Milkman's research focuses on work and organized labor in the U.S., past and present. Key themes in her writing include gender and labor, immigration and labor, work-family policy, and low-wage labor issues.
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.
Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy (with Eileen Appelbaum) (Cornell University Press, 2013).
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.
Reports on surveys of employers and workers in California about their experiences with the state’s paid family leave program, which began in 2004. Finds that the feared negative impact on employers did not materialize and that workers who used the program benefit from it.
Joint Report of the National Employment Law Project, the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, and the Center for Urban Economic Development, and the University of Illinois at Chicago
, April 30, 2009.
Uses an innovative methodology to analyze the rates of wage theft (payment below the legal minimum wage), violations of overtime pay laws, and other workplace violations in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
L.A Story: Immigrant Workers and the Future of the U.S. Labor Movement (Russell Sage Foundation, 2006).
Documents the casualization and deunionization of blue-collar work in four industries (trucking, construction, garments, and building services) and how that led to the shift from U.S.-born to immigrant employment. Analyzes as well the unexpected rise of union organizing among immigrants in the 1990s and 2000s, comparing successful and unsuccessful unionization drives.
Farewell to the Factory: Auto Workers in the Late Twentieth Century (University of California Press, 1997).
Offers a case study of industrial restructuring and its impact on workers and their union, focused on a New Jersey General Motors assembly plant.
Gender at Work: The Dynamics of Job Segregation by Sex during World War II (University of Illinois Press, 1987).
Studies the ways in which job segregation by sex is reproduced under a variety of historical conditions, including depression and war. Focuses on the U.S. automobile and electrical manufacturing industries, examining the ways in which managers, workers and unions approach gender in the workplace.