Category Archives: Uncategorized

In Cities Across the Country, Opportunity is Making a Comeback

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from social.dol.gov

New York City just became the most recent city in the nation to answer President Obama’s call to raise wages for working families.

Last Tuesday, alongside Labor Secretary Perez, I signed an executive order immediately raising our living wage to $13.13. Workers at companies receiving more than $1 million in City subsidy will benefit from the new living wage, building on the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act passed into law by the City Council in 2012. And because we expanded the universe of workers affected by the law to include tenants at City-backed projects, some of our lowest paid New Yorkers—fast food workers and retail workers—will finally earn a wage that can support a family. All told, we estimate the provision will cover up to 18,000 workers over the next five years.

We came into office this past January with a mandate and an agenda to confront inequality. We pledged to expand paid sick leave for more New Yorkers—and working in partnership with the New York City Council we did, reaching a half million more people. We pledged an ambitious affordable housing plan, and after-school programs and full-day pre-K that give children opportunity and help parent work—and we’ve launched each of them successfully. Next year, I intend to work alongside Governor Andrew Cuomo to pass a $10.10 minimum wage for New York State, with a provision to allow cities like ours, where the cost of living is high, to raise the minimum wage even higher.

And when…

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Those Lazy Jobless

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

Last week John Boehner, the speaker of the House, explained to an audience at the American Enterprise Institute what’s holding back employment in America: laziness. People, he said, have “this idea” that “I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around.” Holy 47 percent, Batman!

It’s hardly the first time a prominent conservative has said something along these lines. Ever since a financial crisis plunged us into recession it has been a nonstop refrain on the right that the unemployed aren’t trying hard enough, that they are taking it easy thanks to generous unemployment benefits, which are constantly characterized as “paying people not to work.” And the urge to blame the victims of a depressed economy has proved impervious to logic and evidence.

But it’s still amazing — and revealing — to hear this line being repeated now. For the blame-the-victim crowd has gotten everything it wanted: Benefits, especially for the long-term unemployed, have been slashed or eliminated. So now we have rants against the bums on welfare when they aren’t bums — they never were — and there’s no welfare. Why?

First things first: I don’t know how many people realize just how successful the campaign against any kind of relief for those who can’t find jobs has been. But it’s a striking picture. The job market has improved…

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Leap of Bad Faith: TPAs May Be Sued for Aiding Their Own Actions

Today’s post was shared by Workers Comp News and comes from www.jdsupra.com

Picture of a Contortionist
TPAs May Be Sued for Aiding Their Own Actions

Insurers have a duty to process claims in good faith, but sometimes they farm the job out to third-party administrators (TPAs).  If the TPA fouls up, many states hold that the insurer is still liable—for its own breach of duty, even if a doctrine of vicarious liability does not apply.  The rule is summed up in the statement that the duty of good faith is not delegable; the insurer must either handle the claim in good faith or cause someone else to do so.

But what about the TPA?  If the insurer’s duty can’t be delegated, what duty can a dissatisfied insured claim that the TPA has breached?  In Temple v. Hartford Ins. Co. of Midwest, No. CV-12-2357 (D. Ariz. Aug. 26, 2014), a federal court in Arizona came up with a novel solution:  the TPA may be liable for aiding and abetting the acts that constituted the breach of duty—by committing those very acts.

The Facts

Brenda Temple, a customer service representative for Stanley Steemer, was walking to her duty station when she tripped and fell down the stairs.  The fall resulted in injuries to Temple’s knee, hip and back.  Temple consulted a nurse practitioner, who gave her a knee brace and issued a work restriction for twenty days.  The nurse practitioner found that, due to worsening pain, Temple was unable to sit at a desk, walk up stairs or stand for long periods.

The Hartford is Stanley Steemer’s workers’…

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A New Way Insurers are Shifting Costs to the Sick

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.propublica.org

This story was co-published with The New York Times’ The Upshot.

Health insurance companies are no longer allowed to turn away patients because of their pre-existing conditions or charge them more because of those conditions. But some health policy experts say insurers may be doing so in a more subtle way: by forcing people with a variety of illnesses — including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and epilepsy — to pay more for their drugs.

