Labor Studies & Employment Relations

Course Descriptions | Undergraduate

The small class sizes and variety of offerings on our Course Syllabi will fit your busy life.

37:575:100 Introduction to Labor Studies and Employment Relations (3)

Work, workers, and organizations that represent employees; class, race, gender, and work; legal, labor market, and human resource issues. Brief Syllabus

37:575:110 Work, Society, and the Quality of Life (3)

Work, social class, diversity, and economic opportunity in the context of globalization; civic engagement and collective action to promote opportunity and social justice for all people. Brief Syllabus

37:575:191,192,193 Short Topics on Work (1 credit each)

Brief examination of selected issues with regard to work at a level suitable for first-year college students, as well as those at a higher level of academic preparation;  Topics to be announced.

37:575:201 U.S. Labor and Work before the end of Reconstruction (3)

History of work, economic organization, and labor in the U.S.  Free and slave labor.  Early labor unions and movements in the American context. Brief Syllabus

37:575:202 History of Labor and Work in the U.S. 1880-1945 (3)

Changes in work, its organization, and public policy context.  History, philosophy, structure, activities, and impact of U.S. labor unions. Brief Syllabus

37:575:203 Work and Labor History from 1940 to the Present in the U.S. (3)

Developments in work, labor organizations, and related social movements.  Relationship of labor movements to the changing economic, social, and public policy context, including increasing globalization. Brief Syllabus

37:575:207, New Jersey Labor History (3)

Workers movements in New Jersey, both local and statewide; their relationship to U.S. Labor and working class history from the earliest period to today. Brief Syllabus

37:575:215  Youth and Work (3)

Youth in the U.S. labor market; working students, internships and unpaid work; job-hopping; and other contemporary concerns. Policies and practices to improve outcomes. Brief Syllabus

37:575:220  Law for Business and Non-Profit Organizations (3)

Overview of legal essentials for organizations; contracts; torts; organizational forms; property rights; cyber-law; bankruptcy; agency; criminal law; basics of employment/labor law. Brief Syllabus

37:575:230 People, Work, and Organizations (3)

Contemporary organizational transformations forming the context for how people are managed at work: decline of bureaucracy and predictable internal careers; growth of flexible, knowledge-based systems. Brief Syllabus

37:575:250 Finance for Personal and Professional Success (3)

Overview of core financial concepts and techniques useful both at work and in personal life; interest, credit, insurance, investments, present value; and net worth. Brief Syllabus

37:575:294  Avoiding Sexual Harassment (1)

Legal, organizational, and social dimensions of sexual harassment in the workplace; power, gender roles, homophobia, and failed romance; effective prevention or response. Brief Syllabus

37:575:295 Workplace Violence (1)

Causes, consequences, and prevention of physical violence in the American workplace.  Organizational policies that preserve the rights and well-being of all employees. Brief Syllabus

37:575:297 Religion in the Workplace (1)

Contemporary workplace issues stemming from employee religious diversity.  Employee rights, accommodation and inclusion; dominate group privilege, prejudice, discrimination and organizational responses to religious diversity. Brief Syllabus

37:575:298  Social Media in the Workplace (1)

Issues for organizations and employees stemming from the increased use of social media by individuals.  Hiring discriminiation, professional image, collective action, ethics, and other concerns. Brief Syllabus

37:575:300  Writing in Labor Studies & Employment Relations (3)

Construction of a well-written argument in labor studies and employment relations; application of sound writing principles to contemporary labor policy issues; intensive practice. Brief Syllabus

37:575:301 Labor Movements and Democracy  (3)

The theory and practice of social movements and social change, particularly those related to work; the prospects for current and future mobilization. Brief Syllabus

37:575:302 Comparative Social and Employment Policy (3)

Overview of such policy in wealthy democracies; the relationship between state and market; varieties of capitalism and welfare states; social safety nets; family policy; labor movements' role. Brief Syllabus

37:575:303 Black Workers in American Society (3)

Examination of the historical relationships between African-American workers and the American labor movement; analysis of problems facing Black workers at the workplace. Brief Syllabus

37:575:304 Comparative Employment Relations in Wealthy Nations (3)

Employment relations systems in wealthy nations; corporate governance; social welfare; global and national labor standards; union-management relations; work organizations; labor policies. Brief Syllabus

37:575:307 Latino Workers in the United States (3)

Role of Latino workers in U.S. society and the U.S. economy; impact of the new migration on the U.S. labor market and social policy. Brief Syllabus

37:575:308 Dynamics of Work and Work Organizations (3)

Examination of the social dynamics of economic institutions and their corresponding work relations; corporate organization and  union structure; selected problems of technological change; human relations in industry and the changing bases of managerial authority. Brief Syllabus

37:575:309 Working Women in American Society (3)

Focus on the contemporary experience of working women, including an exploration of current legal strategies and social policies created to address their concerns. Brief Syllabus

37:575:310 Labor Relations in Professional Sports (3)

Labor relations systems in professional sports in the United States; unique institutional aspects and common features of union-management and employee relations. Brief Syllabus

37:575:311 Organizational Design and Structure (3)

New and old methods of organizing work and organizations, ranging from hierarchical bureaucracy to contemporary models, emphasizing teamwork and/or flatter or networked structures. Brief Syllabus

37:575:312 Conflict and Conflict Resolution in the Workplace (3)

How people resolve work-related grievances: bargaining, grievance procedures, mediation, arbitration, demonstrations, strikes, and industrial violence. Examines union and nonunion workplaces. Brief Syllabus

37:575:313 Technological Change and Work (3)

The application of computer and microchip technologies coupled with enormous range and flexibility of developing telecommunication systems, and their effect on workers, labor unions, industry, and labor-management relations. Brief Syllabus

37:575:314 Collective Bargaining (3)

Comprehensive study of the development of collective bargaining; the nature and scope of contracts; the changing character of collective bargaining processes through negotiation, legislation, the courts, and arbitration; the substantive issues in bargaining, including the implications for public policy. Brief Syllabus

37:575:315 Employment Law (3)

Overview of employment-at-will and its limitations; wages & hours; medical/family leave; privacy; drug testing; workers compensation; and fundamental anti-discrimination law. Brief Syllabus

37:575:316 Employment Discrimination Law (3)

Legal, regulatory and public policy approaches to employment discrimination of all types; Title VII, ADA, ADEA, relevant NJ laws, and related court decisions. Brief Syllabus

37:575:317 Contingent and Nonstandard Work (3)

Issues arising from employment and relationships that have nonstandard aspects; temporary, leased, or part-time employees; independent contractors and owner-operators. Brief Syllabus

37:575:318 Leadership in Work Organizations (3)

Leadership in work organizations, including unions, non-profit and businesses.  Key leadership issues in small groups and large organizations; diversity concerns; leadership development. Brief Syllabus

37:575:319 Leadership and Governance of Labor Unions (3)

Leadership of all types of labor organizations. Internal management; union politics; relationships with other organizations; use of media; and other key leadership issues. Prerequisite:  100 or 101, or permission of the instructor. Brief Syllabus

37:575:320 Immigration Public Policy (3)

Immigration and immigrant workers in American society and related public policy debates; history; immigrants in unions and community organizations. Brief Syllabus

37:575:321 Immigration Law and Employment Rights (3)

Contemporary immigration law in the U.S.; employer compliance issues; employee rights; immigrant employee representation and related policy debates. Brief Syllabus

37:575:322 American Labor Unions in Politics (3)

Role of the labor movement in the political process from the New Deal to the present, including an analysis of its ideology, its legislative agenda, its political action, and its impact on public policy. Brief Syllabus

37:575:325 Economics of the Employment Relationship (3)

Fundamentals of labor economics. Economic dimensions of public policies and human resource administration. Brief Syllabus

37:575:326  Negotiation Concepts and Techniques (3)

Negotiation strategy and tactics; interests and interest-based bargaining, rights, power, leverage, concessions, commitment; application of theory in various work-life contexts; negotiation skill development. Brief Syllabus

37:575:330 Working Women and the Law (3)

