LABOR LAW, MEDIA, AND POPULAR CULTURE

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That's What She Said

    A blog devoted to commenting on legal issues raised by the television show The Office

Movies about Labor and Employment Law

    The China Syndrome (Columbia Pictures, 1979). Jack Lemmon is a supervisor at a nuclear power plant under great pressure not to tell a reporter (Jane Fonda) about the unsafe conditions at the plant. This film was released around the same time (March 16, 1979) that the Three Mile Island (TMI) accident in Pennsylvania occurred (March 28, 1979); thus, although the film was well made, it undoubtedly attracted even more attention than it would have otherwise.

    Erin Brockovich (Columbia TriStar, 2000). Not primarily a movie about employment law, but the protagonist has initially a problem finding a job; pictured in the first few scenes of the film.

    The Insider (Blue Lion Entertainment, 1999). Film about a whistleblower employed in the tobacco industry who wants to spill the beans to CBS/60 Minutes.

    Norma Rae (Twentieth-Century Fox, 1979). Sally Field as a worker who becomes involved in unionizing.

    Silkwood (Twentieth-Century Fox, 1983). Meryl Streep and Cher as workers at a power plant who object to the conditions at the plant.

Television Shows

Many shows include extensive references to worksites or focus on the work aspect of their characters' lives. I am excluding here all lawyer dramas. Among them are:

The Dick Van Dyke Show. The Dick Van Dyke Show was the first show that integrated a main character's work and home life into the episodes of the show. This particular show included several law related episodes including "Buddy, Can You Spare a Job?" and the priceless "The Case of the Pillow."

King of Queens

The Office

Ugly Betty




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