Employment Law: Contracts, Torts, and Statutes

Section 1, Spring 17

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 47/64
Credits: 3

Course Description

Have you ever had a job? If it was a private sector position, the odds are greater than 14 to 1 that you were not a union member and that you worked under an individual contract of employment rather than a collective bargaining agreement. It is also more likely than not that your contract incorporated the nearly universal default rule of “employment at will.” This legal rule nominally gives employers the right to fire workers at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. During the past three decades, however, myriad common law and statutory developments have significantly eroded the “at-will” presumption and created new causes of action that allow employees to challenge terminations they consider unjustified. Other statutory provisions impose minimum employment standards, regulate workplace privacy, protect trade secrets, and establish rules for employee benefits, computer access, arbitration of employment disputes, and post-employment restraints on competition. Employment lawyers thus counsel clients about and litigate over a breathtaking array of individual employment rights.

In order to develop your knowledge of the legal rules that animate the contemporary world of employment practice, we will read judicial opinions, statutes, briefs and other litigation materials, as well as academic and popular commentary. We will focus the majority of our classroom time together on active learning exercises, including problems, simulations, and debates. I will deliver brief in-class lectures highlighting key issues and offer frequent opportunities for you to ask questions. You will often work in small peer groups to analyze problems and debate legal policies. Designed to complement Employment Law: Wage & Hour Regulation, Employment Law: Health & Safety, Employee Benefit Law, and Employment Discrimination Law, this course has no prerequisite, and students should feel free to take these introductory employment law offerings in any order they wish.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): Flex
Description: Flex exam at end of semester. 
Final Exam Notes:

Flex exam at end of semester. 

Written Work Product
Written Work Product:

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Notes: While laptops are allowed, note-taking by hand is encouraged.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Concentrations: Employment and Labor Law
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: