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Workplace illness prevalent for female day laborers in New York

An advocacy group in Brooklyn published the results of a new study that examined the difficulties faced by female day laborers in New York. The study found that 75 percent of the women who work as day laborers are the primary breadwinners for their dependents. Along with looking into their levels of remuneration and other wage and hour law issues, vulnerability related to workplace illness and injuries was also studied.

An alarming fact that came to light is that 65 percent of these women do not have access to health care. Furthermore, illnesses related to their work were reported by 71 percent of the women. A large number of the said conditions resulted from exposure to dangerous chemical cleaning materials. Chronic pain was also reported by women who were forced to clean floors on their hands and knees.

Although many of the women who took part in the study are domestic cleaners, a large percentage are employed as industrial office cleaners or even in the construction industry. The cleaning duties on construction sites are often carried out by women. The advocacy group underscored the fact that these individuals deserve the same concern for their health and safety as all other workers.

Any female worker who suffers a workplace illness or injury has the same right to medical care and workers' compensation benefits as her male counterparts. Benefits claims may be filed with the New York workers' compensation insurance system to relieve the financial burden of medical expenses. Furthermore, lost wages may also be compensated, and such benefits will be based upon a percentage of the worker's average weekly wage.

Source:, "New study looks at plight of women day laborers", Paula Katinas, Accessed on Sept. 23, 2016

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