What would Frances Perkins do?

The Harvard Labor and Worklife Program and the Frances Perkins Center are pleased to co-host a symposium commemorating the birthday and legacy of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and principal architect of the New Deal’s groundbreaking worker protections.

A distinguished panel of labor experts and new economy thought leaders will discuss how the global economy, technology, and the fissured workplace are eroding the legal regime Frances Perkins designed for 20th century workplaces: minimum wages and overtime pay, the 40-hour work week, unemployment insurance, safety standards, and retirement security. And, in the bold and action-oriented tradition of Frances Perkins, panelists will explore innovative solutions to the immediate challenges facing 21st century workers.


  • Sharon Block, Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
  • Maureen Conway, Vice President for Policy Programs and Executive Director of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute
  • Sarita Gupta, Executive Director, Jobs With Justice, Co-Director, Caring Across Generations
  • Tom Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management and Co-Director, MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research
  • Jess Kutch, Co-Founder and Co-Director, coworker.org; Keith Mestrich, President and CEO, Amalgamated Bank
  • Palak Shah, Social Innovations Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance; Heidi Shierholz, Senior Economist and Director of Policy, Economic Policy Institute
  • Moderator: Allison Beck, Board Member, Frances Perkins Center, former Director, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service


Tuesday, April 10, 2018
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT


Harvard Law School
1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets are free, but space is very limited.