On the eightieth anniversary of the federal wage and hour statute, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), critics warn that it cannot keep pace with shifting business trends. More and more individuals engage in “contract work,” some of which takes place in the much publicized “gig economy.” These work arrangements raise questions about whether these workers are “employees,” covered by U.S. labor and employment law, or “independent contractors.” Subcontracting arrangements, or what some call domestic outsourcing, are also expanding. Indeed, more and more workers in the U.S. economy engage with multiple businesses, raising questions of which of these businesses are “employers” responsible for the payment of wages. These are pressing questions for the judiciary, policymakers, scholars of work, and the U.S. Department of Labor because many of these individuals work in low-wage sectors and do not make minimum wages or overtime premiums for the hours they work. This Article uses a systematic study of thousands of pages of legislative-history documents to bring a historical lens to the independent contractor and joint employer debates that are raging on Capitol Hill and in the courts. It concludes that Congress broadly and flexibly worded this New Deal legislation with foresight about the need to cover evolving business relationships regardless of business formalities. It calls for a narrow reading of the independent contractor category and a broad interpretation of employment relationships that should help the FLSA to serve its statutory purpose of ensuring “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” in the twenty-first century.
Cornell Law Review Online
In their article, Professors Kenneth Abraham and G. Edward White identify a puzzle: despite the value that our society purports to place on dignity, tort law’s dignity- protecting function has been little explored.1 Lawmakers and courts employ the term “dignity” without specifying the interests at stake. Dignitary torts—battery, false imprisonment, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional […]
Not atypically, the Supreme Court in Horne interprets the canonical Nollan narrowly as a case about developer exactions. Viewed that way, Nollan does not speak to the issue in Horne: the raisins that the government took from the owners were not surrendered in exchange for explicit permission to engage in an activity the government either […]
Focusing on “lying” is a natural response to uncertainty but too narrow of a concern. Honesty and truth are not the same thing and conflating them can actually inhibit accuracy. In several settings across investigations and trials, the criminal justice system elevates compliant statements, misguided beliefs, and confident opinions while excluding more complex evidence. Error […]
The Attorney‑Client Privilege, Client Confessions and Wrongful Convictions: Immunity as a Statutory Solution
Attorneys face a serious personal dilemma when a client confesses that he or she committed the crime for which someone else has been wrongfully convicted. If they do nothing, a wrongful conviction stands. If they come forward, their client faces the prospect of a new criminal conviction. Professional ethics require them to maintain all privileges […]
What do juries really think about lawyers? What makes jurors tick? What do lawyers do that irritates jurors? What can lawyers do better in the courtroom from the jury’s perspective? These are the questions at the heart of this article, which provides useful insight gleaned from more than 500 jurors who served in federal district court […]
Symposium on Reassessing the Restatement of Employment Law
The Cornell Law Review hosted a Symposium on Reassessing the Restatement of Employment Law on Friday, November 21, 2014, at Cornell Law School. The Symposium offered the first commentary on Restatement of Employment Law, a twelve-year project, which the American Law Institute approved in 2014. Click for Symposium Agenda
Symposium on Extraterritorialism
The Cornell Law Review will publish its annual Symposium issue for Volume 99 with a focus on extraterritorialism in September 2014. The flurry of recent Supreme Court decisions turning on a revived door-closing territorialism is attracting the attention of legal scholars in various substantive as well as methodological fields of federal law, and the lines […]
Cornell Law Review Online
Cornell Law Review Online will start accepting submissions on Feb. 25.
Welcome to CornellLawReview.org
Welcome to CornellLawReview.org, the new online home of the Cornell Law Review. In the spirit of its mission as a student-run journal, the Law Review is launching this site to provide greater access to its top-notch legal scholarship and more publishing opportunities for legal academics. The website will host all of the content that the Law Review publishes in print […]