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Company overseeing Boston garage demolition has faced lawsuits from other injured workers

March 29, 2022

Beth Healy and Christine Willmsen
WBUR

Peter Monsini, who died in a tragic accident at a Boston construction site Saturday, was not the first worker to be seriously injured on a JDC Demolition Co. worksite.

The Brockton-based company has paid large settlements in recent years in at least three lawsuits brought by workers who got hurt on the job and blamed JDC and other contractors.

Mark Erlich, a fellow at Harvard Law School's Labor and Worklife Program and a retired officer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, said big job sites like these are supposed to have many checks on safety protocols. But things don't always go right.

"Every now and then, there will be one of these tragic incidents," he said, "that reminds people why construction is so dangerous."... Read more about Company overseeing Boston garage demolition has faced lawsuits from other injured workers

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Enforcers take action to protect building superintendents and grocery and construction workers

March 22, 2022

Terri Gerstein
Working Economics Blog
Economics Policy Institute

A snapshot of state and local enforcement actions across the country

Recent cases brought by state and local enforcers include the recovery of $130,000 for New York City building superintendents, who were paid no wages at all, and a recovery of nearly $220,000 for workers in a Seattle specialty bar and grocery store based on minimum wage and paid sick leave violations. In addition, prosecutors on both sides of the country took action against contractors in the construction...

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Sharon Block Returns to Harvard as Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program

Sharon Block Returns to Harvard as Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program

March 18, 2022

Benjamin Sachs
OnLabor Blog

I am so happy to share with OnLabor readers the news that Sharon Block is returning to Harvard Law School as a professor of practice and the Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program. Sharon’s return is a great boon for labor law at Harvard and an incredible opportunity for us to consider the future of LWP, including the Clean...

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Labor law expert Sharon Block appointed professor of practice

March 15, 2022

By HLS News Staff
Harvard Law Today

Sharon Block, a labor policy expert who most recently served as acting administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Biden administration, has been appointed professor of practice at Harvard Law School, effective July 1.

Block, who currently serves as the executive director of Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program, first joined HLS in 2017, where, with Professor ...

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Washington state eyes law that would give rideshare workers benefits, independent status

March 9, 2022

Meghan McCarty Carino
Marketplace

The state of Washington could be on its way to adopting a law with big implications for the gig economy. State lawmakers have passed a bill that offers ride-hailing drivers some new benefits. The bill bars them from being classified as employees.

Washington is the latest state to grapple with providing rideshare driver benefits – like sick leave and minimum pay — while still giving drivers flexibility over their schedules. 

While the bill provides some benefits, they fall short of those afforded to employees...

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Washington State Advances Landmark Deal on Gig Drivers’ Job Status

Washington State Advances Landmark Deal on Gig Drivers’ Job Status

March 4, 2022

 

By Noam Scheiber and Kellen Browning
New York Times

Lawmakers have passed legislation granting benefits and protections, but allowing Lyft and Uber to continue to treat drivers as contractors.

Worker advocates worried that other states would try to replicate the legislation. “I hope Governor Inslee seeks additional analysis of its potential impact,” said Terri Gerstein, a workers rights lawyer at Harvard...

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Washington Bill Would Give Raises to Uber and Lyft Drivers; Some in Labor Are Concerned

March 4, 2022

David Kroman
The Seattle Times

Now, a year after Seattle's minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers took effect, state legislators are considering a similar floor of pay and benefits for drivers statewide. The bill, House Bill 2076, has already cleared the House and a key committee in the Senate.

If passed, drivers would gain a guaranteed minimum per ride that would increase at the same pace as the state's minimum wage, which is currently $14.49. They would also begin accruing paid sick time, become eligible for workers compensation, and gain access to an appeals...

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The State of Labor in the State of the Union

The State of Labor in the State of the Union

March 3, 2022

Sharon Block
OnLabor Blog

I think it is fair to say that based on President Biden’s first State of the Union (SOTU) address, the state of labor’s interests in the Biden Administration is strong. Even before President Biden entered the House Chamber Tuesday night, Biden sent a signal about how central the labor movement is to his presidency. Starting with President Reagan, presidents have used invitations to sit with the First Lady during SOTU as symbols of their values. ...

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Is Washington State About to Deprive Its Gig Drivers of Basic Rights?

March 2, 2022

BY TERRI GERSTEIN
The American Prospect

When Proposition 22, the (sadly, successful) initiative to strip gig workers of rights, was on the California ballot in 2020, there was immense news coverage and analysis. As gig companies like Uber and Lyft prepare similar attempts across the country, with the goal of ensuring their workers remain non-employees, a similarly high-profile fight is brewing in Massachusetts, where worker, environmental, and racial justice advocates have formed a coalition to gear up for a major battle as a similar measure comes before voters in November...

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The Need for Disclosure About Worker Voice

March 1, 2022

Larry Beeferman
Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance

Despite an increasing focus on company disclosures about workforce-related policies and practices, little attention has been given to very important issues of worker voice: the opportunity and ability of workers to speak out and up about their experience at the workplace and how what they say is heard, discussed, and acted upon. At its core, worker voice is identified with freedom of association, unions, and collective bargaining. However, it may take other forms: directly, by solicitation of...

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