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Strengthening Labor Standards Enforcement Through Partnerships with Workers' Organizations

Politics and Society, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 552-558, 2010

Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1768942

Posted: 26 Feb 2011  

Janice Fine

Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations - New Brunswick

Jennifer Gordon

Fordham University School of Law

Abstract

Structures of employment in low-wage industries, a diminished wage and hour inspectorate, and an unworkable immigration regime have combined to create an environment where violations of basic workplace laws are everyday occurrences. This article identifies four "logics" of detection and enforcement, arguing that there is a mismatch between the enforcement strategies of most federal and state labor inspectorates and the industries in which noncompliance continues to be a problem. In response, the authors propose augmenting labor inspectorates by giving public interest groups like unions and worker centers a formal, ongoing role in enforcement in low-wage sectors. In three case studies, the authors present evidence of an emergent system - one that harkens back to a logic proposed by the drafters of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) but never implemented - of empowering those closest to the action to work in partnership with government.

Keywords: immigration, enforcement, minimum wage, FLSA, labor

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Fine, Janice and Gordon, Jennifer, Strengthening Labor Standards Enforcement Through Partnerships with Workers' Organizations. Politics and Society, Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 552-558, 2010; Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1768942. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1768942

Janice Fine (Contact Author)

Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations - New Brunswick ( email )

Piscataway, NJ 08854
United States

Jennifer Gordon

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States
212-636-7444 (Phone)
212-636-6899 (Fax)

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