Poverty Can Be Closer Than You Think

Uncategorized Oct 29, 2015

Work injuries and illnesses contribute to the pressing issue of income inequality: they force working families out of the middle class and into poverty, and keep the families of lower-wage workers from entering the middle class.1 For working families already struggling to meet basic necessities and set aside some savings, a work injury to a primary wage earner can be especially devastating.1 There are also less tangible effects that are important but impossible to monetize.1 Workplace injuries can diminish self-esteem and self-confidence, increase stress between spouses, children and other family members, and strain relations with friends, colleagues and supervisors. These indirect costs can translate into tangible economic costs, including lower wages.1,[i]

In reality, the costs of workplace injury and illness are borne primarily by injured workers, their families, and taxpayer-supported safety-net programs. State legislatures and courts have made it increasingly...

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