Monthly Webinar Series

The CA Labor Lab holds monthly webinars every fourth Wednesday of the month from 12-1 PM PST. If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in this event, please contact Michelle Meyer at (510) 642-8365 or [email protected] with as much advance notice as possible and at least 7-10 days in advance of the event.

For information on accreditation and certificates of completion, click here.

Upcoming Webinars:

Stay tuned for updates on our fall webinar series!

Previous Webinars:

June 26th, 2024: Workplace Mistreatment: Evidence of Prevalence, Antecedents, Impacts, and Intervention 

Zhiqing “Albert” Zhou, PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

This presentation will introduce the concept of workplace mistreatment, its multiple forms in the workplaces, and research findings on its prevalence, antecedents, and impact. Further, evidence on effective workplace interventions to prevent workplace mistreatment will be discussed. This session will provide insights into understanding how organizations, leaders, and workers can better prevent workplace mistreatment and cope with workplace mistreatment experiences.

Recording coming soon.

May 29th, 2024: Creating New Work Spaces Using a Total Worker Health (TWH) Approach 

Cristina Banks, PhD, Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces

Work spaces are created everyday across the nation, either by remodel or new build. Typically, the design and construction of work spaces are conceptualized and executed almost exclusively by architect and construction firms, with little input from the future occupants (e.g., workers). This doesn’t have to be the scenario occupants are faced with when architects and designers collaborate with TWH professionals on work space design. This presentation describes a new building project where health and well-being considerations were introduced at the very beginning and throughout the design planning process and occupants (academic, faculty, and staff) participated fully through the entire planning phase.

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March 27th, 2024: Workplace Mental Health: Embracing a Population Health Framework 

Leslie Hammer, PhD, Oregon Healthy Workforce Center

This presentation will explore the critical role of healthy leadership in supporting workers’ mental health through a population health framework. The session is designed to provide evidence-based insights and practical guidance on how leaders (i.e., senior leaders, managers, supervisors) can support and protect mental health through proactive and responsive supportive strategies. A review of workplace psychosocial risk factors will be included along with a general discussion about how the workplace is a missing link in understanding and promoting population mental health.

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February 28th, 2024: Work Stressors and Illness in the United States: The Healthy Work Campaign ​

Peter L. Schnall, MD, MPH, Healthy Work Campaign

This webinar summarizes the role of work conditions in the causation of chronic mental and physical illness and describes the work stressors resulting from unhealthy working conditions. Dr. Schnall will present evidence for the role for work stressors in the etiology of hypertension and document their costs. He will also describe steps to prevent these outcomes, drawing from the findings of the Healthy Work Survey developed and utilized by the Healthy Work Campaign.

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November 29th, 2023: The California Artificial Stone and Silicosis (CASS) Project

Kristin Cummings, MD, MPH, and Robert Harrison, MD, MPH, California Department of Public Health and University of California, San Francisco

This presentation will summarize the CASS Project. The overarching aim of this project is to promote respiratory health among vulnerable workers in California’s countertop fabrication industry through education, medical monitoring, and statewide enhanced surveillance. The overall hypothesis of this project is that a multifaceted public health intervention will increase compliance with silica regulations and the detection of silicosis in the contemporary workplaces of California’s countertop fabrication industry.

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October 25th, 2023: The Future of Work is Now: First Results from the California Work and Health Survey

Ed Yelin, PhD, University of California, San Francisco

The California Labor Laboratory has just completed data collection on a comprehensive survey of a large random sample of the State’s working age population. This presentation will highlight results indicating the extent to which alternative and contingent work is prevalent in California and the impact on the well-being of its population.

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September 27th, 2023: Unequal Rights: The Patchwork of State and Local Labor Protections in the U.S

Kristen Harknett, PhD, University of California, San Francisco

Explore a new state and county policy database compiled by the Shift Project, which documents efforts made by states and local governments to expand or curtail protections for workers. Data includes policies affecting wages, schedules, paid time off, COVID-19 safety measures, and some often-overlooked aspects of worker protections such as the rights and protections of transgender and nonbinary workers and undocumented workers. This data offers insight into a changing policy landscape for workers in a polarized legal landscape, and serves as a public resource for labor and policy researchers interested in policy impacts.