Insurers have long tried to steer their members away from more expensive brand name drugs, labeling them as "non-preferred" and charging higher co-payments. But according to an editorial published Wednesday in the American Journal of Managed Care, several prominent health plans have taken it a step further, applying that same concept even to generic drugs.

The Affordable Care Act bans insurance companies from discriminating against patients with health problems, but that hasn’t stopped them from seeking new and creative ways to shift costs to consumers. In the process, the plans effectively may be rendering a variety of ailments "non-preferred," according to the editorial.

"It is sometimes argued that patients should have ‘skin in the game’ to motivate them to become more prudent consumers," the editorial says. "One must ask, however, what sort of consumer behavior is encouraged when all generic medicines for particular diseases are ‘non-preferred’ and subject to higher co-pays."

I recently…

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Stoners on the job: Nearly 10% of Americans went to work high

Today’s post was shared by Workers Comp Brief and comes from www.cnbc.com

Showing up to work high? You’re not alone.

A new report has found nearly 1 in 10 Americans are showing up to work high on marijuana. Mashable.com conducted the survey in partnership with SurveyMonkey, and found 9.7 percent of Americans fessed up to smoking cannabis before showing up to the office.

The data analyzed the marijuana and prescription drug habits of 534 Americans. What’s more, nearly 81 percent said they scored their cannabis illegally, according to the survey.

Cannabis and the workplace seem quite linked lately. Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel recently chimed in on marijuana and work. While criticizing Twitter during an appearance on CNBC Wednesday, Thiel said Twitter is a "… horribly mismanaged company—probably a lot of pot smoking going on there."

According to separate data from Employers, a small-business insurance company, 10 percent of small businesses reported that employees showed up in 2013 under the influence of at least one controlled substance, with marijuana coming in at 5.1 percent.

Marijuana sales overall are taking off as recreational use of cannabis is legal in Colorado and Washington state, and pot can be purchased for medicinal use in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

So what’s an employer to do?

Companies have different strategies and opinions on testing. But the vast majority of U.S. employers aren’t required to test for drugs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many state and local governments have…

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Lawsuit claims incarcerated juvenile seriously injured

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.reviewjournal.com

By YESENIA AMARO
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

A lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of a juvenile inmate alleges he suffered permanent injuries from the combination of a physical attack and use of force by correctional officers while housed at the Nevada Youth Training Center in Elko.

The complaint was filed in Clark County District Court by Al Lasso, a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas. The plaintiff, Daniel Vargas, who was transferred to the Northern Nevada facility in October, lost eyesight after he alleges officers attacked him and hogtied him in November, securing his limbs together behind his back.

“We don’t want any other child to go through what Daniel and other children up there have had to go through,” Lasso said, who added his client was not doing interviews.

Last month, Family Court Judge William Voy ordered 12 Clark County youth to be returned to his jurisdiction after reports that youth were being “hobbled” at the Elko facility. The lawsuit claims Vargas was one of those inmates.

Hobbling is defined as using a 2-foot-chain to connect the wrist restraint to the ankle restraint, preventing the person from standing upright, according to state officials.

The complaint alleges that at the end of November, Vargas woke up in accordance with facility policy and went to the bathroom to wash his hands and brush his teeth.

But because Vargas desperately needed to use the restroom and proceeded to the stall before brushing his teeth, officers attacked…

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Fallin Gives Work Comp Commission Opportunity To Improve After A Request For Their Resignation

Today’s post was shared by Workers Comp Brief and comes from kgou.org


Oklahoma Workers Compensation Commission Credit Oklahoma Workers Compensation Commission

Governor Mary Fallin is not asking the three members of the Workers Compensation Commission to resign but will give them time to work toward their goals, according to her spokesman.

“At this time, the governor has asked the commissioners to work hard to reduce the case backlog and deliver on the promise of a more fair, efficient and effective workers’ compensation system. She is giving them the opportunity to work hard towards those goals,” Alex Weintz, Fallin’s spokesman, said in an email Tuesday.

