Transform your HR career with Tulane Law.
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Transform your HR career with Tulane Law.

Online MJ in Labor & Employment Law Curriculum

Tulane University Law School’s faculty members are committed to providing you with the rigorous academic experience expected from one of the premier law schools in the U.S.

Explore the MJ-LEL curriculum.

Semester 1

Students must take both of these required courses:

Legal Analysis I (2 credits)

This foundational course introduces students to sources and functions of law in our society relating to labor and employment law. The course begins with an overview of the American legal system and sources of law and introduces students to statutory interpretation and plain language analysis. In Legal Analysis I, students will learn to read and interpret statutory law and regulations, read and brief cases, and develop basic legal writing and analysis skills. Students will also learn to find and research legal information through multiple short research assignments focusing on labor and employment law issues. Through multiple short writing assignments such as a case brief, an IRAC essay analyzing a statutory issue, and an e-memo interpreting statutory and regulatory law relating to a labor and employment law topic, students learn to apply statutes and regulations to analyze legal issues relating to labor and employment law.

Introduction to Employment Discrimination Law Principles and Strategies (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide the students with a thorough understanding of all of the legal rules and concepts created by federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the bases of race, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and national origin in a very practical way. The materials will be presented in a manner dedicated to enhancing the ability of present or future human resources professionals to deal with specific problems that continually arise in the workplace. Instruction will be directed toward providing advice on how to deal with and avoid problems in areas, including racial and sexual harassment, religious accommodation, pregnancy and family leave, LGBT concerns, handling EEOC investigations, drafting personnel manuals, avoiding retaliation claims, mandatory and voluntary retirement, disability-based accommodation, and drug testing.

Semester 2

Students must take both of these required courses:

Legal Analysis II (2 credits)

This course builds on Legal Analysis I to introduce students to the relationship between enacted and administrative law and caselaw. The course continues instruction on legal research methods in finding and analyzing caselaw. Students learn to read and synthesize multiple cases and learn analogical reasoning. Through multiple short writing assignments, such as an analogical writing assignment, students learn to apply statutes, regulations, administrative materials and caselaw to analyze complex legal issues relating to labor and employment law. Students will also be introduced to contract reading and interpretation to read and understand common commercial contracts in the employment law setting.

Introduction to Labor Law Principles and Strategies (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of the federal and state laws and regulations governing the relationship between the employer, employee and labor union. The material will be presented in a very practical way designed to focus on specific problems and issues that human resource professionals experience in dealing with organized and unorganized workforces and offer very specific and detailed instruction on the proper way to deal with these issues. The topics that will be examined include approaches toward a union organizing campaign; a union’s request for voluntary recognition; creation of joint employer/employee advisory committees; the role of the NLRB and how to avoid and deal with unfair labor practice charges; proper and improper bases for discipline and discharge; lawful and unlawful responses to strikes, picketing, and sickouts; scope and approaches toward the duty to engage in collective bargaining with a union; methods of enforcing or modifying the terms of a collective bargaining agreement; impact of state right-to-work laws; union security agreements; and the use of arbitration and/or mediation as alternative methods of resolving contractual and statutory disputes.

This course concentrates on analyzing the issues surrounding the rights of workers to engage in collective activity and the relationship between employers and unions in such matters as collective bargaining, contract enforcement and contract implementation.

Semester 3

Students must take both of these required courses:

Employment Law (2 credits)

This course will provide students with an understanding of the legal underpinnings of the employer-employee relationship, including the employment-at-will doctrine, which is the default setting for the relationship. The course will discuss the limits of the employment-at-will doctrine as well as common legal claims brought in the employment context. It will also explore issues such as privacy expectations of employees and the enforceability of covenants not to compete as well as laws impacting employee compensation and leave.

IP Issues in the Employment Context (3 credits)

Intellectual property issues arise in the employment context from the moment an employee is hired, whether a full-time employee or an independent contractor. If employees create works—websites, inventions, newsletters, etc.—within their job, additional issues will arise, both in terms of who owns the creations, but also what materials the employee is using to create those works. Copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents and right of publicity are implicated in the hiring and employing of both individuals and other companies. IP policies related to social media also are important to establish, both for the company in general and individuals within the company, and should be communicated to employees in an effective way. Human resources, in administering hiring documents both for employees and independent contractors, should be aware of the legal issues that arise, as well as the policy behind the choices.

Semester 4

Students must take this required course, plus one 2-credit elective:

Contemporary Sex and Gender Issues in the Workplace (3 credits)

This course focuses on the issues that will arise for human resources professionals in the areas of sex and gender discrimination. It will build on the employment discrimination course by delving into the particularities of human resources law as it relates to sex discrimination. The course will combine in-depth lectures and examinations of contemporary current events in this area with practical exercises and projects designed to prepare human resources professionals for the complexities that may emerge for their employers under sex discrimination law. The course will cover pregnancy discrimination and accommodations in the workplace, personal appearance policies, sexual harassment and transgender persons in the workplace. Each substantive module will be accompanied by a graded project designed to prepare students for aiding in employer compliance and ensuring positive employee relations. Prerequisite: employment discrimination law

Semester 5

Students must take this required course, plus one 2-credit elective:

Social Media Issues in the Workplace (3 credits)

This advanced course picks up where IP Issues in the Employment Context left off regarding the use of creative works within the workplace, particularly in three areas: social media and the Internet, branding (trademark, trade dress, etc.) and advertising. The goal is for the student to become more familiar with concepts related to the protection and balancing of interests in these areas, and to be better familiar with specific laws, cases and customs that have developed within the workplace.

