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In ways both big and small, the pandemic fundamentally upended how and where many people work. Individuals and industries alike have had to grapple with “essential” work, remote employees, job market swings and a surge in unionizing efforts. Crosscut has launched Washington Workplace Watch to investigate how employment dynamics have shifted in recent years as well as how our public oversight may need to adapt.
This project will produce long-term coverage on working conditions, safety concerns and government oversight efforts throughout Washington. Our team will pursue stories across agriculture, aerospace, healthcare, construction, tech, government and other industries to seek out failures to protect or treat workers fairly. We will pore through inspection records, legal complaints, data and other documentation to show how companies and public institutions enforce key policies — or not.
As we report on these issues, we want to share the stories of Washingtonians from a diversity of economic, cultural and geographic backgrounds. We know there are many stories to tell about unsafe worksites, hiring discrimination, on-the-job harassment or unfair labor practices. We will prioritize uncovering misconduct or disparities that disproportionately affect rural or historically marginalized communities.
(Si prefiere leer acerca de este proyecto en español, o proveer información en español, haga clic aquí.)
We need your help
We are looking for stories with broad community interest and impact. The success of these investigations relies on connecting with people who have direct experience with these issues. Please consider reaching out with your concerns about workplace injustices.
The best news tips include a strong foundation for initial reporting, such as the names of the people involved, relevant documents, databases, recordings or firsthand accounts.
Your questions about how specific businesses or agencies operate can also point us to key stories. Submit questions to Investigations editor Jacob Jones or investigative reporter Lizz Giordano below.
How to submit a news tip:
- Traditional mail is still a secure way to give our reporters vital information. Mail documents or other tips to our newsroom:
ATTN: WA Workplace Watch, Jacob Jones
401 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109
- Leave a detailed message on our news tip line at 206-443-6704
- Email Jacob or Lizz
- Contact us via Signal, an encryption tool to keep your electronic communications private and secure. (Read this article for tips on how to use Signal)
Ask Lizz your questions about workplace rights and safety.
Lizz Giordano is Crosscut’s investigative reporter, focused on following working conditions, government oversight procedures and labor organizing efforts across Washington state. Before joining Crosscut, as writer and photographer, Lizz covered transit and transportation issues impacting the region. She can be followed on Twitter @lizzgior or reached on email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
We want to pursue stories that reveal company- or industry-wide failures or injustices that result in unsafe conditions or unfair practices. We will also pursue stories that involve abuses of power by individuals or businesses at the expense of workers or the public. We also look to uncover weaknesses in government oversight that can allow for improper policies or practices to continue undeterred.
Our investigations desk has a statewide scope that can take us to any corner of Washington. We will pay particular attention to historically underserved or disadvantaged communities as well as rural news deserts as we seek to continue expanding our investigative coverage into regions outside the Puget Sound area.
We have a lot of ground to cover, so detailed tips or questions make it much easier for us to hone in on potential stories in your community or connect trends statewide. You can email the investigations editor directly at email@example.com. We do not have the resources to investigate every tip, so providing a strong foundation for reporting with details and documents can help us determine whether we can take on the story and whether there is a strong community interest in investigating.
Yes. Other news media can republish most of our work for free. Crosscut provides guidance here on how news outlets can republish our stories and photos. Feel free to reach out to your local newspaper or TV station if you think it would benefit from sharing our work with your community.
No. Crosscut editorial staff have complete control over reporting and publication of Workplace Watch stories. Editorial staff selected the focus of the project, and there are no content restrictions or obligations tied to the grant. The funders are not permitted any advance review of stories and have not attempted to influence reporting efforts.
We strive for our reporting to be transparent and clearly grounded in fact. We will attribute the information in our stories to the sources who provided it. We will often provide links to the primary documents or recordings we used so you can check our work. Subjects of our stories will be given the opportunity to comment and share their perspective prior to publication. Even in those rare stories that rely on anonymous sources, our investigative team will still know the full identity of those sources and will work to vet their credibility before publication.
Sharing our stories with other interested readers or local officials can help increase the visibility and impact of our reporting. Sending us questions or story ideas can help us find new issues worthy of investigation. You can also support Crosscut’s work financially by becoming a member.