Tuesday, November 19, 2013
From the Bookshelves: Marginal Workers: How Legal Fault Lines Divide Workers and Leave Them without Protection by Ruben J. Garcia
"In Marginal Workers, Ruben Garcia goes further than any previous work in describing the various ways in which [U.S. labor and employment laws] fail to protect some of the most vulnerable workers in the country."—JOTWELL
Undocumented and authorized immigrant laborers, female workers, workers of color, guest workers, and unionized workers together compose an enormous and diverse part of the labor force in America. Labor and employment laws are supposed to protect employees from various workplace threats, such as poor wages, bad working conditions, and unfair dismissal. Yet as members of individual groups with minority status, the rights of many of these individuals are often dictated by other types of law, such as constitutional and immigration laws. Worse still, the groups who fall into these cracks in the legal system often do not have the political power necessary to change the laws for better protection.
In Marginal Workers, Ruben J. Garcia demonstrates that when it comes to these marginal workers, the sum of the law is less than its parts, and, despite what appears to be a plethora of applicable statutes, marginal workers are frequently lacking in protection. To ameliorate the status of marginal workers, he argues for a new paradigm in worker protection, one based on human freedom and rights.
For a review essay on Marginal workers by Sameer Ashar, click here.