Publication Date



The common narrative on the evolution of employee D26benefits over the past several decades is that health and retirement plans have gradually been redesigned to shift risk from employers to employees, as seen in the movement from defined benefit to defined contribution retirement plans and from fee-for-service health plans to consumer-driven plans, and that this shift is wholly undesirable, leaving employees to bear unreasonable risks. This lecture takes a deeper look at the question of the distribution of health and retirement risks in the employer-employee relationship, first by providing a taxonomy of the risks with which we are concerned. After detailing the specific risks involved, the lecture examines the relative capacity of employers and employees to absorb these risks, as well as the relative capacity to control or mitigate these risks. The lecture concludes by offering thoughts on what this risk assessment means for employer decisionmaking and regulatory structure.

Two labor and employment leaders, Ronald Meisburg and Stephen R. Sleigh, provide commentary on the lecture from management and employee and perspectives

The annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture is sponsored by Chicago-Kent College of Law's Institute for Law and the Workplace. It is presented by the Kenneth M. Piper Endowment, which was established by a gift from Mrs. Kenneth M. Piper in memory of her husband. Mr. Piper was a distinguished executive with Motorola, Inc., and Bausch & Lomb, Inc., who made important contributions in human resources and labor relations for more than two decades.

Runtime: 01:29:43