Human Dignity and American Employment Law

48 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2008 Last revised: 3 Feb 2009

Date Written: November 10, 2008


For decades, American employment law has been framed by the ideas of the unfettered free market and unilateral management control. This "markets and management" framework has helped to deliver growing levels of income inequality, job insecurity, and stress at work. This essay argues that human dignity should be our framing perspective for examining and shaping American employment law, building its case around sources ranging from Enlightenment philosopher John Locke and America's Founding Fathers, to newer fields such as therapeutic jurisprudence and the works of relational psychology theorists Carol Gilligan and Jean Baker Miller. The essay discusses several important employment law issues against the backdrop of this new "dignitarian" framework and closes with ideas about advancing this agenda in the public arena.

Keywords: workplace bullying, labor unions, therapeutic jurisprudence, relational psychology, communitarian theory

Suggested Citation

Yamada, David C., Human Dignity and American Employment Law (November 10, 2008). University of Richmond Law Review, Vol. 43, p. 523, 2009, Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 08-36, Available at SSRN:

David C. Yamada (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics