Families settle all wrongful death claims from Upper Big Branch disaster
Alpha Natural Resources has reached agreements to settle wrongful death claims with all 29 families of miners who died in the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, lawyers in the case confirmed this afternoon. Lawyers for Alpha and the last of the 13 families agreed on settlements during a meeting this afternoon, after a more than four-day mediation session held at Glade Springs Resort.
Labor board swears in three new members
The National Labor Relations Board swore in three new members Monday amid continued wrangling over the legality of their appointments and the direction of the agency’s agenda.
Whistleblower bill draws lobbying
A bill that critics warn weakens whistleblower protections quietly moved through a House subcommittee last month and now has supporters like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pushing the full committee to quickly pass it. The Whistleblower Improvement Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), would require whistleblowers, with some exceptions, to report criminal activity internally in addition to filing a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The condom: Friend or foe in the adult film industry?
Acting in porn isn’t like mining coal or building skyscrapers. That becomes obvious when looking at labor safety debates. Sure, the adult film industry a lucrative business, and healthcare advocates say they’re trying to hold it accountable for its employees’ well being. But porn performers aren’t lining up to support measures that would require the use of condoms and barriers on set. Perhaps because this is where workplace safety intersects with deeply personal health decisions.
NY Times offers unpaid internships after reporting on their questionable legality
After Times staff tweeted about about the upcoming deadline for its unpaid social media internship, Pamela Drew responded, “Shame on NYTimes & every deep pocket corporation looking for UNPAID interns, experience shouldn’t be free labor.” Justin Kiggins asked, “Didn’t the NYT have a piece on ethics of unpaid internships?” and linked to an April 2010 story.
For women in business, the squeaky wheel doesn’t get the grease
Our recent Catalyst report, The Myth of the Ideal Worker , reveals that women do ask for raises and promotions. They just don’t get as much in return. Among those who had moved on from their first post-MBA job, there was no significant difference in the proportion of women and men who asked for increased compensation or a higher position. Yet the rewards were different.
Employers want your blood, literally
The wife of a Las Vegas casino dealer recently wrote us at MSNBC upset that her husband was asked by his managers at the hotel where he works to take a biometric health assessment test. Such tests typically include a health professional taking an employee’s blood and then having it tested for an array of ailments. The reader wrote that her husband would be fined $500 if he refused to take the test. Such assessments, she added, were “an egregious violation of my husband’s medical privacy.” She’s contacted the Nevada Department of Labor and the ACLU in order to get help to fight the requirement.
Brandy Fonteneaux, soldier found stabbed to death, unclothed at Colo. Army post was from Houston
A soldier found dead in a barracks at a Colorado infantry post has been identified as a Houston woman whose death is being investigated as a homicide. The Army says the body of 28-year-old Brandy Fonteneaux (fon-tah-NOH’) was found Sunday at Fort Carson outside Colorado Springs. KKTV quoted her family as saying the soldier had been stabbed and was found unclothed.
Foxconn Xbox 360 plant staff threatens mass suicide
Reports are filtering in that on the Jan. 2 some 300 Foxconn employees went to the roof of the factory in Wuhan, China and threatened to throw themselves off, in protest of their promised compensation being denied. These workers – who manufactured Xbox 360 parts at the facility – requested a pay raise. Foxconn’s counter offer on that same day, was that they could continue to work at their current wage, or quit and receive compensation.