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Hardcover | Out of Print | 432 pp. | 6 x 9 in | June 2004 | ISBN: 9780262072502
Paperback | $8.75 Short | £7.95 | 432 pp. | 6 x 9 in | June 2004 | ISBN: 9780262572187
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Instructor Resources

A Primer on American Labor Law, Fourth Edition


A Primer on American Labor Law is an accessible guide written for nonspecialists—labor and management representatives, students, general practice lawyers, and trade unionists, government officials, and academics from other countries. It covers such topics as the National Labor Relations Act, unfair labor practices, the collective bargaining relationship, dispute resolution, the public sector, and public-interest labor law. This thoroughly updated fourth edition contains extensive new material, covering developments in the eleven years since the third edition, including the continuing decline in union membership, job security rights, wrongful discharge litigation and dispute resolution procedures, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) litigation, cases involving sexual harassment and sexual orientation, the most recent collective bargaining agreements in professional sports, and the debate—spurred by globalism—on international labor standards. Much of the discussion of the National Labor Relations Act discusses decisions and policy changes by the National Labor Relations Board during the author's chairmanship in 1994-1998.

About the Author

William B. Gould IV is Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law, Emeritus at Stanford University and William M. Ramsey Distinguished Professor of Law at Willamette University College of Law. He is the author of Agenda for Reform (MIT Press, 1993) and A Primer on American Labor Law (MIT Press, 1993). The recipient of five honorary doctorate degrees, he has been an impartial arbitrator since 1965 and a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators since 1970.


“This fine guide to U.S. labor law and related policy issues belongs in the library of anyone interested in contemporary industrial relations and human resource management. Gould explains the law's origins, meaning, and current interpretations with great clarity.”
Robert Flanagan, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
“The fourth edition of Gould's Primer on American Labor Law brings the most straightforward and balanced work in the field up to date. Informed by a deep understanding of American collective bargaining, this is a book whose usefulness in the classroom is matched by its value as a ready reference for scholars. It merits a prominent place in one's personal library.”
Paula Voos, Professor, Labor Studies Department, Rutgers University
“Union leaders need a clear understanding of U.S. labor laws to make effective strategic choices about how to organize, bargain, and build power for the working people we represent. We have relied on the earlier editions of Gould's Primer as a fundamental resource. Now, with his experience as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, Gould brings us new insights into changing labor policy and case law. This fourth edition belongs on every union leader's shelf.”
Art Pulaski, Executive-Secretary Treasurer, California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
“Professor Gould’s Primer is essential reading for my students in Labor Law. His summary of the law, and the history behind the law, provides an excellent backdrop for further study.”
Michael J. Tedesco, University of Oregon School of Law