Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Labor Laws

  • Raphael Prais
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_629

Labor law regulates the conditions under which people work, and varies over time and place depending on the political and economic climate. It has a contractual aspect, but also aims to improve the position of workers beyond that which they can negotiate individually. The underlying question is why this is necessary. The classic answer is that there is an inherent inequality of bargaining power that prevents workers from negotiating fair terms and conditions. With globalization, the question of international labor law arises, both because of the plight of workers abroad, and because of the indirect effect of other countries’ labor law on one’s own country.

Worker protections combine collective agreements and substantive individual employment rights. In the USA, the term “labor law” generally refers only to collective bargaining; elsewhere the term refers to both aspects. Principal examples of substantive rights include: laws against unfair dismissal, minimum wage, and...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raphael Prais
    • 1
  1. 1.Government Legal ServiceLondonUK