This report provides a broad overview of the attack on wages, labor standards, and workplace protections as it has been advanced in state legislatures across the country.Specifically, the report seeks to illuminate the agenda to undermine wages and labor standards being advanced for non-union Americans in order to understand how this fits with the far better-publicized assaults on the rights of unionized employees.As depicted in Figure A, in 20, 15 state legislatures passed laws restricting public employees’ collective bargaining rights or ability to collect “fair share” dues through payroll deductions (or, in one state, restricting the collective bargaining rights of private-sector employees who are nonetheless covered under state labor law).3 Beyond Wisconsin, for instance, collective bargaining rights were eliminated for Tennessee schoolteachers, Oklahoma municipal employees, graduate student research assistants in Michigan, and farm workers and child care providers in Maine.4 Michigan and Pennsylvania both created “emergency financial managers” authorized to void union contracts.

Enforcement of wage and hour laws has long been strikingly lax.

When the federal minimum-wage law was first established in 1941, there was one federal workplace inspector for every 11,000 workers.

A majority of states have reduced the number of staff dedicated to enforcement of wage and hour laws over the past five years.169 In some states, this has been a consequence of broader budget cuts, while in others, enforcement of workplace laws has been singled out for defunding.

Ohio’s General Assembly, for instance, voted to completely eliminate funding for labor inspectors in 2011, leaving no staff to enforce state minimum-wage, overtime, child labor, or prevailing wage laws.

By far the most galvanizing and most widely reported legislative battle of the past two years was Wisconsin Gov.

Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill” that, in early 2011, largely eliminated collective bargaining rights for the state’s 175,000 public employees.1 Following this, in 20: The champions of anti-union legislation often portrayed themselves as the defenders of non-union workers—whom they characterized as hard-working private-sector taxpayers being forced to pick up the tab for public employees’ lavish pay and pensions.Using the recent attacks against public employee unions as a case study, the following subsections show how model legislation has been written by the staffs of national corporate-funded lobbies and introduced in largely cookie-cutter fashion in multiple states across the country.The most aggressive actions have been concentrated in a relatively narrow group of states that, though they did not necessarily face the most pressing fiscal problems, offered the combination of economic motive and political possibility to warrant the attention of the nation’s most powerful corporate lobbies. Scott Walker proposed sharply curtailing union rights in 2011, he presented his legislation as a response to the particular fiscal conditions facing Wisconsin.In its first year, the county prosecuted over 600 claims of stolen wages, and recovered over

Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill” that, in early 2011, largely eliminated collective bargaining rights for the state’s 175,000 public employees.1 Following this, in 20: The champions of anti-union legislation often portrayed themselves as the defenders of non-union workers—whom they characterized as hard-working private-sector taxpayers being forced to pick up the tab for public employees’ lavish pay and pensions.Using the recent attacks against public employee unions as a case study, the following subsections show how model legislation has been written by the staffs of national corporate-funded lobbies and introduced in largely cookie-cutter fashion in multiple states across the country.The most aggressive actions have been concentrated in a relatively narrow group of states that, though they did not necessarily face the most pressing fiscal problems, offered the combination of economic motive and political possibility to warrant the attention of the nation’s most powerful corporate lobbies. Scott Walker proposed sharply curtailing union rights in 2011, he presented his legislation as a response to the particular fiscal conditions facing Wisconsin.In its first year, the county prosecuted over 600 claims of stolen wages, and recovered over $1.7 million in illegally withheld pay.180 Based on this success, Broward County adopted a similar statute, and the model seemed poised to spread across the state.Almost immediately following the adoption of the Miami-Dade ordinance, however, business lobbies began pushing legislators to overturn the ordinance and ban other localities from adopting similar laws.Finally, the bulk of the report details the corporate-backed agenda for non-union, private-sector workers as concerns the minimum wage, wage theft, child labor, overtime, misclassification of employees as independent contractors, sick leave, workplace safety standards, meal breaks, employment discrimination, and unemployment insurance.

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Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill” that, in early 2011, largely eliminated collective bargaining rights for the state’s 175,000 public employees.1 Following this, in 20: The champions of anti-union legislation often portrayed themselves as the defenders of non-union workers—whom they characterized as hard-working private-sector taxpayers being forced to pick up the tab for public employees’ lavish pay and pensions.

Using the recent attacks against public employee unions as a case study, the following subsections show how model legislation has been written by the staffs of national corporate-funded lobbies and introduced in largely cookie-cutter fashion in multiple states across the country.

The most aggressive actions have been concentrated in a relatively narrow group of states that, though they did not necessarily face the most pressing fiscal problems, offered the combination of economic motive and political possibility to warrant the attention of the nation’s most powerful corporate lobbies. Scott Walker proposed sharply curtailing union rights in 2011, he presented his legislation as a response to the particular fiscal conditions facing Wisconsin.

In its first year, the county prosecuted over 600 claims of stolen wages, and recovered over $1.7 million in illegally withheld pay.180 Based on this success, Broward County adopted a similar statute, and the model seemed poised to spread across the state.

Almost immediately following the adoption of the Miami-Dade ordinance, however, business lobbies began pushing legislators to overturn the ordinance and ban other localities from adopting similar laws.

Finally, the bulk of the report details the corporate-backed agenda for non-union, private-sector workers as concerns the minimum wage, wage theft, child labor, overtime, misclassification of employees as independent contractors, sick leave, workplace safety standards, meal breaks, employment discrimination, and unemployment insurance.

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Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill” that, in early 2011, largely eliminated collective bargaining rights for the state’s 175,000 public employees.1 Following this, in 20: The champions of anti-union legislation often portrayed themselves as the defenders of non-union workers—whom they characterized as hard-working private-sector taxpayers being forced to pick up the tab for public employees’ lavish pay and pensions.

Using the recent attacks against public employee unions as a case study, the following subsections show how model legislation has been written by the staffs of national corporate-funded lobbies and introduced in largely cookie-cutter fashion in multiple states across the country.

The most aggressive actions have been concentrated in a relatively narrow group of states that, though they did not necessarily face the most pressing fiscal problems, offered the combination of economic motive and political possibility to warrant the attention of the nation’s most powerful corporate lobbies. Scott Walker proposed sharply curtailing union rights in 2011, he presented his legislation as a response to the particular fiscal conditions facing Wisconsin.

In its first year, the county prosecuted over 600 claims of stolen wages, and recovered over $1.7 million in illegally withheld pay.180 Based on this success, Broward County adopted a similar statute, and the model seemed poised to spread across the state.

.7 million in illegally withheld pay.180 Based on this success, Broward County adopted a similar statute, and the model seemed poised to spread across the state.Almost immediately following the adoption of the Miami-Dade ordinance, however, business lobbies began pushing legislators to overturn the ordinance and ban other localities from adopting similar laws.Finally, the bulk of the report details the corporate-backed agenda for non-union, private-sector workers as concerns the minimum wage, wage theft, child labor, overtime, misclassification of employees as independent contractors, sick leave, workplace safety standards, meal breaks, employment discrimination, and unemployment insurance.