The Top 5 Enforcement Tools for Local Minimum Wage Laws

Source: National Employment Law Project, Policy Brief, December 2, 2015

From the summary:
Approximately 42 percent of workers in America now earn under $15 per hour. They are nursing assistants, home care workers, janitors, waiters and waitresses, cashiers, truck drivers, and many others who keep our families and businesses going. They are also disproportionately women, people of color, and immigrants. As the real value of wages generally continues to decline and income inequality worsens, raising the minimum wage must be a priority. However, the success of any local minimum wage law in delivering higher wages for workers will depend on effective enforcement of that law. Wage theft is widespread across the country, costing workers and local economies billions of dollars each year. An effective enforcement scheme must protect workers who come forward to raise complaints; include strong public and private enforcement tools to better guarantee compliance; and help ensure collection of owed wages. To achieve these goals, NELP recommends, at a minimum, including the following “Top 5” enforcement tools in any local minimum wage law:
#1: Anti-Retaliation Protection….
#2: Dedicated Resources for Investigation and Enforcement….
#3: Community Partnerships….
#4: Strong Remedies and Penalties….
#5: Private Right of Action….