The Workers’ Rights Project strives to enforce and expand policies that ensure safe workplaces, fair treatment, a living wage, and a strong safety net in times of hardship. We also seek to improve the well-being of working families and enable workers to access economic security.


Secure and enforce laws that protect workers from abuses on the job.

Empower all workers to effectively advocate for their rights in the workplace and in the legislature.

Secure public policies that improve the economic security of North Carolina’s working families.

Ensure North Carolina workers have access to the training they need to qualify for quality jobs.

Support programs that seek to achieve the safe and successful reintegration into society of individuals with criminal convictions.



Unemployment Insurance: We work to protect and enhance unemployment insurance benefits for North Carolina workers, especially those facing long-term joblessness. Learn more about the challenges jobless workers face and our efforts to support them at our "I am a Tar Heel Worker" website.

Collateral Consequences: We work to change public policies that prevent people with criminal convictions from finding employment and housing, and we advocate for increases in post-release support and services. Learn more on our NC Second Chance Alliance webpage.

Wage Theft: Wage theft is the illegal underpayment or non-payment of workers’ wages, including minimum-wage violations, non-payment of overtime, denial of earned vacation time, and misappropriation of tips. In addition to conducting and publishing research on the scope of wage theft and its impact on workers, their families, and their communities, we take legal action to recover money for workers who are victims of discrimination and illegal wage practices.

Migrant Workers’ Rights: We conduct regular visits to the camps where migrant farmworkers live in order to advise them of their rights, and we provide legal representation to farmworkers and H-2B workers whose rights had been violated. In addition, we advocate for laws that improve the working and living conditions of migrant workers. Learn more about the challenges facing North Carolina’s migrant worker community on the Farmworker Advocacy Network website.

Work-Family Policy: Through research and administrative and legislative advocacy, we are working to secure guaranteed paid sick leave, family leave insurance, flexible work schedules, and protections against caregiver discrimination for all North Carolina workers. Learn more on the NC Families Care website.

Job Training and Workforce Development: Our work focuses on building training pipelines that connect workers to training programs, support them in completing those programs, and then place them in living-wage jobs. We work to make sure that everyone who wants training can have it, regardless of income, race, or gender.