Legal Avoidance and the Restructuring of Work

The Structure and Structuring of Work (M. Diane Burton, et al., eds. Research in the Sociology of Organizations Series, Emerald, 2016, Forthcoming)

Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-10

22 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2016 Last revised: 19 May 2016

See all articles by Charlotte Alexander

Charlotte Alexander

Georgia State University – Institute for Insight; Georgia State University College of Law

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

This essay posits that legal avoidance - employers' search for forms of employment to which labor and employment laws do not apply - is an important driver of the restructuring of work. It examines three examples of restructuring that enable employers to avoid legal liability and compliance costs: the classification of workers as independent contractors; the use of part-time and variable-schedule work; and employers' deskilling of jobs and reliance on vulnerable workers. None of these strategies is itself unlawful, but their impact is to limit workers' legal protections and weaken the law itself. Employers may also experience unintended consequences of restructuring.

Keywords: restructuring of work, legal avoidance, labor law, employment law, employees, independent contractors, employment relationship

JEL Classification: J00, J21, J23, J29, J70, J78, K00, K31, M12, M50, M54, M55, M59

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Charlotte, Legal Avoidance and the Restructuring of Work (2016). The Structure and Structuring of Work (M. Diane Burton, et al., eds. Research in the Sociology of Organizations Series, Emerald, 2016, Forthcoming), Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2771462

Charlotte Alexander (Contact Author)

Georgia State University – Institute for Insight ( email )

Tower Place 200, Third Floor
3348 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
United States

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

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