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Michael Grabell

Michael Grabell

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Michael Grabell covers economic and labor issues for ProPublica. He has produced stories for the New York Times, USA Today, NPR and the CBS Evening News. His investigative work has included stories on the TSA, the Lance Armstrong doping allegations, chemicals stored near schools and neighborhoods, and a bus fire that killed 23 nursing home patients. Before joining ProPublica, Grabell was a reporter at The Dallas Morning News. He is the author of "Money Well Spent?," a book about President Obama’s stimulus package and his efforts to revive the economy from the Great Recession.

Articles

Employers Complain of Rising Premiums, But Workers’ Comp Is at 25-Year Low

Despite the drumbeat of complaints about costs, employers are paying the lowest rates for workers’ compensation insurance than at any time in the past 25 years, even as the costs of health care have increased dramatically.

The Demolition of Workers’ Comp

Over the past decade, states have slashed workers’ compensation benefits, denying injured workers help when they need it most and shifting the costs of workplace accidents to taxpayers.

‘I Try to Forget’

Joel Ramirez was paralyzed from the waist down in 2009 when a 900-pound crate fell on him while on the job. A new #WorkersComp law in 2014 passed in California and the home health aide he relied on was taken away. This is his life now.

Workers’ Compensation Reforms by State

Over the past decade, states across the country have been unwinding a century-old compact with America’s workers: A guarantee that if you are injured on the job, your employer will pay your medical bills and enough of your wages to help you get by. In all, 33 states have passed laws that reduce bene

Judge Orders NYPD to Release Records on X-ray Vans

The NYPD has a secretive program that uses unmarked vans with X-ray machines designed to detect bombs. ProPublica tried to find out more about it, but the NYPD refused to answer for three years.

Illinois Revokes License of Temp Agency Check Cashing Store

Investigations in Illinois, a new law in California, questions from a U.S. senator and increased scrutiny from OSHA follow ProPublica series on the growth of temp work.

California Governor Signs Bill to Protect Temp Workers

Employers will be legally responsible if their temp agencies and subcontractors put workers at risk or withhold wages.

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.

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.

How We Calculated Injury Rates for Temp and Non-Temp Workers

Worker’s comp data collected from five states shows temps are far more likely to be injured on the job.

Temporary Work, Lasting Harm

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

The $13 Test That Saved My Baby’s Life. Why Isn’t it Required For Every Newborn?

Dozens of babies die every year because hospitals do not perform a simple test that detects congenital heart defects. Seventeen states have yet to require the exam for newborns.

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.
Michael Grabell

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