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'New Waves of Worker Employment: Labor and Technology in the 21st Century'

Friday, 18 September, 2020

The William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law and the Saint Louis University Law Journal will host a virtual symposium, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., September 18, 2020.

New Waves of Worker Empowerment: Labor and Technology in the 21st Century. Graphic depicts workers looking at life-size smartphone devices.Abstract
Traditional labor power is still an important force within our economy, as the strikes by GM workers and public school teachers’ unions demonstrate. Within an increasingly fractured workplace, however, workers are taking new approaches to collective action. Whether it be a sectoral effort to improve wages and benefits, such as the Fight for $15, or efforts within companies to promote antidiscrimination protections and fairer dispute resolution, like the Google Walkout, workers are expressing their joint interests and posing fresh challenges to the existing social, legal, and economic status quo. Changing technologies provide new opportunities for connection between workers and outreach to the public, but also give employers new tools for surveillance, scheduling, and organizational fissuring. This Symposium will discuss these new forms of engagement and examine the role of the law in facilitating, dampening, or outlawing the new expressions of worker engagement.

Tentative Schedule
8:30 a.m.: Introduction

  • William P. Johnson, Dean, Saint Louis University School of Law

8:45 - 10 a.m.: Panel 1

  • Marley WeissProfessor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
  • Sandra SperinoJudge Joseph P. Kinneary Professor of Law, University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Winifred Poster, Professor of International Affairs, Washington University in St. Louis

10:15 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Panel 2

  • Sara SlinnAssociate Professor and Associate Dean (Research & Institutional Relations), Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Michael DuffProfessor of Law, University of Wyoming College of Law
  • Michael OswaltAssociate Professor of Law, Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • Terri GersteinDirector of the State and Local Enforcement Project at the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program

12:15 - 1:15 p.m.: Keynote

  • Steven GreenhouseAmerican Labor and Workplace Journalist and Writer

1:30 - 3:15 p.m.: Panel 3

  • Miriam A. CherryProfessor and Co-Director, William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law; Associate Dean for Research and Engagement, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Tammy Katsabian, Postdoctoral Fellow, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
  • Courtlyn Roser-JonesAssistant Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

3:30 - 4:45 p.m.: Panel 4

  • Marion CrainWiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law, Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Afffairs for Washington University in St. Louis
  • Ruben J. GarciaProfessor of Law, Co-Director, UNLV Workplace Law Program, Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
  • Jonathan F. HarrisActing Assistant Professor of Lawyering, NYU School of Law

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