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Reply #125: Here is one ruling - on minimum wage for homeless workers [View All]

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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #89
125. Here is one ruling - on minimum wage for homeless workers
After 7-Year Fight, Homeless Get $816,000 in Back Wages
Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2000

They slept on plastic chairs or in makeshift beds in a church, rising to put in long shifts in menial jobs, like security patrols at banks across Manhattan's East Side, or cleaning toilets at a shelter. Instead of being paid minimum wage, they got $1 an hour and promises of a path out of homelessness that never seemed to lead anywhere.

Tonight, 198 of the men and women who were homeless when they worked on streets and in buildings around Grand Central Terminal during the 1990's will be handed more money than most have ever seen at any one time, all in back wages totaling $816,000.

The money is the result of a ruling in a seven-year-long federal class-action lawsuit against two major business improvement districts in Midtown Manhattan, the Grand Central Partnership and the 34th Street Partnership. The homeless plaintiffs won in 1998, but received no money because of an appeal, until an unusual settlement this month cleared the way for tonight's payments and celebration.


Winning either money or vindication seemed elusive to many of the plaintiffs even after a trial and a federal judge's ruling in their favor two and a half years ago. The judge, Sonia Sotomayor, then a Federal District Court judge in Manhattan and now on the Federal Court of Appeals, ruled that the business districts had violated minimum wage laws, had used the cheap labor of so-called trainees to undercut competing companies, and had contributed the resulting profits to hefty executive salaries.
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