ProPublica investigates how big meat companies pushed to keep their plants running even as their workers, and the communities they lived in, became among the hardest hit by the pandemic — and how the government failed to stop them.
Inside New York’s Deadly Private Garbage Industry
Nuke Lab Workers Getting Sick
Lost Wages, High Injury Rates, Few Benefits
America’s Vanishing Worker Protections
Owned by a billionaire Dutch family, Blue Harvest Fisheries has emerged as a dominant force in the lucrative fishing port of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Its business model: benefit from lax antitrust rules and pass costs on to local fishermen.
The Unemployment Insurance System Is Set to Get a Tech Makeover — but It Needs Much More, the Biden Administration Says
The Labor Department has launched an overhaul of the technology that runs the unemployment insurance system, which was overwhelmed by claims and plagued by fraud during the pandemic. But the agency says Congress must act to fix deeper problems.
A New Suit Seeks to Turn Arbitrations, a Tool of Big Corporations, Against a Top Customer Service Provider
Arise Virtual Solutions has been accused of cheating its vast network of customer service agents. The suit, which cites ProPublica’s reporting, seeks a decision that could trigger a wave of tiny legal actions against Arise.
When reporter Cezary Podkul began investigating how unemployment insurance fraud exploded during the pandemic, he discovered an international web of scammers, stolen identities and “sauce.”
Women make up an overwhelming majority of the customer service workers in the U.S. who work for low pay and zero benefits. Why are these jobs so gendered? And how can we be better customers for the women who work them?
Bots filing bogus applications in bulk, teams of fraudsters in foreign countries making phony claims, online forums peddling how-to advice on identity theft: Inside the infrastructure of perhaps the largest fraud wave in history.
In their own voices, seven customer service representatives reveal what it’s like being caught between abusive callers and demanding employers.
This Company Got a $10 Million PPP Loan, Then Closed Its Plant and Moved Manufacturing Jobs to Mexico
Many American businesses received millions in federal pandemic aid intended to protect workers, but exploited loopholes and rule changes to lay off those employees anyway.
Unemployment benefits are subject to both state and federal income taxes, but it’s not always straightforward. Here’s how to avoid a surprise tax bill.
Did the failed vote in Alabama deliver a fatal blow to employees’ union efforts, or is it just a temporary setback? History offers a few clues.
A key House subcommittee cited reports by ProPublica and other news outlets in launching an investigation into how the country’s meatpacking companies handled the pandemic, which has killed hundreds of workers to date.
All a Gig-Economy Pioneer Had to Do Was “Politely Disagree” It Was Violating Federal Law and the Labor Department Walked Away
An Obama administration Labor Department investigator estimated that Arise Virtual Solutions owed its network of 20,000 customer service agents $14.2 million. The company paid nothing.
“Those of Us Who Don’t Die Are Going to Quit”: A Crush of Patients, Dwindling Supplies and the Nurse Who Lost Hope
Almost a year into the pandemic, supply shortages remain so severe that nurse Kristen Cline reuses her N95 for several shifts while her hospital buckles, patients suffer and folks nearby socialize maskless as if the pandemic were already over.
FedEx workers at the Memphis World Hub said they were pressured to work faster than they felt was safe. The company faces its busiest season ever, but experts worry about safety practices after the “extremely preventable” death of a temporary worker.
As COVID-19 Ravaged This Iowa City, Officials Discovered Meatpacking Executives Were the Ones in Charge
Meatpacking was once a path to the middle class in Waterloo, where workers led the fight for civil rights. But by the time the pandemic hit, a transformed industry had assembled a workforce from the most vulnerable parts of the world. The stage had been set.
People across the Lone Star State are struggling to navigate a maze-like system to get the benefits they are entitled to. Here are the answers to the most common questions about getting benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission.
Immigrant teenagers who work overnight shifts in suburban factories dream of a better life for children they don’t yet have. So did the author’s father.
Inmigrantes menores de edad que hacen turnos nocturnos en fábricas suburbanas sueñan con una vida mejor para hijos que todavía no tienen. El padre de la autora hizo lo mismo.
El mundo secreto de los adolescentes inmigrantes que trabajan en peligrosos turnos nocturnos en fábricas suburbanas
Durante el día, inmigrantes menores de edad van a la secundaria. Por la noche, trabajan en fábricas para pagar deudas del viaje y mandar dinero a sus familias. El trabajo infantil no sorprende a las autoridades. Tampoco están haciendo mucho sobre el tema.
During the day, immigrant teenagers attend high school. At night, they work in factories to pay debts to smugglers and send money to family. The authorities aren’t surprised by child labor. They’re also not doing much about it.
The Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Take Bailout Funds and Lay Off Workers, Says House Report
Instead of using bailout money to keep workers, at least two companies restored the full pay of their top management.
Trump’s trade representative joined the administration with one mission: Bring factory jobs back from overseas. The results so far? Endless trade wars, alienated allies, and a manufacturing recession.
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.
Arise Virtual Solutions, part of the secretive world of work-at-home customer service, helps large corporations shed costs at the expense of workers. Now the pandemic is creating a boom in the industry.
A committee chair is ratcheting up a fight over an investigation into potential conflicts of interests in the NLRB’s repeated efforts to undo an Obama-era rule that expanded liability for corporations like McDonald’s.
Trabajadoras temporales luchan contra supuesto acoso sexual y dicen que sufren represalias por hacerlo
El fiscal general de Illinois anunció que había alcanzado un acuerdo con la empresa que establece una supervisión independiente para proteger a las trabajadoras.
Temp Workers Fight Back Against Alleged Sexual Harassment and Say They Face Retaliation for Doing So
The Illinois attorney general announced that he reached a settlement with the company that calls for an independent monitor to protect the workers.
The Small Biz Double-Dip: Temp Companies Got Cheap Government Money, Got Paid by Clients for the Same Workers
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses were temp agencies. Many have been able to turn the government loans into profits.
The suit by workers at Maid-Rite Speciality Foods in Pennsylvania employs a rarely used legal tool and is the latest in a growing chorus of complaints about how the federal agency charged with protecting workers has responded to COVID-19.
The catastrophic loss of millions of U.S. jobs is another part of the coronavirus pandemic that is falling disproportionately onto the shoulders of Black Americans.
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.
Three companies including Gate Gourmet, a global provider of airline meals, received $338 million in relief money for workers — and laid workers off anyway.
The Paycheck Protection Program includes nearly $600 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Tell us why postal workers are getting hurt on the job. We also want to hear about how USPS treats injured employees.
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.
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.
New allegations surfaced in a lawsuit after ProPublica’s investigation of Koch Foods in Mississippi. The company denies discriminating against black farmers.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inside New York’s private garbage industry there’s fatal accidents; brutal work conditions; suspicious unions and lax oversight.
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.
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.
A death. A cover-up. An immigrant meets a terrible end in the Bronx.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After our story about the chicken processor’s reliance on immigrant workers, Case Farms issued a statement. Here’s some context that’s missing.
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.
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.
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.
Ensayo Fotográfico: Conociendo los orígenes de la mano de obra de Case Farms
One Texas lawyer is helping companies opt out of workers’ compensation and write their own rules. What does it mean for injured workers?
Injured workers share their stories, revealing the real-life impact of rollbacks that have been spreading across the country.
Each state determines its own workers’ compensation benefits, which means workers in adjoining states can end up with dramatically different compensation for identical injuries.
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.