As law students, we believe NYU School of Law should be led by those who respect the rule of law. For this reason, we were distressed to learn that NYU Law Trustee Daniel Straus, who also funds the Straus Institute of Law and Justice, has repeatedly acted in a way that fails to demonstrate such respect. The National Labor Relations Board has charged his companies, CareOne and HealthBridge Management, with violating federal labor law no fewer than 38 times. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny has held HealthBridge in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order to return 600 striking nursing home workers to work at their pre-strike level of compensation. Mr. Straus has manipulated bankruptcy and RICO law to punish workers for exercising their clearly established rights to engage in collective action. He has hired thugs to harass workers and NYU students who were protesting his actions. We would be happy to elaborate on any of these statements upon request.
At NYU, we have been taught the importance of ethical lawyering and working for the public good. Mr. Straus’s actions are at odds with these principles. It seems to be common sense that major decisions about our school should be made only by those who respect the law and the values that NYU promotes.
We urge you to sit down with us or the workers’ representative, the Service Employees International Union Local 1199, to discuss this deeply concerning situation. Furthermore, as students committed to building NYU Law’s reputation for academic and moral excellence, we request that you meet with us to discuss developing a clear code of ethics for our trustees.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to speaking with you.