DECLINING FORTUNES OF AMERICAN WORKERS:
SIX DIMENSIONS AND AN AGENDA FOR REFORM
By: Stephen F. Befort
At the turn of the century, I undertook an assessment of the then current state of workplace rights and obligations. I concluded that the balance of power between employers and workers was “badly skewed” in favor of employers. This presentation, based upon an article that will appear shortly in the Florida Law Review, revisits that topic for the purpose of assessing twenty-first century trends through the lens of six workplace dimensions. They are: workforce attachment, union-management relations, employment security, income inequality, balancing work and family, and retirement security. An examination of these dimensions reveal that the status of U.S. workers has significantly declined during the first sixteen years of the twenty-first century. The article then sets out a proposed agenda for reform designed to recalibrate the current imbalance in the respective fortunes of employees and employers.
Stephen F. Befort is the Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty, and Bennett Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Professor Befort teaches courses in Employment Law, Employment Discrimination, Disability Law, Labor Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and a seminar on Advanced Topics in Labor and Employment Law. He has authored five books and more than 40 articles on labor and employment subjects. He is Co-Editor of the ABA Journal on Labor and Employment Law and a fellow of the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He currently serves as Chair of the U.S. Branch of the International Society for Labor Law and Social Security and as Co-Chair of the Labor Law Group. He also is an active arbitrator and mediator, and he is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators.
1 hr. Indiana CLE credit pending.