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William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law / Law Journal Symposium

Friday, 01 March, 2024

Revisiting Religion in the Struggle for Workplace Justice

Dominating the news about the intersection of religion and Worklaw are stories focused on conservative Christian claims of exemptions from a variety of laws designed, mostly, to provide minimum standards to protect vulnerable workers. Often lost in these narratives are perspectives from other religious traditions, even other Christian traditions, on economic and workplace justice, focused on protecting the vulnerable. Over 130 years ago, at the height of the Gilded Age, Pope Leo XIII delivered the first papal encyclical devoted to economic issues and vulnerable workers, Rerum Novarum. In the midst of what has been called a Second Gilded Age, a deeper examination of religious perspectives on workplace justice is needed to support contemporary movements for workplace and broader economic justice.