Investigative reporter Leah Samuel says journalists would do well to emulate the curiosity of children.
Freelance reporter Leah Samuel writes about social and environmental issues for PublicSource and others. As a journalist, and as a reader, she finds the lessons of history are best learned from the margins.
Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the country -- behind Texas, Alabama and Florida -- for the number of hotels with labor law violations, according to the Department of Labor and a recent PublicSource story. This includes wage and child labor violations.
PublicSource Reporter Leah Samuel says because many hotel workers are low skilled and in the hospitality industry, where tips may be given, they’re especially vulnerable to wage violations.
“In Pennsylvania, you can actually pay someone as low as $2.83 an hour if they receive tips,” Samuel explains. So even if a hotel worker normally gets paid at or above the minimum wage, when it comes to overtime, the rate might be 1.5 times that $2.83, which is illegal.
“It’s supposed to be 1.5 times the regular wage they would receive, minus something called the ‘tip credit’.”
Pittsburgh's city housing authority recently closed the waitlist for the majority of public housing properties. This is the first time in 17 years this has happened and reflects the critical shortage of public housing in the city and Allegheny County.
Reporter Halle Stockton has written about this issue for our content partner Public Source and joins us to look at this issue.