Beyond Occupational Hazards: Abuse of Day Laborers and Health.

Haro, Alein Y., Randall Kuhn, Michael A. Rodriguez, Nik Theodore, Edwin Melendez, and Abel Valenzuela. 

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 22, no. 6 (2020): 1172-1183.


With the increase in labor market flexibility and worksite immigration enforcement, day labor is a common type of informal employment arrangement among immigrants. Our study contextualized day laborers’ physical and mental health within work- and community-level factors. We use a nationally representative sample of 2015 day laborers from the National Day Labor Survey. Multivariable logistic regression models estimated the association of occupational and socioenvironmental abuses with self-rated health (SRH), a positive PHQ-2 screening, morbidities, and workplace injuries. Employer abuse was associated with fair/poor SRH, workplace injuries, morbidity, and PHQ-2; business owner abuse was associated with PHQ-2 and workplace injuries; and crime and having a dangerous job are both associated with workplace injuries. Health disadvantages stem from unsafe occupational conditions and an overlapping array of adverse social experiences. These findings highlight the need to develop and evaluate policies that protect all workers regardless of socioeconomic position and immigration status.

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