Webinar: How to strengthen U.S. labor standards enforcement to protect workers’ rights

When: May 20, 2021 2:00PM - 3:30PM

The COVID-19 pandemic that led to record unemployment also devastated state and local government revenues across the country. With governments still facing extraordinary budget deficits, this fiscal crisis makes it even more difficult for state and local labor enforcement agencies to respond to labor violations, such as wage theft, just when this work is needed most.

In this webinar, Equitable Growth grantees Janice Fine and Jenn Round of the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization at Rutgers University outline how labor standards enforcement agencies can strategically target high-violation industries. They will also describe how agencies can partner with worker centers, unions, legal advocacy organizations, and other community-based organizations to more proactively address labor rights violations.

The webinar will include information on further resources for labor standards enforcement agencies and community and worker organizations and how federal labor enforcement standards can be reformed to meet the challenges of a changing U.S. labor market hit hard by the coronavirus recession. The webinar will include a Q&A period with the audience following the presentation.

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About Janice Fine

Janice Fine is a professor of labor studies and employment relations at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University, and director of research and strategy at the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization. Fine researches worker organizations, historical and contemporary debates within labor movements regarding immigration, labor standards enforcement, privatization, and government oversight. She works across the country with government agencies and organizations to research labor violations in their jurisdictions and implement innovative labor standards enforcement strategies, including partnerships between government agencies and organizations. Prior to becoming a professor at Rutgers, she worked as a community, labor, coalition, and political organizer for more than 20 years.

About Jenn Round

Jenn Round is a senior fellow with the labor standards enforcement program at the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization at Rutgers University. Prior to joining CIWO, Round helped to launch and led enforcement at the Seattle Office of Labor Standards. She has played an integral role in planning, implementing, and managing numerous rule of law programs, including developing a culturally relevant program designed to reduce domestic violence in rural Alaska and creating an undergraduate law degree program at the American University of Afghanistan. She holds a J.D. from George Washington University Law School and a LL.M. from the University of Washington School of Law.

About Boosting Wages for U.S. Workers in the New Economy

This webinar draws from Fine and Round’s essay, “Strategic enforcement and co-enforcement of U.S. labor standards are needed to protect workers through the coronavirus recession,” which was co-authored with Daniel Galvin and Hana Shepherd and appeared in Equitable Growth’s new book, Boosting Wages for U.S. Workers in the New Economy. The book features 10 essays by leading scholars on policies to raise wages by addressing underlying structures and dynamics in our economy. The essays—developed in partnership with the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley and with funding from the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust—guide policymakers on how to deliver broadly shared economic prosperity by making wages a key outcome to structural economic policy at the federal and state levels.

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Please direct questions related to event content to Labor Market Policy Analyst Kathryn Zickuhr

Please direct questions related to event logistics and technology to Events and Conferences Manager Natalie Intondi.

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