Labor Day Should Really Be Called ‘Inequality Day’—
We stand at levels of income and wealth disparity not seen since the 1920s.

By David Weil, Published on HuffPost, 9.1.17

Labor Day was once a moment to commemorate the accomplishments of the American labor movement. With the continuing decline of organized labor, the attack on worker protection agencies by the Trump administration, and even the announcement by Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta that Ronald Reagan—the president that famously broke the air traffic controllers union—will be the next inductee in the department’s hall of fame, it seems more appropriate to focus on the challenges facing millions of workers rather than the eroding successes of the past.

Sadly, we might aptly call today’s commemoration “Inequality Day.”


David Weil is Dean and Professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy and Management. He served as US Wage and Hour Administrator at the Department of Labor during the last three years of the Obama administration. He is a leading international expert on workplace and labor market policy and was the Peter and Deborah Wexler Professor of Management at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business before coming to Brandeis. The materials on this site arise from analysis contained in The Fissured Workplace and a growing body of research regarding the fundamental restructuring of employment and its impacts on workers and businesses. It also discusses approaches to dealing with the fissured workplace developed during the Obama administration as well as new ideas and efforts being discussed and undertaken today. 


“When ‘Made in America’ Means Made in Sweatshops,” on The Takeaway. Listen to a conversation with David Weil on the WNYC website.

“Behind a $13 shirt, a $6-an-hour worker,” by Natalie Kitroeff and Victoria Kim. Los Angeles Times, 8.31.17. Read the Article.

“David Weil heading to Brandeis,” Talking Points column, The Boston Globe, 5.19.17. Read the article.


“Lots of Employees Get Misclassified as Contractors. Here’s Why It Matters,” Harvard Business Review. 7.5.17. Read the article.

“How to Make Employment Fair in an Age of Contracting and Temp Work,” Harvard Business Review. 3.3.17. Read the article.

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