Labor Project Resources

Student Papers

The False Claims Act: A Weapon Against Lawbreaking Employers (Revised 2009)
by Rachel Deutsch

Attorneys general have broad powers to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing in their states. This paper explores a versatile legal resource that is underutilized by many attorneys general: the False Claims Act (FCA). The federal FCA, and the parallel statutes that have been enacted in many states, impose civil liability on any person who submits a false claim for payment to the United States government.

Scholarly Articles

The Role of State Attorneys General in the Enforcement of Labor Laws (2007)
by Jennifer S. Brand, Chief of the Labor Bureau of the New York Office of Attorney General
The article presents a detailed plan for state attorneys general to enhance enforcement of state wage and hour laws. Brand, who is a graduate of both Barnard College and Columbia Law School, has 18 years of direct experience in the enforcement of state wage and hour laws and for three months served as a Research Scholar at Columbia Law School.

Rebuilding the Law of the Workplace in an Era of Self-Regulation
Columbia Law Review, 105 Colum. L. Rev. 319 (2005)
by Cynthia L. Estlund
In this Article, Professor Estlund of New York University looks for ways not to combat the movement toward self-regulation in employment law— which she finds both inexorable and potentially promising—but to channel that movement so as both to fortify employee rights and labor standards, and to give employees a stronger voice in their own work lives and workplaces. Drawing on a range of regulatory theory and experience, she casts outside monitors—independent of employers, accountable to employees and the public— in a central role in a system of “monitored self-regulation.” The Article aims to bridge the divide between labor law and employment law—to find leverage within the dynamic law of workplace rights and regulations for the rejuvenation of employee voice, and to use new forms of employee voice to help realize workplace rights and improve labor standards.

Eliot Spitzer Meets Mother Jones: How State Attorneys General Can Enforce State Wage and Hour Laws
Columbia Journal of Law & Social Problems. (2006)
by Peter Romer-Friedman
In this article, Peter Romer-Friedman explores the varying roles that state governments have assigned to state attorneys general and labor departments to enforce state wage and hour laws, and presents three models of how states enforce wage statutes. After describing how New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has transformed enforcement in his state by strategically asserting and using his office's independent legal authority to enforce state wage laws, the article concludes that the ideal wage enforcement structure is one that grants both a state attorney general and a state labor department concurrent authority to enforce such laws. In 2006-2007, Romer-Friedman served as a Law Clerk for Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Adequacy of Labor Law Enforcement in New Orleans
Hearing Before the United States Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (June 26, 2007)
Testimony of Catherine K. Ruckelshaus, National Employment Law Project
Catherine K. Ruckelshaus testifies before Congress on how federal inaction facilitated rampant worker abuses in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Labor Law Renewal
1 Harv. L. & Pol'y Rev. 375 (2007)
by Benjamin I. Sachs
Despite the general consensus among scholars that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRA) fails to protect workers’ ability to choose to organize and bargain collectively with their employers, Benjamin Sachs argues through a series of case studies that labor law is experiencing a renewal. No longer a regime defined by a single federal statute administered by a single federal agency, the article shows that American labor law is increasingly constituted by private processes, by state and local regulation, and by multiple federal statutes enforced by multiple actors.

Other Resources

Summary of Independent Contractor Reforms: New State and Federal Activity (Nov. 2011)

A Report by the Florida Money Service Business Facilitated Workers' Compensation Fraud Work Group (2011)

Labor Law Enforcement Meeting: Resources (Aug. 2011)