Despite warning, Cook County board president took 6 months to fire chief of staff for inappropriate behavior

When the president of the Cook County Board in Chicago announced she had fired her chief of staff for “inappropriate behavior,” she denied twice that she knew anything about the allegations against him before his firing in mid-September. But Toni Preckwinkle knew about the concerns regarding his behavior with women six months earlier, the Chicago Tribune…

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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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Beryllium workers get new protections after decades of delay

The federal government has issued a tougher exposure standard for the toxic metal beryllium, which is often used in the defense industry and is a key component of nuclear weapons.  The Chicago tribune reports that the new OSHA standard is 10 times stronger than the previous one and will affect 62,000 workers.  Previous Tribune investigations…

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Risk of asbestos exposure increases with renovation boom

As renovation work soars in Massachusetts, the risk of running into asbestos embedded in old buildings also increases, putting some laborers in grave danger. After analyzing five years of enforcement cases, The Eye and WBUR found that huge gaps exist between what state and federal regulators say are mandated safety standards and what’s actually happening…

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Scores of employees, patients say America’s largest psychiatric chain turns patients into profits

A BuzzFeed News investigation into Universal Health Services (UHS) raised questions about America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain. BuzzFeed News talked to 175 current and former staff members, many of whom said that UHS prioritized filling beds over the safety of staff and the rights of patients. UHS has more than 200 facilities across the country.…

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Environmental Police officers swimming in overtime cash from pool perk

It is a lucrative job perk picked up by Massachusetts taxpayers. WBZ-TV discovered some Environmental Police officers are racking up hundreds of overtime hours, even doubling their salaries, by working at state-operated pools in the middle of their shifts.  Critics call the unusual “split shift” system a waste of resources. Over the two-month period the…

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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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Investigation finds hundreds of workers confined to American fishing boats

An investigation by the Associated Press found that around 700 undocumented men from Southeast Asian and Pacific Island nations are working dangerous fishing jobs on American boats where they are confined for years. They found instances of human trafficking, tuberculosis, insufficient food supplies and 20-hour work days on many of the boats. Some of the…

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Investigation digs into Denver Schools’ relationship with nonprofit

An investigation by FOX31 Denver has raised questions about a partnership between Denver Public Schools and a nonprofit run by a well-connected convicted embezzler. The station has been look into a “cozy relationship” between the public school system, a high school principal and her husband, the co-founder of the not-for-profit Young Adults for Positive Action…

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