Stephen Befort

  • Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty, & Bennett Professor of Law

University of Minnesota, B.A.
University of Minnesota, J.D.

Office: 440
Mondale Hall, 229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Professor Stephen Befort (’74) is a national authority on labor and employment law. He teaches courses in labor law, employment law, employment discrimination, public employment, alternative dispute resolution, comparative labor and employment, and disability in the workplace. Professor Befort served as Director of the Law School’s Clinic program from 1982 to 2003, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2000 to 2004, and Associate Dean for Research and Planning from 2012 to 2015.

He was the Julius E. Davis Professor of Law for 1993-94 and was appointed to the Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty, & Bennett Professorship in Law in 2003. Professor Befort has authored six books and more than 60 articles, book chapters, and published papers on labor and employment subjects.

Professor Befort received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated, magna cum laude, from the Law School. After receiving his law degree in 1974, Professor Befort became a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. As a member of the Solicitor General’s Office specializing in labor law, he was legal counsel to the Public Employment Relations Board and to the Bureau of Mediation Services. In 1979, he became the Principal Assistant Ramsey County Attorney and served as chief legal counsel to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners. He has appeared as counsel of record in numerous court proceedings, including 20 cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Professor Befort joined the University of Minnesota Law School faculty in 1982. He was honored with the Stanley V. Kinyon Teaching and Counseling Award in both 1993 and 2008 and with the Fesler Research Fellowship in 1997. In 2008, he also received the Minnesota Justice Foundation Outstanding Service Award in the Law Professor category. In addition to teaching at the Law School, Professor Befort frequently lectures on labor and employment law issues. He also serves as a labor arbitrator on both federal and state rosters and has issued more than 300 written decisions.

He was elected to the National Academy of Arbitrators in 2004 and served for three years as a co-editor of the Academy’s annually published Proceedings. Professor Befort is past Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section and serves as a member of the MSBA Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee. In 2002, he was elected to serve as Secretary of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section and currently serves as Co-Editor of the Section-sponsored ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law. He is currently Chair of the International Society of Labor Law and Social Security and Co-Chair of the Labor Law Group. In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Courses

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Disability in the Workplace

Advanced Topics in Labor and Employment Law

Publications

Books

  • Disability Law: Cases and Materials (West Academic, 2017) Nicole B. Porter
  • More Than We Have Ever Known About Discipline and Discharge in Labor Arbitration: An Empirical Study (Vandeplas Publishing, 2015) Laura Cooper & Mario F. Bognanno
  • ADR in the Workplace (West Academic Publishing, 3d ed., 2014) Laura Cooper, Dennis R. Nolan & Richard A. Bales
  • Employment Law and Practice (West, 3d ed., 2011)
  • Invisible Hands, Invisible Objectives: Bringing Workplace Law and Public Policy into Focus (Stanford University Press, 2009) John W. Budd
  • Employment Law and Practice (West Group, 2d ed., 2003) (Supps. 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
  • Employment Law and Practice (West Publishing, 1st. ed., 1995) (Supps. 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002) Karen Schanfield & Richard Gillman

