Regulating Labor Practices at the Local Level: New Evidence on Minimum Wage, Parental Leave, and Secure Scheduling
(Poverty and Income Policy)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
The proposed panel directly addresses these recent changes to state and local labor laws. All three papers take up the challenge of evaluating innovative local efforts to make policy related to these important issues.
The first paper focuses on recent minimum wage increases in Seattle, WA. The paper presents a wide-ranging portrait of the effects of recent minimum wage increases. The authors use a variety of estimation methods, including difference-in-differences, synthetic control methods, and interactive fixed effects. Administrative data from WA state Unemployment Insurance records will show both the net short- and intermediate-term impact on measures of employment, earnings, and hours worked across all low-wage workers, as well as the distribution of gains and losses across workers or industries.
Wages are an important element of job quality, but other local laws have sought to affect other aspects of low-wage work. The second paper takes up the issue of unstable and unpredictable work schedules in the service sector. Here too, Seattle, WA has been at the forefront of local legislation. The City’s Secure Scheduling ordinance requires that large chain service sector companies provide workers with advance notice of their schedules and access to work hours. The authors use a novel method of survey sampling to collect data from workers in Seattle and in comparison locations. The baseline data is collected in the Spring of 2017 and the authors will present results from this first wave and describe plans for data collection and estimation following the implementation of the policy.
The third paper takes up another key issue related to labor regulation and family wellbeing – paid parental leave. San Francisco’s recently adopted Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO) is the most far-reaching law in the country, ensuring six weeks of fully paid leave for new parents employed in the City's private sector. The Ordinance, which took effect for employers with more than 50 employees in early 2017, builds on California’s Paid Family Leave program, which replaces income up to 55% of wages, by requiring covered employers to replace the remaining 45%. Using a four-part mixed methods evaluation, the authors examine the impact of the ordinance, particularly on lower income workers who are most likely to benefit from full wage replacement while on leave.
In all, the papers examine a vitally important and currently active area of policymaking. All three papers report on ongoing quasi-experimental evaluations of these novel and important policies.