December 16, 2015 | By Tom McKee | 9WCPO
COVINGTON, Ky. – The bed bugs were so bad at her new job with the Covington IRS office that some people covered their seats with plastic bags, Kelly Anderson said.
After two days, she quit.
“It’s important to have a second income in our home, but it’s not worth the risk of bringing those home. So, I will not be returning back,” the Forest Park woman told WCPO.
Anderson started training Monday as a seasonal worker. She said the problem began the next day when someone spotted a bug and told instructors.
“The other instructor was like, ‘Well, just get a piece of tape’ – which is our protocol – ‘squish it and bring it up to the guard to confirm that it is a bed bug,'” she said.
Anderson said she took a close look and knew from prior jobs that it was a bed bug.
The IRS has offices in the Gateway Center, and some people in the training session talked of homespun remedies when bed bugs were found there.
“People had warned them to put plastic garbage bags on their chairs so that you wouldn’t catch it,” Anderson said.
Another employee texted WCPO saying if someone finds a bed bug, management sends them home until they can prove their home is either exterminated or not infested.
People have stopped reporting bed bugs because they can’t afford to take a week off from work for an exterminator. The IRS doesn’t pay for that.
“That’s not sanitary,” Anderson said. “When I come to work, I expect to be safe – not only no violence, but also I don’t expect to be eaten alive by bugs either.”
WCPO reached out to the IRS to find out what their protocols are. A statement from the agency said:
The IRS is currently investigating an incident where an insect was found at the Covington Campus on Tuesday, December 15. We are committed to providing a safe and secure work environment for every employee. Procedures are in place for incidents involving workplace health and safety. The IRS scheduled a pest control inspection of the area where the insect was found to determine the next steps. The IRS will continue to monitor the situation and take further action as needed.