Center for American Progress

Is There a Right to Job Quality? Reenvisioning Workforce Development
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Is There a Right to Job Quality? Reenvisioning Workforce Development

Jonathan Harris and Livia Lam explain how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a new legal regime that prioritizes job quality in workforce development.

The coronavirus crisis has led to the unemployment of millions of workers and exposed a labor market that is full of poor-quality jobs. Policymakers intuitively resort to upgrading worker skills as a workforce response to the pandemic; however, the problem isn’t with retraining. The nation’s workforce development system is in shambles. It lacks appropriate accountability mechanisms to ensure workers are matched to decent work and instead steers training for any in-demand job including those that offer low pay and poor working conditions. Enabling the changes needed requires a new legal regime that establishes a right to training for a quality job.

The above excerpt was originally published in California Law Review. Click here to view the full article.

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Jonathan Harris

Livia Lam

Senior Fellow; Director, Workforce Development