think progress logo

Lost wages, serious illness and poor labor standards: The dangers of rebuilding Texas and Florida

September 11, 2017
By CASEY QUINLAN, Think Progress
[Sharon] Block is also worried about whether there are enough resources at the agency. In addition to the proposed cuts and business-friendly approach of the administration, there is no OSHA chief. She states, “Based on their level of staffing and resources and everything else about their approach on worker protection issues, I’d be worried about how workers post-Harvey and post-Irma are going to be effective.” 
The Atlantic logo

The Uncertainties of Being Asked to Work During a Hurricane

September 9, 2017

by GILLIAN B. WHITE in The Atlantic
Sharon Block, provides information on workers rights during a natural disaster.  Block says, "a major storm, even one that yields a state of emergency, doesn’t suspend labor laws. This means that laws that protect workers’ pay still stand, but because in Florida, workers are employed at-will, it also means that (barring a collective-bargaining agreement or contract stating otherwise) workers can still be fired for their absence. 'You can be fired for a good reason [or] a bad reason—as long as it's not an unlawful reason, which is usually discrimination,'"

Also reported in:usa today logoby Josh Hafner on  Sept 12, 2017,"Pizza Hut manager threatens employees evacuating ahead of Irma,"  [Read Article]

Inc, logo

How Gig Economy Businesses Can Create Good Jobs--or Destroy Them

September 7, 2017

By Leigh Buchanan
Inc. magazine
"A congressional hearing Wednesday explored how the sharing economy must evolve to ensure fair wages and stability for workers....Yes, flexibility is desirable. But it is no substitute for security, said Sharon Block, executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School."

Also reported in: shrm logo"Are Federal Regulations Needed for Today's Sharing Economy?" By Kathy Gurchiek
Sep 12, 2017, Society for Human Resource Management

Also reported in: jd supra logo "September 2017 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update: Legislative Initiatives: CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE HOLDS EXPLORATORY HEARING ON CHANGES TO LABOR AND TAX LAWS AFFECTING THE GIG ECONOMY" by Locke Lord LLP and Richard Reibstein
October 10, 2017, JD Supra

... Read more about How Gig Economy Businesses Can Create Good Jobs--or Destroy Them
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Meet the Anti-Union Crusader in Charge of Rolling Back Regulations at Trump’s Labor Department

September 4, 2017

In Mother Jones 

"Outside of targeting unions, Trump’s Labor Department is mostly focused on getting out of the way of employers. 'Overwhelmingly, I would define their mission as a negative one,' says Block, who is now director of Harvard’s Labor and Worklife program. “It’s to roll back protections for workers. It’s to slash support for worker training."

2017 Sep 19

Labor Law Reform Symposium

(All day)


Harvard Law School

An invitation-only group of labor law professors, union leaders, worker advocates, public officials, and others convened at Harvard Law School to explore whether experiments at the state and local level could expand collective bargaining and workers’ collective action.  The Economic Policy Institute and Harvard Law and Policy Review (HLPR) were LWP’s partners for this event.... Read more about Labor Law Reform Symposium

ILSA logo

Sharon Block addressed the 2017 Interstate Labor Standards Association

August 24, 2017
LWP Executive Director Sharon Block addressed the 2017 Interstate Labor Standards Association in Little Rock, Arkansas on LWP’s new project on Payroll Fraud and the Underground Economy.  Block previewed for ILSA members a survey that LWP fellows Terri Gerstein and Mark Erlich are developing to gain insights into new frontiers in misclassification and effective strategies for combatting it.
Terri Gerstein photo

Terri Gerstein

Director, State and Local Enforcement Project
LWP Fellow
Research on Labor Standards Enforcement

Terri Gerstein is the Director of the State and Local Enforcement Project at the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program, and also a Fellow in the Program. She recently completed an Open Society Foundations Leadership in Government fellowship. Previously, she worked for over 17 years enforcing labor laws in New York State, including as the Labor Bureau Chief for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and as a Deputy Commissioner in the New York State Department of Labor. Before her government service, Terri was a nonprofit lawyer in Miami, Florida, where she represented immigrant workers and also co-hosted a Spanish language radio show on workers’ rights.

Her work has appeared in publications including The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe NationThe Guardian, and The Hill, among others; a complete listing can be found here. She has also appeared on Democracy Now, Univision and Telemundo. She’s a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Twitter: @TerriGerstein