Labor

Series

Trashed

Inside New York’s Deadly Private Garbage Industry

Half-life

Nuke Lab Workers Getting Sick

Temp Land

Lost Wages, High Injury Rates, Few Benefits

Insult to Injury

America’s Vanishing Worker Protections

Stories

The Most Common IRS Tax Forms You’re Likely to Come Across When Filing

For 2020, the tax deadline was extended to July 15. Here’s a guide to the most common tax forms and when they’re used — as well as other things to keep in mind when filing during COVID-19.

The Airline Bailout Loophole: Companies Laid Off Workers, Then Got Money Meant to Prevent Layoffs

Three companies including Gate Gourmet, a global provider of airline meals, received $338 million in relief money for workers — and laid workers off anyway.

Tracking PPP Loans: Search Every Company Approved for Federal Loans Over $150k

The Paycheck Protection Program includes about $659 billion in federally backed loans to small businesses, to be forgiven if used to prevent laying off workers. Our database lets you search what’s been disclosed so far.

Companies Owned by This Billionaire Governor Received up to $24 Million in Bailout Loans

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family received between $11 million and $24 million from a federal coronavirus economic relief program. His luxury resort received up to $10 million, but did not promise to retain jobs because of the loan.

An Employee at a Private Sports Club Owned by This Billionaire Governor Tested Positive for Coronavirus

After complaints alleging lax reopening practices at Gov. Jim Justice’s luxury resort, a kitchen employee has tested positive at the sports club affiliated with the hotel. Officials at the venue are scrambling to be ready for the July 4 weekend.

Stop Seizing Paychecks, Senators Write to Capital One and Other Debt Collectors

Wage garnishments ordered before the pandemic started have continued for many workers during the recession. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown have demanded an end to the practice.

The Governor Urged Businesses to Reopen Safely, but a Restaurant at His Luxury Resort Didn’t, Complaints Say

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice allowed bars and restaurants to reopen in late May. Since then, a steakhouse at the luxury resort he owns has received repeated complaints for not reopening safely. A health inspector called it an “unnecessary risk.”

GM Closed the Lordstown Auto Plant. Now Ohio May Force a $60 Million Repayment.

General Motors received tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks to operate a massive assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, until 2027. The plant closed last year, and the state may force a repayment of more than $60 million, documents show.

She Paid Thousands for a Visa to Work in the U.S. Then She Got Laid Off. Now, She’s Trapped.

Thousands of workers in the U.S. with J-1 visas have been laid off as the coronavirus shut down the economy. They can’t afford to fly to their home countries — and can’t afford to stay.

This Treasury Official Is Running the Bailout. It’s Been Great for His Family.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich has an increasingly prominent role. He still has ties to his family’s investment firm, which is a major beneficiary of the Treasury’s bailout actions.

Substitute Pharmacists Warn Their Co-Workers: We’ll Probably Bring the Virus to You

With regular employees out sick, CVS and Walgreens rely on traveling workers to fill in at short notice. But when these floaters show up at a store, they often aren’t told if anyone there has tested positive.

ProPublica Joins News Organizations in Suing for Small Business Program Loan Info

The Small Business Administration, which is administering the lending program, has said it will disclose the names of companies that got loans — just not yet. News organizations are suing to stop the delay.

Why a Struggling Rust Belt City Pinned Its Revival on a Self-Chilling Beverage Can

Welcome to Youngstown, Ohio, home of Chill-Can, the self-chilling beverage container you’ve probably never heard of. Officials have gambled millions of dollars and demolished a neighborhood for the product. Not one job has been created yet.

Did Your Company Get Bailout Money? Are the Employees Benefiting From It?

How has your company treated its workers during the crisis? As bailout money in the form of huge loan programs reaches to your company, what are you watching for or worried about?

Life and Death, But No Trash Pickup: Diary of a Young COVID-19 Nurse

Despite all the talk about appreciating health care workers, one California nurse caring for the sickest patients felt she needed more support.

Millions of Americans Might Not Get Stimulus Checks. Some Might Be Tricked Into Paying TurboTax to Get Theirs.

Congress gave the IRS the job of sending out coronavirus rescue checks. But the underfunded agency is struggling, while for-profit companies like Intuit have started circling, hoping to convert Americans in need into paying customers.

Inside the Union Where Coronavirus Put 98% of Members Out of Work

Unite Here was a rare union success story. But then the coronavirus decimated the restaurant, food service and hotel industries, where most of its 307,000 members work. “We’re fighting for our survival,” its president told ProPublica.

A Nurse Bought Protective Supplies for Her Colleagues Using GoFundMe. The Hospital Suspended Her.

She raised more than $12,000 to buy and distribute protective gear for her colleagues, who say they felt inadequately protected against COVID-19. How a confrontation in one of the nation’s Coronavirus hotspots illustrates a troubling national trend.