Journal Articles

  • The Declining Fortunes of American Workers: Six Dimensions and an Agenda for Reform, 70 Florida Law Review 189 (2018)
    | SSRN
  • Employee Handbooks and Policy Statements: From Gratuities to Contracts and Back Again, 21 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 307 (2017)
    | SSRN
  • Same-Sex Marriage and Title VII, 56 Santa Clara Law Review 207 (2016) Michael Vargas
    | SSRN
  • What’s the Relationship Between Labor Arbitrators’ Backgrounds and Outcomes of Discipline and Discharge Awards? An Empirical Analysis, 31 ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law 433 (2016) Laura Cooper & Mario F. Bognanno
  • Accommodating an Employee’s Commute to Work Under the ADA: Reasonable, Preferential, or Both?, 63 Drake Law Review 749 (2015)
    | SSRN
  • The Conventional Wisdom of Discharge Arbitration Outcomes and Remedies: Fact or Fiction, 16 Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 153 (2014) Mario F. Bognanno, Jonathan E. Booth, Thomas J. Norman & Laura Cooper
  • An Empirical Analysis of Case Outcomes Under the ADA Amendments Act, 70 Washington & Lee Law Review 2027 (2013)
    | SSRN
  • Public-Sector Employment Under Siege, 87 Indiana Law Journal 231 (2012)
    | SSRN
  • The Constitutional Dimension of Unilateral Change in Public-Sector Collective Bargaining, 27 ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law 165 (2012)
    | SSRN
  • Unilateral Alteration of Public Sector Collective Bargaining Agreements and the Contract Clause, 59 Buffalo Law Review 1 (2011)
    | SSRN
  • Let’s Try This Again: The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 Attempts to Reinvigorate the “Regarded As” Prong of the Statutory Definition of Disability, 2010 Utah Law Review 993 (2010)
    | SSRN
  • Pre-employment Screening and Investigation: Navigating Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Proceedings of the New York University 58th Annual Conference on Labor 235 (2010)
  • Equitable Prescription Drug Coverage: Preventing Sex Discrimination in Employer-Provided Health Plans, 70 Louisiana Law Review 205 (2009) Elizabeth C. Borer
    | SSRN
  • Working Group on Chapter 2 of the Proposed Restatement of Employment Law: Employment Contracts: Termination, 13 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 93 (2009) Matthew W. Finkin, Lea VanderVelde & William Corbett
    | SSRN
  • How and Why Labor Arbitrators Decide Discipline and Discharge Cases: An Empirical Examination, Proceedings of the Sixtieth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Arbitrators 420 (Stephen E. Befort & Patrick Halter, eds., BNA, 2008) Laura Cooper & Mario Bognanno
  • Within the Grasp of the Cat’s Paw: Delineating the Scope of Subordinate Bias Liability Under Federal Anti-Discrimination Statutes, 60 South Carolina Law Review 383 (2008) Alison Olig
    | SSRN
  • The Perfect Storm of Retirement Insecurity: Fixing the Three-Legged Stool of Social Security, Pensions, and Personal Savings, 91 Minnesota Law Review 938 (2007)
    | SSRN
  • The Regulatory Void of Contingent Work, 10 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 233 (2006)
  • When Quitting Is Fitting: The Need for a Reformulated Sexual Harassment/Constructive Discharge Standard in the Wake of Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders, 67 Ohio State Law Journal 593 (2006) Sarah J. Gorajski
    | SSRN
  • A Reprise of a Classic: Gorman & Finkin’s Basic Text on Labor Law: Unionization and Collective Bargaining, 7 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law 1031 (2005) (reviewing Robert A. Gorman & Matthew W. Finkin, Basic Text on Labor Law: Unionization and Collective Bargaining (Thomson/West, 2nd. ed., 2004)) (review essay)
