Immigrant workers are often exposed to predatory employer practices which violate labor laws. One place to start enforcement is in workers compensation and, in particular, workers comp insurance. Here is good example of state initiative.
Massachusetts’ Department of Industrial Accidents has improved significantly its enforcement of workers compensation insurance requirements in the past few years. Its program, which you can find here, gives you a sense of what it takes to give teeth to enforcement. It has greatly improved the success rate of enforcement.
Below is a excerpt dealing with stop work orders:
The leads can come from an employee of the company, a competitor or the Massachusetts Rating Bureau. The lead is assigned to an investigator in the area where the business is located who then conducts an investigation.
If the investigation confirms that the business is violating the statute, the investigator will notify the business and allow the business to come into compliance. If the business does not respond to the investigator or refuses to come into compliance by obtaining the requisite insurance, the investigator will then conduct an on-site investigation at the location of the business.
If the on-site investigation confirms the preliminary investigation, the investigator will then issue a Stop Work Order (SWO), which is a cease and desist order requiring the business to shut down. The business will then be given a right to appeal the SWO within 10 days.
I thank Workers Comp Insider for alerting me to this article by Gregory White, who as general counsel runs the enforcement operations of DIA.
A number of states have beefed up resources to detect and go after employers to commit labor violations, including failure to pay employees for wages earned, failure to pay overtime, failure to make unemployment insurance contributions, and failure to purchase workers compensation insurance.