Call for Session and Paper Proposals: LERA 73rd Annual Meeting

Posted: July 15, 2020
Organization: Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA)

Proposal Submission Deadline:
November 15, 2020 
Competitive Papers Deadline:
December 15, 2020
AILR/LERA Best Papers Deadline: January 15, 2021
Submission Forms: Click Here

LERA Call for Session and Paper Proposals

LERA 73rd Annual Meeting, June 5 8, 2021 — Virtual
(Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
Committee Meetings will take place on the Pre-Conference Day, Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

"A Transformational Moment? Work, Worker Power and the Workplace in an Era of Division and Disruption"

* * * Due to the continued uncertainties related to the potential spread of COVID-19, the LERA 73rd Annual Meeting will be held as a virtual event instead of an in-person conference in Detroit, Michigan. The dates have also been altered slightly, from June 3 – 6, 2021 to June 5  8, 2021, and sessions will be sixty minutes in length, instead of ninety. * * *

 2021 LERA 73rd Annual Meeting Call for Proposals Flyer Download | Deadline for session proposals is Nov. 15, 2020.
Call for Papers and Posters Flyer Download | Jump to Submission Forms.See Program Committee.

Wilma Liebman, LERA President Elect and Program Chair

The Co-chairs and Program Committee welcome session proposals from the best and brightest. At least one participant in a session must be a LERA member, and one author on each paper must be a LERA member.

The LERA Program Committee welcomes proposals for sessions and individual papers addressing the annual meeting’s theme. We seek contributions from a broad range of perspectives (incl. domestic and global, academic and practitioner -- worker, union, management and neutral) and disciplines (incl. but not limited to history, political science, labor and employment law, economics, sociology, industrial relations, human resource studies). We encourage proposals incorporating research, practice and policy; we also encourage a balance of gender, racial, and generational diversity among the proposed participants. LERA’s mission and the wide range of expertise of LERA’s community make it an ideal forum for exploring and debating competing and compelling ideas about a way forward. At this critical moment, dynamism and innovation in thought and action are badly needed. Additionally, we encourage submissions from different disciplines, including, but not limited to:
Economics • Sociology Political Science Labor and Employment Law Industrial Relations Human Resource Studies  Organizational Behavior  Labor Relations  Labor Unions and Social Movements  Work, Globalization, and Migration  Diversity  Work Organization and Management
Presentations may take a variety of forms: Symposia, panels, workshops, posters, skill-building, debates, roundtable discussions, etc. The number of tracks and lengths of sessions depends on the quantity and quality of proposals. To encourage thought diversity, participants may only present on the program once per role. Deadline: November 15, 2020.

Other paper competitions
  • LERA Competitive Papers, Deadline: December 15, 2020, (complete papers up to 30 pages)
  • AILR/LERA Best Papers Competition, Deadline: January 15, 2021 (paper proposals up to 3 pages), the special LERA Best Papers edition of the AILR Journal (complete papers up to 30 pages due the following April). Winning authors will be invited to present in special sessions at the meeting and may earn invitations to publish.
  • UCIRHRP Best Student Papers, Deadline: November 15, 2020 *$300 Cash Prize
  • LERA Best Papers, Deadline: November 15, 2020 (paper abstract). Winners will present in a LERA Best Papers session and be invited to publish their paper in the LERA Proceedings and can compete for journal publication in the ILR Review.
  • LERA Best Posters, Deadline: November 15, 2020 (paper abstract). Winners will present in a LERA Best Posters session and be invited to publish an abstract in the LERA Proceedings.
Organizers are required to provide a session abstract and description, identify participants (confirmed or invited), and provide full contact information at the time of submission for all session participants. If you have questions about this Call for Proposals, contact: [email protected].

LERA's Annual Meeting program branched into new formats over the past several years. The long-appreciated format of research papers and discussants lay the foundation to new ways of organizing sessions. New formats include:

  • Facilitated panels of practitioners
  • Workshops hosted by one person
  • Hands-on case studies workshops, like the Arbitrator Panel
  • Point/Counter Point debates

The over-arching goal for the annual meeting program: Bring the labor and employment relations experts from all industries and perspectives and discuss how research-based practices improve work environments for everyone.


 Before submitting your proposal, consider these points:

  1. What is today's date? Session and general paper/poster proposals are not accepted after November 15, 2020. Competition papers and must be submitted no later than December 15, 2020. (Still other paper competitions are due Jan. 15, 2021 - please see for complete list.)

