US Black and Latino Workers Exploited, Receive Less Benefits

While racial inequality in the American workplace is nothing new, a new report has confirmed that when it comes to work benefits, Black and Latino workers have it worse off. The Center for American Progress, based on 2011 data from the Department of Labor’s "American Time Use Survey," found that Black and Latino workers have significantly less access to paid sick leave, vacation and flexible work schedules as compared to their white counterparts. It also found that Latino workers are 11 percent less likely than white people to have access to paid sick days, and 12 percent less likely to have paid vacation.

Further, Black workers are 7 percent less likely than white workers to have access to flexible work hours. The report, in order to isolate the influence of race, controls for a number of factors like age, income, education and occupation. This means that when you compare a Black or Latino worker with a white worker who has the same education and job type, the Black or Latino is still less likely to get access to paid leave. In addition, with things like the gender wage gap, which disproportionately affects women of color, workplaces disservice racialized people. Still yet, the movement for better paid leave policies is spreading. Four states have made it mandatory to provide workers with paid family leave, and five states and 23 cities have also made it guaranteed for workers to earn sick leave. However, the report also says that 40 percent of all employees, about 40 million workers, still don’t have access to even a single paid sick day. “This shows that we can’t just leave this up to the market to decide,” the report’s co-author, Sarah Jane Glynn, told The Huffington Post. “States and cities are passing these laws, but we need federal action.”

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