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Caroline Manning ’22

Caroline Manning ’22

Caroline Manning ’22 came to the ILR School to pursue her passions in history, economics and government. Through taking “Labor Law” with Professor Michael Gold and “Advanced Labor Law” with Professor Kate Griffith, Caroline discovered how much she loves tracing the development of legal arguments through history and understanding the connection between historical issues faced by workers and modern ones such as the misclassification of workers involved in the gig economy and the exclusion of many workers from legal protections.  

Caroline is exploring these interests through her internship in the law division of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor. As part of ILR’s Credit Internship Program, Caroline is supporting the agency which investigates violations of waterfront labor laws. “I was drawn to this opportunity because I wanted the chance to apply the knowledge I was learning in my classes to a new experience. Additionally, I was interested in how an agency’s legal division worked with the shipping companies and the unions on the ports to address employment issues,” Caroline said. 

As an intern, Caroline has conducted research on topics such as tax law, immigration law and fair hiring practices. She even relied on ILR’s Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives to find documents from the early 1900s to support research on employment discrimination. She also had the opportunity to support the agency’s attorneys through depositions and legal memoranda, and receive first-hand experience in union relations, collective bargaining, legal processes, economic anlyasis and employment discrimination. Caroline said the internship is also an opportunity to understand how her passion for history can improve labor relations. 

How has ILR changed you?

ILR has given me the confidence and support to pursue opportunities that I have no knowledge of beforehand. I have been able to take classes and pursue internships that are initially somewhat out of my comfort zone. These experiences, although intimidating at first, become the moments where I learn the most and develop skills that will be invaluable to my future pursuits. 

How are you making an impact through your experiences at ILR?

I have been able to make an impact at ILR through opportunities like my internship at the waterfront commission and my research in the Undergraduate Labor Institute. In my internship, I have researched the history of discriminatory hiring on the waterfront and contributed to expanding diversity through the prequalification process. Further, through ULI, I have been able to research and contribute to publications on current issues such as sustainable labor and the pandemic’s effect on labor. 

How might the mission of ILR shape the next 75 years of work, labor and employment?

I think that employment relationships and the types of work available are going to keep evolving to form new classes of workers. Even currently, the effectiveness and efficiency of remote work have been challenged as in the last year companies shifted operations online to keep workers healthy. I think ILR’s mission will expand to evaluate how concepts of labor and employment law along with worker rights will be applied to these new forms of work and more casual employment relationships.

ILR’s professors are extremely dedicated to evaluating current changes in employment and I think there will be a greater emphasis on applying concepts to current case studies. Recognizing the ongoing process of transformations within labor will challenge faculty and students to constantly expand the applicability of their knowledge.