Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
President Obama has selected academic and former Department of Labor (DOL) policy aide Seth Harris to serve in the second-highest position within the DOL. If confirmed as deputy secretary, Harris will be yet another alum from the Clinton era to join the new administration.
Prior to his nomination, Harris served as an agency working group leader on President Obama’s transition team. Harris was selected as a transition team member while working as a professor and director of the Labor and Employment Law Program at New York Law School. Harris spent nearly seven years serving under the Clinton administration as a senior advisor on policy, legal management, and strategy issues for two U.S. Secretaries of Labor.
While a law professor, Harris wrote a number of articles critical of the Department of Labor under the Bush administration. In particular, Harris criticized Labor Department regulations that were perceived as expanding the white-collar exemptions from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. A strong proponent of flexible work arrangements, Harris is currently a member of the National Advisory Commission on Workplace Flexibility. In addition, Harris is a senior fellow of the Life Without Limits Project of the United Cerebral Palsy Association.
Harris holds degrees from the Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations, and New York University School of Law.
Correction: June 25, 2009
The Washington D.C. Employment Law Update blog entry posted February 25, 2009 stated that Seth Harris taught at the New York University School of Law. The current entry correctly reflects that Harris was a professor at New York Law School.