Essential and Exposed

US deems migrant seafood workers ‘essential’ but limits their COVID-19 protections

Migrant seafood-processing workers, who are legally hired and transported to the U.S. each season through the federal H-2B visa program, face heightened risks of catching COVID-19.

Podcast: Airport workers faced COVID risks as airlines advertised passenger safety measures

Conversations about the safety of air travel have largely left airport workers out. The choice of whether or not to fly in a pandemic is a question of community safety and how the decision affects people with the least protection. Meet some of them in the Howard Center podcast In The Air.

At least 9,000 Arkansas workers caught COVID-19 as pandemic overwhelmed regulators, companies

In working conditions that stress a quick turnaround on products, have close contact between employees and brisk temperatures, poultry workers say they were put at risk for catching the virus.

Massachusetts health departments overwhelmed, unprepared to protect workers

With federal regulators missing from the field and state leaders scrambling to manage the COVID-19 crisis, Massachusetts’ 351 overtaxed local boards of health were unwittingly thrust into a new role last year — overseers of workplace safety.

As Walmart sales soared, workers got scant COVID-19 protection from OSHA

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, provides a window into OSHA’s performance during the pandemic.

About Essential and Exposed

These stories were produced by the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, part of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, in collaboration with journalists from Boston University, the University of Arkansas and Stanford University. The mission…