California port trucking companies forced drivers into debt, left them with nothing

USA TODAY NETWORK published its first in an investigative series, Rigged, today about the mistreatment of truckers based out of two major California ports.  Port trucking companies buried their poor, immigrant workers in debt, worked them past exhaustion and then left them with nothing. This ongoing investigation shows how executives pressed drivers to lease trucks…

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Only 30 percent of San Diego County wage theft complaints result in payments

In an investigation of wage theft in San Diego County, inewsource found that only 30 percent of cases filed with the state Labor Commissioner’s Office over the last five years resulted in workers getting the wages they’re owed. Their analysis of wage complaint data also revealed that employers in San Diego County owe $2 million…

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Employees at Asos say exploitive contracts, surveillance make them feel like robots

A large cost for shipping retail giant Asos’s products worldwide is borne by warehouse employees in England. A BuzzFeed News investigation revealed that the warehouse’s high-pressure environment made staff feel like they could be fired without notice, sent home without pay, and have their shifts cancelled or extended on short notice.  In the past, Asos…

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Nearly a fifth of Illinois 9/11 loans deemed uncollectible

An analysis by the Chicago Tribune shows that nearly a fifth of the “economic injury disaster loans” made to Illinois small businesses in the wake of the 9/11 attacks have been deemed uncollectible by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The charge-off rate for the banking industry is well under 1 percent of loans. About half…

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Women and minorities in Texas government make less than white men — and the gap is growing

Data analysis by The Dallas Morning News found that, for a decade, the wage gap has been growing. Women and minorities working for the state of Texas make less money than their white, male counterparts in similar jobs. Women earn 2 cents less on the dollar today than they did in 2006, the paper found.…

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Global supermarkets selling shrimp peeled by slaves

Shrimp peeled by slaves is ending up in U.S. supermarkets, restaurants and the supply chains of major seafood brands and pet food companies, according to an ongoing investigation by the Associated Press. Reporters found nearly 100 Burmese migrants working in the Gig Peeling Factory in in Samut Sakhon, Thailand. The factories, which are actually sheds,…

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Texas officials gave $270M in bonuses with few rules, little oversight

Using seven years’ worth of payment data, the Austin American-Statesman found Texas officials rewarding political allies and high-paid managers with big bonuses. In recent years, workers have received more than $270 million in bonuses from state agencies. The paper analyzed 133,000 bonuses payments from 111 agencies and found that the use of bonuses has risen…

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Billion-dollar giveaway – tax break system rife with failure

Illinois’ flagship job program has awarded millions of dollars to companies that never hired an additional employee. It’s doled out millions more in tax breaks for corporations that eliminated jobs and became smaller. And it’s allowed companies to reap lucrative rewards and then relocate to other states without penalty or repayment. In the first comprehensive…

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Investigation into H-2 visa program reveals exploitation, abuse

More than 10,000 people from countries including Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa come to the United States each year on H-2 visas, a government program that allows employers to import foreign labor for jobs Americans won’t take. But a BuzzFeed News investigation has found that thousands of the workers have been deprived of pay,…

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Some non-profit mental health providers spend heavily on administrative costs despite service cuts

Despite a decline in public funding, many non-profit mental health agencies have continued to hand out six-figure salaries and bonus-and-incentive packages. The Arizona Republic reviewed financial records for 28 non-profit mental health providers and their clients and found that administrative costs at these underfunded agencies have climbed while services dwindle. Families said they have been…

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