  2. Get the contact information for ALL participants of your session before you start. LERA communicates with all participants at different stages before the annual meeting. Email addresses are especially crucial for communicating updates. Collect all the needed information in a document before starting the submission form.

  3. Sessions are now 60 minutes long in the virtual format. This change was popular last year with virtual attendees and encouraged brisk, on-point discussions allowing for more sessions.

  4. All participants are expected to register (and pay) even if it is for one day. This requirement raises a one or two questions every year. LERA's mission focuses on being facilitators of open discussions on LER trends and practices. Our hope is the experts on all sessions will network and share throughout the day and meeting. All attendees benefit. From a practical point of view, with over 400 program participants, developing criteria for who pays and who doesn't is too challenging, and we price registration as low as possible so that as many people as possible can participate and be heard. The Executive Board understands the new session formats and an even more diverse audience means being flexible, which is why all program participants are eligible for the early-bird, member discount, whether they are a member or an early bird.

  5. Don't let item #4 discourage you. Most completely understand the requirement. Be upfront when you invite the participants and the rationale for why this is LERA's tradition. Most will register because they will gain more than they give. The experts attending are the cream of labor issues and practice. Less than a handful mention any inconvenience. Consider sponsoring your panel's registration(s) through your organization and be recognized as an industry supporter of improving work. Contact Emily at LERA (217) 333-0072 or [email protected] if you are interested in recognition options.

  6. LERA Program Committee guidelines will not allow any participant to act within a single session in more than one role (chair, panelist/presenter, discussant), and an individual cannot act twice in a given role throughout the entire program (all sessions at the conference). Someone can participate once as chair, once as panelist/presenter, and once as discussant. This is to ensure broad representation and participation of all LERA members and constituencies at the LERA Annual Meeting. There are a few exceptions to this rule to allow for competition winners, etc., but please use this as your guideline when crafting session proposals.

Proposal Submission Forms

Due date:
Nov. 15, 2020
Due dates:
Dec. 15, 2020 - Jan. 15, 2021
Proposals for
Sessions and Papers
Proposals for
Competition Papers

Start Your Session Proposal

Start Your Paper Abstract Submission (LERA Best Papers)

Start your Poster Abstract Submission (LERA Best Posters)

Start Your LERA Competitive Paper Submission*
(Due Dec. 15, 2020)

Start Your AILR/LERA Best Papers Proposal*
(Due Jan. 15, 2021)


* More complete details for individual paper competitions such as LERA Competitive Papers, AILR/LERA Best Papers can be found at the LERA Deadlines page here:

LERA 73rd Annual Meeting Program Committee (2020/2021)


Wilma Liebman, 
LERA President Elect and Program Chair

Aaron Sojourner, University of Minnesota - Academic Vice Chair
Lynn Rhinehart, Economic Policy Institute - Practitioner Vice Chair
Robert Chiaravalli, Strategic Labor and HR LLC -
Regional Vice Chair

73rd Annual Meeting Program Committee:

Ben Begleiter, UNITE HERE
Ezio Borchini, Arbitrator/Mediator
Michael Brown, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia
Bill Dirksen, Ford Motor Co.
Adrienne Eaton, Rutgers University
Jody Hoffer Gittell, Brandeis University, Heller School of Policy
Steven Greenhouse, Author and former New York Times reporter
Valerie Harragin, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service
Ryan Lamare, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Bill Lavezzi, Ohio Education Association
Weihao Li, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Adam Seth Litwin, Cornell University
Mingwei Liu, Rutgers University
Brad Markell, AFL-CIO
Sarah Mason
, UC Santa Cruz
Marick Masters, Wayne State University
Maite Tapia, Michigan State University
Allynn Umel, SEIU Fight for 15
Richard Warters, United Technologies Corp. (ret.)
Andrew Weaver, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Alan Wild, HR Policy Association
Marc Winters, SW PA LERA Chapter and Arbitrator

Special Liaisons to Program Committee

Regional Planning Team:
Robert Chiaravalli,
Strategic Labor and HR LLC
Bill Dwyer, Ford Motor Co. (ret.)
Brad Markell, AFL-CIO
Marick Masters, Wayne State University
Lynn Rhinehart, Economic Policy Institute
Maite Tapia, Michigan State University

Ex-officio Members of the Program Committee:

Ariel Avgar, Cornell University
LERA Co-Editor-in-Chief
Andrew Weaver, University of Illinois
LERA Secretary-Treasurer
Hye Jin Rho, Michigan State University
LERA Poster Session Chair
William Canak, MTSU
NCAC Chair