College of Law

Joseph E. Slater

Joseph E. Slater

Distinguished University Professor and Eugene N. Balk Professor of Law and Values

Office: LC 2002C
Campus Phone: 419.530.2008; Fax: 419.530.7911

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Professor Joseph E. Slater, Distinguished University Professor and Eugene N. Balk Professor of Law and Values, has been a faculty member since 1999, and is a graduate of Georgetown University (Ph.D.), the University of Michigan Law School (J.D.), and Oberlin College (B.A.). He is a member of the Labor Law Group and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Before joining the faculty, he practiced in Washington, D.C. for over a decade.


Professor Slater has taught Torts, Labor Law, Public Sector Labor Law, Employment Law, and Employment Discrimination.


University Presidential Research Award (chosen from entire University faculty), 2012

Student Impact Award (teaching award chosen from entire University faculty), 2012

Outstanding Teaching Award (chosen from entire University faculty), 2008

Voted Outstanding Professor of the Year by the Law School Class of 2006

Voted Professor of the Year for 2000-01 by the Black Law Students Association



Mastering Labor Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2014) (with Paul Secunda, Anne Lofaso, and Jeffrey Hirsch).

Labor Law in the Private and Public Sectors: Cases and Materials (with Seth Harris, David Gregory, and Anne Lofasco (LexisNexis, 2013).

Public Sector Employment: Cases and Materials (2nd ed) (with Martin Malin and Ann Hodges) (West Publishing, 2010).

Public Workers: Government Employee Unions, the Law, and the State, 1900-62 ( Cornell University Press, 2004).

Articles, Book Chapters, and Other Writings

“Teaching Private-Sector Labor Law and Public Sector Labor Law Together,” 58 St. Louis University Law Review 209 (2013).

“Public Sector Bargaining: Tumultuous Times” (with Robert Hebdon and Marick Masters), in Collective Bargaining Under Duress: Case Studies of Major North American Industries (Howard Stranger, Paul Clark, and Ann Frost, eds., 2013).

“Attacks on Public-Sector Bargaining as Attacks on Employee Voice: A (Partial) Defense of the Wagner Act Model,” 50 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 875 (2013).

“The Strangely Unsettled State of Public-Sector Labor Law in the Past Thirty Years,” 30 Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal 511 (2013).

“Are Public-Sector Employees ‘Overpaid’ Relative to Private-Sector Employees? An Overview of the Studies” (with Elijah Welenc), 52 Washburn Law Journal 533 (2013), reprinted in Michael Green and Samuel Estreicher, eds., The Challenge for Collective Bargaining: Proceedings of the New York University 65th Annual Conference on Labor (LexisNexis 2013).

“Public Sector Bargaining Impasse Dispute Procedures as ADR: From 1919 to the Present,” 28 Ohio State Journal On Dispute Resolution 387 (2013).

“The Rise and Fall of SB-5 in Political and Historical Context,” 43 University of Toledo Law Review 473 (2012).

“Public Sector Labor in the Age of Obama,” 87 Indiana Law Journal 189 (2012).

“Employee Voice: Lessons from the Public Sector,” 94 Marquette Law Review917 (2011).

“The Assault on Public Sector Collective Bargaining: Real Harms and Imaginary Benefits,” American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Issue Brief (June 2011), available at and in 5 Advance (The Journal of the American Constitution Society Issue Groups) 58 (2011).

Essay, “Public Sector Labor in 2010: View of a Legal Historian,” Labor and Working Class History Association Newsletter (Spring 2010).

Book Review, John F. Lyons, Teachers and Reform: Chicago Public Education 1929-70, 114 American Historical Review 783 (2009).

“Working Group on Chapter 1 of the Proposed Restatement of Employment Law: Existence of Employment Relationship,” 13 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 43 (2009) (with Theodore St. Antoine, Dennis Nolan, and Alvin Goldman).

“Labor and the Boston Police Strike of 1919,” in Aaron Brenner, Benjamin Day, Immanuel Ness, eds., The Encyclopedia of Strikes in American History (M.E. Sharpe, 2009).

Book Review: James B. Jacobs, Mobsters, Unions, and Feds: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement, 26 Law and History Review 224 (2008).

Public Sector Employment: Cases and Materials, 2007 Professors’ Update (with Professors Martin Malin and Ann Hodges).

Book Review: Dennis Gaffney, Teachers United: The Rise of New York State United Teachers, 94 Journal of American History 1011 (2007).

“The ‘American Rule’ that Swallows the Exceptions,” 11 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 53 (2007).

“The History of Public Workers,” essay in The Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor & Working-Class History, Eric Arnesen, Bruce Laurie, Joe McCartin, Cindy Hahamovitch, Tera Hunter, and Leon Fink, eds. (2006).

“Do Unions Representing A Minority of Employees Have the Right To Bargain Collectively?: A Review of Charles Morris, The Blue Eagle at Work,” 9 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 383 (2005).

“Homeland Security vs. Workers Rights? What the Federal Government Should Learn from History and Experience, and Why,” 6 Pennsylvania Journal of Labor & Employment Law 295(2004), reprinted in Samuel Estreicher and Matthew Bodie, eds., Workplace Discrimination, Privacy, and Security in an Age of Terrorism: Proceedings of the New York University 55th Annual Conference on Labor (Kluwer Law International, 2007).

“The Court Does Not Know ‘What a Labor Union is’: How State Structures and Judicial (Mis)Constructions Deformed Public Sector Labor Law,” 79 Oregon Law Review 981 (2000).

“Petting the Infamous Yellow Dog: The Seattle High School Teachers Union and the State, 1928-31,” 23 Seattle University Law Review 485 (2000).

“Public Workers: Labor and the Boston Police Strike of 1919,” 38 Labor History 7 (1997).

“The Rise of Master-Servant and the Fall of Master Narrative: A Review of Labor Law In America,” 15 Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law 141 (1994).

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Last Updated: 6/27/22