, Volume 8, Issue 12, pp 951-954

Rights in the workplace: A Nozickian argument

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There is a growing literature that attempts to define the substantive rights of employees in the workplace, a.k.a. the duties of employers toward their employees. Following Nozick, this article argues that — so long as there is a competitive labor market — to set up a class of moral rights in the workplace invades workers' rights to freely choose the terms and conditions of employment they judge best.

Ian Maitland is associate professor of business, government and society at the University of Minnesota. He is author of The Causes of Industrial Disordoer (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983) and articles in the Journal of Politics, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Business Strategy, British Journal of Industrial Relations, California Management Review and elsewhere. In 1988 he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress.