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The Law of Care Work

Yiran Zhang
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This course studies the law’s governance of care work. The care economy supplies basic needs for individuals and provides the human infrastructure for society. Care work often happens outside the traditional workplace and/or the formal labor market. Beyond the market, the family and the state also play essential roles in providing and paying for care. As a result, care work—paid, unpaid, or underpaid—raises challenging questions for and beyond employment and labor law. How does the law compensate, regulate, and evaluate care work? How does the law allocate the responsibility and costs of care? How does the relationship between the provider and receiver of care and/or the caregiver’s identities (gender/race/immigration status) affect the law’s treatment of the care work? To explore these questions, we will examine legal institutions across the bodies of employment and labor law, family law, welfare law, and immigration law. The course will predominantly focus on the United States.