On Monday, October 26 at 1 pm EST we hosted a virtual roundtable discussion on how state attorneys general have been taking action to protect workers. We were joined by:
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro
Moderator: Terri Gerstein, Harvard LWP
In recent years, there has been a surge of activity by a number of state attorneys general in protecting workers’ rights. As detailed in a recent report issued by the Economic Policy Institute and the Harvard Labor and Worklife Program, state AGs have:
Brought civil lawsuits and criminally prosecuted employers for wage theft;
Combatted no-poach and non-compete agreements, which suppress wages/job mobility;
Fought misclassification of workers as independent contractors instead of employees;
Opposed and challenged anti-worker rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor; and
Taken action on behalf of workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since 2015, six AG offices, including those of our speakers, have established units within their offices dedicated to protecting workers.
It’s been 55 years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act, so where are we now? Join HLS Labor & Worklife Program and Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Charlotte Burrows for a panel discussion that explores the state of equal pay, its successes, challenges and momentum. The panel includes diverse leading perspectives from academia, business leaders, enforcement, and advocacy. The opening keynote is Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building, Harvard Kennedy School
Please join us for the first Pollak Lecture Series event of 2018. Richard M. Locke, Provost and Schreiber Family Professor of Political Science and Public and International Affairs at Brown University, will speak. Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, will provide an introduction.
Co-sponsored by: by Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Relations and Resource Development. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Carr Center for Human Rights, Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government are co-sponsors.
Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall Harvard Law School 1515 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
Larry Beeferman, Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project, LWP Brent Booker, Secretary Treasurer, North America's Building Trades Unions Donald Cohen, Executive Director, In the Public Interest Kevin DeGood, Director, Infrastructure Policy, Center for American Progress
Introduction by Naomi Walker, Assistant to the President of AFSCME
Reverend James Lawson excerpt: “…. to make a long story short, I want to try to say that the experiment to have a democratic society is the most important experiment the human race has launched, probably ever. To lift human life to a level where we have the capacity to govern ourselves and to live with one another and to create cooperation rather than war and violence is the great frontier for the 21st century and beyond. And in that act of shaping democratic society, unions are absolutely essential.”
Jamin Raskin, Professor, American University, Washington College of Law & Maryland State Senator
Introduction by Darrin Spann, Assistant Director of AFSCME Council 13 in Pennsylvania
Opening Remarks by Professor Jamin B. Raskin: "In 2010, in the 5-4 Citizens United decision, the conservative majority on the Roberts Court broke from government 'of the people, by the people, and for the people,' and gave us a constitutional blueprint for government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. It held that for-profit corporations have the right to spend unlimited sums—million or billions of dollars-- promoting or disparaging candidates for public office."
Saket Soni Executive Director New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice and National Guestworker Alliance
Opening Remarks by Elissa McBride, Director of Education and Leadership Training, AFSCME
Opening Remarks by Elissa McBride: "Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Saket Soni has been a driving force in the effort to secure justice for workers fighting for their dignity in post-Katrina New Orleans. During the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, black workers whose families had lived in New Orleans for generations were denied jobs. At the same time, thousands of immigrant workers were given false promises of steady jobs, fair pay, great conditions and even permanent legal status...Saket Soni brought those workers together, linking their struggles across the lines of race and class and citizenship. He helped build a broad platform from which they could wage an inspiring fight for justice and dignity."