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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:15pm
Fri Feb 20, 2015

Report: 2014 Wages Stayed Flat Or Declined For Almost All U.S. Workers

Real hourly wages remained flat or fell for nearly all U.S. workers in 2014, including those with a college degree, according to an analysis of new wage data by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a liberal think tank.

"Last year was yet another year of poor wage growth for American workers," reads EPI's study, which looked at the most recent and available wage data by decile and educational attainment. Wage data was examined for workers in the bottom 10th percentile up to the 95th percentile.

In 2014, real wages among top earners fell by 1 percent at the 95th percentile and 0.7 percent at the 90th percentile, according to the analysis released Thursday. U.S. workers with either a four-year college degree or an advanced degree also saw their inflation-adjusted hourly wages drop by 1.3 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:57am
Wed Feb 11, 2015

Chicago's 32nd Ward Aldermanic Candidates Trade Jabs At Lakeview Forum

The two aldermanic candidates in Chicago's 32nd Ward race traded barbs throughout a Tuesday evening political forum, with incumbent Ald. Scott Waguespack coming under attack for his "personality conflicts" and challenger Elise Doody-Jones taking heat over her residency.

A pro-Mayor Rahm Emanuel super PAC's involvement in the 32nd Ward race was also discussed at the candidate forum, hosted by the South Lakeview Neighbors at the Athenaeum Theater, 2936 N. Southport Ave.

Chicago's 32nd Ward includes parts of Bucktown, Lake View, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Roscoe Village and Wicker Park.

Waguespack, who has held the 32nd Ward seat since 2007, is a member of the city council's Progressive Reform Caucus. Doody-Jones is a small business owner who formerly served as treasurer of 1st Ward First, an independent political organization in Chicago's 1st Ward that supports the ward's current alderman, Joe Moreno.

Doody-Jones presently resides in the neighboring 1st Ward but says she will move to the 32nd Ward, if elected. She was asked about her residency at the top of Tuesday's forum, to which Doody-Jones explained that her Logan Square home is located just outside the ward's remapped boundaries.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:42pm
Thu Jan 22, 2015

Worker Advocacy Group Calls For Strong Federal Overtime Reforms

Ahead of new overtime regulations expected to be released by the Labor Department next month, the National Employment Law Project is calling for strong reforms to ensure workers are compensated fairly for the long hours they work. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue and the group's recommendations.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:43pm
Wed Jan 7, 2015

Fioretti Talks Ride-Sharing Safety, Ethics & Policing At U of C

Progress Illinois provides highlights from Ald. Bob Fioretti's Monday talk about his Chicago mayoral bid a the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:18pm
Mon Nov 24, 2014

Workers Claim Wage Theft, Unfair Retaliation At CD One Price Cleaners (VIDEO)

Former workers of a dry cleaners in Chicago's South Loop filed a federal lawsuit against the company Monday morning, alleging that they were asked to complete more work than was possible, forced to work overtime without proper compensation and experienced unfair retaliation when they complained.

"These are pretty straightforward violations of the law. You have to pay your workers for every hour they work," said Sean Morales-Doyle, the lawyer representing the three former workers.

Hortensia Castaneda, Naivi Cobos and Ana Rodriguez filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court claiming CD One Price Cleaners unlawfully retaliated against its workers and violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Illinois Minimum Wage Law and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.

The three women worked at the CD One Price Cleaners, at 2200 S. Michigan Ave. Their lawsuit alleges that they were required to do more work than was feasible during their shifts, such as ironing 200 garments per hour, and were also responsible for making hangers for those garments at the same time.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:16pm
Mon Sep 15, 2014

Report: Wage Theft Costs U.S. Workers Billions Of Dollars Annually (UPDATED)

The "widespread" problem of wage theft in America might be costing U.S. workers more than $50 billion annually, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

EPI researchers came to the $50 billion estimate based on the findings of a separate, 2008 survey of front-line workers in low-wage industries in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. In the three major cities, workers in low-wage industries experienced close to $3 billion in total annual wage theft, which includes paying employees less than the minimum wage and failing to pay for overtime.

"Survey evidence suggests that wage theft is widespread and costs workers billions of dollars a year, a transfer from low-income employees to business owners that worsens income inequality, hurts workers and their families, and damages the sense of fairness and justice that a democracy needs to survive," the EPI report states. "If these findings in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are generalizable to the rest of the U.S. low-wage workforce of 30 million, wage theft is costing workers more than $50 billion a year."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:24pm
Wed Aug 27, 2014

Study: Wage Growth Remains Sluggish For Most American Workers

Real hourly wages fell for just about all U.S. workers, including those with a college degree, between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014, according to an analysis of new wage data by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The EPI study, "Why America's Workers Need Faster Wage Growth — And What We Can Do About It," looked at the most recent and available wage data by decile and educational attainment.

"The recovery has not been completely jobless for a while now, but it does continue to be pretty much wageless, or at least wage growthless," said EPI economist Elise Gould, the study's author.

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