Strengthening Labor Standards Enforcement

Over the last decade, cities, counties, and states across the US have enacted innovative economic policies, but the challenge is enforcement. State and local agencies that are charged with labor law enforcement have an enormously important job to do. CIWO is working to address this challenge by facilitating a dynamic learning community among state and local departments of labor. Through webinars and community conversations, agencies are learning to share innovative approaches to intake, complaint and triage, investigations, improving collection rates, settlement agreement content and negotiation, joint employer liability and multi-jurisdictional cooperation, protecting vulnerable workers from retaliation, strategic enforcement and co-enforcement. Our webinars and communities of practice are developed in partnership with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Community of Learning and Practice

Janice Fine, Research and Strategy Director formed a small group of the most advanced local and state labor standards enforcement agencies that San Francisco, LA County and LA City have been participating in. These communities of learning and practice have engaged in several sessions and developed a survey on agency practices that agencies can use to learn from each other. CIWO held 4 of these sessions in 2017:

  • Collections strategies (August 2nd, 2017)
  • Settlement negotiations (September 6th, 2017)
  • Developing Protocols for State and Local Agencies to Protect Immigrant Workers and Labor
  • Law Enforcement Efforts (October 26, 2017)
  • Joint employer liability and multi-jurisdictional cooperation (December 19, 2017)

Convenings and Webinars

In partnership with CLASP, Janice Fine organized 5 webinars in 2017, that recruited participants from LA City and County, Santa Monica, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego agencies to participate in. On average each webinar included 100-120 participants from across the country.

  • Protecting vulnerable immigrant workers against retaliation (February 7, 2017)
  • Intake and triage processes (April 3, 2017)
  • Investigations (June 6, 2017)
  • Strategies for Improved Collections on Wage and Paid Sick Day Judgments and Settlement Agreements (October 31, 2017)
  • Strategic enforcement (December 20, 2017)

Labor Standards Enforcement Series

To capture and expand on the information shared in the webinars, CIWO and CLASP created a Labor Standards Enforcement Series. Briefs in the series correspond to the webinars and provide examples of strategies used by various agencies to maximize their effectiveness, including how to successfully leverage partnerships between agencies, community-based organizations, and the private bar, as well as insights for advocates seeking to improve the legislative tools available to enforce laws.