UCLA Labor Center

Project Publications

The Fast-Food Industry and COVID-19 in Los Angeles


This study finds that working conditions in the Los Angeles fast-food industry lead to an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission in communities of color, and $1.2 billion in public costs as a result of low wages that have plagued the industry for years. It will be followed by a second report on fast-food workers in summer 2021.

Profile of Domestic Workers in California


This report provides a profile of domestic workers in California—who they are, where they live and work, and the economic vulnerabilities they face.

Worker Ownership, COVID-19, and the Future of the Gig Economy


This report finds that gig workers in California have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic and worker ownership could help remedy this crisis in the gig economy.

Union Values and LGBTQ+ Worker Experiences: A Survey of UFCW Workers in the United States and Canada


This report finds that advocacy efforts by rank-and-file members of the United Food and Commercial Workers broadly support union organizing for safer and more equitable workplaces for LGBTQ workers in the U.S. and Canada, but the fight toward ending workplace discrimination is far from over.

Workers and Learners during a Global Pandemic and Social Uprising


This research brief documents how the academic, employment, and life experiences of workers and learners changed since the onset of the COVID-19 global health crisis.

Workers as Health Monitors in LA County


This report finds that LA County’s proposed public safety councils at workplaces offer a cost-effective strategy to combat the spread of COVID19 and help speed LA’s economic recovery.

A Survey of Nail Salon Workers and Owners in California During COVID-19


This new study finds that nail salon owners and workers face significant stress and economic hardship as they anticipate reopening in California.

I Am a #Young Worker – Young Workers Animated for Change Workshop and Classroom Guide


This curriculum serves as a guide for the UCLA Labor Center’s animated short film, I am a #YoungWorker.

Young Workers in California: A Snapshot


This report analyzes the state of young workers throughout California, with a focus on the industries in which they are concentrated. The related curriculum is designed for teachers, organizers, trainers, and educators to unpack issues faced by young workers.

California’s Hero Labor Law: The Private Attorneys General Act Fights Wage Theft and Recovers Millions from Lawbreaking Corporations


PAGA empowers workers to defend their labor rights, collecting millions for the workers, plus funding enforcement.

Work, Pay, or Go to Jail: Court-Ordered Community Service in Los Angeles


First in-depth empirical study of court-ordered community service.

Learning Together! An Innovative Tutoring Program for Low-wage Janitor, Garment, and Domestic Worker Children


Learn about the impact of our innovative tutoring model and the Parent Worker Project.

Nail Files: A Study of Nail Salon Workers and Industry in the United States


First national study of labor conditions in multi-billion dollar nail salon industry.

More Than a Gig: A Survey of Ride-Hailing Drivers in Los Angeles


This report is the first comprehensive study of drivers working for transportation networking companies in Los Angeles County.

Know Your Top Fair Housing Rights


This multilingual educational booklet highlights housing rights and protections in California, as well as prohibitions against discrimination.

Hour Crisis: Unstable Schedules in the Los Angeles Retail Sector


This report is the first comprehensive study conducted in Los Angeles that details the adverse impacts of unpredictable scheduling on the city’s 140,000+ retail workers.

Struggles and Support: California’s Homecare Employers


As of 2015, half a million Californians employed homecare workers. This study provides an understanding of homecare employers’ challenges, needs and employment practices in California.

Ready to Work, Uprooting Inequity: Black Workers in California


A new research brief explores the experience of the Black community in California through a labor and employment lens. As a result of widening inequality and a glaring lack of economic opportunities, California is in the throes of a Black jobs crisis.

Ready to Work, Uprooting Inequity: Black Workers in Los Angeles County


As a result of a lack of economic opportunities, widening inequality, and rising housing costs, the Black community in Los Angeles is experiencing a jobs crisis. This report considers how the lack of access to quality jobs is adversely impacting the community and draws a portrait of the challenges that Black workers in Los Angeles face.

Juggling Time: Young Workers and Scheduling Practices in the Los Angeles Service Sector


Young workers are a vibrant and critical part of the Los Angeles County service economy. Expanding on the findings of the I am a #YOUNGWORKER report, this report finds that young workers experience erratic scheduling practices, such as unpredictable schedules, lack of advance notice, lack of input, and on-call scheduling.

Dirty Threads, Dangerous Factories: Health and Safety in Los Angeles’ Fashion Industry


Los Angeles houses the largest cut and sew apparel base in the U.S. and is the center of the country’s garment manufacturing industry. This report provides insights into the health, safety and environmental conditions of these garment factories. The report was based upon 307 surveys with garment workers in 2015.

Profile, Practices and Needs of California’s Domestic Work Employers


The first statewide study of California’s domestic work employers, this report explores who domestic work employers are. Based on 501 randomly-dialed phone surveys throughout the state, this study provides demographic and household details, as well as an understanding of the employment practices and needs of domestic employers.