  • A New Voice for the Workplace: A Proposal for an American Works Councils Act, 69 Missouri Law Review 607 (2004)
    | SSRN
  • Accommodation at Work: Lessons from the Americans with Disabilities Act and Possibilities for Alleviating the American Worker Time Crunch, 13 Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy 615 (2004)
    | SSRN
  • At the Cutting Edge of Labor Law Preemption: A Critique of Chamber of Commerce v. Lockyer, 20 Labor Lawyer 107 (2004) Bryan N. Smith
    | SSRN
  • Employment Discrimination Remedies and Tax Gross Ups, 90 Iowa Law Review 67 (2004), reprinted in Digest of Tax Articles 1 (July 2005) Gregg Polsky
    | SSRN
  • The Labor and Employment Law Decisions of the Supreme Court’s 2003-04 Term, 20 Labor Lawyer 177 (2004)
    | SSRN
  • Reasonable Accommodation and Reassignment under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Answers, Questions, and Suggested Solutions after U.S. Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, 45 Arizona Law Review 931 (2003)
  • Revisiting the Black Hole of Workplace Regulation: A Historical and Comparative Perspective of Contingent Work, 24 Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law 153 (2003)
  • Labor and Employment Law at the Millennium: A Historical Review and Critical Assessment, 43 Boston College Law Review 351 (2002)
  • The Most Difficult ADA Reasonable Accommodation Issues: Reassignment and Leave of Absence, 37 Wake Forest Law Review 439 (2002)
  • ADA Presents an Unpredictable Landscape, Minnesota Lawyer 14 (Apr. 24, 2000)
  • Reassignment Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Reasonable Accommodation, Affirmative Action, or Both?, 57 Washington and Lee Law Review 1045 (2000) Tracey Holmes Donesky
  • The Sounds of Silence: The Libertarian Ethos of ERISA Preemption, 52 Florida Law Review 1 (2000) Christopher J. Kopka
  • Mental Illness and Long-term Disability Plans Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 2 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law 287 (1999)
  • The ADA in Turmoil: Judicial Dissonance, The Supreme Court’s Response, and the Future of Disability Discrimination Law, 78 Oregon Law Review 27 (1999) Holly Lindquist Thomas
  • Demystifying Federal Labor and Employment Law Preemption, 13 The Labor Lawyer 429 (1998)
  • Pre-employment Screening and Investigation: Navigating Between a Rock and a Hard Place, 14 Hofstra Labor Law Journal 365 (1997), reprinted in 47 Defense Law Journal 467 (1997)
  • Beyond the Rhetoric of the NAFTA Treaty Debate: A Comparative Analysis of Labor and Employment Law in Mexico and the United States, 17 Comparative Labor Law Journal 269 (1996), reprinted in 18 Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law 176 (1997) Virginia Cornett
  • The Role of Legal Education in Instilling an Ethos of Public Service Among Law Students: Towards a Collaboration Between the Profession and the Academy on Professional Values, 13 Law and Inequality 1 (1994) Eric Janus
  • BFOQ Revisited: Johnson Controls Halts the Expansion of the Defense to Intentional Sex Discrimination, 52 Ohio State Law Journal 5 (1991)
  • Employee Handbooks and the Legal Effect of Disclaimers, 13 Industrial Relations Law Journal 326 (1991)
  • Musings on a Clinic Report: A Selective Agenda for Clinical Legal Education in the 1990’s, 75 Minnesota Law Review 619 (1991)
  • Labor Law and the Double-Breasted Employer: A Critique of the Single Employer and Alter Ego Doctrines and a Proposed Reformulation, 1987 Wisconsin Law Review 67 (1987)
  • Public Sector Bargaining: Fiscal Crisis and Unilateral Change, 69 Minnesota Law Review 1221 (1985)

