A new report called “Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers” has revealed some shocking statistics about worker’s compensation benefits. According to the report, only 8 percent of low wage earners (who work for less than $8 an hour) receive their worker’s compensation when required. The report, which was funded by the Ford Foundation, also points out that they are also denied overtime wage and the right to work for minimum wage, while facing employer retaliation after reporting an injury.
The results in Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers are based on the interviews of over 4000 low wage workers in America’s largest cities: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Findings suggest that these violations occur throughout industries that employ millions of workers, which are the same industries that are expected to see the most development within the next ten years. These industries include child care, apparel manufacturing and repair services.
Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers also revealed that low wage works rarely use their worker’s compensation benefits when they are injured on the job. 12% of respondents admitted to experiencing a serious injury in the past three years. Only 8% of that group filed a worker’s compensation claim.
The study has concluded that this is due to the way in which employers respond to such claims. 40% of injured workers were still required to work by their employers and 30% said their employers refused to help them. An even more troubling statistic states that 13% were fired shortly after they became injured while 4% were threatened with deportation Worker’s compensation violations are a serious human rights issue the U.S. needs to correct.