Eleanor Klibanoff joined the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in June 2017. Klibanoff previously worked at Keystone Crossroads, a public radio project covering urban decline and recovery in the Rust Belt. She was a Kroc Fellow at NPR and a recipient of a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grant to cover maternal healthcare in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
UPS employees say one of Louisville’s largest private employers is violating city and state rules intended to prevent the spread of coronavirus by not enforcing social distancing. They also say the company is not providing adequate protective gear. Concerns are heightened after an employee at the UPS Worldport, the Louisville-based global shipping hub, died over the weekend.
WDRB first reported the employee’s death on Monday, and said several employees and a family member confirmed he had been diagnosed with coronavirus. UPS said it would not confirm cases of coronavirus due to “medical privacy laws” — and employees say they haven’t been given any information, either. Three employees who work at two different UPS facilities said they first heard about the death on the news.
“I don’t even know what my risk is, because I’m not being told anything,” said one Worldport employee, who asked not to be named to protect her job.
This employee said her whole job is done from a computer, and she has asked to work from home, but has been told that is not possible.
They say they have been told they cannot work remotely and sent between units without appropriate protective gear, interacting with both potential coronavirus patients and highly immuno-compromised patients.
Bars and restaurants are closed. Schools are shuttered. Several major corporations, like Ford, have suspended operations. Others, like Humana, have allowed many employees to work from home. Even Kentucky’s sacred trifecta — church, basketball games and horse races — have all been canceled or postponed for the foreseeable future.
Lauder said the changes are a positive that resulted from KyCIR’s story, but she called the reporting “disingenuous.”
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