Many on the Left appear to believe that their fight to end criminal penalties for marijuana is a step forward for workers’ rights. The Left, after all, has traditionally been a champion of labor unions and the rights of workers. Yet that does not mean that progressives are always on the side of workers.
The California state legislature passed a reform that is supposed to make employers more accountable for labor laws violations. In theory, this reform is intended to provide strong protections against wage theft and other illegal labor practices (i.e., sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation). However, as the Center for Economic and Policy Research points out, the reform would not apply to the largest companies in the state, and it would disproportionately impact labor practices of workers in smaller firms. Those firms often have fewer resources to defend themselves against bad-faith employers.