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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Abby Sewell and Soumya Karlamangla
Los Angeles County officials proposed a budget Monday that would pump money into reforming major problem areas, including the jails and foster care system, while expanding county medical staffs to manage the transition to federal healthcare reform. As part of a $26-billion spending plan that builds on post-recession economic improvements, Chief Executive William T Fujioka called for adding more than 1,300 positions to county government, including nurses, social workers and staff for the newly created Sheriff's Department inspector general.
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BUSINESS
April 13, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
The continuing push for higher minimum wages across the country has much to recommend it, but the campaign shouldn't keep us from recognizing a truly insidious practice that impoverishes low-wage workers all the more. It's known as wage theft. Wage theft, as documented in surveys, regulatory actions and lawsuits from around the country, takes many forms: Forcing hourly employees off the clock by putting them to work before they can clock in or after they clock out. Manipulating their time cards to cheat them of overtime pay. Preventing them from taking legally mandated breaks or shaving down their lunch hours.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | By Esmeralda Bermudez, Paloma Esquivel and Adolfo Flores
They were supposed to be the first - the first in their families to tour a college, to have a choice, to one day see their names in fancy letters on diplomas. One wanted to be a movie director, another a kinesiologist. Three of the adults already had careers. They boarded the bus eager to give back. Families and friends on Friday mourned the loss of five students, three chaperons and two drivers. These are some of their stories. Marisa Serrato Marisa and Marisol Serrato were born five minutes apart.
BUSINESS
April 11, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Quitters wanted: Unhappy with your job? Feeling unproductive? Take $5,000 and go. At least, that's what Amazon.com Inc. is offering its warehouse employees. In a letter to shareholders this week, Chief Executive Jeffrey Bezos outlined the details of a rare human resources strategy the online retail giant has launched. Dubbed Pay to Quit, the program is offered once a year to employees who work in Amazon fulfillment centers. In the first year, the offer is $2,000. After that, it rises $1,000 every year until it reaches $5,000.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 2014 | By Mona Simpson
The first person besides my mother who believed in me was a man whose last name I never knew. He was my boss, the manager of Swenson's Ice Cream shop. Six foot five, in high topped converse, Ron was 28 and carless in Los Angeles. We knew little about him, except that he made the ice cream store his life. He set about to improve everything, including us. He insisted we tie our hair back tight against the head(so unflattering!). He made us practice scooping until our ice cream balls weighed exactly 3 ounces.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes
Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander is pushing for the city to change its rules so that any employee convicted of a felony involving their city job can be required to forfeit their pension. The move comes after The Times reported that a building inspector sentenced to prison in an FBI corruption case would continue to receive his yearly pension of more than $72,000. State law requires public employees who are convicted of a felony to give up retirement benefits they earned during the period that they committed their crimes.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Margaret Wappler
Mimi Pond is the cartoonist that time almost forgot. Her credits should've sealed her in the pantheon of coolness forever: She wrote "The Simpsons'" first episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," as well as episodes of the children's TV show-cum-surrealist theater project "Pee-wee's Playhouse. " In 1982, her cult-classic book, "The Valley Girls' Guide to Life," taught wannabe Vals how to dress in a, like, totally tubular style. She wrote and illustrated four other humorous books on fashion, including 1985's "Shoes Never Lie," which tapped the stiletto obsession long before "Sex and the City," as well as comics for many publications, including this newspaper.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Meg James
Univision Communications is restructuring its radio division, eliminating dozens of workers at stations around the country as the company centralizes its programming functions. Univision confirmed Thursday that there had been layoffs, but it declined to say how many people had lost their jobs as part of this week's realignment. The nation's largest Spanish-language media company, which owns 68 radio stations, this week began trimming programming staff and some on-air hosts, including in Chicago, in an effort to cut costs.
SPORTS
April 1, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Work at Sao Paulo's Itaquerao Stadium was halted on Monday by order of Sao Paulo's labor secretariat following the death of a construction worker on Saturday, the third fatality at the project. Construction on stadiums and other venues for this summer's World Cup in Brazil continues to be plagued by corruption, delays and safety concerns just 2 1/2 months from the June 12 opener in Sao Paulo. The worker, Fabio Hamilton da Cruz, fell about 26 feet while working on the installation of temporary seats on Saturday when, apparently, he didn't connect himself to a safety cable in a rush to finish for the day. Itaquerao is one of the projects that remains well behind schedule.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
The vast majority of fast-food workers in the U.S. say they've been the victims of wage theft, according to a survey released Tuesday. Out of 1,088 respondents nationwide, 89% said they have been forced to do off-the-books work, been denied breaks, been refused overtime pay or been placed in similarly unsavory circumstances. The same holds for 84% of McDonald's workers, 92% of Burger King employees and 82% of Wendy's rank and file, according to the survey, which was conducted by Hart Research for the Low Pay Is Not OK campaign.
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