Minimum-wage violations are, for instance, suuuper common in fast food.
Steven Greenhouse shows why it's such a shame he's leaving the New York Times
(more on that below), with a story on what he politely calls "minimum-wage violations
" and others would call wage theft:
The United States Labor Department says that a new study shows that between 3.5 and 6.5 percent of all the wage and salary workers in California and New York are paid less than the minimum wage. [...]
The minimum-wage violations in those two states translate into $20 million to $29 million in lost income per week, the study concluded. Those amounts represent 38 percent of the income of the victimized workers in New York and 49 percent of the income of victimized workers in California.
This has material consequences, as workers who are not paid what they are legally owed are impoverished by these violations of wage laws, and are in turn forced to rely more heavily on government assistance. There's also a fundamental question of respect, for the workers and their time, and for the laws of this nation that say employers are required to pay the minimum wage and, where applicable, overtime.
And we need more reporters covering stories like this instead of centering economic reporting on bosses and billionaires, which is why—circling back to where I started—it's such a shame to see the Times lose Greenhouse.
More of the week's labor and education news below the fold.
A fair day's wage
- Is this how you want the driver of a train to show up at work?
In a survey of freight train operators conducted by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, 96 percent said they had gone to work tired. More alarmingly, three-quarters said they fell asleep while working—in the previous month. Among those who, like Proudlock, turned down jobs because of fatigue, 43 percent said they faced investigation or discipline.
- Here's a preview of what's sure to be an ongoing story: Illinois public workers vs. Bruce Rauner.
- At the hotel Harvard University owns, Harvard is just another crappy boss, but Lydia DePillis uses the situation to highlight how inequality works even within a building or an industry.
- This is really sad news for labor coverage in the United States: The New York Times' Steven Greenhouse is taking a buyout. He's a great reporter, and there aren't enough labor reporters at major newspapers, and he will be missed.
- A Capital Bikeshare worker was fired for union organizing. The company claims the man was a supervisor not legally allowed to unionize; he obviously disagrees.
- Kentucky to teacher: No, you can't find out what's going on with your retirement funds.
- Whatevs, it's just people's paychecks.
- Kevin Drum argues Black Friday now just another opportunity to mock the poor. I'm pretty sure it's not just that, but that's an uncomfortable component of the criticism of Black Friday, I agree.