UMass Amherst Alumna Michele Evermore Named to Newly Created U.S. Labor Department Role

Alumna Michele Evermore, who earned her master’s degree in labor studies from UMass Amherst in 2016, has been appointed by the Biden administration to a newly created role at the U.S. Labor Department as senior advisor on unemployment insurance, a position within the department’s Employment and Training Administration.

New Working Paper! At the Frontlines of the Debate on Masks: Worker Experiences Enforcing COVID-19 Safety Protocols

This research examines the experiences of workers in six states as they are asked to confront a public with mixed feelings about wearing masks and complying with other COVID-19 safety recommendations like social distancing. The research draws from a survey of 2,300 employees working in person the week of July 5th, which was near the height of the summer surge.

Read the report here

New Research on Wage Theft at the North Square Apartments in Amherst, MA

New reserach by Tom Juravich examines construction practices at the North Square apartments in Amherst, Massachusetts. Based on over a dozen in-depth interviews with workers and staff from the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters (NASRCC), as well as a review of corporate and legal documents, it reveals that major wage theft took place with workers who installed drywall at the complex.

Labor Center Working Paper on Health and Safety of Essential Workers During the COVID Pandemic

Six weeks into the COVID-19 shutdown, University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers surveyed over 2,500 essential workers about their working conditions. These workers who are supporting their communities through the pandemic felt stressed, unsafe, and financially insecure. These data come from Massachusetts only, but are instructive for how we should be thinking about policy responses in the reopening phase and beyond.

Read the full report here

New Research from UMass Labor Center used by Maine State Legislature

Research conducted by the UMass Labor Center was introduced in hearings in the Maine state legislature. Hearings were held on January 22, 2020 on LD 1969, “An Act to Protect State Workers from Exposure to Carcinogens,” sponsored by State Representative Thom Harnett. A research report by Labor Center graduate student Adam Caplan-Bricker and Professor Tom Juravich “The Failure of Asbestos Monitoring in Maine State Buildings: The Case for the Creation of a Tracking and Monitoring System,” was introduced and discussed during the hearing.