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The One Percent SolutionHow Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time$
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Gordon Lafer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703065

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703065.001.0001

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Remaking the Nonunion Economy

Remaking the Nonunion Economy

(p.101) 3 Remaking the Nonunion Economy
The One Percent Solution

Gordon Lafer

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how corporate lobbies and their legislative allies have sought to undermine labor standards and workplace rights in the nonunion economy. It discusses the record of corporate-backed state legislation governing the minimum wage, including that for tipped employees, and child labor, overtime, wage theft, sick leave, occupational licensing, workplace safety, meal breaks and weekends, and workplace discrimination. It also considers issues such as the misclassification of employees as “independent contractors” and job-based safety-net programs like unemployment insurance. The chapter argues that the arguments put forward by corporate lobbies and state legislators have a sole objective: to restrict, weaken, or abolish laws governing wages, benefits, or working conditions; to preempt, defund, or dismantle every legal or organizational mechanism through which workers may challenge employer prerogatives; and to undermine people's ability to exercise democratic control over corporate behavior.

Keywords:   corporate lobbies, nonunion economy, state legislation, minimum wage, child labor, overtime, wage theft, workplace safety, workplace discrimination, unemployment insurance

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