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No Snow Days for Low-wage Workers

Al Jazeera

To prepare for “snowmageddon,” Ana Navarrete stocked up on diapers Monday afternoon. She and her ex-boyfriend, Pedro Blanco, perused the baby aisle of a CVS drug store, having left their two-month-old son with a babysitter.

As the snow piled up on Hillside Avenue, Navarrete thought about her imminent commute. She works nights, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., as a hotel maid on Long Island, about 25 miles east. She drives 60 minutes each way — much longer in the snow — for just $8.50 per hour, 25 cents below the state minimum wage. [...]

A massive disruption like a blizzard hits low-wage employees hardest, said Amy Traub, senior policy analyst at liberal think tank Demos. “There is no working from home if you’re a sales associate or if you’re a cashier. If they can’t get to work because of weather, you miss a paycheck. If the store closes early or works with a skeleton staff, you miss a paycheck.”