Kohler in Germany on Grant

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

Prof. Thomas Kohler (Law) is spending the 1995-96 academic year in Germany, supported in part by a Fulbright grant, where he will lecture and research in the area of comparative labor and employment law.
Kohler received a Fulbright grant to work at the University of Frankfurt-Main from September to January, and has obtained additional funding to extend his stay through the academic year.

A member of the Law School faculty since 1983, Kohler said one of his ongoing activities is participating in a seminar given by two prominent German scholars on labor and employment law issues, such as data protection.

"I will be comparing the treatment of these issues in the American legal system," said Kohler in a recent telephone interview. "I will also discuss how the differences between our countries mean that some issues of note in Germany may not have arisen as yet in the US."

Kohler's research will compare the transition in German labor laws taking place with that occurring in the US. For example, he said, "in the US, there has been a steady decline in union membership, which has had an impact on how companies handle litigation. Germany does not have unions like ours, exactly, but there are some developments in their works councils and their relationship with government and business which mirror what is happening here.

"With Germany and the US, you have two systems looking at one another for clues as they undergo this transition," Kohler added. "Germany is a major economic power, of course, and one of our most important trading partners, so whatever happens will have a wide-ranging impact."

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