Donate – Payday’s Mike Elk Gets Strep Throat – Help Him Pay His Bills


Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk has unexpectedly found himself $200 short on his rent at the end of the month after suffering from a bad asthma attack and spending several days struggling to breathe. He was diagnosed with strep throat and a severe respiratory infection.

The medical bills and the missed freelance work have set him back quite a bit. Because Elk relies on freelance income and Payday donations to make ends meet, days of illness have cost him hundreds of dollars. On top of that, his progress chasing hot stories like the use of prison labor in “Dunkirk” and the Post-Gazette Byline Strike has slowed down somewhat.

Having just moved back to Pennsylvania, Elk is currently without health insurance as he goes through the limbo of qualifying for subsidies on Obamacare. But his strep throat wouldn’t wait, and Elk had to pay out of pocket for the visit to the doctor and the medicine as well as the cab rides there and back. The entire affair put him out $250.

The strep throat has cost him a week and half of full-time labor reporting work and caused him to fall behind on an $800 freelance assignment.

At the end of the month, Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk is $1,000 behind where he would have been without getting sick. He’s flat broke, $200 short on the rent, and still recovering from being very sick.

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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