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.
This episode explores what a social contract of employment looks like, given the changing nature of work in the 21st century economy. We hear from Tom Kochan, a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management; Oren Cass, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute; Steven Pedigo, an assistant professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies; and Sharon Block, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.
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.
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.
Paul Booth Executive Assistant to the President, AFSCME
Opening Remarks by Paul Booth, Executive Assistant to the President, AFSCME:"Miles Rapoport is the president of Demos. What is Demos? There is an awful lot of Demos material out on the table there, and you really should indulge freely in it. To me, Demos is simply the leading voice in the United States for small d democracy. Its mission, as I see it, is this cause which it so ably advances.
Miles Rapoport has a career that included personal involvement in Connecticut politics, to which he brought activism, organizational skills, and a set of real deep commitments."
"Some time ago in Vienna, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Bruno Kreisky's speech when he retired as chancellor and leader of the Austrian Social Democratic Party. As we in the audience sat there listening, we expected to hear an account of his long and eventful life and of his wide-ranging and successful political experiences. But not at all! Bruno Kreisky talked only about the future. At his retirement from official life, the whole of his thinking was looking forward..."
Opening Remarks by Lawrence H. Summers, President, Harvard University: " Al Gore is going to speak to us about the strength of America. In a moment, I want to say a few words about the strength of Al Gore but, before I do, I want to say a few words about public service. I want to recognize Jerry Wurf, someone I knew well as his family vacationed near mine in Wellfleet, Massachusetts and someone who I admired for his commitment to doing the right thing by the people he represented and doing the right thing by this country. Jerry made what I think is a point that none of us at the university can make often enough or strongly enough and that is the importance of public service. There was only one group of people who were going up the stairs in the World Trade Center on September 11 and those were public servants. Public servants. People who are paid by taxes. People who were workers in the government of New York City, workers in the government of New York State and workers in the government of the United States. Anyone who wants to say that government work is wrong or that government is wrong or that government is bad should think about those people going up those stairs at that moment."
Introductions and Opening Remarks by: ELENA KAGAN, Dean, Harvard Law School, Harvard University
President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
Opening Remarks by Elena Kagan, Dean, Harvard Law School: " This is a great privilege for us. Actually, before I say anything else I'd like to welcome Jerry Wurf's family: Mildred Wurf and his children, Abigail and Nick Wurf. We are extremely pleased that you could join us today. For those of you who don't know, Jerry Wurf was the seventh president of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which is now one of the biggest unions in America. Most of that union's great growth, really its coming into being as a major force in the union movement, took place under Jerry Wurf, who was really one of the great modern labor leaders."
Elissa McBride Director of Education and Leadership Training, AFSCME
Opening Remarks by Elissa McBride, Director of Education and Leadership Training, AFSCME: "Like Eleanor, [Brigid] knows that we can make real change if we link education and action. I hope you will listen, learn, and leave committed to honor the legacy of Jerry Wurf and Eleanor Roosevelt by passing on the knowledge you gain here to others, so that together, we can restore the right to organize and bargain for all workers – public and private."