Background checks and fishing expeditions

Tess Vigeland reunites with Money senior producer Paddy Hirsch this week, along with David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times, to dig through our mail bag.

Many of you pointed out that the lawyer interviewed in our "What is hard work?" story last week had some faulty math. She said that if you divide the number of hours worked by lawyers by how much they make, lawyers make less than minimum wage. Well many of you listeners raced straight to a calculator, and indeed, she and other lawyers make significantly more money than minimum wage.

And listeners came out in force to voice their opinions about our interview with John Stossel. He talked about a show he did on Fox News that purported to show that there are plenty of jobs out there, but Americans aren't willing to work hard. There was a mix of responses from you all: Some argued that minimum wage jobs can barely support a worker, some agreed with Stossel.

We also answer your questions. One listener asked whether it's legal for a potential employer to check a candidate's credit and financial background before offering them a job and how class-action lawsuits work and whether you can rake in the big bucks with them. Take a listen above for the answers.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.


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