ER Staffing Company Reverses Benefits Cuts for Doctors and Nurses Fighting Coronavirus

Alteon Health rolled back cuts to vacation and retirement benefits for emergency room doctors and medical professionals after ProPublica’s reporting. Hours are still being reshuffled as non-coronavirus patients avoid the ER.

New York Wants Health Workers to Join the Fight Against COVID-19. Will It Pick Up Their Medical Bills if They Get Sick?

States are recruiting retirees, recent graduates and other health professionals to help overwhelmed hospitals, but if they contract the virus while serving patients, they could be on the hook for any out-of-pocket medical costs.

¿Qué sucedería si se enferman los empleados que cortan las carnes del país?

Al mismo tiempo que las empacadoras de carne se agilizan para tratar de satisfacer la demanda, sus empleados comienzan a contraer COVID-19. Sin embargo algunos de ellos dicen que se están presentando al trabajo enfermos por no tener licencia con goce de sueldo por enfermedad y por la posibilidad de ser penalizados si se quedan en su casa.

What Happens If Workers Cutting Up the Nation’s Meat Get Sick?

As meatpackers rush to meet demand, their employees are starting to get COVID-19. But some workers say they’re going to work ill because they don’t have paid sick days and can be penalized for staying home.

The VA Will Now Let Some Administrative Staff Work From Home

After New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica reported that the VA was not allowing telework, the agency reversed course. Some workers remain skeptical that the policy will be implemented.

Obreros “esenciales” de fábricas temen ir al trabajo y no pueden permitirse quedarse en casa

Mientras fábricas y almacenes en Illinois se mantienen abiertos produciendo suministros en medio del brote de coronavirus, obreros dicen que trabajar codo a codo en las líneas de producción y fichar en los escáneres de huellas digitales podrían enfermarles.

“Essential” Factory Workers Are Afraid to Go to Work and Can’t Afford to Stay Home

As some Illinois factories and warehouses stay open making supplies amid the coronavirus outbreak, workers say standing elbow to elbow in production lines and clocking in with fingerprint scanners could make them sick.

Letter Carriers Say the Postal Service Pressured Them to Deliver Mail Despite Coronavirus Symptoms — and Often Without Hand Sanitizer

Experts say coronavirus could be transferred through mail delivery by sick employees. Postal workers say USPS isn’t doing much to keep them or their customers safe.

Spencer’s Pressured Employees to Come to Work, Selling Gag Gifts and Sex Toys, Until We Called

One store manager said the gag gift shop was “valuing us coming in and selling dildos and shot glasses over the health of our families.” Just before its deadline to comment, the store announced it was closing due to coronavirus.

The CDC Recommends Americans Stay at Home — Unless They Work for the CDC

The Trump administration has reduced remote work across federal agencies, leaving federal workers ill-prepared to cope with the current crisis. Even the CDC has yet to direct employees to work from home.

Millions of Federal Workers Still Waiting on Work-From-Home Order During Coronavirus Pandemic

Public health experts agree that Americans need to stay home as much as possible, but the Trump administration has not yet issued clear guidance to federal workers.

Coronavirus Panic Buying Puts Grocery Workers and Shoppers at Risk of Infection

Braving grocery store crowds when you’re already stocked up puts you at risk of getting sick or infecting others, including elderly workers and others who have no choice but to be there.

The Postal Service Fired Thousands of Workers for Getting Injured While Delivering and Processing Your Mail

USPS forced out 44,000 workers who got injured on the job. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the effort, part of a five year program, violated the law. But the Postal Service has fought its workers’ claims since 2007.

Have You Been Injured Working for the U.S. Postal Service?

Tell us why postal workers are getting hurt on the job. We also want to hear about how USPS treats injured employees.

Do You Work in Customer Service? We’d Like to Hear About Your Work-From-Home Jobs.

Have you worked with a contractor such as Arise, Sykes, LiveOps or Concentrix? We want to learn more about how customer service works at big companies like Apple, Intuit, Disney and Airbnb.

Chemical Companies Are Building Their Plants Overseas and Shipping Them Back In. They Still Get State Tax Breaks.

Louisiana attracts chemical companies with one of the country’s most generous tax exemptions. The idea is to bring jobs to the state. Instead, construction often happens offsite, and automation has cut down on the jobs that remain.

Black Farmers Say a Top Chicken Company Turned Them Away

New allegations surfaced in a lawsuit after ProPublica’s investigation of Koch Foods in Mississippi. The company denies discriminating against black farmers.

Trump’s USDA Is Letting Factories With Troubling Safety Records Slaughter Chickens Even Faster

Workers are getting injured, but the Department of Agriculture says their safety is not its responsibility.

Ex-IBM Executive Says She Was Told Not to Disclose Names of Employees Over Age 50 Who’d Been Laid Off

In an affidavit filed as part of a class-action lawsuit, a former IBM vice president says she was fired for warning superiors that the company was vulnerable to claims of age bias. IBM says it was because of “gross misconduct.”

In an 18-Year-Old Program to Help Ill Nuclear Workers, a Petition Has Lingered for 10 Years

A security guard at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been seeking compensation for fellow lab workers who’ve become ill, but the government has repeatedly denied the petition and he’s still waiting for a final answer.

