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. 

Recent Webinars

  • Trauma-Informed Interviewing Techniques for Labor Standards Enforcement Staff 

Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording

This webinar introduces labor standards investigators and enforcement staff to trauma-informed interviewing techniques and best practices for working with individuals who have suffered labor standards violations. It provides an overview of the vocabulary related to trauma, insights into trauma survivors' responses, and guiding principles for navigating trauma responses in the context of an interview. The webinar also provides information on the trauma exposure responses that are often experienced by front-line staff (commonly called secondary or vicarious trauma) and strategies for managing such responses. 

  • How State and Local Labor Enforcement Agencies Can Support Workers’ Requests to DHS for Immigration Relief

    Resources for Labor Agencies: Supporting Workers’ Requests to DHS for Immigration Relief

    In January 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new, streamlined process for labor and employment law enforcement agencies to support workers’ requests for deferred action. These processes facilitate the ability of labor agencies to more fully investigate workplace violations and support them in fulfilling their mission and holding abusive employers accountable. 

    This webinar will help state and local labor and employment enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and attorneys general in understanding this new process and the rationale behind it, highlight issues for consideration in developing protocols surrounding requests related to this new process, and provide pointers on drafting letters of support (also called “Statements of Interest”) to DHS for prosecutorial discretion in labor law cases. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office will be sharing their efforts to date to support workers’ deferred action requests. We will also hear from national experts who have been engaging with federal, state, and local agencies from across the U.S.  The webinar will include time for jurisdictions to share and ask questions of panelists and each other. 

    Our panelists will be Jessie Hahn, Senior Labor and Employment Policy Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, and Cal Soto, Director of Workers at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. We will also be joined by Cindy Elias, Special Counsel to the California Labor Commissioner, and Lauren Moran, Chief of the Fair Labor Division at the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General.

  • Bridging Small Businesses Support and Labor Law Compliance: A Minneapolis Case Study

Presentation Slides  

Webinar Recording

Because of the unique challenges small businesses face, enforcement alone is not always enough to get and keep these businesses in compliance. Labor standards agencies need additional strategies to address underlying barriers to compliance and support small businesses to comply with the laws they enforce. 

In this webinar, we explore the puzzle of how we can strengthen small businesses while also helping them comply with local and state labor standards. Currently, in most American cities and states, labor enforcement has been largely separated from small business support. Even when these functions are nominally in the same agency or office, they typically do not work together and the opportunity to collaborate and integrate these functions is lost.   

We highlight a promising Minneapolis pilot that is braiding together small business economic development opportunities with labor compliance. We will hear from  Minneapolis’ Labor Standards Enforcement Division, Workplace Justice Lab at Rutgers University researchers, Main Street Alliance, and the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD) who are working together to provide critical back-office systems that small business owners often lack the time and resources to set up. The pilot will subsidize payroll services and bookkeeping services for 30-50 small business owners, focusing on those immigrant and BIPOC owners who have been systematically marginalized. The goal of the project is to set up small businesses for success and growth while also creating tracking systems that enable labor law compliance.

Webinar Presenters

Brian Walsh, JD,  has worked for the City of Minneapolis for over ten years. He built its Labor Standards Enforcement Division following passage of a Sick and Safe Time ordinance in 2016.

Mel Koe is the Minnesota Organizer for Main Street Alliance and builds power with small businesses to impact change. Mel enters this work with a public health lens and worked in different public health spaces prior to Main Street Alliance.

Andrew Wolf,  PhD, is a labor sociologist who received his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a Workplace Justice Lab@RU Affiliated Scholar.

Tyler Hilsabeck is the Director of Small Business Development at the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers.  Prior to MCCD, Tyler worked for Bank of America and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Innovative Workers' Rights Laws and Local Enforcement:  The Opportunities and Challenges of Municipal Labor Standards Enforcement Agencies; Dr. Janice Fine, Jenn Round, and Ellen Love

  • How State and Local Labor Standards Enforcement Agencies Can Support Workers’ Requests to DHS for Immigration Relief  
  • Protecting Immigrant Workers in Labor Law Cases:  requesting deferred action or parole in labor agency cases
    The Workplace Justice Lab@RU and National Immigration Law Center co-hosted a webinar to discuss U.S. DOL’s newly released policy on how to request support for immigration-related prosecutorial discretion, including deferred action and parole. In this webinar, we reviewed the new policy; heard from advocates on their experiences related to requesting letters of support from DOL, OSHA, and the NLRB as well as filing for deferred action with DHS; and discussed next steps that advocates can take to ensure labor agencies' policies related to deferred action are accessible and effective.  The discussion featured the following fantastic presenters:

    • Jessie Hahn, Senior Labor and Employment Policy Attorney, National Immigration Legal Center (NILC), Washington, DC

    • Sean Goldhammer, Director of Employment and Legal Services, Workers Defense Project, Dallas, TX

    • Shelly Anand, Co-Founder, Sur Legal Collaborative, Atlanta, GA

    • Bliss Requa-Trautz, Director, Arriba Las Vegas Workers Center, Las Vegas, NV  
  • Publicizing Violators to Increase Compliance:  A Conversation about Effective Naming and Shaming Techniques to Maximize the Resources of Labor Standards Enforcement Agencies 
  • Strategic Enforcement
  • Intake and Triage Processes 
  • Investigations
  • Strategies for Improved Collections on Wage and Paid Sick Day Judgments and Settlement Agreements 
  • Protecting Vulnerable Immigrant Workers Against Retaliation 
  • Strategic Co-Enforcement and Worker Power: Supporting Workers Through the COVID Recession and Beyond - partnership with EARN 
  • Enforcing Labor Standards in a Recession: An Opportunity to Support Workers Who Risk Their Lives  
  • Working with Community Partners on Legal Clinics 
  • "Worker Driven" Private Regulatory and Enforcement Initiatives 

COVID-related Webinars