Low-wage Asian and Latinx workers harbor significant health concerns related to COVID-19 but lack basic safety and wage protections and information while facing retaliation from employers and harassment from customers, according to a new report published by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus in collaboration with the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at the University of California, Berkeley.
The report, Few Options, Many Risks: Low-Wage Asian and Latinx Workers in the COVID-19 Pandemic, is based on survey responses from 636 primarily low-wage Asian and Latinx workers and captures the experience of California workers across several industries, particularly restaurant, home health care, janitorial, and hospitality.
In partnership with
Winifred Kao and Victoria Chan from ALC and Alejandra Domenzain from LOHP were primarily responsible for the survey design. Kevin Lee was responsible for the quantitative analysis of the survey results. Helen Chen, Alejandra Domenzain, Winifred Kao, and Victoria Chan were the principal authors of the report.
Thank you to our on-the-ground partners at the Chinese Progressive Association, Filipino Community Center, Lao Family Community Development, Inc., Multicultural Institute, Maintenance Corporation Trust Fund, and Fight for $15, whose input and outreach support was essential. Thank you also for input and feedback from La Raza Centro Legal staff Alejandra Cuestas-Jaimes and Alejandro Garcia, Maggie Robbins at Worksafe, and Annelisa Luong and Sophia Cheng at Chinese Progressive Association. Thank you to interpreters and translators Cecilia Wang, Emiliano Bourgois-Chacon, and Ricardo Barajas. Thank you to the Irvine Foundation for its essential support of ALC’s workers’ rights program.
Finally, thank you to the ALC and LOHP staff and consultants who either worked directly on this survey and report or provided important feedback: Suzanne Teran, Diane E. Bush, Laura Stock, Flora Kuang, Sallie Lin, Lily Wang, Nashwah Akhtar, and Lande Watson.
In the Press
- SF Chronicle: Low-wage workers in California say COVID protocols are lacking on the job
- KQED: Low-Wage Workers Lack COVID Protections, Fear Retaliation, California Survey Shows
- Business Insider: Low-wage Asian and Latinx workers struggled to get COVID-19 information and didn’t feel comfortable reporting symptoms, survey finds
- Mission Local: Asian and Latinx low-income workers weren’t given masks, fired for Covid-19 fears, report says
- Sacramento Bee: McDonald’s workers want more say over California labor conditions. This plan would help them
- Oaklandside: Low-wage workers in Oakland and across the state say they feel unsafe at their job
- DailyCal: Study exposes Asian, Latinx workers’ hardships in workplace
- Take Two: Report: Tough Workplace Conditions for Low Wage Workers During Pandemic