Publication Date



This lecture discusses the impact of the recent recession, both directly and indirectly, on the rights of workers in the U.S. and internationally. Employers are increasingly relying on temporary/contingent workers, and even unpaid interns who have few jobs protections and no benefits. This practice negatively impacts the wages and bargaining power of the core labor force as well as overall job creation. Particularly pronounced is the misclassification of jobs and failure to pay minimum wage and/or overtime benefits contrary to contractual requirements. There is evidence that the recession has made it politically acceptable to re-write existing employment agreements, with federal and local governments seeking to reduce payouts to municipal workers, auto workers and others.

Martin J. Mulloy and Gwynne A. Wilcox, two labor and employment leaders, provide commentary on the lecture.