Obama election-year pullbacks on safety, environment dismay advocates
Late last month, the Obama administration scrapped proposed rules intended to expand protection for minors in rural communities. The rules, which were announced in the fall, would have barred anyone under 18 from working in a commercial grain handling operation while also strengthening other safety measures for children working on farms. Many safety advocates and environmentalists contend that the abandoned rules fit a pattern: As the November presidential election draws nearer, they say the Obama administration is retreating from its one-time goals, trying to blunt Republican claims that regulation is strangling economic growth.
Day-care and home-care workers get ready to enjoy new rights in Conn.
More than 11,000 state-funded day care and home-care workers in Connecticut are now eligible to negotiate for labor contracts now that Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy has signed a controversial bill. The home-care workers are paid through Medicaid, while the home child-care workers are paid through the state’s Care for Kids program, which provides payments for day care to low-income parents so they can work.
Mo. lawmakers OK broadening ‘move over’ law
Gov. Jay Nixon is studying legislation expanding Missouri’s “move over” law to include stopped Transportation Department vehicles with flashing amber or white lights. Missouri’s existing law only requires drivers to move over for emergency vehicles.
Fatal sinkhole accident brings new state regulations
State regulators say they need more information to pinpoint what caused a sinkhole where a Chevron worker died near Taft, but they promise new regulations aimed at preventing situations like that. It was almost one year ago, when 54-year-old Robert David Taylor fell to his death.
Many workers receive less pay due to sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination
Unfortunately, many gay and transgender workers receive unequal pay for equal work in the United States today. What’s worse, these same workers lack the necessary legal protections currently afforded to other categories of individuals that would help combat and correct pay inequities that exist on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Carwash workers file class action against L.A.-area owners
Four carwash workers filed suit Monday claiming that a family of carwash owners routinely withheld pay for overtime and denied them breaks during the summer. The lawsuit is one of a series filed on behalf of carwash workers since 2008 in an attempt by unions and immigrant advocates to improve conditions in an industry in which competition is fierce, profit margins are low and workers are often undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America.
‘We pretend the vets don’t exist’
About 18 veterans kill themselves each day. Thousands from the current wars have already done so. In fact, the number of U.S. soldiers who have died by their own hand is now estimated to be greater than the number (6,460) who have died in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In race for better cell service, men who climb towers pay with their lives
An investigation by ProPublica and PBS “Frontline” shows that the convenience of mobile phones has come at a hefty price: Between 2003 and 2011, 50 climbers died working on cell sites, more than half of the nearly 100 who were killed on communications towers. Yet cell phone carriers’ connection to tower climbing deaths has remained invisible. They outsource this dangerous work to subcontractors, a practice increasingly common in risky businesses from coal mining to trucking to nuclear waste removal.
Breast cancer patient allegedly fired twice while seeking treatment
Connie Robinson has been fighting breast cancer for the past three years. That battle alone is enough for one person to endure. But, during that same period, Robinson says she has been fighting for her right to work. The Daily Mail reports that Robinson has been fired twice because of technicalities from various medical and disabilities laws that are suppose to protect people like her.
Lauren Odes, former Native Intimates employee, claims she was fired over ‘too hot’ appearance
Lauren Odes, a data entry professional, claims she was fired because she was too busty and dressed too provocatively for her Orthodox Jewish employers at wholesale lingerie company Native Intimates.