worker center

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In February 2015, a group of 7-Eleven night shift workers in Buffalo, New York, filed a complaint with OSHA. Sick of enduring regular bouts of verbal harassment, racial slurs and even death threats from customers — threats they often experienced while working alone with no security guard — they hoped OSHA could help bring about safer working conditions. Unfortunately, the agency decided not to investigate.

After 18 years as a professional house cleaner in the suburbs of Chicago, Magdalena Zylinska says she feels very lucky. Unlike many of her fellow domestic workers, she hasn’t sustained any serious injuries.

Two years ago, domestic workers in Houston, Texas, took part in the first national survey documenting the conditions they face on the job. The experience — a process of shedding light on the often isolating and invisible world of domestic work — was so moving that Houston workers decided they didn’t want to stop there. Instead, they decided it was time to put their personal stories to paper.