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Washtenaw County Prosecutor and U.S. Department of Labor will collaborate to protect workers' rights

Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office
On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 252/United Association Local 190 union hall near Ann Arbor surrounded by officials and labor leaders, Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit holds up a signed memorandum of understanding between his office and the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division establishing a partnership to enforce workers' rights, share information and conduct joint investigations.

Washtenaw County and the U.S. Department of Labor will officially collaborate to protect workers' rights.

Washtenaw County’s Prosecutor’s Office is the first in Michigan to enter a partnership with the Department of Labor to enforce employee rights. This means that the two organizations will work together to investigate employers for things like tip theft, underpayment, and other state or federal violations.

Eli Savit is the prosecuting attorney for Washtenaw County. He says that this collaboration will make protecting employees more efficient and less confusing.

“It makes things so much easier if we can come to our federal partners and say, ‘Hey, look we’ve got this case. Maybe we don’t have jurisdiction. Maybe it’s a violation that we’ve identified of federal law, but not of the state law. Can you take a look at it?’ And the same is true with us, if something is a violation of state law.”

The county will also collaborate with the federal government to raise awareness about workers’ rights.

Savit says that, often, people don’t even know that their employers can be held accountable.

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Michael Keegan is a reporter for the WEMU news department.
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