More than 30 cities and counties across the country have enacted local minimum wage increases in recent years, responding to worsening income inequality and declining wages that have hit low-wage workers hardest. But raising the minimum wage is only the first step. The success of any local minimum wage law depends on effective enforcement of that law.
Based on NELP’s experience working with both advocates and city and county officials to design effective enforcement strategies, we have prepared a short guide to the “top 5” enforcement tools to include in any local minimum wage law:
- Anti-Retaliation Protection
- Dedicated Resources for Investigation & Enforcement
- Community Partnerships
- Strong Remedies & Penalties
- Private Right of Action (i.e. a right to go to court)
Although not every city may have the capacity to implement all five tools at once, advocates and lawmakers should incorporate the goal of strong city-level enforcement into any local minimum wage law. NELP is available to work with advocates to craft effective enforcement provisions in legislative or ballot proposals.