Bottom Up Workplace Law Enforcement: An Empirical Analysis

62 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2013 Last revised: 13 Mar 2013

See all articles by Charlotte Alexander

Charlotte Alexander

Georgia State University - Risk Management & Insurance Department; Georgia State University College of Law

Arthi Prasad

Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 6, 2013

Abstract

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

Alexander, Charlotte and Prasad, Arthi, Bottom Up Workplace Law Enforcement: An Empirical Analysis (February 6, 2013). Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 89, 2014; Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2212751

Charlotte Alexander (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Risk Management & Insurance Department ( email )

35 Broad Street
Room 1142
Atlanta, GA 30303
United States

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Arthi Prasad

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

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