Employment Law

Employment Law

Prof. Eric M. Fink

Elon Law School

Employment Law

Eric M. Fink
Office hours by appointment

Winter 2019
Room 204
Tuesday & Thursday, 9:00–10:45 am


This course surveys federal and state laws governing employment. Topics to be covered include establishing an employment relationship; recruitment & hiring; supervisory control and employee autonomy; confidentiality & competition; wages & hours; workplace safety & health; termination of employment; and arbitration of employment disputes. Some of the issues touched on in this course are covered in further depth in other courses, such as Employment Discrimination and Labor Law.

After completing the course, you should be able to recognize and diagnose legal issues and problems arising in the employment context, analyze those issues and problems under the applicable law, and help clients avoid those issues and problems or remedy them when they arise. Simulation problems provide an opportunity to develop practical skills for representing clients in employment matters.

Requirements & Grading

Class sessions for this course will combine traditional law school format (lecture & discussion of assigned readings) and simulation problems. I expect you to complete all reading assignments before class, attend each class session, and engage constructively in class activities.

In-class performance will count for 50% of your final grade. The four take-home writing assignments (see “Topic Outline & Assignments” below) will count for the remaining 50% of your final grade. There will be no final exam or paper for this course.

Excessive absences (more than 2 classes), persistent lack of preparation, or inattention during class (including but not limited to inappropriate use of computers or electronic devices) may result in a reduction of your grade.

Elon Law School has adopted the following attendance policy for all courses:

The Law School administers a policy that a student maintain regular and punctual class attendance in all courses in which the student is registered, including externships, clinical courses, or simulation courses. Faculty members will give students written notice of their attendance policies before or during the first week of class. These policies may include, but are not limited to: treating late arrivals, early departures, and/or lack of preparation as absences; imposing grade or point reductions for absences, including assigning a failing grade or involuntarily withdrawing a student from the class; and any other policies that a professor deems appropriate to create a rigorous and professional classroom environment.

In case of illness or emergency, students may contact the Office of Student and Professional Life, which will then notify the student’s instructors. A student may notify the faculty member directly of a planned absence and should refer to individual faculty members regarding any policy that may apply. In the case of prolonged illness or incapacity, the student should contact the Office of Student and Professional Life.

The Law School honor code applies to all activities related to your law school study, including conduct during class and examinations.

Required Materials

Assigned readings (see “Outline & Reading Assignments” below) are available via the course website: emfink.net/EmploymentLaw

Rachel Arnow-Richman & Nantiya Ruan, Developing Professional Skills: Workplace Law (West Academic 2016)

Topic Outline & Assignments

January 3rd

The Employment Relationship

Writing Assignment 1

Due Jan. 15
  • The Canine Trainer (Workplace Law, Chap. 1)


January 8th


January 10th

Recruitment & Hiring

January 15th

Supervision & Control

Writing Assignment 2

Due Jan. 29th
  • A Troublesome Crew (Workplace Law, Chap. 7)

Workplace Supervision & Control

January 17th

Workplace Discrimination & Harassment

January 22nd

Supervision & Control Outside the Workplace

January 24th

Employee Loyalty & Confidentiality

Writing Assignment 3

Due Feb. 5th
  • The Doctor Is In (Workplace Law, Chap. 5)

Disclosure & Misuse of Confidential Information

January 29th

Restrictions on Future Employment

January 31st

Wages & Hours

February 5th

Health & Safety

Disability Discrimination & Accommodation

February 7th

Workers’ Compensation

February 12th

Occupational Safety & Health

February 14th

Terminating Employment

Writing-Assignment 4

Due March 12th
  • The Smart-Tek IPO (Workplace Law, Chap. 4)


January 19th

Contract & Reliance Claims for Wrongful Termination

February 21st

Tort Claims for Wrongful Termination

February 26th

Statutory Claims for Wrongful Termination

February 28th

Unemployment Compensation

March 5th

Employment Arbitration

March 7th