Thursday, August 11, 2022

Play

A new report says Georgia should step up for mothers and infants, Oregon communities force a polluter to shut down, and we have an update on the FBI's probe of Trump allies, including Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.

Play

Inflation could be at a turning point, House members debate the expansion of the IRS, and former President Donald Trump invokes the Fifth Amendment in a deposition over his business practices.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Research Shows 'Ghost Workers' Common in Migrant Farm Work

Play

Wednesday, July 6, 2016   

DENVER - Farmworkers frequently are forced into the role of identity thieves in order to get a job, according to a new University of Colorado Denver report.

The research showed that many agribusiness companies routinely give migrant workers who can't legally work in the United States valid documentation that belongs to someone else to mask their identity from authorities. Report author Sarah Horton, an associate professor at CU, said the practice is so common that farmworkers have a term for it: trabajando fantasma, or "ghost worker." She said the practice also helps companies hide the use of child labor and suppress workers' compensation claims.

"When they worked as 'ghosts,' they were terrified of being discovered and being charged with identity theft," she said. "So, most ghost workers said that if they were injured, they would never report the injury."

To avoid paying overtime, she said, some bosses make employees work under a different identity on certain days of the week. Horton found that friends and family members of supervisors hand over valid documents to get kickbacks and boost their reported Social Security earnings.

In California, where Horton conducted more than 10 years of research, children younger than 18 can't legally work more than eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. But during harvest season, she found young workers routinely putting in up to 70 hours a week. To get around child labor laws, she said, bosses often require minors to work under adult documents.

"Some employers do mask the identities of underage workers to hide their hire from state and federal authorities," she said. "So, they intentionally provide minors with the valid documents."

A federal appeals court recently ruled that law enforcement can continue to prosecute undocumented immigrants for working with forged, loaned or stolen documents. Horton said she's hopeful the research will give judges more information about the role the employers play in the practice.

The report is online at onlinelibrary.wiley.com.


get more stories like this via email

Pictured in the center is Francine "Fran" Pace, one of 11 graduates of this summer's Youth Leadership Academy for Iowans with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of DD Council).

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…


Environment

A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …


The Inflation Reduction Act would cap the price of insulin at $35 a month for people on Medicare. (Sherry Young/Adobestock)

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are hailing the new Inflation Reduction Act, saying it would be the biggest health-care reform since the Affordable Care Act…

Social Issues

As parts of Southern California suffer with triple-digit temperatures, state lawmakers are set to vote today on two bills to study and mitigate heat …

Nearly half of Hispanic or Latina women of reproductive age in Georgia are uninsured. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

While abortion care is in the headlines, a new report says accessing other health-care services is a challenge for many women in Georgia. Data from …

Environment

Hunters, landowners and wildlife managers are gathering in Montana to discuss the need for novel approaches to elk management. The 2022 Elk …

Environment

Next week, North Dakota landowners will get a chance to hear updates on a proposed underground pipeline for transporting and sequestering carbon …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021