All Work and No Pay: Violations of Employment and Labor Laws in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City
National Employment Law Project
Michael W. Spiller
Cornell University - Department of Sociology
CUNY - The Graduate Center
October 23, 2012
Social Forces (2013) doi: 10.1093/sf/sos193
Despite three decades of scholarship on economic restructuring in the US, employers’ violations of minimum wage, overtime, and other workplace laws remain understudied. This article begins to fill the gap by presenting evidence from a large-scale, original worker survey that draws on recent advances in sampling methodology to reach vulnerable workers. Our findings suggest that in America’s three largest cities, violations of employment and labor laws are pervasive across low-wage industries and occupations, impacting a wide range of workers. But while worker characteristics are correlated with violations, it is job and employer characteristics that play the stronger role, including industry, occupation, and measures of informality and nonstandard work. We therefore propose a framework where employers’ noncompliance with labor regulations is one axis of a competitive strategy based on labor cost reduction, contributing to the reorganization of work and production in the 21st century labor market.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: employment and labor laws, violations, compliance, economic restructuring, labor markets, minimum wage, overtime, NLRA, FLSA, government enforcement, undocumented workers, immigrants, informal economy, nonstandard work
JEL Classification: I18, J3, K31, K32, K42, L5, L6, L8, M52, M55, R23Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 2, 2012 ; Last revised: January 15, 2013
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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