April 26, 2012
As legislators in New York and 22 other states debate changes to minimum wage laws, the Rockefeller Institute's Irene Lurie has discovered some states do not use their full authority to enforce rules already on the books.
In a study published in the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, Lurie examined 18 states' enforcement efforts, looking at staff resources, enforcement procedures, volume of enforcement activity and results achieved. Many of those states enforce their minimum wage laws passively ---- only in response to workers' complaints ---- or not at all, she found. States' capacity to enforce their minimum wage laws is currently constrained by a lack of resources. Yet their potential to protect low-wage workers is powerful ---- in some cases, their authority is greater than the federal government's ---- and deserves more attention from analysts and policymakers, Lurie states.
To arrange an interview with Lurie, contact Heather Trela at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-443-5831. To read Lurie's recently published study, visit the Institute's Web site.
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About the Rockefeller Institute of Government
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, at the University at Albany, is the public policy research arm of the State University of New York. The Institute conducts fiscal and programmatic research on American state and local governments. Visit our Web site at www.rockinst.org .