From Widgits to Digits is about the changing nature of the employment relationship and its implications for labor and employment law. For most of the twentieth century, employers fostered long-term employment relationships through the use of implicit promises of job security, well-defined hierarchical job ladders, and longevity-based wage and benefit schemes. Today's employers no longer value longevity or seek to encourage long-term attachment between the employee and the firm. Instead employers seek flexibility in their employment relationships. As a result, employees now operate as free agents in a boundaryless workplace, in which they move across departmental lines within firms, and across firm borders, throughout their working lives. Today's challenge is to find a means to provide workers with continuity in wages, on-going training opportunities, sustainable and transferable skills, unambiguous ownership of their human capital, portable benefits, and an infrastructure of support structures to enable them to weather career transitions.
• This book is the first book to explore the legal and regulatory implications of the changing nature of the workplace • This book is the first to detail the ways in which the existing framework of employment law • This book is the first to track the evolution of labor law from the artisanal era to the industrial era, and from the industrial era to the current digital era
Introduction; Part I. Labor Relations Regimes of the Past: 1. Artisanal production in the nineteenth century; 2. The labor system of the industrial era; 3. From scientific management to internal labor markets; Part II. The Digital Workplace: 4. The changing nature of employment; 5. The new employment relationship; Part III. Implications of Digital Job Structures for Labor and Employment Law: 6. Implications of the new workplace for labor and employment regulation; 7.Disputes over ownership of human capital; 8. The changing nature of employment discrimination; 9. Unionism in the boundaryless workplace; 10. Re-imagining employee representation; Part IV. Social Justice in the Digital Era: 11. The crisis in benefits and the collapse of the private welfare state; 12. The working rich and the working poor: income inequality in the digital era; Conclusion; Notes; Appendices.