Bottom Up Workplace Law Enforcement: An Empirical Analysis
62 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2013 Last revised: 13 Mar 2013
Date Written: February 6, 2013
This article presents an original analysis of newly-available data from a landmark survey of 4,387 low-wage, front-line workers in the three largest U.S. cities. We analyze data on worker claims, retaliation, and legal knowledge to investigate what we call “bottom up” workplace law enforcement, or the reliance of many labor and employment laws on workers themselves to enforce their rights. We conclude that bottom up workplace law enforcement may fail to protect the workers who are most vulnerable to workplace rights violations, as they often lack the legal knowledge and incentives to complain that are prerequisites for enforcement activity.
Keywords: workers, employment law, workplace, labor law, worker rights, employment rights, FLSA, labor rights, law, low-wage workers, retaliation, empirical legal studies
JEL Classification: K00, K31, K39, M54, M59, Z00, J29, J53, J59
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation