Supreme Court says drug companies don’t have to pay sales reps overtime
Pharmaceutical companies don’t have to pay overtime to their salespeople, the Supreme Court said in a 5-4 decision Monday. Federal law requires most employers to pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours per week, but the requirement does not apply to anyone who is employed as an “outside salesman.”
Wage theft a growing epidemic in the US
A new report from the Progressive States Network shows that there are few states that are even attempting to seriously deal with the problem of wage theft from workers and most states do a terrible job of dealing with the rampant problem. 44 of 50 states and the District of Columbia did not receive passing grades on their policies for dealing with wage theft. Only two states — New York and Massachusetts — even got a grade as high as a “C.” Nine states were so bad they earned an “F-.”
Alpha Natural Resources’ mine safety has improved, prosecutors say
Alpha Natural Resources has significantly cut its accident and injury rates in the six months since a landmark $210 million settlement that spared the company criminal charges over the 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 workers, federal prosecutors say. Alpha cut its accident rate by a third and its injury rate by 25 percent at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine and other former Massey Energy Co. operations.
Kentucky surface miners hit hard by black lung, study finds
Long linked to underground coal mining, black-lung disease also strikes miners who work above ground — hitting hardest in the Kentucky region. Those are the findings of a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first assessment in a decade of black-lung disease in surface miners.
Workplace toxics reveal the beauty industry’s ugly side
You shouldn’t have to suffer to be beautiful. But many women suffer for the beauty of others, polishing nails and styling hair with a toxic pallette of chemicals. Working long hours amid noxious fumes, salon workers, typically women of color, are in constant contact with chemicals linked to various illnesses and reproductive health problems. While environmental justice campaigns have historically focused on localized pollution issues, the National Healthy Nail & Beauty Salon Alliance organizes around the intersection of workplace environmental health and racial and economic justice.
Safety and health in the theater: keeping tragedy out of the comedies…and musicals…and dramas
While the theater provides entertainment, the preparation and production of live performances can also pose hazards to those working in all aspects of the theater –from actors on stage to set designers behind the scenes and musicians in the orchestra pit. Data from the Bureau of Labor statistics show that injuries involving days away from work among occupations related to the theater increased from a low of 870 in 2006 to a high of 1,570 in 2008.
Texas Industries allegedly ordered drug test before helping injured worker: lawsuit
A Texas-based cement company denied on Monday that it ordered a drug test before calling paramedics last year after a employee hurt himself in a fall. The worker, 67-year-old Benino Perez, later died from his injuries. In a lawsuit filed in Dallas County Court last week, Perez’s family alleges that his employer, Texas Industries, sought to drug test Perez before trying to help him after he’d fallen from a height of several feet. Perez worked as a loader for the company.
OSHA fines Norfolk Southern $802K
A Norfolk Southern Corp. subsidiary was fined more than $800K Monday by the U.S. Labor Department, which said the railroad company violated laws protecting “whistleblowers” when it fired three workers.
Upstate NY plant hit with $233K in OSHA fines
Federal workplace safety officials have hit hair care manufacturer Zotos International with fines of $233K for hazards at its upstate New York plant. Hazards included unguarded moving machine parts, electrical hazards, a blocked exit door, unqualified employees working on live electrical parts, failing to develop safety plans and inadequate training of employees.