GOP plan: No HS diploma? No unemployment check
Out of work and without a high school diploma? If you’re collecting unemployment insurance, you may soon be out of luck. As Congress returns from the holiday recess, one of the most pressing items on its agenda will the two-month extension of jobless benefits enacted late last month. The compromise deal, part of a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut, tabled debate on wider reforms to the unemployment insurance program. Those reforms include shortening the length of time jobless workers can collect benefits and a provision that would require anyone collecting them to have a high school diploma or be enrolled in an adult education program working toward a General Educational Development, or GED, certificate.
Groups propose tougher workplace safety rules
Two Wyoming groups are calling for changes to improve workplace safety in the state. The Wyoming AFL-CIO, which represents 55 Wyoming unions, and SAFER, the Spence Association for Employee Rights, a law firm that represents injured workers, issued a media release via the Equality State Policy Center on Friday calling for: additional Wyoming OSHA employees and inspections, higher fines for employers who encourage not reporting workplace injuries and making company injury records public.
UCLA chemistry professor to plead not guilty to felony charges associated with 2008 lab fire death
UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran will plead not guilty to a felony complaint filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office in late December in relation to a fatal 2008 laboratory fire that resulted in the death of a UCLA staff research assistant. The university also plans to fight the charges in court, said Kevin Reed, vice chancellor for legal affairs.
Hanford whistleblower to appear in court against Bechtel
After more than a year of waiting, a high-profile Hanford whistleblower will argue in court Monday that his case should be heard in front of a jury. But federal contractor Bechtel argues the case should be thrown out. Walt Tamosiatis was taken out of his high-level Hanford management position when he raised safety concerns with a $12 billion waste treatment plant. It’s being built on the nuclear site in southeast Washington.
Settlement in Rockline whistleblower case
Rockline Industries has moved to settle two cases arising out of terminations of employees who contacted federal regulators about contaminated baby wipes at the company’s Arkansas plant in 2006. The Sheboygan-based company this week settled the lawsuit brought by the wife of one whistleblower, Sam Wilson.
Chicken processor fined $288K for process safety management deficiencies
OSHA has cited Case Farms Processing Inc., which operates Case Farms Chicken in Winesburg, Ohio, for 61 safety and health violations. Violations related to OSHA’s process safety management standards allegedly resulted in an ammonia release at the facility on June 30. Proposed fines total $288,000.
US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes nearly USD 105,000 in fines against Interstate Brands for safety hazards at Hostess plant in Biddeford, Maine
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Interstate Brands, doing business as Hostess Brands, for eight serious and two repeat alleged violations of workplace safety standards at its Biddeford production plant. The company, which manufactures Hostess products, faces a total of $104,700 in proposed fines following a safety inspection by OSHA’s Augusta Area Office.
Discount retailer racks up $90,000 in fines for locked emergency exit doors
OSHA has cited Conway Stores Inc. for alleged willful, repeat, and serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company’s store in the Bronx. The discount retailer faces a total of $90,000 in proposed fines for violations identified during an OSHA inspection begun in July by OSHA’s Tarrytown Area Office.
SD farm death won’t trigger OSHA probe
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will not be investigating the death of a Rapid City man who was killed while working on a haying operation in the Piedmont area. The death of 31-year-old Anthony Siquieros on Jan. 2 was reported to OSHA as is required by law. But area Director Tom Deutscher tells the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/zR5XZ1)h that federal law exempts small farming operations from OSHA investigations.