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Not a Limited, Confined, or Private Matter: Who is an Employee under the National Labor Relations Act

Labor Law Journal, Vol. 59, p. 5, 2008

11 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2008 Last revised: 22 Feb 2010

Ellen Dannin

Independent

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Congress defined employee under the National Labor Relations Act to say that an employee is any employee and is not limited to employees of a single employer. It was the intent of Congress that worker rights and labor organizing was to extend beyond the scope of a single employer, because only in this way could the bargaining power of employers and employees be equalized. Only protections based on such a broad definition could permit employees to overcome the inequality of bargaining power that was created by corporation law.

The courts, however, have not only not enforced the plain meaning of the statute nor the intent of Congress, they have gone so far in some cases as to define employee as limited to the employees of a single employer. The common law system of judicial decision-making means that judges continue to veer farther away from the rights Congress intended to provide employees. This article explores that legislative history and current cases pending decision in which the question of the definition of employee is critical to the outcome.

Keywords: National Labor Relations Act, NLRA, employee, labor, law, work, collective action

JEL Classification: J3, J4, J5, J53, K31

Suggested Citation

Dannin, Ellen, Not a Limited, Confined, or Private Matter: Who is an Employee under the National Labor Relations Act (2008). Labor Law Journal, Vol. 59, p. 5, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1115434

Ellen Dannin (Contact Author)

Independent

No Address Available

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