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Michael Grabell

Reporter

Photo of Michael Grabell

Michael Grabell covers economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 30 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times and on Vice and NPR. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and an IRE Medal for investigative reporting and is a three-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

U.S. Lawmakers Call for More Oversight of Workers’ Comp

In response to a ProPublica and NPR investigation, members of Congress are urging the labor secretary to come up with a plan to protect injured workers and taxpayers.

Inside Corporate America’s Campaign To Ditch Workers’ Comp

One Texas lawyer is helping companies opt out of workers’ compensation and write their own rules. What does it mean for injured workers?

Price Check: How Companies Value Body Parts

Benefits for the same body part can differ dramatically depending on which company you work for.

Injured Worker in ProPublica/NPR Story Testifies Before Illinois Legislature

In an eight-hour hearing, Democratic lawmakers challenge governor's proposals to change state's workers' compensation law.

California Bill Would Bar Insurers from Withdrawing Injured Workers' Care

A bill that passed a state Senate committee today would address a problem highlighted in a ProPublica and NPR investigation of problems with new workers' compensation laws.

Alabama Bill Would Increase Workers' Comp Benefits for Amputees

A proposal to nearly triple the maximum compensation for workers who lose a limb follows a ProPublica/NPR story that showed Alabama to have the lowest permanent partial disability benefits in the country.

California Workers’ Comp Law Gets Criticism, Praise at Senate Hearing

Some hearing witnesses say the 2012 reform law had “unintended consequences,” prompting insurers to deny medical care and doctors to leave the system.

California to Insurers: Don’t Use Workers’ Comp Law to Deny Approved Care

Concern over possible misuse of a 2012 workers’ comp law has led to warnings from state labor officials. A state senate committee will hold a hearing on the law Wednesday.

The Fallout of Workers’ Comp ‘Reforms’: 5 Tales of Harm

Injured workers share their stories, revealing the real-life impact of rollbacks that have been spreading across the country.

California Announces Audit of Insurance Company That Took Away Home Health Aide

A top labor official in California challenges our characterization of changes to the state’s workers’ comp system. His department will audit a case spotlighted by us.

OSHA Report Echoes ProPublica and NPR’s Workers’ Comp Findings

Separate investigations into changes in the workers’ compensation system nationwide found that cutbacks were hurting injured workers and their families.

Methodology for Workers’ Comp Benefits: How Much is a Limb Worth?

How ProPublica gathered and analyzed state workers’ compensation laws to find out the maximum each states pays per limb.

How Much Is Your Arm Worth? Depends On Where You Work

Each state determines its own workers’ compensation benefits, which means workers in adjoining states can end up with dramatically different compensation for identical injuries.

Workers’ Comp Benefits: How Much is a Limb Worth?

If you suffer a permanent injury on the job, you’re typically entitled to compensation for the damage to your body and your future lost wages. But depending on the state, benefits for the same body part can differ dramatically.

‘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.

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.

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 benefits, create hurdles to getting medical care or make it more difficult to qualify for workers’ comp.

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.

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