professor - business law and society department
J.D., Boston College Law School
B.A., Boston College
Professor Christine Neylon O'Brien has a special interest in labor and employment law issues as she interned at Region 1 of the National Labor Relations Board and specialized in this practice area at a Boston law firm prior to embarking on an academic career. In addition to her research on labor and employment law topics, Professor O’Brien has published articles on many business law topics involving statutory conflicts, Constitutional issues, technology and trade secrets, accountants’ liability, and on pedagogical issues. Professor O’Brien’s research on Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act was cited in four opinions of the National Labor Relations Board 2014-2017. Her writing on after-acquired evidence in employment discrimination cases has been cited in three decisions by the Courts of Appeal for the Eighth and Tenth Circuits as well as by federal district courts. Her work on pregnancy discrimination was cited in a New Jersey Supreme Court opinion and her article on employees’ ‘Weingarten’ right to representation in a disciplinary setting has been cited by numerous state courts and employment relations boards. Her research is frequently cited in leading law journals, in business and law news outlets such as Bloomberg BNA, and is a constant top ten download on the Social Science Research Network, with several of her articles designated all-time top ten in Labor & Employment. Her 2016 St. John’s Law Review article on workplace profanity was featured in the Sunday New York Times, Feb. 14, 2016 by Phyllis Korkki, Fired for Cursing on the Job, Testing the Limits of Labor Law.
She has taught the following courses: Business Law I, Business Law II, Introduction to Law and Legal Process, Labor Law, Labor and Employment Law, The Law of Business Organizations component of the MBA core, Law and Society, Law II/Business Law, and The Legal Environment of Business.
SELECTED APPOINTMENTS AND AWARDS
Professor O'Brien served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Legal Studies Education and staff editor of the American Business Law Journal, both refereed journals of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. She served as a voting member of the Executive Committee of the ALSB, and on its Research Committee. She is past president of the North Atlantic Regional Business Law Association, and serves on its Executive Committee. She served as Associate Dean for the undergraduate division of the Carroll School of Management, Boston College, and as Chair of the Business Law Department. She was named Scholar of the Year during her tenure at Bentley University, and inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, Boston College, 2001. Her co-authored paper on “Exceeding Authorized Access in the Workplace: Prosecuting Disloyal Conduct under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act” (with S. Greene) received the Outstanding Employment Law Paper award sponsored by workplace law firm Jackson Lewis, Distinguished Proceedings Paper and Holmes-Cardozo Finalist Awards at the Academy of Legal Studies in Business Conference, 2012.
- “Will the Supreme Court Agree with the NLRB That Pre-Dispute Employment Arbitration Provisions with Class and Collective Action Waivers in Both Judicial and Arbitral Forums Violate the National Labor Relations Act Whether There is an Opt-Out or Not?” 19 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law 315-351(2017) (in press).
- “I Swear! From Shoptalk to Social Media: The Top Ten National Labor Relations Board Profanity Cases,” 90 St. John’s Law Review (accepted, forthcoming Summer 2016).
- “Judicial Review of the EEOC’s Duty to Conciliate,” 119 Penn State Law Review 837-883 (2015) (with S. Greene).
- “Am I Blue or Seeing Red?: The NLRB Sees Purple When Employer Communications Policies Unduly Restrict Section 7 Rights,” 66 The Labor Law Journal, No. 2, 75-86 (2015).
- “The NLRB v. The Courts: Showdown over the Right to Collective Action in Workplace Disputes,” 52 American Business Law Journal 75-130 (2015) (with S. Greene).
- “The Top Ten NLRB Facebook Firings and Employer Social Media Policies” forthcoming Oregon Law Review (2014).
- "Exceeding Authorized Access in the Workplace: Prosecuting Disloyal Conduct under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act." American Business Law Journal, forthcoming (with S. Greene).
- “Managing the Risk of Trade Secret Loss Due to Job Mobility in a Talent-Based Innovation Economy with the Theory of Inevitable Disclosure,” 12 Journal of High Technology Law 373-449 (Spring 2012) (lead article) (with M. Reder).
- “The First Facebook Firing Case under the NLRA: Exploring the Limits of Labor Law Protection for Concerted Communication on Social Media,” 45 Suffolk University Law Review 29-66 (2011).
- “Employer E-mail Policies and the National Labor Relations Act: D.C. Circuit Bounces Register-Guard Back to the Obama Board on Discriminatory Enforcement Issue,” 61 Labor Law Journal 5-14 (Spring 2010) (lead article).
- “Employees on Guard: Employer Policies Restrict NLRA-Protected Concerted Activities on E-Mail,” 88 Oregon Law Review 195-253 (2009).
- “When Union Members in a Members-Only Non-Majority Union (MONMU) Want Weingarten Rights: How High Will the Blue Eagle Fly?” 10 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business and Employment Law 599-626 (2008).
Professor O'Brien is a member of the Massachusetts and federal bars. She is a member of the board of editors of the Business Law Review and a reviewer for the American Business Law Journal and the Journal of Legal Studies Education