In a Day’s Work

The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers

An acclaimed journalist investigates sexual assault against the invisible workers who are an essential part of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements

“When they know they can have some type of security, some kind of protection, then they’ll come forth. But it takes a lot. It takes a lot.” —Dolores Huerta, United Farm Workers co-founder

Apple orchards in bucolic Washington State. Office parks in Southern California under cover of night. The home of an elderly man in Miami. These are some of the workplaces where female workers have suffered brutal sexual assault and shocking harassment at the hands of their employers, often with little or no official recourse. In this harrowing yet often inspiring tale, investigative journalist Bernice Yeung exposes the epidemic of sexual violence levied against women farmworkers, domestic workers, and janitorial workers and charts their quest for justice in the workplace.

Yeung takes readers on a journey across the country, introducing us to women who came to America to escape grinding poverty only to encounter sexual violence in the United States. In a Day’s Work exposes the underbelly of economies filled with employers who take advantage of immigrant women’s need to earn a basic living. When these women find the courage to speak up, Yeung reveals, they are too often met by apathetic bosses and underresourced government agencies. But In a Day’s Work also tells a story of resistance, introducing a group of courageous allies who challenge dangerous and discriminatory workplace conditions alongside aggrieved workers—and win. Moving and inspiring, this book will change our understanding of the lives of immigrant women.

Praise

In a Day’s Work is exactly what I’ve been waiting for—some serious attention to the great majority of sexual harassment victims, who aren’t Hollywood stars but the low-paid women whom we depend on to pick farm produce, clean offices, and care for our children. Bernice Yeung’s scalding exposé should dramatically affect the way we see women’s abuse in the workplace.”
—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
“[Yeung] tells compelling stories that illustrate systemic problems without reducing people to mere players in a legal argument. She skillfully knits case studies into rigorous policy analysis. Most important, Yeung traces paths toward progress beyond merely raising awareness. . . . In a Day’s Work shows that in fact we are in control of what happens next: With vigorous reporting, we can parlay the momentum of #MeToo into real systemic change. To do that, it is urgently necessary to support the efforts of America’s most vulnerable workers, who are already leading the way, for the collective good.”
—Tara Murtha, The Washington Post
In a Day’s Work is a must-read for all who believe time’s up on abusive employment practices for all workers. Yeung shows us through these courageous stories that the time to change the balance of power is now.”
—Saru Jayaraman, author of Behind the Kitchen Door

News and Reviews

On Point on WBUR

Listen to Bernice Yeung, Erica Morales and Lilia Garcia discuss janitorial workers fighting for and winning protections against harassment.

Shondaland

Interview with Bernice Yeung about In a Day’s Work and her experience reporting on this.

Splinter

Bernice Yeung talks to Clio Chang for Splinter about sexual harassment in low-wage industries, the challenges organized labor faces in addressing this issue, and how the women she spoke to feel about the Me Too movement.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Bernice Yeung

Bernice Yeung is an award-winning journalist for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting covering race, gender, and issues related to violence aga

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