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Labor standards

The Worker Center Ecosystem in California: Organizing to Transform Low-Wage Industries. Washington, DC: LIFT Fund (2019)

  • Report Authors: Nik Theodore, Beth Gutelius & Ana Luz Gonzalez
  • This report presents a scan of California’s worker center ecosystem to assess key strategies, identify challenges and opportunities, and offer recommendations for strengthening the capacity of this vital workers’ rights infrastructure.

Build a Better South: Construction Working Conditions in the Southern U.S. (2017)

  • Authors: Nik Theodore, Bethany Boggess, Jackie Cornejo, and Emily Timm
  • This research provides information about the employment experiences of the people most imperative to the industry’s success: the men and women who work on construction sites each day.

The Movement to End Wage Theft (2011)

  • Author: Nik Theodore
  • This report examines the emergent wage theft movement.

Workplace Safety in Atlanta’s Construction Industry: Institutional Failure in Temporary Staffing Arrangements (2003)

  • Report Authors: Chirag Mehta, Sara Baum, Nik Theodore & Lori Bush
  • Data on workplace injuries, safety concerns, and provisions for safety equipment and job training suggest that workers supplied by temporary staffing agencies to building and construction contractors in the Atlanta metro area work in substandard safety conditions. This study examines the working conditions experienced by temp workers supplied by temp agencies to building and construction contractors in the Atlanta metro area and examines factors that influence these conditions.

Raising and Maintaining the Value of the State Minimum Wage: An Economic Impact Study of Illinois (2003)

  • Report Authors: Ron Baiman, Marc Doussard, Sharon Mastracci, Joe Persky & Nik Theodore
  • In this report, we evaluate the probable impact of raising the Illinois minimum wage to $6.50 and maintaining its value through a COLA. Our analysis finds that a $6.50 minimum wage with a COLA would benefit a large number of minimum wage workers and households while imposing minimal costs on employers. Additionally, our research on past minimum wage increases finds that raising the minimum wage has an insignificant impact on employment growth. We conclude that a COLA is essential for maintaining these benefits.

A Step in the Right Direction: An Analysis of Forecasted Costs and Benefits of the Chicago Living Wage Ordinance (2002)

  • Report Authors: Ron Baiman, Joseph Persky & Nicholas Brunick
  • In this report, we begin the process of assessment of the Chicago Living Wage Ordinance by analyzing estimates included in a critical study that predicted dire financial, employment, and economic welfare consequences if the Ordinance were to be passed.

A Self-Sufficiency Living Wage for Chicago (2002)

  • Report Authors: Ron Baiman, Joseph Persky & Patricia Nolan
  • The City of Chicago and State of Illinois have officially endorsed and are using a set of “self- sufficiency standards” for basic family needs by family type that have been developed by Pearson and Brooks (2001) for various localities in Illinois. Based on our conclusions regarding the characteristics of low-income families in Illinois, we derive an estimate of the Chicago “living wage” from this family “self-sufficiency standard” for four-person, two-child families in lower-cost areas of Chicago. We estimate a 2001 “living wage” in Chicago of $11.92/hour. Adjusting this for inflation from December, 2001 to August, 2002 raises this figure to $12.17/hour for a 2002 “living wage.”