Media Blitz on Payroll Fraud Exposes Nationwide Epidemic

Political Leaders Respond with Vows to Address the Issue

From major newspaper organizations to niche industry magazines, the problem of payroll fraud is getting attention throughout the United States, thanks to a recent media blitz on the subject.

The global McClatchy news service published a multiple-story special report on September 4, called "Contract to Cheat." Read the full series by clicking here.

The response to the McClatchy piece has been excellent:
  • published a story about payroll fraud and the McClatchy series. Click here to read it.
  • The Charlotte News Observer published an article detailing how political leaders are now vowing to address payroll fraud.
  • also published a local story based on the McClatchy series.

McClatchy & ProPublica Win Journalism Award  for Contract to Cheat Series

NEW YORK – McClatchy and ProPublica win the October Sidney Award for “Contract to Cheat,” a year-long investigation showing that roughly 10 million construction workers are being misclassified as independent contractors.

The scam harms workers and cheats taxpayers out of billions of dollars, but regulators have done nearly nothing about it. Reporters from eight McClatchy papers and the company’s D.C. Bureau teamed up with reporters from ProPublica to investigate misclassification in 28 states.

This award recognizes lead reporters Mandy Locke and Franco Ordoñez, database reporters David Raynor and Ryann Grochowski Jones, and McClatchy staff. Over the course of a year, they interviewed hundreds of construction workers, company owners, officials, union leaders, statisticians, and economists. 

*(C) 2014 Ted Rall, All Rights Reserved,
Reprinted with Permission.

Payroll Fraud Study Attracts Media Attention

Around the country, several media outlets reported on a study that exposes payroll fraud abuse, issued on August 31 by the California-based Economic Roundtable. Just a sampling of the coverage follows.

Los Angeles Times. The Times published an editorial and a cartoon on Sept. 4 (above) as a follow-up to its coverage of the payroll fraud study.

KPCC 89.3: This Southern California public radio station also ran a feature news story about payroll fraud.

 To learn more about the new study on payroll fraud, "Sinking Underground," click here.