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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.Indeed, in each state where anti-union legislation was advanced, voters typically perceived it as the product of homegrown politicians and a response to the unique conditions of their state.
This policy agenda undercuts the ability of low- and middle-wage workers, both union and non-union, to earn a decent wage.
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.
By 2008, the number of laws that inspectors are responsible for enforcing had grown dramatically, but the number of inspectors per worker was less than one-tenth what it had been in 1941, with 141,000 workers for every federal enforcement agent.167 With the current staff of federal workplace investigators, the average employer has just a 0.001 percent chance of being investigated in a given year.168 That is, an employer would have to operate for 1,000 years to have even a 1 percent chance of being audited by Department of Labor inspectors.
Budget cuts and political choices have exacerbated this crisis even further at the state level.