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Day laborers hurt at private residencies have rights, too

When workers are on site performing work, there is a significant risk of on-the-job injuries. When you're working in any kind of uncontrolled environment, the risk of injury is going to be higher than if you were working in a standardized, controlled environment.

You can't predict every hazard that could take place in a home environment. Day laborers do face a number of hazards on these residential work sites including dangers such as:

  • Falls from working at heights
  • Outdoor heat
  • Exposure to dust or fumes
  • Injuries from repetitive motions
  • Heavy lifting
  • Dealing with dangerous equipment or machinery

Injuries that day laborers suffer at residential work sites can be significant. A 2017 research brief from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and UCLA-LOSH states that respondents often described musculoskeletal injuries as the result of workplace accidents. Other injuries included cuts, broken bones and lacerations. Only around 70% of these individuals went on to seek medical care, but around three out of four lost time on the job.

On-site work injuries should be covered by workers' compensation

For employees, on-site work injuries should be covered by workers' compensation. Unfortunately, around a third of respondents stated that they had to pay their own medical bills. Eighty-two percent of the individuals who lost work time reported that they were never paid for that time.

Day laborers are eligible for compensation when certain conditions are met in a home or residential environment

Did you know that day laborers in California are eligible for compensation if they've worked 52 hours or longer for a homeowner in the previous 90 days leading up to an injury? They must also have earned $100 or more in wages. On top of that, day laborers hired by contractors for residential assignments are covered by workers' compensation.

Based on research, it's estimated that a third of people who responded to the research study were eligible for workers' compensation through the homeowners, and it's believed that another 26% were eligible through their employers. Shockingly, only 5% stated that they were paid for medical bills or lost time on the job.

It is important that you know your rights and assert them if you are hurt on the job. There is no reason that you should go without financial support if you are harmed while in the course of work, either as an employee or someone hired by a homeowner to complete a task.

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