I am honored to announce that my paper that I co-authored with Adriana Alvarado Garcia and Jessica Despard titled, “Low-Wage Precarious Workers’ Sociotechnical Practices Working Towards Addressing Wage Theft” has received an Honorable Mention Award at CHI 2017! I am really excited about this paper and I hope others in our community enjoy it as well!
Citation: Lynn Dombrowski, Adriana Alvarado Garcia, and Jessica Despard. 2017. Low-Wage Precarious Workers’ Sociotechnical Practices Working Towards Addressing Wage Theft. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 4585-4598. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3025453.3025633
Abstract: Nearly 40 million workers in the USA, a third of the working population, are low-wage, meaning they make less than $11.65 per hour. These workers face the pervasive and detrimental challenge of wage violations, also known as wage theft, which is any illegal activity by an employer that denies benefits or wages to employees. We interviewed 24 low-wage workers who experienced wage theft and sought justice about their work practices, challenges, and information technology usage. Based on these interviews, we identify three key sociotechnical practices these workers engaged in to address their wage theft: 1) identifying wage and payment discrepancies; 2) tracking and documenting work; and 3) pursuing wage claims. Seeking to leverage HCI research to interrupt uneven social, economic, and information relations in the low-wage workplace, we ultimately reflect on the possibility and limits of several key design recommendations.