As a result of Frank’s series, several U.S. senators and congressmen introduced legislation to expedite worker claims. By late September, a group of seven senators had come together to call for an investigation by the Government Accountability Office into the department’s handling of the claims. In the meantime, many of the people Frank interviewed are growing sicker, still waiting for reimbursement.
The Rocky received dozens of letters and calls from other sick workers around the country, telling stories so similar to the ones Frank wrote about, that she is confident that her sources are not statistical anomalies, but representative of a corrupt system.

In mid-September, Frank finally got a response from Labor Department officials: a stern admonishment in an e-mail that blasted her for having “completely inaccurate” information in one of the graphics that accompanied her articles. Its lone substantive gripe? The graphic included a Department of Labor seal that, the letter suggested, made it appear to be an official department document when it was not. 

 

Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.