Ethnic Disparities Found in Compensation for Injured Construction Workers

By Roberto Ceniceros

Oct. 16, 2012

White, non-Hispanic construction workers receive larger workers’ compensation settlements despite sustaining equivalent or lower disabilities than their black or Hispanic counterparts, new research concludes.

The researchers from the University of Chicago School of Public Health, whose study was published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, sought to assess ethnic disparities in compensation among construction workers injured on the job.

They found a disparity averaging around $6,000 despite controlling for issues such as injury type and average weekly wage.

The study of 1,039 cases does not explain the reason for the disparity, although the researchers said bias or prejudice are a possibility, as are differences in knowledge about how the compensation system works.

Roberto Ceniceros writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. Comment below or email

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Roberto Ceniceros writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management.

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