Job Quality and Workplace Standards

In the US and other countries, laws, regulations, and business practices establish standards for worker wages, workplace safety, and employment security. Those standards govern such areas as minimum wages, overtime and work hours, child labor, occupational safety, worker leave, and unemployment insurance. In the US, employers must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Workers Compensation Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and Unemployment Insurance and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

Our research addresses job quality and labor standards from economic, policy, and business perspectives. We examine changes in national and state laws and regulations to understand how they vary across jurisdictions and over time. We also estimate the likely effect of potential policy changes on workers, employers, and communities at the local, state, and national levels.


Paid Family Leave in the United States
May 2017 Julia B. Isaacs, Olivia Healy, H. Elizabeth Peters

Unemployment Insurance Modernization and Eligibility
June 2016 Thomas Callan, Stephan Lindner, Austin Nichols

The Big States and Unemployment Insurance Financing
March 2016 Wayne Vroman

Who Minds the Kids When Mom Works a Nonstandard Schedule?
July 2015 Maria E. Enchautegui, Martha C. Johnson, Julia Gelatt

Nonstandard Work Schedules and the Well-being of Low-Income Families
July 2013 Maria E. Enchautegui

Disadvantaged Workers and the Unemployment Insurance Program
July 2012 Maria E. Enchautegui

Informal and Nonstandard Employment in the United States
August 2011 Demetra Smith Nightingale, Stephen Wandner

Health Insurance Benefits Protection for Employees with Disabilities
June 2010 Pamela J. Loprest, Elaine Maag

Employers' Perspectives on San Francisco's Paid Sick Leave Policy
April 2009 Shelley Waters Boots, Karin Martinson, Anna Danziger

Making Work Pay II
July 2008 Cynthia Perry, Linda J. Blumberg

Access to and Use of Paid Sick Leave Among Low-Income Families With Children
August 2008 Lisa Clemans-Cope, Cynthia Perry, Genevieve M. Kenney, Jennifer Pelletier, Matthew Pantell

Workers Without Health Insurance
September 2001 Bowen Garrett, Len Nichols

Urban Wire Posts

Are we at a tipping point for tip wages?
February 2018 Demetra Smith Nightingale

New parents aren't the only people who need paid family leave
February 2018 Shirley Adelstein, H. Elizabeth Peters

Worker protection policies should adapt to the changing structure of employment
January 2018 Demetra Smith Nightingale

The strengths and weaknesses of new study on Seattle's minimum wage increases
June 2017 Daniel Kuehn

Would six weeks of paid parental leave be a good step forward?
May 2017 Julia B. Isaacs

What do we really know about jobs?
August 2016 Moly M. Scott

What we need to understand about the future of work
June 2016 Jonathan Schwabish

Why parents’ nonstandard work schedules matter for children: Is it the hours or the instability?
September 2015 Heather Sandstorm

Working 5 to 9: nonstandard work schedules come with their own set of headaches
August 2013 Serena Lei