The 30-credit master’s in labor and employment law (M.S.L. L&E) consists of 12 courses. Students who take five credits each term complete their degree in two years (or six terms) on average.

The M.S.L. L&E curriculum equips students with a foundation in legal thinking, mastery of specialized legal terminology and practical strategies for applying what they’ve learned to real-world situations. This degree is intended for professionals who would like to incorporate legal knowledge into their skill set. Please note that the M.S.L. is not designed to train you to be a practicing lawyer and will not qualify you to sit for the bar examination in any state.

Course Format

The employment law degree blends asynchronous and synchronous components, giving students the chance to pursue an M.S.L. degree while they work. 

Each course is 15 weeks long, with students completing a module of asynchronous lectures, readings and assessments each week. They also have the opportunity to participate in five live class sessions with their instructor and peers. These sessions, which are recorded for on-demand access, are held between Monday and Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. Live sessions are optional, but encouraged.

New York City Summer Immersion

While all coursework takes place online, the M.S.L. program features one in-person experience at the Cardozo Law School campus. During the summer immersion, students spend two days in New York City meeting their peers and faculty and taking part in academic workshops and social activities. The summer immersion is an excellent opportunity for students to get to know one another and personalize their time in the program.

Course Descriptions

This course addresses all the fundamental legal concepts that comprise the detailed federal legal regulation of the employment context with respect to issues of discrimination. Specifically, the course will provide students with a thorough understanding of the legal concepts and strategies arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. It will provide students not only with a thorough understanding of the relevant legal terminology and concepts but with practical solutions and strategies to the problems all HR officials face on a daily basis with respect to issues such as sexual harassment, pregnancy leave, gender identity discrimination, drug testing, religious and disability-based accommodations, among others.

This course will provide the students with the way in which federal statutory law, specifically the National Labor Relations Act, regulates the relationship between employers, employees and labor unions. It will explore all the legal issues that arise and provide strategies on how to respond to them, from the onset of a union organizing campaign, through the election process, the duty to bargain if the workers choose to be organized and the subsequent enforcement of any collective bargaining agreement.

The course will focus on providing students not only with a broad understanding of the relevant legal terminology and legal concepts but also with practical guidance on how to most effectively and efficiently address workplace issues as they arise.

This course will provide students with a detailed foundation of all common law and statutory employment law-related issues that are not covered in the two foundation courses in Employment Discrimination and Labor Law.

Specifically, this course will provide instruction on such issues as employee privacy, providing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, workers’ compensation, non-occupational disability policies; obligations towards employees at will, pension plan funding and administration; and seniority plans. In addition, students will be provided with practical guidance on how to create and implement programs and policies that fulfill an employer’s obligations in these areas.

This course expands in greater detail on the material covered in the survey course in “Introduction to Employment Discrimination Law Principles” and deals with sex and gender identity-based issues. It will focus more deeply on the increasingly dynamic meaning of sex and gender in the workplace and how the legal order is responding to these new developments. It will examine how new and evolving legal rules govern workplace rules concerning transgender individuals, non-binary concepts of sex and gender, personal appearance codes and traditional and nontraditional forms of sexual harassment. The course is designed to prepare students to take meaningful roles in assuring employer compliance in this fast-changing part of the legal landscape.

The course will provide an overview of the three components of intellectual property law: patent, trademark and copyright. The course pays particular attention to how these issues arise in the employment and human resources environment. The goal is to gain skills in spotting and addressing intellectual property issues within the employment context.

This course will look at legal issues arising out of social media, branding and advertising in the workplace. This includes the use of social media platforms by companies, the relationship of social media and employees, fan and gripe sites and other issues arising from the use of social media. The course will also look at key issues arising in the protection of a company’s name, reputation and goodwill.

This course builds on concepts introduced in the “Intellectual Property Issues in the Workplace” course, encouraging students to think through practical and policy questions that arise within the workplace, and in particular, what human resource professionals may encounter. The course will also look at the National Labor Board and social media and hiring practices. The course covers social networking as well as monitoring of computer and internet activities.

The course looks at First Amendment issues related to social media, both by employees as well as the public. The course also looks at the issue of the right to be forgotten, and the impact of this concept with regard to employees and former employees. The course also looks at questions of advertising, including puffery, verifiable facts, surveys, advertisements for employees, contests and other issues that arise within the workplace.

This course will examine the range of privacy issues that arise in the workplace. These will include access to employee data, medical inquiries, genetic testing, background investigations and types of employer monitoring and surveillance. Students will examine and evaluate the common law, constitutional, as well as state and federal statutory provisions that apply to and govern these issues.

This is a skill-developing course. It combines instruction on the use of negotiation tools and requires students to complete negotiation exercises and then requires the students 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.

This course will provide students with a detailed explanation of the legal rules surrounding labor contract enforcement and a practice-oriented exposure to the private processes of contract enforcement: mediation and arbitration. Since many collectively and non-collectively bargained employment agreements contain mediation and/or arbitration clauses, this course will also focus on developing the skills necessary to participate in and prepare for mediation and arbitration of contractual and statutory disputes. Particular emphasis will be on providing instruction on how HR managers should maintain personnel records in a way to minimize contractual disputes and to succeed when disputes arise and are sent to either mediation or arbitration

This course is designed to require the students to apply the legal content and strategies they learned in previously taken courses by producing four separate written employment policies or contracts.

The four projects will consist of (1) negotiating and drafting an employment contract; (2) drafting an ethics policy that governs employees and employers; (3) drafting an EEOC position statement on a hypothetical employment dispute; and (4) drafting a comprehensive medical leave of absence policy governing, inter alia, pregnancy, disability, family medical and military leave requests. In connection with each of these projects, the students will be presented with a set of facts and figures that will serve as the foundation for their written product. In addition, they will be provided with both prerecorded tapes that will remind them of the relevant legal principles and strategies, as well as texts and online documentation that they can use as a guide and resource.

Please note: curriculum and course offerings are subject to change.