A delicate dance with many partners: Immigrant workers’ experiences of injury reporting and claim filing

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Dr. Agnieszka Kosny
Institute for Work & Health
Based on a qualitative study with new immigrants and service providers, this presentation will examine new immigrants’ experiences of injury reporting and claim filing. Workers’ weak position in the labour market, limited English language skills and settlement pressures made the reporting of injuries difficult. Despite considerable roadblocks many of the workers in the study did report their injuries to their employers or health-care providers. Reporting, however, seldom led to a straightforward path of claim filing. In many cases employers tried to “manage” the injury without filing a workers’ compensation claim, misled workers about their rights or undermined the claim process. Once in the workers’ compensation system, workers had difficulties navigating the system and understanding what was required of them. Suggested are some ways that policies and practices related to injury prevention, health and safety education and workers’ compensation can be changed to better serve new immigrant workers.