Low-wage workers frequently experience exploitation, including wage theft, at the intersection of their racial identities and their economic vulnerabilities. Scholars, however, rarely consider the role of wage and hour exploitation in broader racial subordination frameworks. This Essay considers the narratives that have informed the detachment of racial justice from the worker exploitation narrative and the distancing of economic justice from the civil rights narrative. It then contends that social movements, like the Fight for $15, can disrupt narrow understandings of low-wage worker exploitation and proffer more nuanced narratives that connect race, economic justice, and civil rights to a broader anti-subordination campaign that can more effectively protect the most vulnerable workers.
Llezlie L. Green,
SMU L. Rev. F.