Semester 6

Students must take this required course, plus one 2-credit elective:

Capstone (3 credits)

Welcome to Capstone Seminar, the culmination of your work in the Master of Jurisprudence program at Tulane University Law School. This is your final semester, and with that, we will focus on the transition from student to expert in the field. The course is built around a research paper for the first portion of the course. Upon approval from the instructor, you will be given tasks to prepare and write a 12-20 page research paper on a legal subject of your choice. The draft will be completed by Week 10. Note the quick time schedule is necessary for the next steps in the course.

The philosophy behind the course is that to be an expert in the field you need three components: expertise (the paper) + demonstrating generalist knowledge in areas within the field (smaller papers and assignments) + networking/branding as an expert. We will be taking your expert paper and finding ways to apply generalist knowledge and networking/branding opportunities.

Elective Courses

Negotiating Skills (2 credits)

Negotiation is a skill. This course sharpens those skills. It focuses on such matters as negotiation styles, emphasis on interests rather than positions, and psychological biases that hinder effective negotiations. Students will be instructed on the use of the negotiation tools and asked to complete negotiation exercises and then called upon to reflect on their experience. These exercises require the students to negotiate with each other. All of the students in the classroom sessions will discuss their experiences and receive input from the instructor.

Employee Medical Leaves of Absence (2 credits)

This advanced course picks up where the disability discrimination and FMLA classes leave off, tackling the tricky area of medical leaves of absence for employees. When an employee takes medical leave, a web of laws may come into play: both FMLA and ADA, as well as state laws on workers’ compensation and paid sick leave. This course will provide a full understanding of the employer’s obligation to grant time off for medical reasons, the rights and responsibilities of the employee taking the leave, compensation and benefits during medical leave and reinstatement issues following the leave. We will also cover special circumstances like pregnancy leave, intermittent leave, mental disability leave and leave for the rehabilitation of substance abuse.

Developing and Managing the Workforce: Recruitment, Retention, Termination, Retirement and Turnover (2 credits)

Human resources (HR) management can be defined as the effective use of human capital in an organization through the management of people-related activities. It involves leadership, values, workforce planning, recruitment and selection, training and compensation, and performance evaluation and management. HR also significantly influences the corporate culture and values/mission of the company.

To thrive in a competitive business environment, organizations need more than just strategic plans in place. They need the right talent to implement those plans. Those who manage human resources—not just HR departments, but all managers—have a critical task in front of them. They have to identify, recruit and retain employees who have both the skill sets and determination to effectively implement strategic objectives in their individual departments, so the business plan succeeds as a whole.

In this course, you’ll learn to align workforce management with the overall strategic goals of the business and how to navigate the opportunities and pitfalls that can arise from that challenge. You’ll also learn results-based strategies for finding, motivating and rewarding individual employees as well as successful work teams. With the skills developed through this course and through this master’s program at Tulane, you can better position yourself to manage human resources responsibilities and find employees who will positively impact your company.

Privacy in the Workplace (2 credits)

Privacy is a dynamic issue of concern in essentially every modern workplace. However, there is no comprehensive statute governing workplace privacy. Existing laws usually address (or marginally relate to) one discreet area of privacy law. Because privacy law is decentralized by nature, you must understand its general framework to properly address privacy questions that arise in the workplace. You must also be familiar with, or at least capable of referencing, a wide array of federal, state and local privacy laws.

This course will cover both the general framework of privacy law and the most notable statutes addressing workplace privacy. The course begins with an overview of the origins and legal sources of privacy law. The course then covers specific areas of workplace privacy, including medical inquiries; background and misconduct investigations; monitoring and surveillance; honesty, psychological, drug and alcohol testing; medical and personnel records; off-duty conduct; employer information; and privacy tort claims. As to each topic, you will gain an understanding of governing legal standards and best practices through reading materials, examples, and when appropriate, checklists and sample policies.

Investigating, Mediating and Arbitrating Employee Complaints (2 credits)

This course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of what the law requires when responding to employee complaints, including what actions to take (or not to take) in connection with a workplace investigation and how to mediate and arbitrate employee workplace claims and disputes.

Students will apply knowledge gained from the lecture presentations and readings to analyz hypothetical situations involving employee complaints. These hypothetical scenarios will be built upon each week, giving students the opportunity to guide fictional companies all the way through the investigative process, including EEOC investigations, mediation and arbitration. Heavy emphasis will be placed on studying and understanding the arbitration process in particular.
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Human Resources professionals must know how to navigate the complexities labor and employment laws. Download the brochure on Tulane Law's Online Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law to see what our program can do for you. Learn more about the program curriculum, what to expect from our Immersion Weekend and much more.

Are you ready to become an authority on HR and employment law? Start here.

Admissions Deadlines
Application Deadline
April 3rd
Summer 2023 Term
Next Start
April 24th
Summer 2023 Term
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