Piper Lecture in Labor Law

Since 1979, the Kenneth M. Piper Memorial Lecture in Labor Law has brought together experts from labor, management and academia to debate current issues in labor relations. The lecture series is underwritten by the Kenneth M. Piper Endowment, which was established in 1981 by the gift of Mrs. Kenneth M. Piper in memory of her husband. Mr. Piper, a senior executive with Motorola Inc. and Bausch & Lomb Inc., made important contributions for more than two decades in personnel and labor relations for these companies.

45th Annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture

The 45th Annual Kenneth M. Piper lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

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Join us to hear Jeff Hirsch, Geneva Yeargan Rand Distinguished Professor of Law at The University of North Carolina School of Law, deliver this year’s 45th Kenneth M. Piper Lecture as he addresses labor regulations in artificial intelligence. AI technology has rapidly advanced in recent years, promising numerous benefits. On the other hand, AI also presents risks, including privacy violations and discrimination. Congress and state legislatures have been slow to react and, as a result, government regulation of AI is virtually nonexistent in the United States.

This regulatory gap is not total, however. In absence of government intervention, one group has been able to impose substantial limits on AI use: labor unions. As employers have increasingly used AI in the workplace, workers have begun seeing risks of that technology directly. Unions—which have the expertise, opportunity, and incentive to address AI use at work—have been at the forefront of regulating AI in the workplace. These efforts are still nascent, but AI’s prominence in the two major Hollywood strikes and subsequent contracts demonstrate unions’ important regulatory role in this area.

This lecture will be held in the Chicago-Kent College of Law Ogilvie Auditorium and will be live-streamed via the college's YouTube channel.

Past Piper Lecturers Have Included

  • Professor Charlotte Garden of University of Minnesota School of Law (2023)
  • Professor Cynthia Estlund of New York University School of Law (2022)
  • Professor Scott Cummings of UCLA School of Law (2021)
  • Professor Ruth Milkman of The Graduate Center City University of New York (2019)
  • Professor Alexander J.S. Colvin of Cornell University (2018)
  • Professor Robert Sprague of the University of Wyoming (2017)
  • Lance Compa of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University (2016)
  • Professor Noah D. Katz of UCLA School of Law [video] (2015)
  • Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities [video] (2014)
  • Professor Amy B. Monahan of the University of Minnesota Law School (2013)
  • Dean Katherine S. Newman of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University (2012)
  • Professor Pauline T. Kim of Washington University School of Law (2011)
  • Professor Joan C. Williams of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2010)
  • Professor Richard B. Freeman of Harvard University (2009)
  • Professor Cynthia Estlund of New York University School of Law (2008)
  • Professor Thomas C. Kohler of Boston College Law School (2007)
  • Professor Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt of Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington (2006)
  • Sara E. Rix of the Public Policy Institute of AARP (2005)
  • Professor Catherine L. Fisk of the University of Southern California Law School (2004)
  • Professor Maria O’Brien Hylton of Boston University School of Law (2003)
  • Professor Marion G. Crain of the University of North Carolina (2002)
  • Professor Howard F. Chang of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (2001)