We all do better when we all do better

The recent Report issued by the National Employment Law Project, “The Growing Movement For 15,” documents the increasing successes in obtaining a living wage for employees around the country. In the process, the Report provides a compelling reminder of how unequal the nation still remains and, moreover, why wage disparity is fundamentally a civil rights issue:

  • 42 percent of employees make less than $15 per hour, and they are disproportionately women and people of color;
  • More than 50 percent of African-American employees and nearly 60 percent of Latino employees make less than $15 per hour; and
  • The overwhelming majority of fast-food employees – in fact, 96 percent – make less than $15 per hour.

Recent polling also shows that securing wages of at least $15 per hour and Union rights are two key issues that will inspire unlikely voters to vote in the 2016 election cycle. Such insight should inform office holders and challengers alike as the election season ensues and, more to the point, after those who are elected or re-elected take office. As illustrated by the ever-expanding fast-food strikes – which occurred in over 300 cities across the country in early November 2015 – the community has become increasingly impatient with the persistent inaction by certain government officials and other policy-makers when it comes to securing workplace fairness for all.