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Sharon Block

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Show BioHide BioSharon Block is the Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. Prior to coming to Harvard Law School in 2017, she was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor and Senior Counselor to Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. While serving in the Obama White House as Senior Public Engagement Advisor for Labor and Working Families, Block led the historic White House Summit on Worker Voice. Early in her career she worked as an attorney at the National Labor Relations Board’s Appellate Court Branch, and returned to the NLRB in 2012 when she was appointed to serve as a member of the Board by President Obama. She also served as senior labor and employment counsel to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee under Senator Edward Kennedy. Block received her B.A. from Columbia University and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she received the John F. Kennedy Labor Law Award.

24 posts

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CWS Surprise!

Published June 11th, 2018 -

Some of the hottest questions in labor policy over the past few years have been: how big is the “gig economy” or the “fissured workplace” or the “on-demand sector”?  The Bureau of Labor Statistics gave its surprising answer to this question last week:  smaller... More »

Epic Fall Out: The Supreme Court and Concerted Activity

Published May 23rd, 2018 -

In September, we worried that the Trump Administration was using Epic Systems (aka Murphy Oil) to lay the groundwork for curtailing protection of concerted activity outside the union organizing and collective bargaining context.  To our relief, Epic Systems do... More »

Alternative Facts at the NLRB

Published March 28th, 2018 -

Peter Robb, the NLRB General Counsel appointed by President Trump, has a change agenda for the agency.  He recently took two actions that have garnered a great deal of attention among Board watchers.  His announcements regarding a significant reorganization of... More »

Board Vacates Hy-Brand, Raising More Questions

Published February 27th, 2018 -

Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board vacated its December decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors.  (Ben and Sharon had called for this action in OnLabor last week here and here.)  The Board’s unusual action follows a finding by the Board’s Inspec... More »

The NLRB Should Withdraw Hy-Brand . . . AND!

Published February 22nd, 2018 -

To start, I completely agree with everything Ben wrote about the need for the NLRB to withdraw the Hy-Brand decision because of Member Bill Emanuel’s improper participation in the decisionmaking process.  My only departure is that I don’t think Ben’s call for ... More »

Continuing the Labor Law Reform Debate in 2018

Published January 3rd, 2018 -

By Sharon Block and Benjamin Sachs In September, we shared our plan to hold a symposium at Harvard Law on the question of whether it is time to end labor preemption.  The symposium brought together leading labor law scholars and practitioners to wrestle with t... More »

Miscimarra’s Parting Shot: Was It a December Massacre?

Published December 19th, 2017 -

In recent years, the end of a National Labor Relations Board member’s term occasioned an odd death watch for controversial precedent.  Last week, Board Chair Phil Miscimarra finished his term with a flurry of big decisions, including five cases that overturned... More »

Backhanded Compliment: Acosta Threatens Workers Centers

Published November 20th, 2017 -

In his hearing before the House Education and Workforce Committee last week, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta issued an ominous warning to worker centers across the country. When asked by Rep. Francis Rooney (R. Fla.) whether the Department of Labor would begin reg... More »

A Narrow Preemption Exception

Published October 23rd, 2017 -

The Ninth Circuit issued a decision this week on whether the City of Los Angeles can include in its contracts with companies doing business at LAX a requirement that they enter into labor peace agreements or whether such a contract clause is preempted by the N... More »