The government contracts out hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of business to private entities, who in turn employ a huge share of American workers.
But on Monday, President Trump signed a measure that will make it easier for those same firms to get a slice of that business even if they abuse their employees. [...]
A large share of companies that work for the federal government have spotty records on how they treat their employees. According to research by Demos, a New York-based think tank, approximately 40 percent of the money the government spent on federal contracts between 1999 and 2013 went to companies with records of violating health and safety or wage and hour laws. Contractors were fined nearly $722 million for these violations, or 12 percent of all fines paid by U.S. businesses.