Labor Policy in the U.S. Webinar

On April 15, the Center for Workplace Performance (CWP) and the Virtual Chapter of Labor and Employment Relations Association (VLERA) will co-host a free webinar.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Center for Workplace Performance and the Virtual Chapter of Labor and Employment Relations Association will co-host a webinar, "Projections for the Next Four Years of Labor Policy in the U.S." on Thursday, April 15, 2021, from 8:00–9:15 p.m. EST.

The speakers are Wilma B. Liebman, Former Chairperson of the National Labor Relations Board (Visiting Distinguished Scholar, Rutgers University), and Michael Wasser, Legislative and Outreach Director, AFL-CIO

This program will be a conversation between Whitehead and  Liebman, former NLRB Member and Chairman, and LERA President-Elect. They will explore what a new Biden administration may mean for labor and employment law and policy, in the context of the nation’s intersecting health, economic, racial justice, climate change, and democracy crises. Will this be a moment for transformational change, or not?

Zoom registration required: https://psu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0sduGqqDMiHNMZcvGWOzLNeib1JVRl5_jw

Your confirmation will provide a link to the program.

SHRM/HRCI Recertification Credits: Request Pending

Agenda

  • Questions of wages, jobs, infrastructure, major government spending, and procurement authority;
  • Essential Workers and Pandemic related workplace issues (including a 2020 ILO Complaint);
  • Federal appointments: personnel as policy;
  • Reckoning with Trump-era NLRB adjudication and rulemaking, and beyond;
  • New labor law issues that may arise, e.g., new technologies, the scope of protected concerted activity; new groups of workers and “employee” status;
  • State law mandates and federal labor law preemption;
  • Gig economy issues, California Proposition 22 and beyond;
  • Accelerating worker activism and what that may mean, including among workers excluded from labor/employment law protections; 
  • Exploration of forms of industrial democracy, including worker ownership; corporate governance issues  (e.g., works councils, worker representation on corporate boards). 

Presenter Biographies

Wilma Liebman

President Obama named Wilma Liebman to be Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board in January 2009.  She served as Chairman until August 27, 2011, when her third term expired.  Since then, she has been engaged in various advisory roles and consulting projects and has taught at several universities, most recently New York University Law School.  She has served as a Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) and has taught at Cornell University’s Law School and Industrial and Labor Relations School, the University of Illinois’ College of Law and its School of Labor and Employment Relations, and George Washington University Law School. Appointed in March 2020, she serves as chief external ethics officer for the United Automobile Workers Union. 

Ms. Liebman was first appointed to be a Member of the NLRB by President Clinton and was twice reappointed by President Bush. She was the third longest-serving member of the NLRB in its 85-year history.  Earlier, she served as Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).  Prior to joining FMCS in January 1994, she held positions as Labor Counsel for the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen, and Legal Counsel to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. 

As of June 2020, Ms. Liebman serves as President-Elect of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute and a senior fellow of the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers’ School of Management and Labor Relations.  She is the Co-Chair of the Council of Advisors at the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at the New School.  For the last seven years, she has served as Chair of the Dunlop Commission on Agricultural Labor, a private dispute resolution body.  

She is the author of several publications on a variety of labor law and policy issues.  She holds an A.B. degree from Barnard College and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School. 

Michael Wasser 

Michael Wasser is an adjunct faculty member with the School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State. 

A graduate of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State, Wasser obtained both a bachelor’s degree in Labor Studies and Employment Relations and a master’s degree in Human Resources and Employment Relations from the school. As an adjunct professor, Wasser teaches Introduction to Labor and Human Resources and has been employed at the University for more than eight years.

Outside of Penn State, Wasser currently serves as assistant to the president and legislative director for the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), a coalition of 24 national unions representing over four million professional, technical, and other highly skilled workers. Wasser joined DPE in August 2016 and is responsible for conducting outreach to labor and non-labor organizations, representing DPE before Congress on issues important to professional and technical workers, and working with affiliate unions to identify and advance issues important to professional and technical workers.

Prior to joining DPE, Wasser worked at Jobs With Justice (and, prior to its merger, American Rights at Work) for six years, serving most recently as senior policy analyst. He produced original research and led the organization’s federal policy strategy, monitoring developments related to the workplace and serving as the primary liaison to congressional offices and federal agencies.

Wasser’s work has been reported in numerous of media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Hill, Huffington Post, and NPR. He also has been published in the Nevada Law Journal.

April 6, 2021