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June 28th, 2023: Fired by an App: Rideshare Drivers' Experience with Discrimination, Harassment, and Unfair Termination

Alejandra Domenzain, MA, Nicole Moore, Winifred (Winnie) Kao, Tyler Sandness, Rideshare Drivers United and Asian Law Caucus

What rights do you have when your boss is an algorithm? In the era of app-based work, workers are subjected to surveillance, control, and even termination by systems that can be discriminatory and hard to challenge. “Fired by an App” is a joint report by Rideshare Drivers United and Asian Law Caucus based on their survey of over 800 Uber and Lyft drivers in California about their experiences with deactivation and the ways in which unchecked customer discrimination, bias, and retaliation impact drivers’ pay, benefits, working conditions and ability to work. Join us to hear from impacted drivers and the report’s authors on the report’s findings and recommendations.

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May 24th, 2023: Supporting Healthy Work: Law & Regulation

Walter M. Stella, Cozen O’Connor

This webinar will provide a comprehensive overview of the legal landscape that supports a healthy workplace. Learners will explore how current laws promote and protect employee well-being in the workplace, and identify gaps where additional regulations may be needed. Learners will also discuss practical steps employers can take to promote a healthy workplace, including policies and programs that support total worker health.

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March 22nd, 2023: Reimagining Job Quality Measurement​

Jenny Weissbourd, The Families and Workers Fund

For too long, the US has measured the health of our economy by counting the total number of jobs, not whether these are good, dignified jobs that provide financial stability and a ladder to opportunity. As we rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine our measurement systems to more accurately reflect working peoples’ experiences and aspirations. This presentation will lift up findings from the Reimagining Job Quality Measurement report, including bold, actionable recommendations for government, philanthropy, business, and the nonprofit sector to strengthen how we collect, connect and use data to tell a fuller story about the economy and the experiences of the workers who power it.

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February 22nd, 2023: Improving Worker Health Through Organizational Changes

Glorian Sorensen, PhD, MPH, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard Chan Center for Work, Health and Well-being

Addressing underlying threats of worker safety, health and well-being relies first and foremost on improving the ways work is organized, designed, and managed. Central to such interventions is the focus on work practices, policies and procedures. Organizational interventions may be guided by a conceptual model that can serve as a map of priorities. We will discuss the model developed by the Harvard Center for Work, Health and Well-being, which highlights the importance of conditions of work, including physical, such as chemical and physical exposures, as well as organizational conditions of work such as an increasing pace of work and rising job instability. A case study conducted in the food service industry will be used to illustrate opportunities and challenges to implementing organizational interventions.

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January 25th, 2023: The Home as a Workplace

Eileen Boris, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara

The home has haunted the formulation of global labor standards, including occupational health and safety. At a time when people worldwide have increasingly moved their workplace home, this presentation considers the home as a workplace in two interlocked ways: first, the outsourcing of income generating work to personal homes, and second, domestic and household workers who earn income by going into other people’s homes. This webinar will explore home workplaces in the context of the gig economy, and as the organization of conventional labor unravels. The pandemic has revealed the limits of the home as a place of employment, even as this arrangement gestures to a new world of work. Rather than a progress narrative, Dr. Boris will tell a tale of the return to home-based work with a twist: from outwork as an evil to be eradicated in favor of home-based work, and of home workers as deserving of decent work, like all laborers.

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January 18th, 2023: Home Office Ergonomics Post COVID-19: Carpe Diem

Carisa Harris, PhD, CPE, University of California, San Francisco & Berkeley

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how knowledge work gets done. In early 2022, roughly six in ten U.S. workers with jobs that can be completed from home continue to work from home all or most of the time. As more people work from home than ever before, and as the demand for remote work increases, workplaces continue to find optimal balance for collaborating with colleagues onsite. This presentation will discuss how the pan

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October 26th, 2022: Sweated Labor: Gigwork, Essential Work, and the Wages of Service

Annie McClanahan, PhD, University of California, Irvine

During this webinar, learners will explore the relationship between contemporary “essential work” and the history of sweated labor. A particular focus will be an examination of how pandemic discourse of “essential work” both sentimentalized and heroized predominantly female and non-white service workers. We will also consider the service sector’s reliance on non-hourly wage forms like piece-rate and tips - - both methods of wage payment that have historically been feminized, racialized, and excluded from legal regulation.