Survey of law affecting women as employees – anti-discrimination, OSHA, and other laws.  How law relates to advancement opportunities for women, the glass-ceiling, and employer behavior. Brief Syllabus

37:575:335 Women and Labor Movements in Global Perspective (3)

How Labor movements around the world are addressing such issues as pay equity, equal opportunity, sexual and racial harassment, work-life balance, and women's leadership. Brief Syllabus

37:575:336 Employment Relations in Emerging Economies (3)

Changing employment relations systems in nations that are rapidly industrialzing; focus on labor movements; labor management relations; labor standards and public policy. Brief Syllabus

37:575:337 Workers & Multinationals in Global Perspective (3)

Impact of multinationals and global value chains on workers in developing nations.  Issue of labor standards; corporate social responsibility; international labor organizations and regulatory approaches. Brief Syllabus

37:575:338 Occupational Safety and Health (3)

Federal and state regulatory laws and enforcement; the basic issues involved in safety and health at the workplace; and worker, union, and employer response to the issues. Brief Syllabus

37:575:340 American Labor Law (3)

Examination of the present legal arrangements governing the conduct of labor relations in the United States; historical development and impact of common law, legislative statutes, and court decisions on the growth of the labor movement. Brief Syllabus

37:575:345 Organizational Behavior and Work (3)

Behavior by individuals and groups in the workplace; group and inter-group dynamics; organizational culture, structure, and change; leadership, employee motivation, job performance, and feedback. Brief Syllabus

37:575:350 Public Sector Collective Bargaining (3)

Study of employer-employee relations in the public sector; federal executive orders and state and municipal legislation regulating public employers and employee organizations; procedures for bargaining unit certification, representation, and recognition; dispute resolution techniques. Brief Syllabus

37:575:355 Current Labor Problems (3) 

A selected number of labor and employment issues that have particular relevance in contemporary society. Brief Syllabus

37:575:357 Social Movements, Social Change, and Work (3)

The theory and practice of social movements and social change, particularly those related to work; the prospects for current and future mobilization. Brief Syllabus

37:575:359 Organizing for Social Change (3) 

Theory and practice of community organizing for social change for labor and community groups; membership building; leadership development; strategy development; community power analysis; campaign planning. Brief Syllabus

37:575:360 Union Organizing (3)

Introduction to, and critical analysis of, union organizing strategies and tactics. Brief Syllabus

37:575:361 Labor and Corporate Restructuring (3)

Study of how management efforts to decentralize organizational structures and reduce employment levels affect industrial relations, work and workers, skill levels and training needs, and productivity and the macro-economy. Brief Syllabus

37:575:362 The Work-Education Connection (3)

What do workers' need to know to be prepared for the jobs being generated by the global economy? How do the American secondary and higher education systems prepare workers for changing jobs? Brief Syllabus

37:575:363 Labor and the Global Economy (3)

Changes in the global economy and their effects on the living standards and bargaining power of American workers and their unions. Alternative strategies for dealing with globalization. Brief Syllabus

37:575:364 Diversity in the Workplace (3)

Focuses on how the increasing demographic diversity of American workplaces affects social relations, cultural dynamics, and organizational effectiveness. Brief Syllabus

37:575:365 Disability, Work, and Society (3)

Explores the relationship of disability to work, politics, law, popular culture, and the built environment; lessons for all disadvantaged groups seeking social change. Brief Syllabus

37:575:366 Asian American Workers in a Global Context (3)

Social structures affecting Asian American workers; contemporary and historical immigration policies; stereotypes and other problems; racialized employment; inequality and achievement; differences by nation origin. Brief Syllabus

37:575:367  Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace (3)

Nature of emotional intelligence and its effects on employee performance and organizational success; research on development of emotional intelligence; self-awareness and self-development. Brief Syllabus

37:575:368 Professional Development Strategies (3)

Best practices in professional development; organizational strategies for addressing employee retention, work/life balance, wellness, communication, and other matters related to employee development. Brief Syllabus

37:575:375 Benefits and Social Insurance (3)

