Podcast episode: Supporting low-wage, essential workers during COVID

Coffee shop worker behind counter smiling

In our latest podcast episode, we highlight a 2021 Fall Symposium talk from Dr. Tori Crain. Dr. Crain addressed the topic of supporting low-wage essential workers’ nonwork life during the pandemic and the numerous stressors they have faced and are still facing.

Although much of the focus during the pandemic has been on the experiences of healthcare workers, essential vulnerable workers in other industries have not received the same attention. This talk highlighted obstacles faced by essential, lower-wage shift workers, with a specific focus on the work-life challenges of fast-food workers whose experiences can be generalized to other vulnerable occupational groups.

Additionally, Dr. Crain shared strategies on supportive solutions that organizations and supervisors can explore, which have been generated from in-depth interview studies conducted during the pandemic with these essential workers and supervisors.

Image of What's Work Got To Do With It? podcast logo with photo of fast food workers. Work-Life Challenges and Integration in the Context of COVID

Dr. Tori Crain is an Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology at Portland State University. Her research is focused on the diverse work-nonwork experiences of underrepresented and vulnerable workers, especially in industries and occupations that are high risk, where health and safety protections are less common, and where discriminatory practices are often at play. She has worked with a variety of union and industry partners, including construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and the gig economy, with the goal of increasing support and equity for workers and their families.

To learn more about Dr. Crain’s research, visit Dr. Crain’s Lab website

Dr. Crain was a guest speaker during our 2021 Fall Symposium. She spoke on the topic, ” Supporting Low-Wage, Essential Workers’ Nonwork Life in the Context of COVID-19.”

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