Improving Security Through Reducing Employee Rights
Ius Gentium, Vol. 10, pp. 55-76, Fall 2004
23 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2010
Date Written: Fall 2004
In the name of security, there have recently been many reductions or amendments of rights. The most widely publicized and discussed of these, in the United States, have concerned civil liberties. Less well-known, but also important, are reductions of employee rights, particularly rights of representation and employment security.
Even these rights have a constitutional aspect. Government employee unions have claimed the new legislation violates employees’ due process rights under the United States’ Constitution. And, in fact, under American constitutional law, whether a government employee has a right to due process does depend on how much employment security is granted that employee by statute.
I make no claim, however, that these rights are as long-established or highly valued as civil liberties. Private sector employees, as most airport screeners were until recently, have had representation rights for less than 70 years. United States government employees have had representation rights for only about 40 years, and those rights have been codified only since 1978.
Keywords: employee rights, national security, civil liberties, constitutional law, due process rights, government employees, private sector employees, LMRA, Labor Management Relations Act, national emergency, War on Terrorism, ATSA, Aviation and Transportation Security Act, TSA, Homeland Security Act
JEL Classification: K19, K31, K39, K49, H56, J53, J58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation