April 19, 2017 10:00 pm / 11:00 pm

43-105 CHS (Center for Health Sciences) UCLA

COEH & Dept of Environmental Health Sciences 411 present:

 “Work-Related Injuries and Worker’s Compensation Eligibility Among Residential Day Laborers in California” 

About the lecture: California homeowners often hire day laborers to perform construction, maintenance, moving, and landscaping tasks in and around private homes. These residential work settings may present a variety of hazards to workers and pose the potential for serious injury. Studies have found that as many as one in five day laborers suffer serious work-related injuries each year. Twenty-six states have legal provisions that extend workers’ compensation coverage to workers such as day laborers who are employed directly by homeowners. California is the only state with both worktime and earnings thresholds for workers’ compensation eligibility for these “residential employees.” Yet, day laborers face many barriers to accessing these resources: Homeowners and workers may be unaware of these legal requirements, confused by the eligibility thresholds, and/or unclear about the rights of workers with undocumented immigration status. Some employers may also actively deny benefits to injured employees. As a result, injuries to day laborers in residential worksites go largely unreported and uncompensated. This presentation will discuss recent research by the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (UCLA-LOSH) and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) to investigate the injury experiences of residential day laborers in California. The research examines the nature and severity of occupational injuries among workers in residential settings and analyses how current workers’ compensation eligibility requirements affect this workforce. The presentation will also consider the impacts of legislation currently pending in the California legislature to expand workers’ compensation eligibility to day laborers and other residential employees.

About the speaker: Dr. Kevin Riley is director of research and evaluation at the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, a nationally recognized university-based program providing education, research, and policy advocacy to improve worker health and safety. Much of his research focuses on the connections between employment arrangements and working conditions, particularly for low-wage workers and those in informal work sectors. In 2015, he authored a report on the injury experiences of workers in the low-wage labor market, based on analysis of data from a groundbreaking survey of low-wage workers in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. In addition, he has conducted research among long-haul truck drivers, live-in domestic workers, airport ground crews, and garment workers, as well as patients in community-clinic settings. His work has also examines the strengths and limitations of regulations as tools for changing the work environment. Dr. Riley received an MPH from the UCLA Community Health Sciences department and a PhD in Sociology from UCLA.