In 2009, a number of groups were investigating what really goes on in poultry processing plants, including a couple of reporters for the Charlotte Observer. Part of the reporters' investigation related to workplace injuries in the poultry industry, so they contacted Bob Whitmore, then head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's record keeping section. In an interview, he revealed that injuries to workers were routinely underreported in the industry and criticized OSHA for allowing that to happen.
In April 2012, an electrician who worked at a Colorado coal mine noticed a dangerous situation at the mine's conveyer belt, or beltline. When he decided it wasn't being adequately addressed by his supervisor, he filed a report with the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which responded by inspecting the mine works and citing the company, New Elk Coal Company LLC, owned by Cline Mining Corporation, with several safety citations. In May, the electrician was fired.
After a federal court upheld its subpoena against LA-based clothing chain Forever 21, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division confirmed that the agency is cracking down on what it considers widespread violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act in Southern California's apparel industry. The federal agency claims that garment makers and retailers violate the FLSA's recordkeeping, minimum wage and overtime requirements on an almost habitual basis. In fact, the DOL found violations in 93 percent of the apparel companies it has investigated.
After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and hour division, a federal judge has ordered Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy to pay a group of 14 workers a total of $63,844 in back wages and liquidated damages. The judge found that Bloom had willfully paid the workers less than the minimum wage, denied them overtime pay, and violated the recordkeeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.