Richard (Rick) Bales
- Member of the Editorial Committee
- Ohio Northern University
Rick Bales is a faculty member at Ohio Northern University Law School. He teaches a wide variety of labor/employment and ADR courses, Torts, and Civil Procedure. He has published more than eighty scholarly articles and authored or co-authored eight books on a variety of topics related to labor/employment/ADR. His most recent articles focus on COVID-related labor arbitration awards in the U.S. and Canada. Rick also is a part-time labor arbitrator. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and serves on FMCS, AAA, and SERB panels.
Could you describe two key articles to better understand your interest and expertise?
The first one would be "COVID-Related Labor Arbitration Awards in the United States and Canada: A Survey and Comparative Analysis". The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 changed working conditions for millions of Americans and Canadians quickly and dramatically. Employers responded by requiring employees to quarantine, implementing workplace COVID policies, disciplining employees who violated those policies, changing work schedules, cancelling leaves or vacations, and furloughing or laying off employees. Unions have challenged many of these actions, raising a variety of novel issues that are now being resolved through labor arbitration. This article surveys those labor arbitration awards and then comparatively analyzes the awards from Canada and the United States.
The Invisible Web at Work: Artificial Intelligence and Electronic Surveillance in the Workplace, (co-authored with Katheryn Van Wezel Stone)
Employers and others who hire or engage workers to perform services use a dizzying array of electronic mechanisms to make personnel decisions about hiring, worker evaluation, compensation, discipline, and retention. These electronic mechanisms include electronic trackers, surveillance cameras, metabolism monitors, wearable biological measuring devices, and implantable technology. These tools enable employers to record their workers’ every movement, listen in on their conversations, measure minute aspects of performance, and detect oppositional organizing activities. Thus A-I and electronic monitoring produce an invisible electronic web that threatens to invade worker privacy, deter unionization, enable subtle forms of employer blackballing, exacerbate employment discrimination, render unions ineffective, and obliterate the protections of the labor laws.