Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Milkman is a sociologist of labor and labor movements who has written on a variety of topics involving work and organized labor in the United States, past and present. Recently she has written extensively about low-wage immigrant workers in the U.S., analyzing their employment conditions as well as the dynamics of immigrant labor organizing. She helped lead a multi-city team that produced a widely publicized 2009 study documenting the prevalence of wage theft and violations of other workplace laws in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. She also co-authored a study of California’s paid family leave program, focusing on its impact on employers and workers. After 21 years as a sociology professor at UCLA, where she directed the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment from 2001 to 2008, she returned to New York City in 2010. She is currently a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, where she teaches Labor Studies and also serves as Research Director.
Examines the experiences of Connecticut employers with the state’s paid sick leave law. Discusses a survey of 251 Connecticut employers covered by the new law using a size-stratified random sample a year and a half after the law went into effect.
Documents the history and impact of California's paid family leave program. Draws on original data from fieldwork and surveys of employers, workers, and the larger California adult population. Analyzes the effect of the state’s landmark paid family leave on employers and workers. Explores the implications of California’s decade-long experience with paid family leave for the nation.
Milkman has been interviewed frequently by NPR and other media on labor and immigration issues. Her co-authored study of unprotected workers received extensive coverage. Other contributions include: