• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Employment is closely connected to wealth, status, and security and is therefore a subject of interest across a range of academic disciplines. Employment Relations in the United States incorporates a wealth of research material from these different specialties to provide a historical perspective on the American workplace and the evolution of legal policies affecting employment. The analysis follows both a chronological and thematic arrangement, beginning with the importance of management practices, the growth of labor organizations and the impact of collective bargaining on employment institutions, and the subsequent rise of individual employment rights enforced through administrative and judicial means. Through its evolutionary approach, the book explains the fragmented, overlapping, and conceptually confusing regulatory environment governing workplace relations. It offers an integrated approach to such important contemporary policy issues as health care coverage, pensions, and effective dispute procedures. The book provides an analytical framework for an understanding of the unique nature of our labor markets and the role of government, employers, and unions.   Key Features    Provides students with the historical background they need to understand how the U.S. system developed and how it differs from systems in other industrialized nations  Discusses individual employment rights, including protection from discrimination  Covers current policy issues in employment, including raising the minimum wage, the growth of a contingent workforce, and privatizing retirement  Offers a unique historical and evolutionary explanation of the nature of employment relations   As a general overview of contemporary employment relations, Employment Relations in the United States is a perfect supplement to college courses in employment law, human resource management, and collective bargaining. Human resource managers, mediators, and professionals involved in labor relations will also find this an essential reference.

Back to the Future?

Americans have a fondness for utopian fantasies. From the colonial era to contemporary culture, creative artists have presented a vision of human existence that is sometimes inspiring and sometimes repulsive; always, though, the alternative reality is permeated with themes of good and evil, innocence and experience, and suffering and redemption.1 One of the most popular and influential books of the late nineteenth century was Edward Bellamy's fictional Looking Backward, 2000–1887. The protagonist of the novel, Julian West, is hypnotized one evening in Boston in 1887, and he awakens in the year 2000. Life in the United States in the twenty-first century is idyllic. There are no wars, no poverty, and no social conflict. The elimination of class antagonism has been achieved ...

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