Chabeli Carrazana
Chabeli Carrazana
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In a theme park parking lot at night, a worker sleeps in her car. This is life in America’s most visited city

In a theme park parking lot at night, a worker sleeps in her car. This is life in America’s most visited city

By Chabeli Carrazana You’re not supposed to see them like this, their polyester prince costumes unbuttoned and backpacks hanging from the shoulders of their colonial period dresses. Flip flops on, lunch boxes in hand, legions of workers stream into an employee parking lot at Walt Disney World, weary from another shift of making magic at the world’s busiest theme park. Advertisement This is the place where the pixie dust loses its sparkle. It’s where the low-wage workers who power Orlando’s tourism machine leave the attractions, hotels and eateries and fade into a community that doesn’t have...

December 5, 2019
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Workers in other states are receiving unemployment payments. But in Florida, it’s largely still a waiting game

Workers in other states are receiving unemployment payments. But in Florida, it’s largely still a waiting game

It’s been 15 days since Scott Reinhardt applied for unemployment in Florida’s struggling system and there is no indication in sight yet about when he’ll receive the $275 a week maximum payment the state offers, one of the lowest payments in the nation. Meanwhile, in Arizona, his 26-year-old son, Brian, got his check — plus the federal stimulus of $600 a week — within five days of applying for unemployment. Advertisement “I was happy for him, but frustrated knowing what we are going through here in Florida," said Reinhardt, who applied for government assistance for the first time in his...

April 15, 2020
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DeSantis orders investigation of the state’s struggling unemployment claims system

DeSantis orders investigation of the state’s struggling unemployment claims system

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered an investigation Monday into what went wrong with the $77 million unemployment compensation system that has struggled to pay hundreds of thousands of Floridians who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. "The way it was done was not worth the amount of money it took,'' he said, calling it a bad use of taxpayers’ money. He ordered the state’s inspector general to conduct the probe. Advertisement At the same time, the governor said the CONNECT system has shown great improvement in the past two weeks because of additional staffing and...

May 4, 2020
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