2020 Oct 26
Workers’ rights protection and enforcement by state attorneys general. Economic Policy Institute. Economic Policy Institute.Abstract. 8/27/2020.
- State attorneys general (AGs) have been playing a key role in enforcing and protecting workers’ rights.
State AGs have dramatically increased their involvement in this area in recent years; this report documents these activities in detail. Here are just a few examples of the many ways state AGs are protecting workers’ rights:
- Helping workers attain safer working conditions during the pandemic
- Recovering stolen wages through civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions
- Fighting misclassification of workers as independent contractors instead of employees
- Cracking down on companies’ use of noncompete and no-poach agreements, which limit job mobility
- Proposing and supporting legislation to safeguard workers’ rights
- State AG offices engaged in workers’ rights issues should continue to build on the work they’re doing, and more state AGs should join the effort.
- State legislatures should grant explicit authority to state attorneys general to enforce workplace rights laws and should ideally also fund positions for enforcement.
- Worker organizations and advocates should seek to build relationships and work with their state AGs to safeguard workers’ rights in their states.