Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Elf's Lament: Don't Forget The Underpaid Workers This Holiday Season

If you're like me, you're probably doing some last minute holiday shopping. While you're loading up on gifts at one of those mega-stores open 24 hours or on holidays, remember that more than 1 in 10 Americans who work full time are still poor. You're probably handing your credit card to someone who lives below the poverty line. About 1 in 4 private sector jobs pays below $10/hour.

I'm on vacation, so rather than make my argument I'll let someone else do it for me. You can even listen to my favorite pro-employee Christmas song, Elf's Lament (about the travails of Santa's workers), embedded above, while you read these. Take a look at this article on why It's Not OK That Your Employees Can't Afford To Eat. And then ponder Pope Francis's snappy retort to Rush and friends who called him a Marxist when he spoke out about the evils of trickle down economics: "The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor."

So, enjoy your family holiday celebrations, drink some eggnog, and toast to the workers who made your holiday celebration possible. Then let's  resolve to follow the good examples set by SeaTac, Washington, New Jersey, California and other American cities and states and raise the minimum wage to a living wage.

Happy holidays!

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I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.