Labor and Employment Relations Association

The Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), was founded in 1947 as the Industrial Relations Research Association. LERA is an organization for professionals in industrial relations and human resources. Headquartered at the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. The organization has more than 3,000 members at the national level and in its local chapters. LERA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that draws its members from the ranks of academia, management, labor and “neutrals” (arbitrators and mediators). The organization’s mission and many supporting programs work to “Advance Workplace Relations.”

LERA members enjoy annual meetings to maintain their professional skills, opportunities to receive awards, present and speak about their areas of expertise, and publish research, bi-weekly newsletters, access to job postings and current events, our annual publications including the Perspectives on Work magazine and our Research Volume, and member-only access to a host of online archives, networking, and other prime resources supporting practitioners and academics in labor and employment relations.

LERA’s constituencies are professionals in the areas of academic research and education, compensation and benefits, human resources, labor and employment law, labor and management resources, labor markets and economics, public policy, training and development, and union administration and organizing, government officials who deal with labor law, labor law attorneys, and the neutrals who work with both labor and management. The executive director of LERA is Emily Smith. Past presidents of LERA include John T. DunlopGeorge Shultz, and Ray Marshall, all of whom went on to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor.


Emily Smith, Executive Director
121 LER, (217) 244-5419

Bernadette Tiemann, Membership & Marketing Coordinator
119 LER, (217) 300-2951

Labor and Employment Relations Association
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, School of Labor and Employment Relations
121 Labor and Employment Relations Building • 504 East Armory Avenue • Champaign, IL 61820
Main Office: (217) 333-0072 • Fax: 217-244-6500 • Email: