STUDY: White Workers Get Higher Workers Compensation

Those who belong to a minority population can frequently recall an instance of discrimination that he or she has encountered or witnessed. Discrimination can range from being fired from a job, turned down for an apartment rental or being passed over for a promotion. Even though there are anti-discrimination laws, favoritism and discrimination still occurs.

According to a recent study, there are discrepancies between the amount of workers’ compensation white construction workers receive in Illinois in comparison to Hispanic workers or black workers with all things being equal. The research study was conducted through a cooperative effort between the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The study looked at 1,039 workers’ comp claims that included 68 black, 168 Hispanic and 724 white workers plus 79 workers from other ethnicities between the years 2000 and 2005. The researchers found that the white construction workers had claims totaling $6,000 more than the other groups.

All injuries are not created equally, however the study compared workers’ comp claims according to the following:

  • Average weekly wage
  • Injury severity
  • Percent permanent partial disability
  • Type of injury
  • Weeks of temporary disability

The study also accounted for whether the claimant used an attorney or not. The construction injuries were typically fractures, internal injuries and open wounds. The researchers did not speculate on why the disparity existed.

This seems to be a good indication that there are differences in how much a worker obtains in terms of workers’ compensation, and those that need the compensation would be wise to obtain legal advice.