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)
22 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2016 Last revised: 19 May 2016
Date Written: 2016
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: Suggested Citation