Dave has been a temporary worker many times over and his experiences led him to become an advocate for others. While working as a temp in 2009 he created the leading website for information on temp staffing issues, connecting with hundreds of temps across the country to provide resources and referrals. Dave is a member of the NIOSH NORA Services Sector Committee advising on government research priorities related to safety in staffing, and the creator of the award-winning documentary A Day's Work (2015). He has used the film in education, training, and outreach with more than 150 national and local organizations as he has worked to build capacity for collective action on temp staffing issues.
Dr. Jessica Cook-Qurayshi
Jes is the Director of the Depaul University Labor Education Center. She joined the labor movement as a staff organizer and staff union steward at the UNITE HERE international from 2006-2009. She then spent 7 years as a leader and steward with the Graduate Employees Organization (IFT-AFT Local 6297) and has worked closely as a volunteer and researcher with multiple Chicago based worker centers since 2010, directly working in support of temp worker campaigns. Her labor research is focused on worker centers, mass incarceration and criminalization, immigration, citizenship, race and ethnicity, civil society, precarious work, and labor market restructuring.
Dr. George Gonos
George is professor emeritus at the State University of New York and currently adjunct professor at Florida International University’s Center for Labor Research and Studies. He first encountered abuses within the staffing industry as a community organizer and activist in the 1980’s. George’s academic research paved the way for the modern study of the temporary staffing industry. His work has been instrumental in understanding the legal history, alternatives to the current model of agency employment, and has been referenced in more than 100 other articles and books on the subject. George grew up in the “the most industrial town in America” and was shaped by his father’s experience as, what his employer called, an “unskilled” worker.
Laura is a senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project (NELP). Her work focuses on policies that improve workplace standards and economic security for the contingent workforce, including temporary workers and workers in the “gig” economy. Prior to joining NELP, Laura was an attorney at the labor union coalition Change to Win, where she provided legal support to organizing and corporate accountability campaigns in many industries, including retail, telecommunications, fast food, and logistics. Laura believes deeply that all work has dignity and all working people deserve economic security.
Sophia is the Executive Director of Raise the Floor Alliance, where she advocates for policies that improve the lives of low-wage workers, oversees operations, and serves as the organization's main spokesperson. Her work was instrumental in the passage of the Responsible Job Creation Act (2017) - landmark legislation that sets a new standard for temp worker protections. Sophia brings over 5 years of experience in organizing, on issues pertaining to racial justice, student-labor solidarity, gender & sexuality justice, and electoral engagement. Before joining Raise the Floor, she was elected as President of the U.S. Student Association, where she represented over one million college students at the White House, Department of Education, and Congress on policies related to affordable and accessible higher education. She is the proud daughter of her Bangladeshi immigrant mother, who taught her to always seek justice and live purposefully.