People at ILR

James Gross
people / faculty

James Gross

Professor Emeritus
Global Labor and Work (GLW)


Professor Gross teaches Labor Law, Labor Arbitration, and a course entitled Values, Rights and Justice in Economics, Law, and Industrial Relations. He received his B.S. from LaSalle College, M.A. from Temple University, and Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin.

Rights Not Interests: Resolving Value Clashes Under the National Labor Relations Act, just published by Cornell University Press, is the fourth volume in his study of the NLRA and the NLRB. This most recent volume applies internationally accepted human rights principles as standards for judgment and argues that the NLRA was and remains at its core a workers' rights statute. It also shows how value clashes and choices between those who interpret the NLRA as a workers' rights statute and those who contend that the NLRA seeks only a "balance" between the economic interests of labor and management have been major influences in the evolution of the NLRB and the law. Rights Not Interests contends, contrary to many who would write its obituary, that the NLRA is not dead. Instead the book concludes with a call for visionary thinking including the U.S. Constitution as a source of workers' rights.

Professor Gross is a member of National Academy of Arbitrators and on the labor arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and New York State Public Employment Relations Board, as well as being a panelist named in several contracts.

Teaching Statement

My teaching focus has been to find ways to integrate student research and classroom teaching - discussions in my classes that concern workers' rights as human rights; values, rights and justice at work; and labor arbitration.
My teaching focus has been on:

1 - Developing Workers' Rights as Human Rights as a distance learning course;

2 - Values, Rights, and Justice at Work as an innovative course utilizing short stories, plays, poems, and novels;

3 - Developing and presenting ILR's only health and safety course: Workplace Safety and Health as a Human Right

Research Statement

Since completion of my fourth book concerning the NLRB, I have started researching the status of workers' rights under Section 502 of the NLRA to withhold their labor when confronted with "abnormally dangerous" working conditions.

Service Statement

My service focus is workers' rights as human rights.

Outreach Statement

I chaired the Planning Committee for the Worker Institute conference marking the 80th anniversary of the NLRA and NLRB as well as the 70th anniversary of the ILR School. I continue to do outreach programs for various unions each year.

I do these things because public service is an important and integral part of being a faculty member - in a state school in particular. It also is another way to keep in touch with the real world.


Journal Articles

  • James A. Gross. . "Undermining Worker Safety and Health Protection Through Statutory Interpretation", Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal . 36, Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal, ((Spring 2019),):225-291.
  • James Gross. 2012. The Human Rights Movement at U.S. Workplaces: Challenges and Changes, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . Vol. 65(Number 1):pp. 3-16.
  • James Gross. 2011. The National Labor Relations Board Then and Now, The ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law . Vol. 26(Number 2):pp. 213-229.
  • James Gross. 2004. Incorporating Human Rights Principles into U.S. Labor Arbitration: A Proposal for Fundamental Change, Employee Rights & Employment Policy Journal . 8:1-51.
  • James Gross. 2002. Applying Human Rights Standards to Employment Rights in the USA: The Human Rights Watch Report 2000, Industrial Relations Journal . 33(3):182-196.
  • James Gross. 2002. Worker Rights as Human Rights: Wagner Act Values and Moral Choices, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law . 4(3):479-492.
  • James Gross. 2001. A Human Rights Perspective on U.S. Education: Only Some Children Matter, Catholic University Law Review . 50(4):919-956.
  • James Gross. 1999. A Human Rights Perspective: On United States Labor Relations Law: A Violation of The Right of Freedom of Association, Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal . 3(1):65-103.
  • James Gross. 1998. The Broken Promises of the National Labor Relations Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act: Conflicting Values and Conceptions of Rights and Justice, Chicago-Kent Law Review . 73(1):351-387.
  • James Gross. 1998. The Common Law Employment Contract or Collective Bargaining: Different Values, and Conceptions of Rights and Justice, New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations . 23(1):63-76.
  • James Gross. 1986. Arbitral Value Judgments in Health and Safety Disputes: Management Rights Over Workers’ Rights, University of Buffalo Law Review . 34(3):645-691.
  • James Gross. 1985. Conflicting Statutory Purposes: Another Look at Fifty Years of NLRB Law Making, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 39(1):7-18.
  • James Gross. 1982. Labor Relations Law, Syracuse Law Review . 33(1):361-399.
  • James Gross. 1981. Labor Relations Law, Syracuse Law Review . 32(1):389-420.
  • James Gross. 1981. Public Policy and the Arbitration of Tenure Decisions, ERIC: Education Resources Information Center . 67p.
  • James Gross, R Daniel Bordoni. 1978. Reflections on the Arbitrator’s Responsibility to Provide a Full and Fair Hearing: How to Bite the Hands that Feed You, Syracuse Law Review . 29(3):879-899.
  • James Gross. 1970. The Labor Arbitrator’s Role: Tradition and Change, The Arbitration Journal . 25(4):221-233.
  • James Gross. 1970. Economics, Politics and the Law: The NLRB’s Division of Economic Research, 1935-1940, Cornell Law Review . 55(3):321-347.
  • James Gross. 1969. Historians and the Literature of the Negro Worker, Labor History . 10(3):536-546.
  • James Gross, Donald Cullen, Kurt Hanslowe. 1968. Good Faith in Labor Negotiations: Tests and Remedies, Cornell Law Review . 53(6):1009-1035.
  • James Gross. 1967. Value Judgments in the Decisions of Labor Arbitrators, Industrial and Labor Relations Review . 21(1):55-72.
  • James Gross. 1965. Value Judgments in Economics, the Labor Movement and Public Policy, Labor Law Journal . 16(11):705-712.
  • James Gross. 1964. The Making and Shaping of Unionism in the Pulp and Paper Industry, Labor History . 5(2):183-208.
  • James Gross. 1962. The NAACP and the AFL-CIO: An Overview, Negro History Bulletin .


