Oakland garment workers and failure to file claims

This is a hot research topic. I recently entered a posting of 2002 study of Asian garment worker injuries in Oakland. I mentioned in the posting that while it offers useful insights into how immigrant workers experience injury risks at work, the study is flawed in its interpretation of the self-reported injury data. The research team was, simply stated, unaware of how injury experiences turn into workers comp claims.
Two researchers at Michigan State University, Jeff Biddle and Karen Roberts, published an article based on a large survey of Michigan workers. I use this study as a benchmark for how American citizens working for established large employer file workers comp claims (or do not). Immigrant worker experience should be contrasted with the MSU findings. Many in this study do not file, even for disabling injury. Some of them could access other benefits. But that’s not the whole complex and engaging picture. If you need to understand underreporting by immigrants compared to the norm, get their analysis in the December 2003 issue of Journal of Risk & Insurance.
RAND issued in 2005 a study of the effect of health insurance coverage on work injury claiming behavior of workers. Both the Rand and the Biddle and Roberts study reflect a more sophisticated understanding of workers comp.

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