Skip to Main Content

Employment & Labor Law: A Beginner's Guide

This guide provides an overiew of secondary and primary sources related to Employment and Labor Law, such as discrimination, harassment, compensation, and unionization.


Howard R Hollem, photographer. War production worker at the Vilter [Manufacturing] Company making M5 and M7 guns for the U.S. Army, Milwaukee, Wis. Ex-housewife, age 49, now doing bench work on small gun parts. Son [is] Second L[ieutenan]t, Son-in-law, Capt[ain] in Army. 1943. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Employment and Labor Law has been at the forefront of many discussions in recent years. In 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a decision on Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, et al. [PDF], ruling that non-union members are not required to pay fees to public sector unions, and in doing so, overruled the 1977 Abood v. Detroit Board of Education decision holding that public employees could be required to pay a portion of union dues to cover the expenses of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment purposes. In 2013, the Court decided Vance v. Ball State University, holding that an employee is a "supervisor" for purposes of vicarious liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act only if that employee is empowered by the employer to take tangible employment action against the victim.

Whether your employment law or labor law related issue is on the cutting edge like the cases above, or not, this research guide can help you to get started in your research.

Please Note: The current opinions linked above go directly the PDF copy of that individual opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court Opinions page at: