[Review of the Book 'Workplace Justice Without Unions']
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[Excerpt] This book examines one of the most important issues in contemporary industrial relations in the United States, the provision of workplace justice to the vast majority of American workers who lack union representation. In contrast to nearly all other countries, employment in the United States is governed by the default rule of employment-at-will under which workers can be fired without notice for any reason, good or bad. Exceptions to this rule are limited to specific contractual or statutory protections in areas such as discrimination and the shrinking segment of the American workforce represented by unions. The situation for the majority of American workers who are not represented by unions and fired for reasons other than discrimination is aptly described by the authors: “Where workers can be terminated from their employment for any reason, or none at all, arbitrariness reigns. Yet this is historically the basic principle of the law of employment termination in the United States.” (p.1) As a result of this absence of general legal protections against unjust termination, such as the labor court systems found in many other countries, in the United States discussion of questions of workplace justice have increasingly focused on various types of management-initiated workplace justice systems. In this book, the authors provide both a concise, well-written overview of the current legal and policy issues relating to nonunion workplace justice and an important empirical contribution to the growing literature on this subject.
workplace justice; nonunion employees; employment termination; dispute resolution
Required Publisher Statement: © Wiley. Final version published as: Colvin, A. J. S. (2005). [Review of the book Workplace justice without unions]. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 43(2), 323-326. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.