2017 Dec 07

Harvard-ILO Roundtable on the Future of Work: Cambridge/Boston Case Studies on Global Technological Disruption

(All day)


Harvard Law School

The objective of this roundtable discussion is to convene representatives from the tech sector, select Harvard/MIT/Boston area faculty and researchers, and members of the ILO Research Department and New York Office in order to explore the future of work in an era of rapid technological change.... Read more about Harvard-ILO Roundtable on the Future of Work: Cambridge/Boston Case Studies on Global Technological Disruption

2017 Oct 30

TUC Leading Change

Mon Oct 30 (All day) to Fri Nov 3 (All day)


Harvard Law School

A training program and exchange of ideas with senior officials from unions affiliated with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) of Great Britain.

[Video] of "What Should the Labor Movement Propose to the Country?" by Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Roscoe Pound Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Introduction by John Kelly, Birkbeck, University of London
... Read more about TUC Leading Change

Bloomberg BNA

Harvard Research Finds Companies Shy With Data on Human Capital

October 24, 2017

By Andrea Vittorio
On Bloomberg BNA

Many companies collect metrics on employee training, fatalities, and other aspects of so-called human capital, but they often don’t report that information publicly, according to an Oct. 23 study from Harvard Law School.

EHS Today Logo

Harvard Study: Companies Not Reporting ‘Human Capital’ Metrics Like Occupational Safety

October 24, 2017

By Sandy Smith 
In EHS Today

Human capital metrics, including occupational safety and health data, frequently are collected by a majority of global companies, yet many of these firms are not publicly reporting the information, according to a study released Oct. 23 by the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program in conjunction with the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS). The study is: "Corporate Disclosure of Human Capital Metrics," authored by Aaron Bernstein and Larry Beeferman of the Harvard Law School Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project,

A Narrow Preemption Exception
Sharon Block. 10/23/2017. “A Narrow Preemption Exception.” Publisher's VersionAbstract
In Airline Service Providers Association v. City of Los Angeles, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the contractors’ complaint, finding that the city’s contract clause was not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, even though it clearly constituted a local government influencing the bargaining process between a private sector actor and the collective bargaining representative of its employees.  The court found such influence or interference tolerable by a municipal actor because it determined that the city was acting as a “market participant” not as a “regulator”.
Corporate Disclosure of Human Capital Metrics
Aaron Bernstein and Larry Beeferman. 10/19/2017. Corporate Disclosure of Human Capital Metrics. Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We find majorities or significant minorities of the largest global corporations collect a variety of human capital (HC) metrics of increasing interest to institutional investors. These averages mask a sharp dichotomy between metrics disclosed publicly and those reported by respondents to an annual survey of nearly 2,000 of the largest firms traded on global exchanges. For example, about half of these companies report the average hours of training they provided to employees annually. But the figure was dramatically higher for respondents, at 84 percent, versus just 18 percent of firms assessed using public reporting. Similarly, while 52 percent of firms publicly report employee fatalities, 96 percent of survey respondents disclosed the metrics, but only 17 percent of publicly assessed companies. Comparable differentials were found across other measures. The findings suggest that investors could gain access to HC data that is material to financial performance if they request public disclosure of information already gathered by a critical mass of large corporations in major markets. However, the reporting differs among regions and countries such as the United States and Great Britain, as well as between large market cap companies compared with smaller ones.
America's workers deserve to get paid for burning the midnight oil
PATRICIA SMITH and Sharon Block. 10/13/2017. “America's workers deserve to get paid for burning the midnight oil.” The HIll. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Will the Labor Department appeal a judge’s recent decision that could deny overtime pay to millions of Americans? Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has been clear that he doesn’t like the Obama administration’s overtime rule, insisting that he wants to reconsider it and possibly make one of his own. But he needs to appeal the judge’s decision regardless, otherwise he’s creating uncertainty that isn’t good for anyone. logo

Time to Aim Higher for Workers’ Rights

October 12, 2017


"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."

2017 Oct 16

Whose Fair Share: Opportunity and Inclusion in the Sharing Economy

5:00pm to 7:00pm


Wasserstein Hall, Milstein 2036 East C, Harvard Law School

Held by Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, Harvard Law School

This event will be the first of a series of events focusing on equity and inclusion in the sharing economy and the modern, technology-based economy more broadly. This first event will focus on barriers to participation and will include representatives from major sharing economy businesses, such as Lyft and Airbnb, as well as academics, activists and students. Sharon Block, LWP Executive Director will participate on a panel.

Free and open to the public: [RSVP and more information]

mother jones logo

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

October 2, 2017

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."

labor notes logo

Harvard Hopes Trump Will Help It Undermine Unions

September 14, 2017

By John Trumpbour and Chris Tilly

"Harvard appears to be banking on Trump appointees to the Labor Board to help fight off graduate student unionization. But Harvard’s going the extra mile in seeking to undermine all unions’ right to an accurate list of employees during a union election campaign."

nY daily news logo

Trump Justice turns against Obama's DOJ and worker rights in SCOTUS case

September 22, 2017

By Ginger Adams Otis
New York Daily News

At stake is the right of workers to address workplace issues collectively, from wage and overtime disputes to discrimination and other unfair treatment.“Workers need to share information as well as legal costs to protect themselves effectively," said Sharon Block
"It could essentially close the courthouse door on workers,” she said. “If you are a low-wage worker bringing a case by yourself, it’s hard to pay for it — and hard for the attorney to earn enough for the time and energy involved.”... Read more about Trump Justice turns against Obama's DOJ and worker rights in SCOTUS case

cambridge network logo

University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas: India uncovered

September 19, 2017
India and the paradoxes of global capitalism
by John Trumpbour
John Trumpbour, Research Director of the Labor & Worklife Program, Harvard Law School, discusses the challenges India faces in terms of 21st Century modernity and as it is poised to have the largest population in the world.