In a new working paper, Brishen Rogers makes the case that automation is not a major threat to workers today, and that it will not likely be a major threat in the near future. However, he contends that existing labor laws allow companies to use new technology—specifically information technology—in ways that give them outsized power over their workers. Ultimately, Rogers argues that policymakers should expand the scope and stringency of companies’ duties toward their workers, and/or they should rewrite the rules in ways that enable workers to push back against the introduction of new workplace technologies.

To learn more about labor law in the 21st century and the role of automation on the job, see Rebuilding Worker Voice in Today’s Economy by Rogers and Kate Andrias of the University of Michigan Law School, as well as Don’t Fear the Robots by Mark Paul.