Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 707–714 | Cite as

Ethics and the Compensation of Immigrant Workers for Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

  • Sylvie Gravel
  • Bilkis Vissandjée
  • Katherine Lippel
  • Jean-Marc Brodeur
  • Louis Patry
  • François Champagne
Review Article

Abstract

This paper examines the compensation process for work-related injuries and illnesses by assessing the trajectories of a sample of immigrant and non-immigrant workers (n = 104) in Montreal. Workers were interviewed to analyze the complexity associated with the compensation process. Experts specialized in compensation issues assessed the difficulty of the interviewees’ compensation process. Immigrant workers faced greater difficulties with medical, legal, and administrative issues than non-immigrants did. While immigrant workers’ claim forms tended to be written more often by employers or friends (58% vs. 8%), the claims were still more often contested by employers (64% vs. 24%). Immigrant workers were less likely to obtain a precise diagnosis (64% vs. 42%) and upon returning to work were more likely to face sub-optimal conditions. Such results throw into relief issues of ethics and equity in host societies that are building their economy with migrant workers.

Keywords

Immigrant workers Occupational injuries Compensation Social inequalities Impoverishment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvie Gravel
    • 1
  • Bilkis Vissandjée
    • 2
  • Katherine Lippel
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jean-Marc Brodeur
    • 5
  • Louis Patry
    • 6
  • François Champagne
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Management, Business SchoolQuebec University at Montreal, Interuniversity Research Center on integration and immigration MetropolisMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of NursingMontreal UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Department of Law, Center for the Study of Interactions between Health and Environment (Cinbiose)Quebec University in MontrealMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Department of Social and Preventive MedicineInterdisciplinary Research Group on Health (GRIS), University of MontrealMontrealCanada
  6. 6.Department of Occupational HealthMcGill University, Occupational Health and Safety, Public Health Division of MontrealMontrealCanada
  7. 7.Department of Health AdministrationInterdisciplinary Research Group on Health (GRIS), University of MontrealMontrealCanada

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