Reprinted from The National Employment Law Project on June 24, 2019. It is unattributed.
Social justice movements, such as the Fight for $15, #MeToo, and striking Uber drivers, rely on workers to come forward to assert their rights—but workers who dare challenge an employer’s policies or misconduct know that they will almost certainly face retaliation. Even highly-paid Google workers have been forced to protest retaliation following a mass walkout criticizing Google’s handling of sexual harassment. A new NELP survey of laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia shows, however, that state laws overwhelmingly fail to provide workers with essential retaliation protections.
In Exposing Wage Theft Without Fear: States Must Protect Workers from Retaliation, NELP offers a first-of-its-kind analysis focusing on how state laws protect—or fail to protect—workers when they challenge wage theft by lodging complaints with employers or government agencies, filing lawsuits, or engaging in public actions, for example.
“It is more important than ever to ensure that state laws offer workers strong retaliation protections. The future of workplace conditions and workers’ ability to organize depends on having strong retaliation protections in each and every state,” said Laura Huizar, senior staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project and author of the new report. This is especially true in the wake of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) general counsel’s position, articulated in a case recently, that workers who file lawsuits or complaints with government agencies will no longer be entitled to the National Labor Relations Act’s retaliation protections, under the theory that state laws already address retaliation. …