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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:21pm
Wed Jun 8, 2016

National Anti-Poverty Group 'Alarmed' By Caseload Decline In Illinois' Welfare Program

Officials with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law are expressing concern over the declining caseload in Illinois' welfare program. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:15pm
Tue Mar 8, 2016

On International Women's Day, Chicago McDonald's Workers Demand 'Respect' On The Job (VIDEO)

Women McDonald's workers and their allies spoke out against alleged workplace abuses during a Chicago protest held Tuesday morning to coincide with International Women's Day. Progress Illinois was there for the protest. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
11:25am
Wed Sep 2, 2015

Nearly 1.5 Million IL Workers Could Benefit From A $12 Federal Minimum Wage

A recent report shows that 1.5 million Illinois workers could be affected by a $12 federal minimum wage, which is being proposed under the "Raise the Wage Act."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:02pm
Thu Apr 30, 2015

Economic Experts Make The Case For A $12 Federal Minimum Wage

Experts from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) argue that the U.S. economy could well afford a federal minimum wage increase to $12 an hour by 2020 -- a proposal that could impact nearly 38 million workers.

EPI researchers make their case for a $12 minimum wage in a report released Thursday, the same day the new "Raise the Wage Act" was introduced to Congress by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) and U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA,3).

Under the Raise the Wage Act, the federal hourly minimum wage would go up gradually from the current figure of $7.25 to $12 by 2020. Raise the Wage Act proponents are taking to social media Thursday afternoon for a "Twitterstorm" using the hashtags #RaiseTheWage, #12by2020 and #1FairWage.

"If you go to work and work hard for 40 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty in America," said U.S. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), who joined Murray and Scott in introducing the bill. "The Raise the Wage Act will increase wages for 38 million workers -- more than one in four -- and lift millions out of poverty. In Illinois alone, 1.6 million workers -- 28 percent of the state's workforce -- will see an average increase in wages of $3,200 a year. That helps families get off government support programs and give them more money to spend and put back into our economy."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:31pm
Thu Mar 19, 2015

Report Calls Attention To Racial Divide Among Low-Income Illinois Families

Minority working families are about twice as likely to be low-income than white working families at both the national level and in Illinois.

That's one of the key findings of a new report by the Working Poor Families Project, a national initiative focused on strengthening state-level policies to help working families attain economic security.

Illinois is home to over 400,000 low-income working families, representing 30 percent of all working families in the state, according to the report. Low-income working families are defined as those with incomes below 200 percent of the official poverty level.

Forty-six percent of all minority working families in Illinois were low-income in 2013, compared with 20 percent of white, non-Hispanic working families.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:58pm
Fri Dec 19, 2014

Federal $10.10 Minimum Wage Would Benefit 25 Million Workers, Study Finds

More than 60 million people in working U.S. households rely on the income of a low-wage worker, 25 million of whom would benefit from a $10.10 an hour federal minimum wage, according to a new study. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the report's findings and who would be impacted by such a wage increase in Illinois.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:25pm
Mon Aug 4, 2014

Fired Chicago Walmart Worker 'Seeking Justice' Over 'Retaliatory' Firing

A pregnant former Walmart worker on Chicago's South Side says she was unjustly fired and is now fighting to get her job back.

The worker and labor activists plan to protest the pregnant employee's May firing Tuesday evening at the Walmart in Chatham. 

Back in April, Thelma Moore was shopping at the Chatham Walmart on her day off when two TV boxes fell from a product cart and hit her. Moore, who was about two months pregnant at the time, sought immediate medical care after the accident, which occurred just over a week after she was hired. Moore, 23, said she hurt her ankle during the incident and also experienced vaginal bleeding.

Both her primary physician and an orthopedic doctor wrote letters stating Moore needed to take a total of two-and-a-half weeks off of work to recover. Those letters were provided to the store's management, according to Moore.

On May 8, she was supposed to start working the overnight shift again. Moore brought along a list of needed accommodations written by her primary doctor, including a water break every two hours and a restriction on lifting items heavier than 25 pounds. Moore said she was instructed to fill out company paperwork for the requested accommodations, which would take between seven to 10 business days to process. In the meantime, Moore was not put on the schedule because no positions were immediately available that involved lifting only up to 25 pounds, she said.

"All that time (I was) just waiting on that form to come back," she said, adding that she checked in with management on multiple occasions to see if the accommodations had been approved and when she could return to work. "They can view the cameras. I was up there every day trying to get my job back."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:20pm
Thu Jul 10, 2014

Report: Give Tipped Workers The Regular Minimum Wage

Millions of tipped workers in the United States who face high poverty rates and other challenges would fare better if they earned the same government-mandated hourly minimum wage as non-tipped employees, according to a new Economic Policy Institute report. Progress Illinois takes a look at the report's findings and recommendations.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:49pm
Tue Jun 3, 2014

Pending SCOTUS Case Could Significantly Affect Public Employee Unions

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling sometime this month on a case that could potentially deal a hard blow to public employee unions nationwide. Progress Illinois takes a look at the possible implications of the Harris v. Quinn case.

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