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An Honest Day's Work

Day Labor Advocacy in the United States

By Rebecca Smith

Day laborers, who generally are hired for the duration of a particular job in the landscaping, construction, manufacturing, or service sectors, are commonly subjected to egregious workplace exploitation. Employers often assign them dangerous tasks, delay payment of their wages, underpay them, and deduct questionable expenses from their pay. Activists conduct participatory research projects and surveys of day laborers; propose and draft local, state, and federal legislation; litigate cases of abuse; and develop nonprofit day labor centers.

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