Get to Work or Go To Jail


This report explores the ways in which the criminal justice system can also lock workers on probation, parole, facing court-ordered debt, or child support debt into bad jobs. Because these workers face the threat of incarceration for unemployment, the report finds that they cannot afford to refuse a job, quit a job, or to challenge their employers.

Conveying Carwash Owner’s Stories


“Conveying Carwash Owners’ Stories: Competition, Diversity and Growth in the Southern California Carwash Industry,” a study- the first of its kind, provides an introduction to the industry, its owners, and the opportunities for this industry in Southern California.



Young people work to live, not to play. Study that reveals precarious conditions young workers experience in Los Angeles.

Young Workers in Los Angeles: A Snapshot


Young Workers in Los Angeles: A Snapshot analyzes census data on young people between the ages of 18 and 29 working across Los Angeles County.

Stitching Together a Story: Workshop and Classroom Guide


This guide is a companion to Re:Work radio’s episode Los Callejones, which provides a framework for workshops and classrooms to build storytelling skills while learning about the issues related to the garment industry.

Policy Brief: Ridesharing or Ridestealing?


This policy brief analyzes Los Angeles Department of Transportation taxi meter data from 2009 to 2014. The findings describe the economic impact of companies like Uber and Lyft on Los Angeles’s taxi industry.

Building a Movement Together: Workers Centers and Labor Union Affiliations


Through interviews and surveys with worker centers and union leadership, this report evaluates the affiliation process and establishes recommendations for the AFL-CIO on how to expand and strengthen them.

Hanging by a Thread! Los Angeles Garment Workers’ Struggle to Access Quality Care for their Children


The report documents findings from a worker-led study, in which Garment Worker Center members, and student supporters, conducted a survey with local garment workers about their child care needs and the barriers they encounter. 

Currículo para las Trabajadoras del Hogar


Nuestros Derechos como Trabajadoras del Hogar: Educación Popular para un Cambio Laboral is a popular education curriculum for domestic workers who are seeking to organize and know their rights.

Los Angeles Rising: A City That Works for Everyone


A report from the Economic Roundtable, the UCLA Labor Center, and the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment assesses the benefits and consequences of raising Los Angeles’s minimum wage to $15.25.

El Estado Laboral 20 Años Después del TLCAN


Un reporte por David Bacon que destaca las perspectivas de líderes laborales de México, Estados Unidos, y Canadá sobre el futuro del trabajo.

Health Impact Assessment of the Proposed Los Angeles Wage Theft Ordinance


Human Impact Partners examines the health impact of wage theft in the city of Los Angeles. A partnership with the Los Angeles Coalition Against Wage Theft.

Orange County on the Cusp of Change


This reports explores the demographic, economic and political changes happening in Orange County.

ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities


Low-wage workers experience labor violations regardless of their occupation or industry work. Therefore, this research project conducted by the wage theft report identifies policy efforts that would improve the conditions of low-wage workers.

Exploring Targeted Hire: An Assessment of Best Practices in the Construction Industry


A comparative study of targeted hire initiatives based on 14 in-depth case studies of project labor agreements and ordinances, as well as a scan of 20 examples of other targeted hire initiatives.

Hollow Victories: The Crisis in Collecting Unpaid Wages for California’s Workers


This report examines the challenges that workers have in recovering their hard-earned wages after winning a judgement in a wage theft case.

Left Behind: The Impact of Secession on Low-Income Residents and Workers in the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood


This study looks specifically at what could happen to the low-income residents of the Valley and Hollywood, and the public employees who currently serve those areas if the Valley and Hollywood secede from Los Angeles.

Diversity and Change: Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers


In this report, we provide a statistical overview of the AAPI workforce in the United States. Wage inequality has been increasing within the AAPI workforce at an even faster rate than in the rest of the economy.

Loncheras: A Look at the Stationary Food Trucks of Los Angeles


Loncheras, or stationary food trucks, are predominantly microenterprises owned and operated by Latino families in their own neighborhoods, contributing to their communities’ economic development by keeping profits local.

Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: Report from the First National Asian Pacific American Workers’ Rights Hearing


Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence documents findings from the first National Asian Pacific American Workers’ Rights Hearing, a historic gathering of over 200 Asian American and Pacific Islander trade unionists and community allies.

Wage Theft and Workplace Violations in Los Angeles


This report focuses on the results of a survey of more than 4,000 workers in low-wage industries. Among its findings, every week in Los Angeles low-wage workers lose $26.2 million dollars in wage theft violations.

Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers


A landmark survey of 4,387 workers in low-wage industries in the three largest U.S. cities—Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. The first national study on wage theft.

Summary Report: Asian Pacific Islander Workers Hearing


In 2002, the first ever California State Assembly Hearing on Asian Pacific Islander Workers brought together Asian Pacific Islander workers and advocates from all over California. This report synthesizes the issues and recommendations for workers, advocates, legislators, and communities.