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Rather, a recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.For more information, see the latest announcement from the NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee, dated 9/20/10.Yet in that same year, the Ohio House adopted a budget that would cut the workplace enforcement budget by 25 percent over the next two years.170 Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley likewise called for the complete elimination of funding for the state’s nine labor investigators.171 In 2010, Missouri’s labor department collected 0,000 in restitution for minimum-wage violations and 0,000 for prevailing-wage violations, and issued 1,714 citations for child-labor violations.172 Yet Tilley charged that investigators were being “overzealous,” particularly in prosecuting complaints of employers cheating on prevailing wages.173 Ultimately, Tilley compromised with the state’s Democratic governor, and the adopted budget eliminated only two of the Division of Labor Standards’ nine investigators rather than the entire staff.174 In either case, meager enforcement staff means there is little meaningful protection for employees’ rights under law. Department of Labor investigation found that one-third of employers who had previously violated wage and hour laws continued to do so.175 The Progressive States Network—a national organization of state legislators—has identified the key elements of effective policy for combating wage theft.Indeed, because the enforcement mechanisms are so weak and the penalties for stealing wages are generally so modest, even employers who have been found guilty and forced to pay penalties for wage theft are often undeterred from continuing these practices. These include requirements that employers keep detailed pay records and allow employees to receive a thorough explanation of how each paycheck was calculated; the right of state authorities to inspect employers’ records; workers’ private right of action to sue for unpaid wages as individuals or in class actions; protection of complainants against retaliation by their employers; and the provision of attorney fees, damages, and penalties as part of the enforcement process.176 Yet corporate lobbies have been working hard to prohibit enforcement mechanisms such as these.The report highlights legislation authored or supported by major corporate lobbies such as the Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, and National Association of Manufacturers—and by corporate-funded lobbying organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Tax Reform, and Americans for Prosperity—in order to draw the clearest possible picture of the legislative and economic policy agenda of the country’s most powerful economic actors.To make the most clear-eyed decisions in charting future policy directions, it is critical to understand how the various parts of these organizations’ agenda fit together, and where they ultimately lead.By documenting the similarities in how analogous bills have been advanced in multiple states, the report establishes the extent to which legislation emanates not from state officials responding to local economic conditions, but from an economic and policy agenda fueled by national corporate lobbies that aim to lower wages and labor standards across the country.In 20, state legislatures undertook numerous efforts to undermine wages and labor standards: These efforts provide important context for the much-better-publicized moves to undermine public employee unions.
In the case of Maine, the state legislature passed laws restricting the collective bargaining rights of certain private-sector employees who are covered under state labor law (see endnotes 3 and 4 for more detail).June 1857(II) October 1860(III) April 1865(I) June 1869(II) October 1873(III) March 1882(I) March 1887(II) July 1890(III) January 1893(I) December 1895(IV) June 1899(III) September 1902(IV) May 1907(II) January 1910(I) January 1913(I) August 1918(III) January 1920(I) May 1923(II) October 1926(III) August 1929(III) May 1937(II) February 1945(I) November 1948(IV) July 1953(II) August 1957(III) April 1960(II) December 1969(IV) November 1973(IV) January 1980(I) July 1981(III) July 1990(III) March 2001(I) December 2007 (IV) December 1854 (IV) December 1858 (IV) June 1861 (III) December 1867 (I) December 1870 (IV) March 1879 (I) May 1885 (II) April 1888 (I) May 1891 (II) June 1894 (II) June 1897 (II) December 1900 (IV) August 1904 (III) June 1908 (II) January 1912 (IV) December 1914 (IV) March 1919 (I) July 1921 (III) July 1924 (III) November 1927 (IV) March 1933 (I) June 1938 (II) October 1945 (IV) October 1949 (IV) May 1954 (II) April 1958 (II) February 1961 (I) November 1970 (IV) March 1975 (I) July 1980 (III) November 1982 (IV) March 1991(I) November 2001 (IV) June 2009 (II) Other Related Press Releases: April 12, 2010 January 7, 2008 October 21, 2003 December 21, 1990 December 31, 1979 October 25, 1979 July 27, 1979 Prior to 1979, there were no formal announcements of business cycle turning points.The NBER does not define a recession in terms of two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP.Two years later, however, it is clear that the attack on public employee unions has been part of a broader agenda aiming to cut wages and benefits and erode working conditions and legal protections for all workers—whether union or non-union, in the public and private sectors alike.This push to erode labor standards, undercut wages, and undermine unions has been advanced by policymakers pursuing a misguided economic agenda working in tandem with the major corporate lobbies.
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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.