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State and Local Enforcement Project


The State and Local Enforcement Project studies, supports, and catalyzes the untapped potential of state and local government to protect and enforce workers’ rights, with a special focus on enforcers new to labor issues.


Many states and localities have been at the forefront of innovations in enforcing workers’ rights, with new laws, new approaches to enforcement, and new government agencies involved in worker protection. The State and Local Enforcement Project aims to develop sustainable long-term workplace enforcement by helping enforcers be as effective as possible in their work, and by seeking to involve more state and local government actors in the area of workers’ rights. The Project’s goal is to improve conditions for thousands of workers by supporting enforcement of hard-won new state and local protections.

How does the Project help?

The Project supports state and local labor enforcers through four strategies:

  • The Project convenes three active working groups of enforcers new to labor issues: (1) state attorneys general; (2) district attorneys; (3) local labor standards offices. These working groups, which together have over 150 members from over 21 states, serve as a network of peers who collaborate and learn from each other.  
  • The Project provides government and worker advocates with concrete ideas (enforcement strategies, best practices, focus areas, action in other jurisdictions, etc) for state and local action on workers’ rights, through authoring reports, toolkits, and briefings; providing training and webinars; and offering technical assistance and other support. 
  • The Project provides expertise to policymakers on enforcement-related issues, such as penalties for wage theft, misclassification of workers, and employment contract terms (like non-compete or forced arbitration provisions) that prevent workers from exercising their rights.
  • The Project creates an environment primed for more active labor enforcement through authoring op-eds and commentary, as well as providing expertise to reporters and media covering stories on labor issues.