Book Chapters

  • The Story of Sutton v. United Airlines, Inc.: Narrowing the Reach of the Americans with Disabilities Act, in Employment Discrimination Stories 329 (Joel William Friedman, ed., Foundation Press, 2006)

Edited Symposia & Journals

  • Arbitration 2007: Workplace Justice in a Changing Environment: The Sixtieth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Arbitrators (BNA, 2008)(co-editor) Patrick Halter
  • Arbitration 2006: Taking Stock in a New Century: Proceedings of the Fifty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Arbitrators (BNA, 2007) (co-editor) Paul Gerhart
  • Arbitration 2005: The Evolving World of Work: Proceedings of the Fifty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Arbitrators (BNA, 2006) (co-editor) Paul Gerhart

CLE Materials

  • The 2017 Public Sector Case Law Update, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2017) Dyan J. Ebert & Margaret Luger-Nikolai
  • U.S. and Minnesota Supreme Court Update 2015-2016, The 43rd Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2016)
  • New U.S. and Minnesota Supreme Court Decisions, The 42nd Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2015)
  • The Conventional Wisdom of Discharge Arbitration Outcomes and Remedies: Fact or Fiction, 2015 Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2015) Mario F. Bognanno, Jonathan E. Booth, Laura J. Cooper & Thomas J. Norman
  • Top Public Sector Cases 2014-15, 2015 Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2015)
  • Harris v. Quinn and More: Your Essential Public Sector Case Law Update, 2014 Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 2014)
  • New U.S. and Minnesota Supreme Court Decisions, The 41st Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2014)
  • Public Sector Case Law Update, 2013 Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 2013)
  • 2012 Supreme Court Update, 39th Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota CLE, 2012)
  • Public Sector Update: 2011-2012, 2012 Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 2012)
  • BONUS: 2011 Supreme Court Update, 38th Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota CLE, 2011)
  • Ohio Public Sector Labor Relations & Other Developments, 38th Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota CLE, 2011)
  • Public Sector Update 2010-11, Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 2011)
  • Public Sector Update 2009-10, Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 2010)
  • Public Sector Update 2008-09, Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 2009)
  • Public Sector Update, I 2009 Employment Law Handbook (Minnesota CLE, 2009) Randall Ryder
  • Advanced Supreme Court Update: Labor and Employment Decisions of the 2007-08 Term, The 35th Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota CLE, 2008)
  • Public Sector Update 2006-07, Public Sector Labor & Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 2008)
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act: A Statutory and Case Law Overview, Labor Law and Labor Arbitration 2007 (Labor Arbitration Institute, 2007)
  • New Employment Cases You Need to Know About: Minnesota and Federal 2005-06 , Public Sector Labor and Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 2006)
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act: The Most Troublesome Issues, Labor Law and Labor Arbitration 2006 (Labor Arbitration Institute, 2006)
  • Advanced Supreme Court Update: Labor and Employment Decisions of the 2004-2005 Term, The 32nd Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota CLE, 2005)
  • Public Sector Update 2004-05, Public Sector Labor and Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 2005)
  • What has Changed in Federal Discrimination Law?, II 2005 Employment Law Handbook (Minnesota CLE, 2005)
  • Advanced Supreme Court Update, The 31st Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota CLE, 2004)
  • Public Sector Update 2003-04, Employment Law Handbook (Minnesota CLE, 2004)
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act: The Most Troublesome Issues, Labor Law and Labor Arbitration 2004 (Labor Arbitration Institute, 2004)
  • Advanced Supreme Court Update: Labor and Employment Law Decisions of the 2002-2003 Term, The 30th Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota CLE, 2003)
  • Public Sector Update 2002-03, I Employment Law Handbook (Minnesota CLE, 2003)
  • Mental Illness and Long-Term Disability Plans Under the Americans Disabilities Act, I Employment Law Handbook (Minnesota CLE, 2002)
  • Employment Agreements Requiring the Arbitration of Statutory Claims, The Fourth Annual ADR Institute (Minnesota CLE, 2001)
  • The Most Difficult Reasonable Accommodation Issues Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Reassignment and Leaves, I Employment Law Handbook (Minnesota CLE, 2001)
  • Is Anyone Still Disabled Under the ADA? A Review of Appellate Court Decisions Following the Sutton Trilogy, II Employment Law Handbook (Minnesota CLE, 2000), reprinted in Labor Law and Labor Arbitration 2000 (Labor Arbitration Institute, 2000)
  • Cutting-Edge Issues Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Labor Law and Labor Arbitration (Labor Arbitration Institute, 1999)
  • Public Sector Immunity and Review by Certiorari, Public Sector Labor and Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 1998)
  • Current Issues in Labor Arbitration: The Labor Contract and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 23rd Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota CLE, 1996)
  • Employee Screening and Investigations, Public Sector Labor/Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 1995)
  • Why Disclaimers in Handbooks Don’t Always Protect Employers from Liability, I Employment Law Handbook (Minnesota CLE, 1993)
  • Employee Discharges in the Public Sector, II Employment Law Handbook (Minnesota CLE, 1991), reprinted in 26th Annual Criminal Justice Institute (Minnesota CLE, 1991) Gregg M. Corwin
  • The Expanding BFOQ Defense to Intentional Sex Discrimination, 17th Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (Minnesota CLE, 1990) Sara Klise
  • AIDS in the Workplace, Public Sector Labor Law (Minnesota CLE, 1987)
  • Judicial Review of Arbitration Awards: The Expanding Public Policy Exception to Arbitral Finality, 14th Annual Labor and Employment Law Section Institute (Minnesota CLE, 1987)
  • Arbitration: External Law and the Collective Bargaining Agreement, The Arbitration of Labor Cases 1 (Advanced Legal Education, 1985)
  • Plant Closings and Relocations: The Duty to Bargain and Related Matters, Labor and Employment Law (Minnesota CLE, 1985)
  • Unilateral Change and the Duty to Bargain, Labor Relations in a Changing Economy (Advanced Legal Education, 1983)

Other Publications

  • The Labor and Employment Law Decisions of the Supreme Court’s 2003-04 Term, 22 GPsolo 40 (Sept. 2005)
  • A Glimpse at the Supreme Court’s Docket: Court Looks at ADEA and ADA Cases, 32 Labor and Employment Law 3 (Winter 2004)
  • Supreme Court to Decide Contingent Fee Tax Issue, 32 Labor and Employment Law 7 (Summer 2004) Gregg Polsky

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P: 612-625-1000

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