  • James A. Gross. 2017. Rights Not Interests: Resolving Value Clashes Under the National Labor Relations Act. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2017.
  • James Gross. 2010. A Shameful Business: The Case for Human Rights in the American Workplace. Ithaca, NY, United States: Cornell University Press, 2010.
  • James Gross, Lance Compa. 2009. Human Rights in Labor and Employment Relations: International and Domestic Perspectives. Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, United States: LERA, University of Illinois, 2009. (237 pages)
  • James Gross. 2003. Workers’ Rights as Human Rights (editor). Ithaca NY, United States: Cornell University Press, 2003.
  • James Gross. 1996. Broken Promise: The Subversion of American Labor Relations Policy, 1947-1994. Philadelphia PA, United States: Temple University Press, 1996.
  • James Gross. 1988. Teachers on Trial: Values, Standards and Equity in Judging Conduct and Competence. Ithaca NY, United States: ILR Press, 1988.
  • James Gross. 1981. The Reshaping of the National Labor Relations Board: National Labor Policy in Transition, 1937-1947. Albany NY, United States: State University of New York Press, 1981.
  • James Gross. 1974. The Making of the National Labor Relations Board: A Study in Economics, Politics, and the Law, 1933-1937. Albany NY, United States: State University of New York Press, 1974.

Book Chapters

  • James Gross. 2009. "Takin' It to the Man: Human Rights at the American Workplace". Illinois, United States: Labor and Employment Relations Association, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, 2009. Gross and Compa. (Accepted)
  • James Gross. 2006. A Logical Extreme: Proposing Human Rights as the Foundation for Workers’ Rights in the United States. in Justice on the Job: Perspectives on the Erosion of Collective Bargaining in the United States. Kalamazoo MI, United States: W. E. Upjohn Institute, 2006. Richard N. Block, Sheldon Friedman, Michelle Kaminski, Andy Levin. (21-39)
  • James Gross. 2006. Los Derechos De Las Trabajadores Como Derechos Humanos. in Derechos Laborales y de Seguridad Social de los Immigrantes. Madrid, Spain: 2006. J Lopez. (289-309)
  • James Gross. 2003. A Long Overdue Beginning: The Promotion and Protection of Workers’ Rights as Human Rights. in Workers’ Rights as Human Rights. Ithaca NY, United States: Cornell University Press, 2003. James A Gross. (1-22)
  • James Gross. 1998. Value Judgments In Arbitration: Their Impact On The Parties’ Arguments and On The Arbitrators’ Decisions. in Arbitration 1997: The Next Fifty Years. Washington, DC, United States: Bureau of National Affairs, 1998. J Najita. (212-225)
  • James Gross. 1994. The Demise of the National Labor Policy. in Restoring the Promise of American Labor Law. Ithaca NY, United States: ILR Press, 1994. Sheldon Friedman, Richard Hurd, Rudy Oswald, Ronald Seeber. (45-58)
  • James Gross. 1993. The Legal Context of Professional Ethics: Values, Standards, and Justice in Judging Teacher Conduct. in Ethics for Professionals in Education: Perspectives for Preparation and Practice. New York NY, United States: Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1993. Kenneth A Strike, P Lance Ternasky. (202-216)
  • James Gross. 1988. Standards of Behavior for Tenured Teachers: The New York State Experience. in Arbitration 1987: The Academy at Forty. Washington, DC, United States: Bureau of National Affairs, 1988. G Gruenberg. (181-196)
  • James Gross. 1968. Current Developments in Labor Arbitration. in Emerging Characteristics of Collective Bargaining. Jamestown NY, United States: College Press, 1968. Thomas Colosi, Samuel Sackman. (91-104)

Conference Proceedings

  • James Gross. 2003. Substantive Due Process: The Standard for Judgment Must also be Fair. in Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting, National Academy of Arbitrators. Washington, DC, United States: Bureau of National Affairs, 2003. (10-18)

Professional Activities

  • Defining and Defending Global Workers' Rights. Presented to The Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania State University. 2012.
  • The NLRB Then and Now. Presented to George Washington Law School. 2010.
  • Critical Labor Relations Issues Before the NLRB. Presented to Region 3, NLRB, Buffalo, NY. Buffalo, NY. 2010.
  • Presented to McGill University. 2009.
  • The Future of the NLRB . Presented to ILR School - Cornell University. New York City. 2009.
  • The NLRB and Human Rights. Presented to New York State Bar Association. Rochester, NY. 2009.
  • Human Resources and Human Rights. Presented to McGill University. Montreal, Canada. 2009.
  • Human Rights in Labor and Employment Relations: International and Domestic Perspectives. Presented to Labor and Employment Relations Association. San Francisco, CA. 2009.

Honors and Awards

  • Fulbright Research Chair, McGill University. 2007


293 Ives Hall
(f) 607-255-6840

Areas of Expertise

Other Areas of Expertise

Labor Relations Policy and Law, Labor Arbitration, Management and Workers' Rights