Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Minimum wage worker says she was fired for talking to The Washington Post about wages

A minimum wage worker at the Days Inn in Pine Bluff, Ark., said she was fired from her job for talking to The Washington Post about how the minimum wage increase would help her financially, Chico Harlan reports for the Post. Shanna Tippen "says she was fired by her boss, hotel manager Herry Patel. Earlier that day, Patel had called The Post to express frustration that he had been quoted giving his opinion about the minimum wage hike. (He objected to it.). It was soon after, Tippen says, that Patel found her in the lobby and fired her." (Post photo by Russ Scalf: Days Inn in Pine Bluff, Ark.) 

Tippen told Harlan, “He said I was stupid and dumb for talking to [The Post]. He cussed me and asked me why you wrote the article. I said, ‘Because he’s a reporter; that’s what he does.’ He said it was wrong for me to talk to you."

Patel argues that Tippen quit, Harlan writes. "He said that Tippen was not fired and instead walked out on the job after a disagreement. Patel said that he’d approached Tippen to ask about her past criminal record, which was described in the original Feb. 17 article. Patel said he would not rehire Tippen because of the way she’d spoken to him during the dispute." Patel told Harlan, “She walked out herself. I didn’t fire her.”

Tippen disputes those claims, Harlan writes. In fact, Harlan writes that when he went to Pine Bluff to write the story, he first interviewed Patel, who then suggested he interview Tippen. "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.​" (Read more)

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