Faculty Directors

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It should be illegal to fire the cyclist who gave Trump the finger

November 8, 2017

By Benjamin Sachs, LWP and Harvard Law School
Washington Post

"Once the president makes the workplace a political battleground, the Constitution should ensure that the battle not be one-sided."

"these aren’t conventional times, and the conventional legal approach doesn’t make sense today. Briskman’s firing is unconscionable, and it should be illegal."

"Why? We have a president who doesn’t hesitate to insert himself into private workplace disputes, and is thereby turning the workplace into a battleground for politics and public policy. By...

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Time to Aim Higher for Workers’ Rights

October 12, 2017

by LARRY COHEN
in OnLabor.org

"Labor activists must aim much higher if we are to push through the severe structural obstacles that limit organizing in the US. And now is the time as workers’ rights in the US are at a 100 year low and sinking at both the national and state level. "..."In a symposium  hosted at Harvard, Sharon Block and Ben Sachs asked, “Is it time to end preemption?”   In recent years, partly because of NLRA reform failure, there have been many successful campaigns to pass higher state and local government minimum wages since the national law (FLSA) does not preempt state or local action as long as the federal floor is maintained."

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How Unions Are Already Gearing Up for a Supreme Court Loss

October 5, 2017

By CAROLINE COURNOYER
Governing

The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will add a case critical to the future of public-sector unions to its docket. "If the Supreme Court rules that making agency fees mandatory is unconstitutional, unions in those states fear the loss of revenue from existing nonunion members and the loss of more members, who could quit unions if granted the right to avoid the paycheck deduction. Such a scenario would weaken unions' bargaining power and their political clout."

“It is an enormously big deal,” says Harvard law professor Benjamin Sachs, who often writes about labor issues. “Unions have to provide services and representation equally to everyone in a bargaining unit. But if you can get those services for free, a lot of people won’t pay them. You have a classic free-rider situation.”... Read more about How Unions Are Already Gearing Up for a Supreme Court Loss

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The Supreme Court Could Prevent Millions of Workers From Suing Their Employers

October 2, 2017

By NOAH LANARD
Mother Jones

"On Monday, the Supreme Court opened its fall term with National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, and two similar cases, that will determine whether companies can force workers like Hobson to sign away their right to file collective suits. The decision in the cases, which were heard jointly, has the potential to push millions more workers into individual arbitration hearings that lack many of the protections of the US legal system."

"Sharon Block, the director of Harvard’s Labor and Worklife Program and a former NLRB board member, is concerned that Murphy Oil could be used to stamp out other workplace rights."

2017 Sep 15

Innovation in the Cell Phone Markets of US and China

12:00pm to 1:30pm

Location: 

Baker L​i​brary, Harvard Business School

Economics of Science and Engineering Workshop
Given by: Richard Freeman (Harvard University and NBER), Jorn Boenke (Labor & Worklife Program, Harvard Law School), and Maggie Cheng (Stanford University) 

Cell phones are a product with continual innovation that have impacted lives around the world.  American adults spend 2 hours 51 minutes on their smartphone every day.  This paper analyzes the changing attributes of cell Phones in the two largest economies in the world, USA and China.  It uses hedonic price regressions to assess the speed of innovative change from data on prices matched with the attributes of new and older models.  It assesses the impact of innovations on cell phones on consumer well-being and assesses the seeming inconsistency between micro data on products with improved technological features and macro data that show sluggish growth of GDP per capita in the US.

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Emerald Publishing names eminent economist team to edit new journal, The Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership

September 19, 2017

 In what is a coup for Emerald Publishing, the newly launched Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership (JPEO) will be edited by Richard B. Freeman, holder of the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University, and Takao Kato, W.S. Schupf Professor of Economics and Far Eastern Studies at Colgate University.

JPEO is the first leading forum for new economics of participation, economic analysis of new participatory work practices and shared capitalism. It is the only mainstream journal for rigorous research on shared capitalism, employee ownership, profit sharing, gainsharing, and broad-based stock option.

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Labor union for veterinary workforce makes national push: Associates, technicians, support staff would be represented

September 21, 2017

By: Lisa Wogan
The VIN News Service 

Richard Freeman was referenced in article  about veterinary personnel looking to organize. it’s about more than wages, Hughston said. “We’re talking about things like work/life balance, like respecting professional boundaries, like making sure we have safe procedures and protocols in place, that we have safe levels of staffing,” she said.

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The corporate war against unions

September 2, 2017

by Jonathan Tasini
CNN 

Richard Freeman, co-director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, points out, "In 2002 the proportion of workers who said they would vote for a union rose above the proportion that said they would vote against a union for the first time in any national survey: a majority of nonunion workers now desire union representation in their workplace."

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