Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released a comprehensive plan to reform America’s labor laws. While the Democratic presidential hopeful’s campaign says her proposal will empower American workers and raise wages, it has economists from across the political spectrum sounding off.
While Uber faces legal battles over whether its drivers should be classified as employees or contractors, the tech company unveiled an unexpected new service on Wednesday: Uber Works.
An extension of the gig economy model that Uber arguably popularized with its original ride-hailing service, Uber Works will be an app that matches temporary workers with potential jobs and employers. The move seems provocative for Uber, which is currently pushing back against a pending California law that could reclassify on-demand workers like Uber's drivers as employees.
Despite Uber's new take on temporary employment, Benjamin Sachs, Kestnbaum professor of labor and industry at Harvard Law School, says it's more of the same.
The U.S. and China continue trade talks. Workers are walking out of the job Friday to protest for the environment. Impossible Foods is getting fake meat into your supermarket aisles. Sharon Block comments on whether the workers are legally protected when they walk out.
When I started reporting on gig workers in 2014, I was surprised to find some of the people who represented labor organizations would respond to my inquiries with mild irritation. But is this really a harmful distraction from the wider workforce? In my book, Gigged, I argued that the gig economy was like a Trojan horse — that problems faced by Uber and Lyft drivers are shared by other types of workers, and that...
When conservative British lawmakers bucked their leader on Brexit, many of us in the United States were left wondering, where are our principled conservatives willing to take on the president? Maybe our conservatives have lost the muscle memory of how to do something like this. It seems unlikely any will take on the president any time soon. But maybe they can begin with smaller steps to start rebuilding that muscle.
A great opportunity for taking principled action is happening this month. A bill that prohibits forced...
By Sharon Block and Benjamin Sachs Washington Post
Recognizing them as employees was a fine first step. Letting them unionize is crucial.
The struggle for gig workers’ rights took a big step forward this week when the California legislature passed a law classifying many such workers — including Uber and Lyft drivers — as “employees.” Once it is signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), the law...
Aarian Marshall Wired Uber will not treat its California drivers as employees, the ride-hail company’s head lawyer said Wednesday, despite a new law designed to do just that. The law would create a more stringent test to separate independent contractors from full-time employees. The company’s argument rests on a premise that’s been a cornerstone since its early days: that Uber is a technology company, not a transportation one.
I approach this Labor Day optimistic that a broad cross-section of American workers and leaders are ready to negotiate and build a new workplace compact that reduces income inequality, restores dignity and respect for all who work, narrows the divides that separate us and ushers in a new era of sustained prosperity.
The academic community is likewise poised to play a more activist and constructive role in supporting a new workplace compact. MIT is about to issue initial findings of a ...
In response to President Donald Trump’s historic transformation of the federal judiciary, several Democratic candidates for president have promised to prioritize the swift appointment of a new wave of federal judges if they enter the White House.
But if Democrats hope to reverse Trump’s success in seeding the federal judiciary with extreme ideologues, they need to do more than nominate and confirm judges swiftly. They need to start nominating a whole different kind of judge. The next Democratic president should try nominating judges who haven’t been partners at big law firms.
Instead of someone like Katyal, Democrats ought to nominate judges whose day jobs involve working for ordinary Americans. That means, for example, choosing lawyers who represent workers, consumers, or civil-rights plaintiffs, or who have studied the law from that vantage point. Many outstanding lawyers have dedicated their career to advancing the interests of workers. For example, Deepak Gupta has represented the employees’ side in multiple arbitration cases before the Court, and Jenny Yang is a former plaintiffs’ lawyer and former chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Sharon Block is a former National Labor Relations Board member who now runs an employment-law program at Harvard Law School,... Read more about No More Corporate Lawyers on the Federal Bench
Mr. Sanders called his new labor plan “the strongest pro-union platform in the history of American politics.” The plan “is an important recognition of the fact that tinkering around the edges isn’t going to be enough to return power to American workers in our economy,” said Sharon Block, a former National Labor Relations Board member appointed by President Barack Obama, who is executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.
In a series of Aug. 13 tweets, Barstool’s Dave Portnoy threatened to fire and sueemployees that reached out to union lawyers. The tweets followed an Aug. 12 blogpost where he dared his employees to attempt to form a union, so that he can “smash their little union to smithereens.”
“Under any reading of the federal labor law, telling workers that they’re going to be fired if they seek advice or help about a unionization campaign is flatly illegal,” said Harvard law professor Ben Sachs. “In my estimation, even the Trump NLRB would consider that illegal.”
While labor unions can have value, their current structure in the United States serves almost nobody well. As much as anything else, organized labor needs individuals who like Rolf not only want to organize but also see the need to be innovative in the very way that labor organizations do business.
In addition, as Harvard Law School’s Benjamin Sachs has proposed, unions should be allowed to “unbundle” their services so that they can advocate political causes without bargaining collectively. This could help give workers a...
Labor Provisions in Preferential Trade Agreements (LABPTA) are an important and necessary step forward in being able to better assess the role of these trade‐labor linkages in improving workers’ lives. A Response to ‘Labor Provisions in Trade Agreements (LABPTA): Introducing a New Dataset’, Damian Raess and Dora Sari, LWP Fellow
There are a great number of research questions that this new dataset allows us to explore, and that work has just begun. LABPTA is thus an important and necessary step forward in being able to better assess the role of these trade‐labor linkages in improving workers’ lives.... Read more about Assessing Trade–Labor Linkages: A Big Step Forward
The central question revolving around Scalia is whether he will be willing to act, first and foremost, as a proponent of workers.
Critics note that, as a corporate attorney, he has helped to wipe out a rule meant to safeguard those seeking retirement-planning services, killed off a Maryland law mandating that certain large employers spend a prescribed dollar amount each year on health coverage for their employees, sought to raise the burden of proof needed for whistle-blowers to be protected, and vociferously opposed requirements meant to help workers avoid repetitive stress injuries.
Time and again in the current administration, “the impact of proposed rules on business is what shapes the agenda—not the benefit to workers,” says Sharon Block, who served as a senior aide in the Obama Labor Department and is now executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.