People at ILR

Michael Gold
people / faculty

Michael Gold

Associate Professor
Global Labor and Work (GLW)


Michael Evan Gold was born, reared, and educated in California. He attended elementary and secondary school in San Jose, received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and completed his formal education with a law degree from Stanford. Thereafter he served for three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa; in the first year he taught mathematics and English in a junior high school, and in the next two years he taught Civil Procedure and Evidence in the law school of the University of Liberia. After an additional year living abroad, he and his family returned to California.

Prof. Gold then practiced law for three years with Schwartz, Steinsapir & Dohrmann, a firm representing labor unions and individuals in Los Angeles. Although much of his time was devoted to advocacy in arbitrations, he also litigated cases in employment discrimination and union democracy. While practicing, he served as a part-time instructor at the U. of San Fernando Valley College of Law, an independent law school in Los Angeles; he accepted an appointment to its full-time faculty and taught courses on remedies, civil procedure, and employment discrimination law. He also served as an arbitrator in a labor-management dispute.

He accepted an appointment to the ILR School of Cornell U. in 1977, where he teaches courses on labor and employment law, employment discrimination law, ethics, and the intellectual and moral origins of the American Constitution. He has published introductory books on labor law and on employment discrimination law as well as articles in scholarly journals on sex discrimination, the theory of disparate impact, age discrimination, levels of abstraction in legal thinking, and a philosophical justification for judicial restraint. Recently the Cornell U. Press published his book, A Primer on Legal Reasoning.

Teaching Statement

Prof. Gold presently teaches Labor and Employment Law; Employment Discrimination Law; Ethics at Work, which is an introduction to ethical philosophy; and American Ideals, which explores the moral and intellectual roots of the American constitution.

Research Statement

Prof. Gold is working on an article on discrimination under section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act.

Outreach Statement

Prof. Gold has taught numerous courses on labor law and employment discrimination law in ILR's Extension Division.


Journal Articles

  • Michael Gold. . A Philosophical Basis for Judicial Restraint, Howard Law Journal . 62(2):forthcoming.
  • Michael Gold. 2018. Levels of Abstraction in Legal Thinking, . 42(Winter 2018):113 pages.
  • Michael Gold, Assoc. Prof. Louise Floyd. 2015. Jimmy Hoffa: Alive, Well and Living in Australia, The International Lawyer (Am.Bar.Assoc. Section on International Law) . 49(No. 1):21-48.
  • Michael Gold. 2011. Disparate Impact Is Not Unconstitutional, Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights . 16(2):171-187.
  • Michael Gold. 2004. Disparate Impact Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law . 25(1):1-86.
  • Michael Gold. 2003. Some Recent Developments in Federal and State Labor and Employment Law, Labor and Employment Newsletter . 28(4):38-58.
  • Michael Gold. 2001. Towards a Unified Theory of the Law of Employment Discrimination, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law . 22(1):175-256.
  • Michael Gold. 1990. A Spring of Discontent, ILR Report . XXVII(2).
  • Michael Gold. 1985. Griggs' Folly: An Essay on the Theory, Problems and Origin of the Adverse Impact Definition of Employment Discrimination and a Recommendation for Reform, Industrial Relations Law Journal . 7(4):429-598.
  • Michael Gold. 1985. The Similarity of Congressional and Judicial Lawmaking under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, University of California at Davis Law Review . 18(3):721-748.
  • Michael Gold. 1981. A Tale of Two Amendments: The Reasons Congress Added Sex to Title VII and Their Implications for the Issue of Comparable Worth, Duquesne Law Review . 19:453-477.
  • Michael Gold. 1979. Of Giving and Taking: Applications and Implications of City of Los Angeles v. Manhart, Virginia Law Review . 65(4):663-709.
  • Michael Gold. 1976. Equality of Opportunity in Retirement Funds, Loyola of Los Angles Law Review . 9:596-636.


  • Michael Gold. 2014. An Introduction to Labor Law, 3rd edition. 2014.
  • Michael Gold. 2001. An Introduction to the Law of Employment Discrimination. Ithaca NY, United States: ILR Press, 2001.
  • Michael Gold. 1998. An Introduction to Labor Law, Revised. Ithaca NY, United States: ILR Press, 1998.
  • Michael Gold. 1993. An Introduction to the Law of Employment Discrimination. Ithaca NY, United States: ILR Press, 1993.
  • Michael Gold. 1989. An Introduction to Labor Law. Ithaca NY, United States: ILR Press, 1989.
  • Michael Gold. 1983. A Dialogue on Comparable Worth. Ithaca NY, United States: ILR Press, 1983.
  • Michael Gold, Warren L d’Azevedo. 1971. Some Terms From Liberian Speech, Revised (a dictionary of Liberian English and customs). Monrovia, Liberia: U.S. Peace Corps, 1971.


  • Michael Gold. . A Primer on Legal Reasoning. Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University Press, (Accepted)

Book Chapters

  • Michael Gold, Suzanne Cohen. 2002. Finding NLRB and Related Court Decisions. in A Guide to Sources of Information on the National Labor Relations Board. New York NY, United States: Routledge, 2002. Gordon T Law Jr.
  • Michael Gold. 2002. The Law of Labor Relations. in A Guide to Sources of Information on the National Labor Relations Board. New York NY, United States: Routledge, 2002. Gordon T Law Jr.
  • Michael Gold. 1994. Employment Discrimination Law and the Assumption of Equality. in New Approaches to Employee Management. Greenwich CT, United States: JAI Press, 1994. David M Saunders.
  • Michael Gold. 1983. Judicial Review and Enforcement. in The Developing Labor Law. Washington, DC, United States: BNA Books, 1983. Charles J Morris.

Selected Works

Selected Works is a service of BePress Publishing that helps readers follow a scholar's most current work. View Selected Works of Michael Gold

Honors and Awards

  • McIntyre Award for Exemplary Teaching, ILR School. 2016
  • McIntyre Award for Exemplary Teaching, ILR School. 2011
  • McIntyre Award for Examplary Teaching, ILR School. 2006
  • Schering-Plough Award for Exemplary Teaching, ILR School. 1996