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Colloquium: Contract Theory and Marginalized Workers
Friday, October 20, 2023
From 9AM – 5PM PST.
Located at the Goldberg Room, UC Berkeley School of Law in Berkeley, CA.
Organized by the Berkeley Center for Private Law Theory
About the Colloquium
Labor and employment statutes exclude from coverage a significant number of workers, such as independent contractors, or fail to protect others because of judicial interpretation (in the case of incarcerated people) or immigration law. As a result, millions of immigrants, incarcerated people, and independent contractors labor under a regime of contract that implies, according to the conventional wisdom, a dramatic downgrade – (almost) a full collapse – of their rights as compared to the rights of employees. Contract, according to this conventional wisdom, both enables employers to opt out of minimum labor standards laws for those who would otherwise be protected and contains no substantive guarantees of fair treatment.
To critically investigate this conventional wisdom, the colloquium will bring together scholars who study marginalized workers and work law more generally with scholars who focus on contract, contract theory, and private law theory. Our main questions will be what made contract the enemy of marginalized workers, and whether contract law may become part of the solution for, rather than one of the causes of, the vulnerability of workers to exploitative working conditions.
Professor Sameer Ashar, UC Irvine Law
Professor Aditi Bagchi, Fordham School of Law
Professor Hugh Collins, London School of Economics and Political Science
Professor Veena Dubal, UC Irvine Law
Professor Mark Gergen, UC Berkeley School of Law
Professor Diana Reddy, UC Berkeley School of Law
Professor Brishen Rogers, Georgetown Law
Professor Sabine Tsuruda, Queen’s Law
Please access the papers here.
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