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Workers' compensation is a state-mandated program for workers who are injured while on the job. However, a recent study conducted by the National Employment Law Project found that low-wage earners are not likely to file for workers' compensation even when seriously injured. Many workers were required to report to work after an injury, the study said.
The study, titled "Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers" involved interviewing nearly 4400 low-wage employees in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. It was conducted by researchers at UCLA, University of Illinois-Chicago, Cornell University, and Rutgers University. Below are some results from the survey.
As solutions to the issues noted, the researchers of the study advocated strengthening government enforcement as a way to protect low-wage earners. Among other solutions, they suggested moving toward an "investigation-driven" enforcement method, partnering with community organizations and centers to identify where workplace violations are occurring, and strengthening penalties for violations.