Today’s post is from In These Times via our colleague Jon Gelman.
Evidence “strongly suggests a causal link between chemical vapor releases and subsequent health effects" at a Washington facility, according to a recent report. (Ellery / Wikimedia Commons)
Since March 2014, nearly 60 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state have sought medical attention for on-the-job exposure to chemical vapors released by highly toxic waste stored at the site, some as recently as August. At a public meeting held Wednesday in Pasco, Washington, Hanford workers described symptoms that include chronic headaches, respiratory problems, nerve damage and bloody urine.
The meeting, hosted by the United Association (U.A.) of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 598 and Hanford Challenge, a Seattle-based environmental watchdog group, was convened following the February 10 release by Department of Energy contractor Washington River Protection Services (WRPS) of a “corrective action implementation plan.” This plan was developed in response to recommendations in a report from the Savannah River National Laboratory released in October 2014.
Commissioned in response to worker exposures at Hanford’s tank farms, the Savannah River report found ongoing emissions of toxic chemical vapors from waste tanks, inadequate worker health and safety procedures and evidence that “strongly suggests a causal link between chemical vapor releases and subsequent health effects.”
Today’s post was shared by US Labor Department and comes from blog.dol.gov
As President Obama and Secretary Perez have said, raising the minimum wage isn’t just the right thing to do for working families it’s the smart thing to do to grow our economy.
And business leaders of all kinds agree, saying that they see higher wages as a sound business investment. They know that higher wages boosts productivity and reduces the high costs associated with turnover. They also know that consumer spending drives our economy; more money in people’s pockets means more customers for them. Add it up, and reduced training costs and more customers can grow a business, and create jobs.
That’s why these businesses, large and small, have all taken steps to raise their starting wages.
While progress is happening with more and more businesses raising their starting wages, and states and localities are taking action, the national minimum wage still needs to be raised. For too many workers in too many states the harsh reality is that the minimum wage has languished and lost ground for more than 5 years. It’s important that Congress take action so that we don’t leave them behind.
Share these graphics if you agree it’s time to #RaiseTheWage.
Today’s post comes to us from the Washington Post via our colleague Jon Gelman.
There’s a good news/bad news situation for occupational injuries in the United States: Fewer people are getting hurt on the job. But those who do are getting less help.
That’s according to a couple of important new reports out Wednesday on how the system for cleaning up workplace accidents is broken — both because of the changing circumstances of the people who are getting injured, and the disintegration of programs that are supposed to pay for them.
The first comes from the Department of Labor, which aims to tie the 3 million workplace injuries reported per year — the number is actually much higher, because many workers fear raising the issue with their employers — into the ongoing national conversation about inequality. In an overview of research on the topic, the agency finds that low-wage workers (especially Latinos) have disproportionately high injury rates, and that injuries can slice 15 percent off a person’s earnings over 10 years after the accident.
“Income inequality is a very active conversation led by the White House,” David Michaels, director of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, said in an interview. “Injuries are knocking many families out of the middle class, and block many low-wage workers from getting out of poverty. So we think it’s an important component of this conversation.”
There are two main components to the financial implications of a workplace injury. The first is the legal…
Today’s post comes from the United States Department of Labor.
Congress still hasn’t answered President Obama’s call to raise the national minimum wage. But states and localities are acting on their own, through legislative action and ballot measure. And across the country, forward-thinking businesses are leading by example. In community after community, I’ve visited with employers who know that paying workers a fair wage isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also good for business.
Nobody would argue that Boston Beer Company founder and chairman Jim Koch doesn’t know what he’s doing. He produces America’s most successful craft beer, Sam Adams, served in bars, restaurants, stores and entertainment venues nationwide. His brewery has won more awards in international beer-tasting competitions that any other. I had the pleasure of meeting with Jim earlier this week, touring the Boston brewery, and learning about how he treats his 1,200 employees. “You can’t have engaged employees if you don’t invest in them,” he says. That’s why Jim offers his employees paid sick leave and starts everyone, including part-time workers, well above the minimum wage.
