Caregivers work intimately with the elderly. They bathe, dress and feed them and help with basic hygiene. But who looks out for the caregivers?

By 2034, the number of Americans who are 65 or older is expected to outnumber children – a first in U.S. history. Providing for the elderly has become a multibillion-dollar industry, and about 29,000 residential care facilities operate across the country. But a new investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has found that across the U.S., caregivers in small residential communities are being overworked and underpaid. There are at least 1,400 cases nationwide in which care facility operators broke minimum wage and other labor laws, in some cases effectively paying caregivers as little as $2 an hour to work around the clock.  
In this collaboration with PBS NewsHour, Reveal examines how some caregivers earn rock-bottom wages to work day and night, while their employers profit from their labor.

Jennifer Gollan

Jennifer Gollan is a reporter for Reveal, covering labor and corporate accountability.

An Emmy Award winner, Gollan has reported on topics ranging from oil companies that dodge accountability for workers’ deaths to lax manufacturing practices that contributed to deadly tire blowouts.

Gollan uncovered rampant exploitation and abuse of caregivers in the burgeoning elder care-home industry. The series, Caregivers and Takers, detailed how operators enriched themselves while paying workers about $2 an hour to work around the clock. The stories prompted a congressional hearing, plans for prosecutions and new state legislation. 

Gollan exposed how Navy shipbuilders received billions in public money even after their workers were killed or injured. In response to her reporting, Congress passed a new federal law, the Government Accountability Office produced a report and the Pentagon began scrutinizing the safety records of more defense contractors.

Gollan’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Guardian U.S., Politico Magazine and PBS NewsHour.

Her honors include a national Emmy Award, a Hillman Prize for web journalism, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, a National Headliner Award, a Gracie Award and two Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing Awards. She has been a finalist for an ONA Online Journalism Award, an IRE Award and two Gerald Loeb Awards. Gollan is based in Reveal’s Emeryville, California, office.

Rachel de Leon is a reporter and  producer for TV and documentaries for Reveal. De Leon has worked in video for more than 10 years as a videographer and producer. Throughout 2017, she was the coordinating producer for Glassbreaker Films – an initiative from The Center for Investigative Reporting to support female filmmakers – helping to produce five half-hour documentaries for national and festival distribution, and more than 20 online minidocumentaries. In 2016, she won two Emmys for her work on the web series "The Dead Unknown" and the PBS NewsHour segment "Deadly Oil Fields." In 2014, she completed her first short documentary, “Cab City,” for her master’s thesis in the documentary program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. De Leon is based in Reveal’s Emeryville, California, office.