ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

Temp Land

Temp workers are thrown into dangerous work with little training and suffer injuries far more often than permanent employees. More »

‘Permatemping’ cases highlight lack of U.S. protections for temp workers. Other countries limit the length of temp jobs, guarantee equal pay and restrict dangerous work. More »

America is now dotted with “temp towns” – places where it’s difficult to find blue-collar work except through a temp agency and where workers often suffer lost wages, no benefits and high injury rates. More »

Some of America's best-known companies and largest temp agencies benefit from — and tacitly collaborate with — an underworld of labor brokers, known as raiteros, who charge workers fees, pushing their pay below minimum wage. We explore the system in Chicago's Little Village. More »

All 13 Stories (0)

  updates since last visit

California Legislature Passes Bill to Protect Temp Workers

The bill, inspired in part by a ProPublica investigation, will hold companies accountable for labor abuses by temp agencies and subcontractors they use.

Senator Asks OSHA About Temp Worker Buried Alive In Sugar

In a letter to OSHA, U.S. Senator Robert Casey asks whether the agency has the tools to ensure that temp workers are protected in the workplace.

Sugar Plant Removed Safety Device 13 Days before Temp Worker’s Death

Janio Salinas was buried alive in sugar. A newly released accident report and an undercover investigation by Univision reveal the obstacles OSHA faces in its temp worker safety initiative.

Hummus Maker Warned of ‘Extreme Safety Risk’ Before Temp Worker’s Death

Daniel Collazo was pulled into a hummus grinder in 2011. New documents show Tribe Mediterranean Foods knew about the safety problem that caused his death, but did nothing about it.

California Considers Bill to Protect Temp Workers

California bill would hold companies legally responsible for wage and safety violations committed by their subcontractors and temp agencies.

A Modern Day ‘Harvest of Shame’

Today’s blue collar temp laborers face abuses similar to those of migrant farmworkers depicted in iconic 1960 CBS documentary.

Temp Worker Regulations Around the World

The United States has some of the weakest labor protections for temp workers in the developed world. Here, we map out how countries compare based on data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

U.S. Lags Behind World in Temp Worker Protections

'Permatemping' cases highlight lack of U.S. protections for temp workers. Other countries limit the length of temp jobs, guarantee equal pay and restrict dangerous work.

Podcast: Outsourcing Labor, Injuries to the Growing Temp Industry

ProPublica’s Michael Grabell and Steve Engelberg talk about how the temp industry is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the U.S. – and also one of the more dangerous.

How to Improve Temp Worker Safety

Health and safety experts have identified steps regulators could take to decrease temp workers’ injuries but opposition from business and industry makes immediate change unlikely.

Temporary Work, Lasting Harm

Temp workers are thrown into dangerous work with little training and suffer injuries far more often than permanent employees.

Podcast: Rise of the Blue-Collar “Permatemp”

Last month, the Labor Department reported that the United States has more temp workers than ever before. Steve Engelberg and Michael Grabell discuss how this system insulates companies from employer responsibilities while in some cases forcing workers’ pay below minimum wage.

Transcript: Inside the Rise of America’s Temp Towns

Highlights from our discussion on the growing temp labor industry and its impact on American workers.

The Expendables: How the Temps Who Power Corporate Giants Are Getting Crushed

America is now dotted with “temp towns” – places where it’s difficult to find blue-collar work except through a temp agency and where workers often suffer lost wages, no benefits and high injury rates.

Los Sacrificables: Como Los Temps Que Dan Fuerza A Grandes Empresas Están Siendo Aplastados

Hoy Estados Unidos está salpicado de “temp towns” – lugares donde es difícil encontrar trabajo manual si no es a través de una agencia de empleo temporal y donde los obreros frecuentemente sufren la pérdida de sueldos, ausencia de beneficios y altas proporciones de lesiones laborales.

Graphic: How to Fit 17 People in a Minivan

Taken for a Ride: Temp Agencies and ‘Raiteros’ in Immigrant Chicago

Some of America's best-known companies and largest temp agencies benefit from — and tacitly collaborate with — an underworld of labor brokers, known as raiteros, who charge workers fees, pushing their pay below minimum wage. We explore the system in Chicago's Little Village.

Discussion: Are Temp Workers Earning Fair Wages?

In Chicago, immigrant labor brokers known as raiteros have helped create a system where temp agencies and their corporate clients benefit as workers are exploited, their pay depressed below the minimum wage. Is this happening in your community?

Llevados al Engaño: Agencias de Trabajo Temporal y ‘Raiteros’ en Chicago

Algunas de las empresas más conocidas y de las agencias de trabajo temporal más grandes de Estados Unidos se benefician de – y colaboran de forma tácita con – un submundo de intermediaros del empleo, conocidos como "raiteros."

Have You Worked With a Temp Agency? Help Us Investigate

We want to hear your experiences with temp agencies as a worker, recruiter or client company.

Where Does the Workers’ Money Go?

Get Updates

Stay on top of what we’re working on by subscribing to our email digest.

optional

Our Hottest Stories

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •