Feds: Upper Big Branch sentencing can send message
Prosecutors want to make an example of a former security chief at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine who was convicted of lying to investigators after the worst mine disaster in four decades. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says Hughie Elbert Stover deserves the maximum possible sentence of 25 years in prison. Goodwin says Stover’s actions contributed to the 2010 disaster that killed 29 men.
Fair Labor Association president says Foxconn factory worker conditions are much better than actual sweatshops
As most recently referenced in Tim Cook’s comments on worker safety at Goldman Sachs yesterday, Apple is spending a lot of effort in 2012 trying to solve allegations of abuse in their supply chain. This initiative has most recently culminated in Apple going to the unprecedented step of asking the Fair Labor Association to audit their factories. The FLA’s report isn’t due until March, but already, the Fair Labor Association’s president Auret van Heerden has spoken out, saying that at first blush, Foxconn’s facilities appear to be “first-class” in comparison to the garment factories the association usually monitors.
Trucking industry challenges U.S. on driver rest rules
The largest U.S. trucking group filed a legal challenge to Transportation Department driver- fatigue rules that the industry says focus on the wrong safety problems and don’t meet legal requirements. The American Trucking Associations, based in Arlington, Virginia, filed a petition today challenging the regulation at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.
Sexual harassment and OSHA: Is sexual harassment a ‘recognized hazard’?
Sexual harassment in the workplace is connected to the overall health and safety of harassment victims and their coworkers. Even so, workplace safety and health laws administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, are limited in their authority and reach concerning workplace harassment.
Pregnancy bias is alive and well in America
It’s hard to imagine we still have to tell employers this today, but here goes: Pregnancy discrimination is illegal. While it may sound obvious to some, blatant pregnancy bias is still alive and well in the workplace. The number of pregnancy discrimination charges increased about 15 percent in the last 10 years to 5,797 last year. That’s down slightly from 2010’s total claims of 6,119, according to the EEOC.
Why is there no ‘intern revolution’?
So many unpaid internships, especially in the media world, are technically illegal. We’ve known this for years, and the media has occasionally taken an interest in writing about how exploited these interns are. But it seems, Waldman writes, that there are more unpaid internships than ever. So why aren’t interns other than Xuedan Wang, who is suing Hearst for back wages owed her for an “internship” that took 50+ hours a week, speaking out?
Metro and equipment makers admit liability
Metro and three equipment makers have admitted liability in the deadliest train crash in the transit agency’s history, according to court filings. The accident on June 22, 2009, killed nine people and left dozens injured. Metro, its board and oversight safety group came under harsh criticism from the National Transportation Safety Board and others after the crash. The agency had turnover of its senior leaders, and its board has pushed for more oversight.
Japan’s nuclear safety chief apologizes, says country’s regulations are flawed, outdated
Japan’s nuclear safety chief said Wednesday the country’s regulations are flawed, outdated and below global standards, and he apologized for their failure when a tsunami crippled one plant last year. Haruki Madarame admitted Japanese safety requirements such as for tsunami and power losses were too loose and many officials have looked the other way and tried to avoid changes.
Publix supermarkets cited by OSHA after amputation of employee’s hand
Publix Supermarkets Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 16 safety and health violations at its 9786 W. Beaver St. distribution facility in Jacksonville after receiving a complaint in September that a worker’s hand was amputated while cleaning conveyor equipment. Proposed penalties total $182,000.