Protecting vulnerable workers: How public policy and private employers shape the contemporary low-wage work experience

Anna Haley-Lock, Melissa Ford Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents a conceptual approach to understanding how government and private employers shape the employment experiences of contemporary low-wage workers. After reviewing recent changes in employment conditions that have disproportionately affected poor working families, we present two perspectives on the structural vulnerability for low-wage workers: policy and organizational stratification. The stratification approach suggests that public policy and private workplace practices interact with workers' personal and family circumstances to shape the outcomes of low-wage employment. Applying these lenses to restaurant workers, we examine why and how some workers may be uniquely disadvantaged by emerging proposals to change minimum wage laws. Promising directions for intervention are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-495
Number of pages11
JournalFamilies in Society
Volume88
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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