Senate passes pipeline bill after hold dropped
A bill to toughen federal safety regulation of oil and gas pipelines has passed the Senate after a Republican senator opposed to government regulation dropped his opposition to the measure. The bill was approved late Monday only a few hours after Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky abruptly announced he was ending his opposition. He said in a statement that he was doing so because the bill’s sponsors had agreed to incorporate an amendment regarding safety testing of older pipelines.
New law ups the ante significantly for California employers who are caught misclassifying employees as independent contractors
One common strategy used by companies to cut labor costs is to classify as much of its work force as “independent contractors” as possible. A company does not have to pay payroll taxes for independent contractors nor does it have to worry about pesky labor code requirements pertaining to minimum wages, overtime, meal and rest breaks, or expense reimbursement requirements. Additionally, a company does not have to cover independent contractors under workers’ compensation insurance, and is not liable for payments under unemployment insurance, disability insurance, or social security.
An act of support for patients and families
By now you are certainly aware that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The hopeful pink symbolism is everywhere, from the illumination of the Empire State Building to the pink laces in professional athletes’ footwear. But what you may not know is that the US Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division offers its own support for the cause — by administering and enforcing the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
Mine workers struggle for safety underground, justice in the streets
As thousands take to the streets to protest global corporate domination, the power struggles just below the earth’s surface remain outside the media spotlight. But over the past few weeks, turmoil in the mining industry has also spoken to the divide between the corporate elite and the impoverished multitudes–a faultline running through communities mired in poverty but rich in resources.
Eva Longoria on producing new documentary, ‘The Harvest/La Cosecha’
More than 400,000 children in the United States are torn away from their schools and homes to work as migrant workers with their families. The documentary, “The Harvest/La Cosecha: The Children Who Feed America”, produced by long time actress and activist, Eva Longoria, and Shine Global, the Academy-Award nominated producers of War/Dance, provides an “intimate glimpse into the lives of these children who struggle to dream while working 12 – 14 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed America.”
More reporters should hear directly from restaurant workers and Sick Rick, a giant germ
At a news conference last week that deserved to get more media attention, the Campaign for a Healthy Denver unveiled “Sick Rick,” the mascot for their effort to pass Initiative 300, which would guarantee paid sick days for all Denver workers. At the same event, the campaign presented workers, identified as food service employees, who told stories about how they’ve been ill, gone to work, and possibly passed on disease to restaurant customers.
US Labor Dept. cites DeMoulas for alleged violations of workplace safety standards
The US Department of Labor has cited DeMoulas Supermarkets Inc., which runs the Market Basket grocery chain, for 30 alleged “willful, repeat and serious violations” of workplace safety standards at its stores in Rindge and Concord, N.H. The Tewksbury company, which has supermarkets in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, faces a total of $589,200 in proposed fines for “recurring fall and laceration hazards and also for improperly responding to a worker’s serious injury,” according to a press release issued today by the Labor Department’s Occupation, Safety, and Health Administration.
Union blocks stage collapse search warrant
A stagehands’ union is contesting a search warrant issued to Indiana officials investigating a deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, officials said. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 30 is contesting the warrant for training and employment records involving stagehand Nathan Byrd, who was killed in the Aug. 13 collapse.
OSHA seeks $148,000 fines against Akron company
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking to fine Akron-based Steel Structures of Ohio nearly $148,000 after finding what it said were 17 safety and health violations. OSHA said it found “one willful safety violation” for not removing a crane from service that was missing several bolts and required repairs.
The 19 jobs where you’re most likely to kill yourself
Sometimes the pressure gets to you. High-skill and high-stakes occupations have elevated suicide rates, according to data compiled with help from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.