Journalism in the Public Interest

Companies Opting Out of Workers’ Comp, Cops Who Lie and More in MuckReads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email?  Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

Inside corporate America's campaign to ditch workers' comp (ProPublica)

"Already in Texas, plans written by [Bill] Minick's firm allow for a hodgepodge of provisions that are far different from workers' comp. They're why McDonald's doesn't cover carpal tunnel syndrome and why Brookdale Senior Living, the nation's largest chain of assisted living facilities, doesn't cover most bacterial infections. Why Taco Bell can accompany injured workers to doctors' appointments and Sears can deny benefits if workers don't report injuries by the end of their shifts."

Just 158 families have provided nearly half of the early money for efforts to capture the White House (The New York Times)

"They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy."

The hard truth about cops who lie (WNYC)

"'The idea of 'testilying' is that officers will lie in order to do what they think is a greater good, which is to get these perpetrators behind bars,' said Professor John Eterno, an associate dean at Molloy College and head of the school's graduate criminal justice program. 'But in fact what they are doing is violating the constitution and violating the law. And really what I would call violating the social contract between the people and the police.'"
Additional links: Is police misconduct a secret in your state?

Hot startup Theranos has struggled with its blood-test technology (The Wall Street Journal)

"The company offers more than 240 tests, ranging from cholesterol to cancer. It claims its technology can work with just a finger prick. Investors have poured more than $400 million into Theranos,  valuing it at $9 billion and her majority stake at more than half that. ... But Theranos has struggled behind the scenes to turn the excitement over its technology into reality."

The Dark Reality of Sports Betting and Daily Fantasy Games (The New York Times)

"In 2006, Congress tried to help prosecutors defeat these criminal rings. With legislators rushing toward adjournment, they passed a bill just after midnight to make it more difficult to gamble on the Internet, and to preserve the integrity of college and professional sports, by prohibiting online payments for illegal bets. By almost any measure, the law has been a spectacular failure, an investigation by The New York Times has found."

At NC Department of Labor, little help for unpaid workers (The News & Observer)

"The Labor Department left hundreds of workers hanging in 2014. For some ... investigators closed the books on the case the moment they discovered the business had shuttered. For claims that investigators were fully able to investigate and validate for 1,521 workers, roughly 40 percent of the workers didn't get the help they requested. Investigators did not collect $1 million in wages they determined were owed to 617 workers."

Public disservice (The Arizona Republic)

"The men's behavior was so egregious that the U.S. Justice Department intervened and sued DOC on her behalf. DOC never admitted liability, but the state settled for $182,500. Hers was one among 57 discrimination, harassment, retaliation or other workplace settlements that cost taxpayers more than $6 million from 2009 to 2014."

Colorado shields data on 'second-chance' cops from other states (The Denver Post)

"... Malpractice litigation and adverse licensing actions are tracked federally for physicians, but no such system exists for law enforcement officers, who have the power to take a life and make arrests. 'We have it for docs but not for cops ... That's a problem.'"
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