There is currently proposed legislation for a higher minimum wage at both the state and federal level. But some of the fastest growing fields, like home care and restaurant workers, aren’t included in the federal minimum wage. WBEZ’s Front and Center series, Exceptions to the Rule, introduces you to people who aren’t protected by the same labor laws as everyone else.
Labor laws allow workers with disabilities to earn less than minimum wage
At a recent job, Michael Grice earned less than a dollar an hour for manual work. His wages were legal under a federal license held by over 100 Illinois organizations. Read the full story here.
Tipped off: Restaurant workers left out of minimum wage
Over 3 million people in the U.S. work in a tipped job. Many of them are in restaurant work, one of the fastest growing industries in Chicago. But as the restaurant industry has grown, wages have not. That’s in part due to the laws around tipped workers. Read the full story here.
Underpaid, exploited, and living in our homes
Home care workers often work long hours, without rest breaks, and earn less than minimum wage. Read the full story here. *a correction and clarification was added to this story.
Recently WBEZ combined forces with the Jane Addams Hull House Museum to create an exhibition of artifacts and personal experiences unique to workers excluded from wage laws. See the results in this online museum.