The Los Alamos Lab Worker Who Started a Year Too Late for Benefits

If Gilberto Ulibarri had begun a year earlier, he would have been deemed eligible for compensation from the government because the lab had not kept adequate records of radiation exposure. But because he started in 1996, he was fending for himself.

Ill Nuclear Workers’ Benefits Petitions Have to Be Reviewed Within 6 Months. Some Have Languished About a Decade.

A petition filed by a Los Alamos worker has been in limbo for 10 years. At the Savannah River Site, a petition has lingered for 11 years. At Sandia National Laboratories, workers have been waiting seven years for a final decision.

Half-Life

Chad Walde believed in his work at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Then he got a rare brain cancer linked to radiation, and the government denied it had any responsibility.

Amid Accusations of Age Bias, IBM Winds Down a Push for Millennial Workers

Several age-discrimination lawsuits and investigations have cited IBM’s Millennial Corps as evidence of the company’s bias toward younger workers. Now, it seems, the company is bringing this effort to an end.

Private Trash Haulers Resist New Safety Measures

As New York City’s oversight agency moves to have companies regularly report accidents, traffic violations and license suspensions involving their drivers, the haulers push back.

How Struggling Dayton, Ohio, Reveals the Chasm Among American Cities

As a ProPublica/Frontline documentary shows, the economic and social gaps among cities are growing as dramatic as the gaps between urban and rural areas.

At Hearing for Bronx Trash Hauler, More Questions About Safety and Oversight

Unregistered employees. Dangerously long driving schedules. Sanitation Salvage’s bid last week to have its suspension lifted produced more damning findings and fresh questions about why it took regulators so long to act.

Treated Like Trash

Inside New York’s private garbage industry there’s fatal accidents; brutal work conditions; suspicious unions and lax oversight.

Hell on Wheels

Fatal accidents, off-the-books workers, a union once run by a mobster. The rogue world of one of New York’s major trash haulers.

Federal Watchdog Launches Investigation of Age Bias at IBM

After a ProPublica story spotlighting IBM’s practices in shedding older workers, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission consolidated age discrimination complaints against the company from around the country.

Treated Like Trash

A death. A cover-up. An immigrant meets a terrible end in the Bronx.

Injured Nuclear Workers Finally Had Support. The Trump Administration Has Mothballed It.

An advisory board of scientists, doctors and worker advocates helped ensure that nuclear workers exposed to toxins received proper compensation. The terms of nearly all board members expired last month — and no new members have been appointed.

One Night on a Private Garbage Truck in New York City

New York’s residential trash is hauled away by the city, but private companies collect trash thrown away by businesses. Every night, an army of private trucks zig-zag across the city, making hundreds of stops each.

Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection

Waste removal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. On the darkened streets of New York City, it’s a race for survival.

Florida Lawmakers to Review Law Targeting Injured Undocumented Workers

Citing an NPR and ProPublica investigation, a top Florida lawmaker and a national insurance fraud group criticized a law used by insurers to turn in injured undocumented workers and avoid paying workers’ comp benefits.

Se lesionaron en el trabajo. Y entonces fueron deportados.

Cómo las compañías de seguros usan las leyes de Florida para hacer que inmigrantes indocumentados sean arrestados y deportados cuando se lesionan en el trabajo — y lo que significa en la América de Trump.

They Got Hurt at Work. Then They Got Deported.

How insurance companies use a Florida law to get undocumented immigrants arrested and deported when they get injured on the job — and what it means in Trump’s America.

Senator Demands Answers From Case Farms

An investigation by ProPublica and The New Yorker documented how the chicken company turned to immigrants to work at its plants. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.

The Breakthrough: A Reporter Crosses Borders to Uncover Labor Abuse

ProPublica’s Michael Grabell travels from the heart of Ohio to the mountains of Guatemala to track down immigrant workers harmed in American poultry plants.

Supreme Court Won’t Take Up R.J. Reynolds Age Discrimination Case

The decision in a case involving the nation’s second-largest tobacco company gives employers new ways to shield themselves from charges of bias against older applicants.

Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees

Case Farms’ history shows how many sectors like meatpacking depend on immigrants and refugees. Now business leaders fear President Trump’s policies will create a labor shortage.

Case Farms Responds to Our Story

After our story about the chicken processor’s reliance on immigrant workers, Case Farms issued a statement. Here’s some context that’s missing.

Sold for Parts

One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.

Vendidos por Piezas

Una de las empresas más peligrosas en los Estados Unidos se aprovechó de trabajadores inmigrantes. Después, cuando se hicieron daño o se resistieron, la empresa utilizó las leyes americanas contra ellos.

Photos: Returning to the Roots of Case Farms’ Workforce

One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.

Conociendo los orígenes de la mano de obra de Case Farms

Ensayo Fotográfico: Conociendo los orígenes de la mano de obra de Case Farms

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?

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.

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.

‘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.

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