Don Chartier, a client of the Small Business Development Center at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, created an app called HourVoice that launched in Chicago on February 29. HourVoice provides low-wage workers a unique platform to track their hours and calculate wages earned to ensure that employers pay them accordingly.

Driven by a concern for workplace equality, Chartier included other features in the free app that allow workers to embrace their rights. One such feature includes a collection of insights that “brief” workers on various rights, and another includes personalized employer recommendations based on the employee’s preferences.     

Medill Reports Chicago published an article about Chartier’s process and purpose in creating the app.  

From the Medill piece:

Chartier noted that his background in economics shaped the way he viewed workplace inequality, but he was particularly stirred last March on a flight home from a technology conference when he read something in Harper’s magazine that piqued his entrepreneurial instinct.

The article, “The Spy Who Fired Me,” documents the rise of data-driven efforts that some employers use to monitor and evaluate employee performance and often make workers’ lives more difficult.

Chartier emerged from his reading wondering whether any comprehensive data system exists to support low-wage employees who risk being taken advantage of by their workplace.

It does now.

Chartier launched HourVoice in Chicago, but hopes to introduce it to other cities like Washington D.C. and Seattle in the future – ultimately hoping it will spread nationwide and even globally. His dream is that ten percent of the population will eventually begin using the app, which would help supply accurate data to evaluate workplace equality.

Click here to read the full Medill piece.