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News from EPI Media advisory: EPI to hold panel on state Attorneys General offices’ role in protecting workers’ rights

On Thursday, December 3 from 4 p.m.–5:15 p.m. Eastern, the Economic Policy Institute and the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program will hold a panel—“State Attorneys General as Protectors of Workers’ Rights.” Attendees will hear directly from bureau, division, and section chiefs who lead labor rights work in their state attorneys general (AGs) offices. This webinar will address the growing role state AGs play in protecting workers’ rights.

In recent years, there has been a surge of state AG activity protecting workers’ rights, as detailed in a recent report issued by the Economic Policy Institute and the Harvard Labor and Worklife Program. The offices featured in our conversation have been leaders in this area. During the past few years, they have, among other things:

  • Pursued employers that misclassified workers in a number of industries;
  • Created hotlines for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately responding to thousands of calls;
  • Criminally prosecuted construction contractors, restaurants, and other employers for wage theft and payroll fraud;
  • Stopped national businesses from using inappropriate non-compete agreements;
  • Pursued fast food companies for wage theft and child labor violations; and
  • Successfully sued the U.S. Labor Department for rollbacks of workers’ rights.


Satoshi Yanai, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Worker Rights and Fair Labor Bureau, California Department of Justice
Alvar Ayala, Bureau Chief, Workplace Rights Bureau, Office of the Illinois Attorney General
Lauren Goldman Moran, Chief, Fair Labor Division, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Karen Cacace, Bureau Chief, Labor Bureau, New York State Office of the Attorney General
Nancy A. Walker, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Fair Labor Section, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General

Moderated by Terri Gerstein, Director of the State and Local Enforcement Project, Harvard Labor and Worklife Program, and Senior Fellow, Economic Policy Institute

Opening remarks by Thea Lee, President, Economic Policy Institute, and Sharon Block, Executive Director, Harvard Labor and Worklife Program

What: A discussion on state AGs’ role in protecting workers’ rights—an issue discussed in a report by EPI and the Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program.

When: Thursday, December 3
4 p.m.—5:15 p.m Eastern

Register for the panel