Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

July 2007


This paper was originally presented at the Seminar on Comparative Labour Relations Systems: Dismissal Law, Spanish Judicial School, Barcelona in July, 2006.


In the United States, sociological legal scholars have long admonished that it is necessary to understand the distinction between the law on the books and the law in action. Any discussion of dismissal in the United States must be particularly mindful of this distinction. In employment, there is a wide disjunction between the law as it is written and articulated by judges, and the actual practice of labor relations. Further, in the area of dismissal from employment, both the law on the books and the law in action are in flux at the present time, both in flux and moving in opposite directions.