As the coronavirus pandemic upends millions of lives across the U.S. and forces many to work from home, fast-food workers have been in the vulnerable position of continuing to work and risk potential exposure to the virus.
Since the pandemic began causing unemployment to spike last year, the Kansas Department of Labor’s decades-old unemployment system has struggled to keep up with the thousands of claims filed on a weekly basis, causing case backlogs, site glitches and delays in sending Kansans their unemployment payments.
Millions of Americans who have lost their jobs in the last nine months have relied on pandemic unemployment programs. But those unemployment programs are now expiring.
Faced with a pandemic that has lasted for most of 2020, dozens of independent restaurants in Kansas City have closed their doors.
Without a job, Kansans have relied on state and federal support to get by — to pay rent, bills, utilities and food. But nine months since unemployment claims began skyrocketing in the spring, Kansans are experiencing delays in receiving their payments.
According to records requested by The Beacon, the city of Kansas City, Missouri, has received over 3,000 complaints about businesses failing to comply with the city’s COVID-19 health orders since March.
What would normally be an in-person appearance at the 16th Circuit Courthouse downtown has transitioned onto virtual platforms.
At a time when going to work carries possible exposure to a contagious, novel virus — and when many COVID-19 outbreaks have been linked to workplaces themselves — the complaints provide a window into the risks facing workers.
The most recent data available shows that about 87,000 people across Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, have found themselves out of work and out of money in the middle of a worsening global health crisis.
As COVID-19 continues to spread in Kansas and Missouri, many small businesses have had to swiftly pivot their business plans to avoid shutting down. And some now see their prepandemic operations as a thing of the past.
The end of the Jackson County, Missouri, eviction moratorium in response to COVID-19 has highlighted issues around access to low-income housing in Kansas City, Missouri. Meanwhile, Kansans on the other side of the state line have more protections.
More than 1.9 million truck drivers in the U.S. have delivered vital supplies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which so far has infected more than 700,000 people and caused more than 30,000 deaths. And although millions across the country are ordered to stay home, most truck drivers are still on the roads.
With positive cases continuing to increase as more testing is done, more states and localities have ordered restaurants, bars, businesses, and schools to close or restrict services as a way to mitigate the spread of the virus. As a result, workers across the country and in Kansas City have found themselves out of a job — and out of a paycheck — indefinitely.