Japanese-Style Worker Participation and United States Labor Law

This note will evaluate the current legal status of Japanese-style worker participation programs under the NLRA. First, it analyzes relevant sections of the NLRA and their interpretation by the Board and the courts. Second, the note describes various types of Japanese worker participation programs, and suggests how these programs can be legally implemented under current American labor law. Third, the note considers standards the Supreme Court may adopt to test the legality of worker participation programs in the future. Finally, this note recommends that the Supreme Court uphold those participation programs which are freely chosen by employees.