Kiran Mirchandani

Learning, Migration and Precarious Labour

Closing the Employment Standards Enforcement Gap

For the past five years, I have been working with a group of researchers and community organizers on developing new models through which those who work in precarious jobs can be better protected through labour legislation in Ontario. The team is led by Mary Gellatly from Parkdale Legal Services and Leah Vosko, Canada Research Chair in Political Economy of Gender at York University.

Details about the project and our findings are posted on the web site:

close gap book cover

Skilled Immigrants and precarious jobs.

The labour market experience of highly educated immigrants to Canada is another sustained theme in my research.  My colleague, the late Roxana Ng, and I conducted interviews with immigrants working as supermarket cashiers, garment sewers and call center workers in Toronto. The project focused on what and how these workers in precarious jobs learned vis-à-vis power relations (specifically their racialized, gendered, class-structured workplaces), in the context of the constant employment instability they experienced.

Featured In:


Other Publications:

Mirchandani, Kiran and Bromfield, Sheldon (forthcoming). The Entrenchment of Racial Stratification through the Colour-Blind Employment Standards Enforcement Regime in Ontario. Canadian Ethnic Studies.

Mirchandani, Kiran, Mary Jean Hande, and Shelley Condratto (2019). “Complaints-Based Entrepreneurialism: Worker Experiences of the Employment Standards Complaints Process in Ontario, Canada.” The Canadian Review of Sociology 56(3): 347-367.

Mirchandani, Kiran and Bromfield, Sheldon (2019). “Roundabout wage theft: The limits of regulatory protections for Ontario workers in precarious jobs.” Journal of Labor and Society. 1-17.

Perry, J. & *Berlingieri, Adriana & Mirchandani, Kiran. (2019, online version). Precarious work, harassment, and the erosion of employment standards. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal. (2020 for print version with page numbers).

Mirchandani, Kiran, Leah F. Vosko, Urvashi Soni-Sinha, J. Adam Perry, Andrea M. Noack, Rebecca Hall and Mary Gellatly (2018). Methodological K/nots: Designing Research on the Enforcement of Labor Standards. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 12 (2) 133-147.

Mirchandani, K. (2016) The Organization of Service Work.Pp. 348- 364 in Stephen Edgell, Heidi Gottfried and Edward Granter eds. The Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Work and Employment. London: Routledge.

Das Gupta, T., Man, G., Mirchandani, K and Ng, R (2014) “Class Borders: Chinese and South Asian Canadian Professional Women Navigating the Labor Market. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal. 23 (1): 55-83.

Sangha. J. K., Slade, B., Mirchandani, K., Maitra, K., Shan, H. (2012). An Ethnodrama on Work-Related Learning in Precarious Jobs: Racialization and Resistance. Qualitative Inquiry, 18, 3, 286-296

Gellatly, M., Grundy, J., Mirchandani, K., Perry, J.A., Thomas, M., Vosko, L. (2011). Modernizing Employment Standards? Efficiency, Market Regulation, and the Production of the Illegal Claimant in Ontario. The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 22, 2, 81-106.

Mirchandani, K., Ng, R., Coloma-Moya, N., Maitra, S., Rawlings, T., Shan, H., Siddiqui, K., and Slade, B. (2011). The entrenchment of racial categories in precarious employment. In N. Pupo, D. Glenday and A. Duffy (Eds.), The Shifting Landscape of Work (pp. 119-138). Toronto: Nelson Educational Ltd.

Mirchandani, K., Ng, R., Coloma-Moya, N., Maitra, Rawlings, T., Siddiqui, K., Shan, H., Slade, B. (2010). Transitioning into Contingent Work: Immigrants’ Learning and Resistance. In P. Sawchuk and A. Taylor (Eds.), Challenging Transitions in Learning and Work: Reflections on Policy and Practice (231-242). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Mirchandani, K. (2008). Work. In Darity, W. A Jr. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (pp. 121-124). 2nd Edition. Detroit: Macmillan Reference.

Mirchandani, K. (2007). Contradictory Images of Home Based Work. In P. Adler and P. Adler (Eds.), Sociological Odyssey: Contemporary Readings in Introductory Sociology (pp. 359-396). Belmont: Thomson. Reprint.

Mirchandani, K. and Butler, A. (2006). Beyond Inclusion and Equity: Contributions from Transnational Anti-Racist Feminism. In A.M. Konrad, P. Prasad and J. Pringle (Eds.), Handbook of Workplace Diversity (pp. 475-488). London: Sage.

Mirchandani, K. (2006). Gender Eclipsed?: Racial Hierarchies in Transnational Call Centres. Social Justice, 32, 4, 105-119.

Mirchandani, K. Ng, R, Sangha, J., Rawlings, T., and Coloma-Moya, N. (2005). Ambivalent Learning: Racialized Barriers to Computer Access for Immigrant Contingent Workers. The Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 19, 2, 14-33.

Mirchandani, K. (2005). Women Entrepreneurs: Exploring New Avenues. In S. Fielden and M. Davidson (Eds.) International Handbook of Women and Small Business Entrepreneurship (pp. 253-263).  Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Mirchandani, K. (2003). Challenging Racial Silences in Studies of Emotion Work: Contributions from Anti-Racist Feminist Theory. Organization Studies, 24, 5, 721-742.

Mirchandani, K. (2002). A Special Kind of Exclusion: Race, Gender and Self-Employment. Atlantis, 27, 1, 25-38.

Mirchandani, K.  (2000). “The Best of Both Worlds” and “Cutting my Own Throat”: Contradictory Images of Home-Based Work. Qualitative Sociology, 23, 2, 159-182.

Mirchandani, K. and Tastsoglou, E. (2000). Towards a Diversity Beyond Tolerance. Studies in Political Economy, 61, 49-78.

Mirchandani, K. (1999). Feminist Insight on Gendered Work: New Directions in Research on Women and Entrepreneurship. Gender, Work and Organization, 6, 4, 224-235.

Mirchandani, K. (1999). Legitimizing Work: Telework and the Gendered Reification of the Work-Nonwork Dichotomy. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 36, 1, 87-107.

Mirchandani, K. (1998). Shifting Definitions of the Public-Private Dichotomy: Legislative Inertia on Garment Homework in Ontario. Advances in Gender Research, 3, 47-71.

Mirchandani, K. (1998). Protecting the Boundary: Teleworker Insights on the Expansive Concept of “Work”. Gender & Society, 12, 2,168-187.