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September 28th, 2022: Past as Prologue: How the History of Occupational Illness and Injury Teaches Us About Where We Are Today

Paul Blanc, MD, MSPH, University of California, San Francisco

The history of occupational illness and injury is fundamentally the story of how technological change modifies the ways in which the environment of employment puts workers at risk. Sometimes change makes the environment inherently safer, but all too often there are obvious and not-so-obvious hazards that accompany innovation. History teaches us that steam and pneumatic powered processes in the 19th century dramatically increased worker exposure to silica dust, bringing an epidemic of disease. It is not that silicosis, albeit poorly characterized, hadn’t been present long before, but it had never been on such a scale. Similarly, technological changes have driven the histories of various “trade palsies” as they evolved into modern repetitive strain injuries, from the metal pen nib causing scrivener’s palsy to wall-to-wall carpeting creating carpet layer’s knee to electronic mail sorters inducing carpal tunnel syndrome. History also teaches us how we need guard against the cyclical amnesia that characterizes the recurring recognition then apparent obliviousness and failure to control obvious hazards. Our current “surprise” at the resurgence of silicosis in the artificial stone industry, grinding a material that is nearly 100% crystalline silica, underscores this recurrent pattern. Finally, history teaches us how we should consider the lives and work of the leaders and pioneers of the discipline that we so often laud in the historical reviews. The stories of these figures should not be hagiographies, but rather need to show how these figures used their own experience paired with a critical reception of transmitted wisdom, to advance the field of occupational medicine. The history of occupational medicine is enriching. It is ignored at our own peril.

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June 22nd, 2022: Protecting Essential Workers Beyond the Pandemic: Insights from Research and Organizing

Alejandra Domenzain, MA, Jassy Grewal, Ben Master, University of California, Berkeley

The pandemic has intensified workplace health and safety concerns, while also stirring unprecedented organizing and advocacy to expand worker protections. This webinar will explore what still needs to be done to advance workplace health and safety, with a focus on centering front line, low wage, and immigrant workers. Case studies include lessons from United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), who are winning historic victories for supermarket and retail workers, and insights from SEIU’s Fight for $15, which have led strikes at more than 350 fast food restaurants, with workers going on strike more than 2,300 times during the pandemic.

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April 27th, 2022: Amazon, Warehousing & Health in Inland Southern California: Intersectional Feminist Perspectives and Praxis

Ellen Reese, PhD, and Juliann Allison, PhD, University of California, Riverside

This webinar will address the challenges and prospects for workers’ rights and occupational and environmental health in the age of Amazon and warehousing in Inland Southern California, home to one of the world's largest logistics clusters. Learners will explore more than a decade of predominantly community-based research, including in-depth interviews with 82 current and former Amazon warehouse workers as well as field research on worker and environmental organizing. This presentation will discuss, through an intersectional feminist lens, the exploitative conditions within Amazon and the warehouse industry, and workers’ health and safety concerns both during and prior to the pandemic, from the perspective of warehouse workers, most of whom are Latino, and increasing numbers of whom are women. This presentation will also consider underlying environmental and public health impacts of the warehouse industry, which tends to be concentrated within low-income communities of color, such as Inland Southern California. Public resistance, especially emergent blue-green alliances and intersectional styles of organizing, and legal and legislative strategies to improve the health and safety of warehouse workers and local residents, will also be discussed.

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March 23rd, 2022: Developments from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Household and Payroll Surveys

Patrick Carey, Bureau of Labor Statistics

This webinar will explore recent labor market trends and developments across the United States, and in California, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household and payroll surveys, including supplemental data on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A short update will be given on plans for the next contingent worker supplement to the Current Population Survey, which provides data on the labor force, employment, unemployment, persons not in the labor force, hours of work, earnings, and other demographic and labor force characteristics.

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February 23rd, 2022: Tracking Re-Employment Patterns of Unemployed Workers During the Recovery

Till von Wachter, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

Using administrative earnings and claims data, the California Policy Lab (CPL) has analyzed the outcomes of unemployment insurance claimants through the pandemic in a series of reports. This presentation summarizes highlights from these reports, with particular focus on reemployment patterns during the economic recovery. Among others, this includes how many workers found jobs, how many returned to their previous employers, and how many switched industries, as well as which groups of workers and which geographies most benefited from the recovery.

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