Later in Nashville, I met with a handful of small business owners who similarly value their employees, recognizing that the high road is the smart road. Among them is Sherry Stewart Deutschmann who founded and runs LetterLogic, a company that processes statements, letters and checks for…
Today’s post was shared by Jon L Gelman and comes from legaltalknetwork.com
A recent Grand Jury Report from the New York State Supreme Court brought recommendations of change to handle Employer Fraud in Workers’ Compensation. Among the recommended areas of change are the application process, criminal statutes, and the method of collecting data. On this episode of Workers Comp Matters, host interviews Gilda Mariani of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Together they discuss the results of the Grand Jury Report and the subsequent victims of premium fraud. Tune in to learn more about employee classifications, the involuntary insurance market, and drivers of cost for workers’ compensation insurance.
Gilda Mariani is with the New York County District Attorney’s Office, having held supervisory positions including Deputy Chief of its former Frauds Bureau as well as Chief of its former Money Laundering and Tax Crimes Unit. She has had a significant role in drafting legislation, including the New York Money Laundering Statute and the misdemeanor crime of Providing a Juror with a Gratuity. She has conducted several investigations that have led to issuance of Reports by the New York County Grand Jury, including the Grand Jury Report released in March 2014 on workers’ compensation reform. Mariani is also a recipient of the Robert M. Morgenthau Award by the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York.
Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.oregonlive.com
Border crisis Demonstration
Demonstrators march near the White House after a news conference of immigrant families and children’s advocates. Meanwhile, in Seattle, a coalition of immigrant rights groups is suing the federal government over the lack of legal representation for minors during deportation hearings. (The Associated Press)
SEATTLE — A coalition of immigrant rights advocacy groups is suing the federal government over the fact that few minors have legal representation during deportation proceedings.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Seattle on behalf of eight plaintiffs, all minors. The plaintiffs are from Mexico and Central America, and they range in age from 10 to 17.
At deportation hearings, immigrants must hire their own lawyers or find someone to represent them pro bono, while the federal government has attorneys arguing for them to leave the U.S.
The groups say as a result, thousands of immigrant children end up with no legal representation at deportation proceedings every year. And they say the issue could be compounded with the recent influx minors attempting to enter the country through the southern border.
The Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security did not immediately comment.
Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.nytimes.com
WASHINGTON — Intent on not overlooking clues about any terrorist plots after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the government spread a now-familiar slogan: “If you see something, say something.” Less visibly, it built a national database to better harness reports of suspicious activity in the hunt for terrorists.
On Thursday, five California men opened a legal front over the recurring tensions between collective security measures and individual rights by filing a lawsuit that challenges the Suspicious Activity Reporting database. They contend that it is too easy for people engaged in innocuous activities to be put into the database and scrutinized as if they were a threat.
The plaintiffs include two white photographers who were confronted by security guards at a natural gas tank and by the police at a refinery; an Egyptian-American who tried to buy a large number of computers at a Best Buy store; a Pakistani-American who was looking around in a train station with his mother, who wore a Muslim head scarf; and a white Muslim convert who was looking at a flight simulator game on the Internet.
Each contends that he was added to the database for his behavior, although only two, according to previously disclosed government documents, have been able to prove it. The lawsuit argues that federal standards are too lax in allowing a security guard’s or a police officer’s report to be uploaded into the national database.
Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from well.blogs.nytimes.com
Photo Today’s post is shared from the NYTimes.com What would happen if all workers’ compensation patients had access to all their treating physician’s records including pschiatric care? Would such access assist in limiting and increasing litigation for continued medical care and the need for medical treatment?
David Baldwin wasn’t sure how he had come across the other day in group therapy at the hospital, near the co-op apartment where he lives with his rescue cat, Zoey. He struggles with bipolar disorder, severe anxiety and depression. Like so many patients, he secretly wondered what his therapist thought of him.
But unlike those patients, Mr. Baldwin, 64, was able to find out, swiftly and privately. Pulling his black leather swivel chair to his desk, he logged onto a hospital website and eagerly perused his therapist’s session notes.
The clinical social worker, Stephen O’Neill, wrote that Mr. Baldwin’s self-consciousness about his disorder kept him isolated. Because he longed to connect with others, this was particularly self-defeating, Mr. O’Neill observed. But during the session, he had also discussed how he had helped out neighbors in his co-op.
“This seems greatly appreciated, and he noted his clear enjoyment in helping others,” Mr. O’Neill wrote. “This greatly assists his self-esteem.”
A smile animated Mr. Baldwin’s broad, amiable features. “I have a tough time recognizing that…