A Hotel Manager in Arkansas Fired His Employee After She Spoke to a Reporter About Minimum Wage
A hotel owner in Arkansas fired an employee after she spoke to the Washington Post's Chico Harlan about the state's 25 cent wage hike last month.
Harlan writes this week that Shanna Tippen, who at the time of the original story worked at a Days Inn in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, notified him that she had been fired from her job after she told Harlan that "the minimum wage hike would bring her a bit of financial relief, but it wouldn't lift her above the poverty line."The worst part? Tippen's boss, Herry Patel, reportedly spoke to Harlan and asked Tippen to also speak with him.
But when the Post story came out, Patel fired Tippen for what she said.
From Harlan's article Monday:
Tippen is now living off her tax refund and desperately seeking employment, according to Harlan.
There, I interviewed [Patel] several minutes. Patel then suggested I speak with Tippen, who was cleaning up the continental breakfast bar. I interviewed her during her work shift, during a slow afternoon as she manned the front desk.
Several days later, after I'd spent additional time with Tippen, Patel called me and threatened to sue if an article was published. Tippen, though, felt it was important to tell her story; she said many people shared her experience earning the minimum, and she had nothing negative to say about her employer.
After the most recent story came out, other reporters shared that the fear that employers might retaliate against workers when they talk to them for stories on low-wage work:
I worry about this happening every time I write about low-wage workers (or other vulnerable groups). http://t.co/I9dLjza8WB- Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) March 30, 2015