Read the latest Beyond the Bill studies and policy papers
from the Workplace Justice Lab@RU

National/Federal Enforcement

Memorandum for the White House Worker Empowerment Task Force:  Proposed actions to using existing statutory authority that will demonstrably promote worker organizing by taking advantage of all the affordances of the labor standards enforcement regime

Maintaining effective U.S. labor standards enforcement through the coronavirus recession

Webinar Cross References:

State/Regional Enforcement

Wage Theft in California: Minimum Wage Violations, 2014-2023

This study examines minimum wage violations in California between 2014 and 2023. This research is part of a larger project intended to assess opportunities and inform strategies of local labor standards enforcement agencies within California. Our findings include individual, industrial, and job characteristics that are associated with higher levels of wage theft in California. 

Minimum Wage Non-Compliance in New Mexico

This study examines minimum wage violations in New Mexico over the past 20 years. Our findings include the industries and occupations in New Mexico with the highest minimum wage violation rates, as well as the demographic groups who are disproportionately likely to suffer such violations. 

Wage Theft in Texas: Minimum Wage Violations and Payday Law Enforcement, 2009-2022

This study, completed in partnership with the Workers Defense Project, examines minimum wage compliance in Texas and analyzes thousands of Texas Payday Law claims made to the Texas Workforce Commission. Our findings reveal that wage theft in Texas is widespread and disproportionately impacts immigrants, women, and workers of color. Additionally, our analysis shows that the state enforcement agency has failed to recover millions of dollars for aggrieved workers.  

At a Glance: Anti-Retaliation Legislation to Protect Workers and the Rule of Law

In partnership with the State Innovation Exchange (SIX), this two-page issue brief explains how state lawmakers can use anti-retaliation legislation to better protect workers and the rule of law. The paper includes policy options that strengthen retaliation protections, examples of states that have enacted such policies, and additional resources for state legislators to learn more.

Florida Policymakers Need to Reassess How the Minimum Wage is Enforced

 After Florida voters raised the state minimum wage, we contacted key Florida organizers to create a partnership focused on minimum wage enforcement. With the Florida Policy Institute, we authored a study showing that workers of color and immigrants were more likely to experience minimum wage violations, and resulting in the introduction of state bills in February 2021 and January 2022 (HB 507/SB 1756)

New Jersey Studies

In early 2020, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) contracted with us to produce three studies, which we completed and released to the agency in February 2021. These studies now inform NJDOL’s strategic enforcement planning efforts.  Learn more about the workplace justice lab@RU’s Collaboration with NJDOL. 

Informing Strategic Enforcement Practices: Claims and Compliance with Oregon's Minimum Wage

This study, conducted in partnership with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, compares minimum wage violation and complaint rates in Oregon. It also examines the relative probabilities that workers from specific demographic groups will experience minimum wage theft. 

Municipal/Local Enforcement

Minimum Wage Non-Compliance in Minneapolis

This study analyzes the relationship between minimum wage complaints filed with the Minneapolis Labor Standards Enforcement Division and estimates of underlying minimum wage violations. Our findings include the industries in Minneapolis with the highest minimum wage violation rates, as well as the demographic groups who are disproportionately likely to suffer such violations. We are grateful to our local partners in Minneapolis who provided valuable support for this study.

A Roadmap for Strategic Enforcement: Complaints and Compliance with San Francisco’s Minimum Wage
A Road map for Strategic Enforcement Targeting: Complaints and Compliance with Los Angeles County’s Minimum Wage

We worked with partners in LA County on a study comparing complaints and compliance with the local minimum wage law. The study was then used as support to establish the Office of Labor Equity (OLE). The motion creating OLE explicitly instructed the new agency to develop strategies and partnerships to target 3 of the 4 industries our study found had the highest violation rates.