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Employment Relations in the United States

Employment Relations in the United States
Law, Policy, and Practice

December 2003 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Employment is closely connected to wealth, status, and security and is therefore a subject of interest across a range of academic disciplines. Employment Relations in the United States incorporates a wealth of research material from these different specialties to provide a historical perspective on the American workplace and the evolution of legal policies affecting employment. The analysis follows both a chronological and thematic arrangement, beginning with the importance of management practices, the growth of labor organizations and the impact of collective bargaining on employment institutions, and the subsequent rise of individual employment rights enforced through administrative and judicial means. Through its evolutionary approach, the book explains the fragmented, overlapping, and conceptually confusing regulatory environment governing workplace relations. It offers an integrated approach to such important contemporary policy issues as health care coverage, pensions, and effective dispute procedures. The book provides an analytical framework for an understanding of the unique nature of our labor markets and the role of government, employers, and unions.  

Key Features   
  • Provides students with the historical background they need to understand how the U.S. system developed and how it differs from systems in other industrialized nations 
  • Discusses individual employment rights, including protection from discrimination 
  • Covers current policy issues in employment, including raising the minimum wage, the growth of a contingent workforce, and privatizing retirement 
  • Offers a unique historical and evolutionary explanation of the nature of employment relations

As a general overview of contemporary employment relations, Employment Relations in the United States is a perfect supplement to college courses in employment law, human resource management, and collective bargaining. Human resource managers, mediators, and professionals involved in labor relations will also find this an essential reference.

1. Contemporary Employment Relations in Historical Perspective
The Start of a New Millenium

Analyzing "Exceptionalism": Is the United States Different and Why?

Studying Work

The Nature of Labor Contracts

An Overview of This Book

Firms and Managers

Organized Labor

Community Institutions

2. Industrial Expansion and the Foundations of Unionisms
The Rise of Corporations

Beginnings of Collective Organization

Union Growth and Labor Conflict

From Conflict to Cooperation

3. Managerial Control and the Beginnings of State Regulation
Judges and the Law of Employment Contracts

Injunctions and Antitrust

Scientific Management and the Efficiency Movement

Welfare Capitalism and the Emergence of the Modern Personnel System

Workers' Compensation Insurance - An Early Exception to Exceptionalism

Summing up the 1920s

4. The Creation of Federal Labor Policy: World War I Through the New Deal
Wartime Policies and the Effect on Collective Bargaining

Labor Legislation Before the Wagner Act

The National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act of 1935

Social Legislation: Retirement, Unemployment, and Labor Standards

The Federal Mandates and the Collective Bargaining Process

5. Rise and Decline of the Labor Movement, 1935 - 2000
Founding of the CIO

The Supreme Court and the Wagner Act

Labor Relations During World War II

The Labor Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act, 1947

Cosolidation of Collective Bargaining and Employment Policies

Union Decline: 1970s to the Millenium

6. Protecting Individuals From Discrimination
Equal Pay Act

Civil Rights Acts

Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990

7. Workplace Rights and Benefits
Workplace Health and Safety: OSHA

Employee Retirement and Income Security Act

Health Insurance and Employment

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

Exceptions to the Employment At Will Rule

8. Contemporary Employment Issues
Organizational Justice as an Alternative to Litigation

Bringing Unions Back In

Economic Security for U. S. Workers: Health Insurance, Pensions, and Employment Stability

9. Conclusions
Back to the Future?

The Job Machine in the 2000s

A Final Thought

About the Author

"An impressive work of meticulous scholarship...provides students with an historical background and context leading to an understanding of how the American system of the organized labor movement developed and just how it differs from system in other industrialized nations. Of special interest is Hogler's unique historical and evolutionary oriented explanation of the developmental history and nature of employment relations. Highly recommended reading -- especially for students of American employment relations and labor history."

Wisconsin Bookwatch

"Mr. Hogler, a professor of labor relations and human resource management at Colorado State University, presents a superbly written, lucidly argued work. It deserves a wide audience of students as well as experts with a deep interest in today's 'labor question.'"


"Employment Relations analyzes the limits of these existing laws in the new political economy and suggests that in order to rebuild sustainable and just employment environments, a revival of worker collective action is crucial. Hogler's underlying political goal is to frame employment and labor laws in a way that illuminates their inherent connection to wealth distribution, status, and security."

Michigan Law Review

An interesting and fascinating look at ER in the USA, with good discussion and commentary.

Mr Jonathan Lord
Salford Business School, Salford University
May 10, 2010
Key features
  • It provides students with the historical background they need to understand how the U.S. system developed and how it differs from systems in other industrialized nations.
  • Discusses Individual employment rights, including protecting individual employees from discrimination and workplace "rights", are thoroughly examined.
  • Covers current policy issues in employment (raising the minimum wage, growth of a contingent workforce, privatizing retirement) are discussed in detail.
  • This book offers an interpretation of the employment system in the United States.
  • It is unique in its historical and evolutionary explanation of the nature of employment relations.

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781544340265

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