The NLRB Racial Discrimination Decisions 1935-64: The Empiric Process of Administration and the Inner Eye of Racism
Michael K. Jordan
William Mitchell College of Law
Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 24, 1991
This Article examines decisions of the National Labor Relations Board involving racial discrimination during the early years of the Wagner Act and related decisions following the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act. This time frame provides a unique perspective from which one may better understand the Board’s unarticulated adherence to its assumed role of managing racial conflict in the workplace in order to maintain the dominance of white workers. Part II of this Article presents a brief historical overview of the sources and nature of the racial conflict between black and white workers. This part will provide the socio-historical context in which the Board construed the Wagner Act. Part III explores the question of whether or not the Act was intended to address the issue of racial conflict and how the answer to that question depends in large part on the perspective one adopts in exploring the issue. Part IV examines the extent to which early Supreme Court decisions articulating the purposes of the Act support the view that the Act could be used as a vehicle for eliminating certain types of racial discrimination in the workplace. Finally, in Part V, the Board’s view of racial conflict and how it relates to the Act is examined.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
Keywords: Labor law, workplace discrimination, black workers, employment lawAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 1, 2010
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