VA testing whether meditation can help treat PTSD
Seeking new ways to treat post-traumatic stress, the Department of Veterans Affairs is studying the use of transcendental meditation to help returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans Affairs’ $5.9b system for mental-health care is under sharp criticism, particularly after the release of an inspector general’s report last month that found that the department has greatly overstated how quickly it treats veterans seeking mental-health care.
FAA seeks to fine Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air
Federal officials are seeking $655,125 in fines against Alaska Airlines and its Horizon Air affiliate for alleged safety violations, including failing to inspect a plane for cracks. The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that Horizon operated a Bombardier Dash-8-400 aircraft on 45 flights, while it failed to follow a safety order to check for cracked or corroded fittings on the engine housing.
Apple, Foxconn open up about China factories
The global controversy surrounding the treatment of assembly-line workers who manufacture iPhones and iPads — and just about every other consumer device — is triggering an unprecedented effort by Apple (AAPL) and its chief supplier, Foxconn, to lift the veil of secrecy that normally surrounds their operations in China and highlight how they have improved conditions for those employees.
Volunteerism or exploitation? Labor Department’s ‘Bridge to Work’ program rankles some
Last month, Secretary of Labor tweeted: “As we explore every avenue to help our workforce recover, #volunteerism is a way job-seekers can do good and become more marketable.” The pro-“#volunteerism” tweets were part of an effort by Solis to promote a new Department of Labor “Bridge to Work” demonstration program that allows up to 10 states to let companies employ workers receiving unemployment compensation without the employer necessarily having to pay those workers. Essentially, workers would be allowed to work without being paid in the hopes that the skills they gain would eventually lead to paying jobs.
D.C. court reporter describes beating as colleagues call for better security
For more than six years, court reporter Jurtiana Jeon arrived at work mostly without incident, setting up a small, portable desk beneath the judge’s bench before transcribing the day’s proceedings on her computer. But matters took an unexpected turn on Jan. 12 in D.C. Superior Court’s Courtroom 48. Jeon watched in fear as a man became irate during a hearing, lunged at her and beat her as she lay in a fetal position, arms covering her face.
Junior Seau’s brain to be donated to research, family says
The family of former NFL star Junior Seau will donate his brain for research into repetitive head injuries. The Seaus “have made this decision to allow for the possibility of helping other people/players down the road through this study,” Mitchell wrote in an email Friday. He added that the family was not speculating as to whether concussions were a factor in Seau’s suicide.
US Labor Department’s OSHA orders Tennessee trucking company to reinstate whistleblower, pay more than $180k in back wages and damages
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered Brush Creek-based Mark Alvis Inc., owner Mark Alvis and company dispatcher Jack Taylor to reinstate a former employee and pay him more than $180k in back pay, interest, and compensatory and punitive damages. The order follows OSHA’s determination that the company violated the employee’s rights under the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act by terminating him for his refusal to drive while fatigued and ill as well as to violate the hours-of-service requirements outlined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.