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Scared workers should refuse to work, Wolf says

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The Investigator

Your guide to the Capitol & stories holding the powerful to account

May 7, 2020 | spotlightpa.org

On the eve of the reopening of 24 counties, allowing businesses to resume some in-person operations and call back employees, there remain concerns about how well those employees will be protected. Essential workers are sounding the alarm, saying their complaints are being ignored.

Gov. Tom Wolf said this week that the state cannot widely enforce its workplace safety orders and that, as a last resort, scared employees should refuse to go to work. That's cold comfort for those who say such a refusal amounts to quitting and could also jeopardize their ability to collect unemployment.

On another front, Wolf continues to pledge transparency even as his administration opposes a bill to restart the state public records law, continues to refuse to turn over documents related to the business waiver program, and won't name nursing homes with coronavirus cases and deaths.

Plus, a new Spotlight PA review found some small business owners barely stood a chance at getting relief from the state's $61 million loan program.

Sarah Anne Hughes, Spotlight PA


"Why [am] I going to expose myself for people getting stupid things like sexual dolls, grills, bed frames, exercise machines?"

— An anonymous Amazon employee, one of several warehouse workers who said their safety complaints are being ignored
LATEST ON THE NUMBERS: Adjusted trend lines continue to show significant leveling off of the virus, which is most severely impacting nursing homes.


As of 12 p.m. May 7
Latest from Spotlight PA
» State won’t give protective equipment to hospitals that resume elective surgeries
» Why Pa.'s death toll for Philadelphia lags behind city’s count
» Pa. sets modest goal to conduct 8,500 coronavirus tests per day
» How Pa. plans to track the coronavirus after reopening to prevent another outbreak
» Red, yellow, green: What to expect in each of Pa.’s tiers for reopening

From across the state
» AP: State businesses begin to reopen in defiance of Wolf's shutdown order
» BUCKS COUNTY COURIER: Nursing homes told to admit seniors with COVID-19
» CBS NEWS: Wolf's shutdown orders upheld by nation's highest court
» INQUIRER: Public companies received millions from loan program meant for small biz
» INQUIRER: U.S. Supreme Court hears birth control case with Pa. roots
» PA POST: Push for mail-in ballots could overwhelm counties 
» PENNLIVE: Wolf proposes civilian force to assist with contact tracing
» POST-GAZETTE: Meat processing plant sees rise in COVID-19 cases
» PUBLIC OPINION: Employees of Franklin Co. detention center say staff abused kids 
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Tricky tides (Case No. 37): A ship anchors off shore and lets down a ladder with 10 rungs. The rungs are each 12 inches apart, with the last rung just above the surface of the water. The ocean is calm. If the tide rises at a rate of 4 inches per hour, how long until the bottom three rungs are under water?
Stumped? Get a hint. Feeling smart? Challenge a friend.

Last week's answer: Three ducks in total.

Congrats to Karen S., who will receive Spotlight PA swag (when we reopen our office!). Others who correctly answered: George S., Dave D., Joseph S., Frank D., Sherman A., Dan K., Jon N., Stacey C., Kenneth J., Christine L., Don D., Jeff B., John D., Rebecca D., Janet L., Lou R., Kathy G., Christine H., Susan K-G, and Philip C.
» This week's Riddler hint: You don't need math.
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