After graduating from Oberlin College and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (MPA 1975), Les co-founded the Labor Institute (1976), a non-profit organization that designs research and educational programs on occupational safety and health, the environment and economics for unions, worker centers and community organizations. In addition to his current book, he is the author of How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: Why Financial Elites Get Away with Siphoning off America's Wealth (John Wiley and Sons, 2013); The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It, (Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009);and The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi, (Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2006), which won the Independent Publisher Award for best biography.
As an expert in economic popular education methods and practices, he is currently helping to build a national runawayinequality.org national education network linking together unions, community groups and faith-based organizations. The network training hundreds of lay trainers to conduct “Reversing Runaway Inequality” workshops throughout the country. All royalties from his current book go back into this campaign.