‘On Preventing the Abuse of Contracts’

Hanoch Dagan and Catherine L Fisk, ‘Independent Contractors and The ABCs of Contract Law’, Arizona Law Review (forthcoming 2024), available at SSRN (23 October 2023). The notorious 1905 Supreme Court decision in Lochner v New York has become a symbol of a clash between the State’s wish to protect people from inadequate working conditions and the freedom of businesses and workers to use contracts to regulate their relationships. While the protective regulation of the work arena has since become more prevalent and has been approved time and again by a post-Lochner Supreme Court, businesses on the hiring side have never ceased attempting to evade these regulations by using contracts and insisting on their enforcement in the name of the freedom of contact. Is contract law truly the nemesis of fair labor? Must it undermine workers’ minimum legal protections against a long list of evils such as safety hazards, exhaustive hours, meager pay, and discrimination? … (more)

[Hila Keren, JOTWELL, 14 May 2024]

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