In an important move to protect workers, this week Georgia’s parliament adopted sweeping amendments to the country’s labor code. The reforms regulate such crucial issues as work hours, overtime, night shifts, weekly rest, daily breaks, and perhaps most importantly, they strengthen the labor inspectorate by granting it more independence and widening its mandate. The reforms seek to close the major gaps in worker protections created by more than a decade of radical deregulation in Georgia. In an effort to attract foreign investment, in 2006, Georgia abolished its Labor Inspectorate and dramatically reduced worker protections. Workers paid a high price. One independent study found that deaths at work had soared by 74 percent since 2006, mostly in mining and construction.