Michael Grabell writes about 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, the Atlantic and the New York Times and on Vice and NPR. In 2019, he was part of a team that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the Peabody and George Polk awards for their coverage of family separation and abuse in immigrant children’s shelters. He previously won the Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism for his investigation into the dismantling of workers’ compensation and an ASNE award for reporting on diversity for his series on the growth of temp work in the economy.
Each state determines its own workers’ compensation benefits, which means workers in adjoining states can end up with dramatically different compensation for identical injuries.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Employers will be legally responsible if their temp agencies and subcontractors put workers at risk or withhold wages.
The bill, inspired in part by a ProPublica investigation, will hold companies accountable for labor abuses by temp agencies and subcontractors they use.
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.
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.
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 bill would hold companies legally responsible for wage and safety violations committed by their subcontractors and temp agencies.
Today’s blue collar temp laborers face abuses similar to those of migrant farmworkers depicted in iconic 1960 CBS documentary.
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.
'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.
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.
Temp workers are thrown into dangerous work with little training and suffer injuries far more often than permanent employees.
Worker’s comp data collected from five states shows temps are far more likely to be injured on the job.
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.