Extra Extra : Jobs

Family members beat the odds in winning prized firefighting jobs

The Los Angeles Times uncovered a pattern of nepotism within the L.A. County Fire Department. The newspaper found that nearly 7 percent of the 2,750 firefighters are the sons of department veterans. Taking into account others such as brothers and nephews, relatives account for 13 percent of the staff, the investigation found.

The report also uncovers how interview questions – which should be locked away – have been passed around the department, landing in the hands of firefighters' family members as material to aid their preparations.

NJ targeting unemployment insurance fraud; the check may not be in the mail

"Unemployment fraud is a multimillion-dollar business in New Jersey, say officials, with 1,600 to 2,000 attempts to bilk the system each week — from the couple on vacation certifying they were able to work while cruising to the Bahamas, to hackers from all over the world trying to game the system, to people still trying to collect unemployment benefits even after finding new jobs."

Read the full story from The Star-Ledger here.

Hard Labor

“Each year, some 4,500 American workers die on the job and 50,000 perish from occupational diseases. Millions more are hurt and sickened at workplaces, and many others are cheated of wages and abused. In the coming months the Center for Public Integrity will publish, under the banner Hard Labor, stories exploring threats to workers — and the corporate and regulatory factors that endanger them.”

Landlords, self-employed get state aid on honor system

“A (Milwaukee) Journal Sentinel investigation found property owners with major sources of rental income who did not reveal it in applications for public assistance. The cases reveal a gap in regulation that affects every public assistance program in the state. Local and state regulators fail to verify actual income when applicants report that they make no money or are self-employed. 'Basically we're supposed to accept what they tell us,' said one public assistance fraud investigator in southeastern Wisconsin. The government considers much of the information about recipients of public assistance to be confidential, making it impossible for the public ...

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