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Funding was subsequently restored by the state’s Controlling Board, but even so, the state was left only six inspectors for the entire workforce.
A seventh inspector was slated to begin work later in 2011, at which point each agent would have responsibility for 616,000 private-sector workers.
In 20, state legislatures undertook numerous efforts to undermine wages and labor standards: These efforts provide important context for the much-better-publicized moves to undermine public employee unions.
Thus, the only means for seeking enforcement under current law is for employees to turn to the Legal Aid Society, which relies entirely on volunteer attorneys.179 In 2010, Miami-Dade County responded to this crisis by instituting the nation’s first broad municipal wage theft law.
Enforcement is carried out by the Department of Small Business Administration through a streamlined process similar to small claims courts; employers pay the costs of county hearings—thus enforcement is costless to taxpayers—and employees are entitled to recover up to double damages.
ver the past two years, state legislators across the country have launched an unprecedented series of initiatives aimed at lowering labor standards, weakening unions, and eroding workplace protections for both union and non-union workers.
This policy agenda undercuts the ability of low- and middle-wage workers, both union and non-union, to earn a decent wage.
Two years later, however, it is clear that the attack on public employee unions has been part of a broader agenda aiming to cut wages and benefits and erode working conditions and legal protections for all workers—whether union or non-union, in the public and private sectors alike.