Overview of benefits with a focus on social insurance systems, health insurance, and pensions. Relevant issues for employers, employees, unions, and public policy. Brief Syllabus

37:575:376  Corporate Governance, Power, and Control (3)

Corporate governance and the impact of corporations on society; boards of directors; executive compensation; principal-agent/stakeholder theories; issues for labor and the public. Brief Syllabus

37:575:377 Democratic Workplaces (3)

Democracy within the firm, employee ownership, and coops; approaches to economic democracy; political and economic theory; case studies; and related career tracks. Brief Syllabus

37:575:378 Solving Labor Problems through Social Entrepreneurship (3)

Concepts and skills for starting non-profit organizations or businesses addressing problems of employees and their families; innovative business models; venture plans; critical and supportive perspectives. Brief Syllabus

37:575:385 Finance for Organizational Leadership (3)

Quantitative financial and accounting techniques in organizations used for cost analysis and performance decisions. The class is for non-financial leaders in profit and nonprofit organizations. Brief Syllabus

37:575:391,392,393,394 Issues in Work (1,1,1,1)

Brief examination of selected issues in labor and employment relations; topics to be announced. 

37:575:395 Perspectives on Labor Studies (3)

In-depth study of the classic works on the nature of labor, the relationship of work to other social functions, and the relationship between workers and management. Brief Syllabus

Open only to labor studies majors who have completed at least 15 credits of labor studies coursework.

37:575:396, 397 Concerns at Work (2, 2)

Examination of contemporary issues related to work; topics to be announced.

37:575:401 Research Methods in Labor Studies (3)

Overview of both quantitative and qualitative research methods commonly used in the study of labor problems. Brief Syllabus

37:575:402 Research Corporations and Industries (3)

Overview of methods used to investigate the competitive situation/prognosis of an industry's employers, profitability, sales, employment, wages, and unionization; strategic corporate research. Brief Syllabus

37:575:403 Problem-Solving Tools at Work (3)

Applied analytical and statistical tools for solving problems at work, surveying employees, and maintaining quality.  Projects are individual/group and spreadsheet-intensive. Brief Syllabus

37:575:404 Creating and administering surveys (3)

Issues for online, mail, telephone, and in-person surveys given their intended use.  Samples:  item construction; scaling; measurement validity & reliability; improving response rates; ethical research. Brief Syllabus

37:575:407 Workers' Movement in New Jersey (3)

Examination of workers' movements at state and local levels in New Jersey, using library resources, interviews, participant observations, and movement archives. Research results document the development of the New Jersey labor movement. Brief Syllabus

37:575:450 Senior Seminar in Labor Studies(3)

Open to labor studies majors with senior standing, except by special permission.
In-depth study of a labor studies topic. Intensive reading and discussion designed to integrate student experiences in the labor studies major. Topics vary. Brief Syllabus

Open only to labor studies majors who have completed at least 21 credits of labor studies coursework.

37:575:490 Internship in Labor Education (BA)

Students work under the supervision of individual faculty members and other experienced labor educators to develop and/or teach courses and workshops. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

37:575:480,481,491,492,493 Topics in Labor Studies (3,3,3,3,3)

In-depth examination of particular topics concerning work organization, worker problems, or worker organizations.

37:575:494,495 Independent Study and Research (BA,BA)

Individual reading and research project under the guidance of a labor studies faculty member on a topic of interest to the student. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

37:575:496,497 Internship in Labor Studies (BA, BA)

Students work as staff members in a labor union or labor-related organization (public or private), in an industrial relations unit in private industry, or as employees in a position that permits observation of and participation in a labor union at the grassroots level. Allows students to apply conceptual knowledge learned in the classroom to actual situations and to acquire new skills and knowledge. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

37:575:498,499 Honors in Labor Studies (BA, BA)

Individual research and reading project under the guidance of a member of the department.
Prerequisite: Permission of department. Open only to honors students.

Courses from other Rutgers–New Brunswick departments counting towards the Labor Studies and Employment Relations major.

For more information, contact our Credit Director,Paula Voos, You can contact our Student Adviser, Amy Marchitto, at 848-932-8559 or