DPI-425: U.S. Workers and Workplace Policies

Semester: Spring

Credit: 1.0

Syllabus: Click here for syllabus

Faculty: Holly Fechner


Day Time Location
First Day 1/25
Meet Day M 4:15 PM - 6:00 PM L382


Why is the rate of unionization in the U.S. at a 70-year low? Why do 145 countries have paid sick days laws, but the U.S. does not? To answer these and many other questions, we will explore the foundations of U.S. labor policy and the significance of New Deal laws governing wages, hours, and collective bargaining, as well as advances in anti-discrimination policy during the Civil Rights era. We will ask how contemporary workers and employers view their rights and responsibilities, and we will discuss important demographic and labor market trends. This course will highlight the key political players that create and enforce workplace policies, including Congress, the Executive Branch, businesses and unions, and non-profit organizations. Students will learn practical advocacy skills and consider policies under active political debate.


John F. Kennedy School of Government 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-1100 Get Directions Visit Contact Page