The Worker Institute brings together researchers, educators and students with practitioners in labor, business and policymaking to address issues related to confronting systemic inequality and building a fair economy, robust democracy and just society. We will share opinion, analysis, research, data, insights and training from our faculty and staff.
Reports and Publications
Assessing the Impact of Prevailing Wage Benefits on Workers, Contractors, and the New York City Economy
This research report illustrates how PW laws might make union construction labor more cost effective than non-union construction labor for PW jobs.
Unpaid Care Work and Its Impact on New Yorkers' Paid Employment
To explore current patterns of unpaid caregiving and its impact on New Yorkers’ paid employment, the Worker Institute has published a policy brief sharing relevant findings from the 2022 Empire State Poll, carried out by the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR).
This report explores these themes and discusses how policymakers, practitioners, and advocates are addressing the inequities in three sectors: the child care economy, the clean energy economy, and the construction trades, as presented in the Equity in focus—Job Creation for a Just Society series.
This report explores the effects that privatization and austerity have had on mental healthcare capacity in NYS & the employment & wages of public sector mental health workers. Research finds that the public sector mental healthcare workforce & the state’s mental healthcare capacity have decreased significantly between 1990 & 2021.
The Impact of Sexual Harassment and Gendered Violence on Workers in New York State
Workplace sexual harassment and violence have been put under the spotlight during the past five years, heightening public awareness of how pervasive these issues are. Amid this increased attention, policymakers, employers, and unions continue to grapple with the question of how to effectively respond.
The ILR Worker Institute released a report in April 2022 entitled Unvarnished: Precarity and Poor Working Conditions for Nail Salon Workers in New York State that detailed the poor working conditions and low wages that nail salon workers in New York State face.
New study documents low wages and precarity of nail salon workers in New York State despite recent legislation
“Unvarnished: Precarity and Poor Working Conditions for Nail Salon Workers in New York State,” highlights the challenges of raising standards in the nail salon industry and also calls attention to the role of worker organizing and advocacy in driving industry change.
In 2021 the ILR School began tracking the scope of labor unrest in the United States. Today, the Worker Institute and Cornell ILR School released the first ILR Labor Action Tracker Annual Report, which presents key findings on work stoppages for 2021.
New Book on Managing with Labor's Values by Ken Margolies
Each staff person has different history, experience, personality, behavioral styles, culture, and motivation. Managers need to know their staff well so they can determine the best ways to help them be successful.
A New Report from The Worker Institute and Climate Jobs NY Outlines a Climate Jobs Agenda for New York City Communities
— A new report released today by climate and labor experts at Cornell University in collaboration with Climate Jobs NY examines the impact of climate breakdown and the pandemic on NYC workers and frontline communities.
New Report Details how Rhode Island Can Create a Clean-Energy, Worker-Centered Economy
A new report released today by climate and labor experts at Cornell University in collaboration with the Climate Jobs Rhode Island Coalition outlines a comprehensive climate jobs action plan to put Rhode Island on the path to building an equitable and resilient clean-energy economy.
New study documents workplace sexual harassment and violence in California janitorial industry
Today, the Worker Institute at Cornell ILR released a new report that documents experiences of workplace sexual harassment in the California janitorial industry, as well as the conditions that hinder reporting and impose silence.
Estimating and Understanding Bridgeport Public School Emissions through a Carbon-Free Healthy Schools Tool
Researchers from the Labor Leading on Climate team in collaboration with Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs recently developed a geospatial dashboard to analyze Bridgeport Public School District environmental health issues while calculating potential emissions. This tool was made to support the Connecticut Carbon-Free Healthy School initiative.
A ride-service program for homecare workers in Upstate New York during the pandemic provided substantial financial benefits and improved their quality of life, says a new report from the Worker Institute's Equity at Work Initiative.
First of its kind industry report shows New York City’s App-based delivery workers experience harsh working conditions
Los Deliveristas / Worker's Justice Project and Cornell ILR’s Worker Institute released a new report titled, “Essential but Unprotected: App-based Food Couriers in New York City.” The report examines the harsh and unregulated working conditions of app-based delivery workers engaged by digital platforms.
New Report: New Yorkers Indicate That Retaliation Prevents Them From Exposing Workplace Dangers
Workers in NY are more likely than those in the rest of the country to feel pressure to refrain from reporting workplace problems such as sexual harassment and health and safety violations to avoid employer retaliation, according to analysis from the National Employment Law Project and the Worker Institute.
Texas Unions Launch Major Effort to Combat Climate Change, Tackle Inequality in US Energy Capital
A new report by climate and labor experts at Cornell University, Northeastern University, and Occidental College, in consultation with 27 Texas labor unions, accompanied the launch and outlays out a comprehensive climate jobs action plan to put Texas on the path to building an equitable clean-energy economy.
Combatting Climate Change, Reversing Inequality: A Climate Jobs Program for Texas
The Worker Institute’s Labor Leading on Climate launches report that examines the crises of inequality and climate change in Texas and makes a series of “climate jobs” recommendations that can help Texas simultaneously combat climate change, create high-quality jobs, and build more equitable and resilient communities.
In collaboration with the Gender Policy Report, researchers at the The Worker Institute co-authored a new report that provides guidance on several measures and principles they say should be built into any new child care, long-term care and health care investments in order to drive greater equity.
Quid Pro Quo Workplace Sexual Harassment Widespread Across New York State
Results from Cornell Survey Research Institute’s annual Empire State Poll find 1 in 10 adult New Yorkers report experiencing “someone in a position of authority at their workplace trying to trade job benefits for sexual favors.”
– A new report released today by researchers from the Worker Institute at Cornell University’s ILR School found that 10.9 percent of New York residents—12.2 percent of women and 9.5 percent of men—report having experienced quid pro quo workplace sexual harassment at some point in their careers.
Are labor unions the answer to improving conditions for low-wage and “precarious” workers? These are among the questions examined in a book co-edited by ILR Associate Professor of Comparative Employment Relations Virginia Doellgast.
“State of the Artist: Challenges to the New York State Arts & Entertainment Industry and Its Workforce” was funded by the New York State Legislature. The study was built on a 2007 ILR School report funded by the Empire State Development Corp.