Obama proposes protecting unemployed against hiring bias
Obama’s jobs bill would prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants because they are unemployed. Under the proposal, it would be “an unlawful employment practice” if a business with 15 or more employees refused to hire a person “because of the individual’s status as unemployed.”
A single senator plugs up pipeline safety bill
Prompted by last year’s deadly gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif., lawmakers in Washington moved uncharacteristically quickly. The Senate Finance Committee in May unanimously passed the Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2011 to toughen regulations. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, support for the legislation was so broad that Senate Democrats initiated steps to get it passed by unanimous consent. And then the bill ran into Sen. Rand Paul, a first-term Republican from Kentucky.
NY law requires risk reports at group homes
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a law requiring group homes and other private facilities licensed by the state to take juvenile delinquents to assess workplace safety, record violent incidents and take preventive steps. It takes effect in January.
Interns file suit against ‘Black Swan’ producer
Two men who worked on the hit movie “Black Swan” mounted an unusual challenge to the film industry’s widely accepted practice of unpaid internships by filing a lawsuit on Wednesday asserting that the production company violated minimum wage and overtime laws by hiring dozens of them. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, claims that Fox Searchlight Pictures, the producer of “Black Swan,” had the interns do grunt work that should have been done by paid employees and did not provide them with the type of educational experience that labor rules require to exempt the company from paying interns.
Source One Staffing, Chicago agency, sued for categorizing jobs as ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s’ work
A temporary employment office in Chicago was sued Monday for the alleged sexual harassment of workers and for assigning workers to jobs based on their sex. According to a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission statement, Source One Staffingcategorized their jobs as either “women’s work” or “men’s work” and assigned them to their employees accordingly. Further, they allegedly knowingly assigned female employees to work environments that were hostile to women and retaliated against female employees who told company management that their supervisor was making sexual advances toward them.
Group backs new standard following Conn. blast
A national safety group is urging states and regulators to adopt new standards that would ban a pipe-cleaning practice blamed for a 2010 Connecticut power plant explosion that killed six workers. The National Fire Protection Association’s new standard, published a few weeks ago and publicly introduced Tuesday, prohibits the use of natural gas to clean pipes at industrial plants, commercial developments and other projects.
$949,800 in fines issued to trailer maker for toxic fumes, noise hazards
OSHA’s Dallas Area Office initiated a safety and health inspection at the company’s facility in Texas following receipt of a complaint that employees were not adequately protected from being injured by rotating machinery parts, and employees were exposed to toxic welding fumes while fabricating trailers and noise levels above approved health standards.
Can old and broken down workers cut it?
Andy Rooney is leaving “60 Minutes” at age 92 and some workers out there may be jealous he was able to hold onto his plum job for so long. A growing number of middle-aged workers are finding it hard to hold onto their jobs, or find new ones, and they haven’t even reached retirement age. There’s been a flurry of cases in recent weeks that point to a growing reluctance to treat 40 plus employees fairly, and many of my emails in the last few months are from readers who feel their age is holding them back.
2 men found dead in sewage tank at Kennebunkport, Maine, motel
Two men who worked for a pump-repair company were found dead Tuesday in a sewage tank they were working on at a Kennebunkport motel.
Search for gas leaks cut short before blast
After a rare electrical problem blew four holes in natural-gas pipes in Seattle’s Pinehurst neighborhood on Sunday, Puget Sound Energy says, the agency went house to house in the neighborhood to check for more leaks. Its workers stopped at nightfall, without finding more. It wasn’t until the next day, after a huge explosion and house fire, that PSE did a much larger “leak survey” across a 5-square-mile area, working into the night.