Labor Law in 2021 with Kathryn Hatfield

Participation in labor unions is less than half of what it was 40 years ago. It has seen an uptick in the service sector, but a sharp decline in manufacturing. According to economist Heidi Shierholz decline in union rolls is partly responsible for today’s yawning income inequality gap. Recently we’ve seen the formation of a modest union at Google and a movement among Amazon workers. We’ve also seen how the pandemic has shone a bright light on the fragility of our nation’s workforce struggling to survive at the bottom rungs of the pay scale.

Joining me to speak about these issues is Kathryn Van Deusen Hatfield, a senior managing partner at Hatfield Schwartz Law Group in New Jersey.  Kathy represents private and public sector employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, with expertise in litigating state and federal cases on behalf of employers involving Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and providing legal opinions and advice on personnel, employment and labor issues.  Kathy shares her insights on recent developments in the labor movement, some of the causes of its decline, how unions get a bad rap, and how, even though she represents management, she believes unions can be a good thing for everyone — employees and companies alike.

This podcast is the audio companion to the Journal on Emerging Issues in Litigation, a collaborative project between HB Litigation Conferences and the Fastcase legal research family, which includes Full Court Press, Law Street Media, Docket Alarm and, most recently, Judicata. If you have comments or wish to participate in one our projects, or want to tell me how insightful and informative David and Dan are, please drop me a note at

I hope you enjoy the interview, and how I managed to demonstrate how little I know about sports. I feel made up for it by learning something about baseball Hall of Famer Jim Rice, who did something really cool and heroic in 1982.