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Abstract

This Article examines the deep human rights concerns within the transmogrifying world of work, focusing on the integral part that work plays in the definition, construction, maintenance, and enhancement of the social contract in the context of the New York City welfare workforce. Part I reviews the "employee"/partner/independent contractor distinctions, focusing on recent case law, the regulatory tax regime, and related issues. Part II examines the complex pressures that workfare legislation will exert throughout most sectors of the workforce and the unemployed. Part III explores the role of Catholic social teachings on workers' rights as well as the reemergence of the "living wage" initiative. This Article concludes that the situation is grim, perhaps inexorably Malthusian. As huge pools of surplus labor bid unsuccessfully for increasingly scarce jobs, all but the most educated and technologically adept face unrelenting downward pressures on wage compensation.

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