“As evidenced by the reduction in workers compensation premium rates and drop in numbers of adversarial cases being filed, the commissioners have already made significant progress.”

Weintz comments came in response to Oklahoma State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations’ President Jim Curry’s request that Fallin ask for the resignation of the Workers Compensation Commission’s three members.

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KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.

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Why Are Men Leaving The American Workforce?

Today’s post was shared by Trucker Lawyers and comes from www.npr.org

It was a great time to be an American man in the workplace after World War II. Hiring was strong for both white-collar jobs and factory work while industries like autos, aviation and steel were booming. By the 1960s, that started to change.
It was a great time to be an American man in the workplace after World War II. Hiring was strong for both white-collar jobs and factory work while industries like autos, aviation and steel were booming. By the 1960s, that started to change.

It was a great time to be an American man in the workplace after World War II. Hiring was strong for both white-collar jobs and factory work while industries like autos, aviation and steel were booming. By the 1960s, that started to change. Three Lions/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Three Lions/Getty Images

It was a great time to be an American man in the workplace after World War II. Hiring was strong for both white-collar jobs and factory work while industries like autos, aviation and steel were booming. By the 1960s, that started to change.

Three Lions/Getty Images

There’s a long, unfolding story about work in America that often gets overlooked. It’s the story of men opting out of work altogether. These are men who have vanished from the labor force — men who don’t have a job and aren’t looking for one.

To describe this historic development with the context it deserves, we start with the American economy after World War II. It was firing on all cylinders, dominant globally, confident and dynamic. It was a great time to be an American man in the workplace. Hiring was strong for white-collar jobs and factory work. Industries like autos, aviation and steel were booming.

If you were a man in the 1950s, you had a job, says…

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OSHA Chief: Inequality in America Is About Workplace Hazards, Too

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nbcnews.com

Image: Assistant Labor Secretary David Michaels of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration attends a full committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 23 in Washington, DC.
Image: Assistant Labor Secretary David Michaels of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration attends a full committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 23 in Washington, DC.

Inequality and poverty have taken center stage in American politics in the years since the recession. Fast food workers have raised the profile of low-wage work, cities and states around the country are raising the minimum wage, and elected officials in both parties have made the struggles of poor Americans core political issues.

But David Michaels, Ph.D., M.P.H., who leads the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under the Obama administration, says that workplace inequality is more than just wages. In an interview, Michaels, who is responsible for enforcing federal laws to project workers from illness and injury, says the regulatory structures he oversees aren’t sufficient to protect vulnerable workers from harm.

NBC: The political conversation about inequality in recent years has focused on wages. You’ve made the point that when addressing inequality, we should focus more on workplace health and safety issues. Why?

Michaels: Wages are clearly a core component of the discussion of inequality and the ability to get into and stay in middle class. But workplace health and safety issues also have an enormous impact. Workplace injury and illness can push workers out of middle-class jobs and make it hard to enter into the middle class in the first place.

Studies show that workplace injury…

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Fair Treatment Under the Law

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from social.dol.gov

Editor’s note: This is the first blog post in “Working Families, a Reality Series” by Women’s Bureau Director Latifa Lyles exploring issues that affect women and families in the 21st-century workplace.

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that Triple T Foods, a pet food processor in Arkansas, will pay a $30,000 settlement to a former employee for a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit in which the employee got fired on the day she announced she was pregnant.

Here we are, 36 years after the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and some employers still view child-bearing and employment as mutually exclusive activities.

The Women’s Bureau recently posted a series of charts with data about mothers and families on our website, and the numbers show that being a mother in the workforce is increasingly the norm. It is not surprising that the vast majority of mothers – 7 out of 10 – work, and women are the sole or primary financial support for their families now more than ever. What’s more, over two-thirds of women work during their first pregnancy. Yet, pregnancy discrimination persists in many forms, in all stages of employment – hiring, firing and promotion – and in all stages of pregnancy.

Employment protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing:


Map of pregnancy discrimination laws in the United States
Map of pregnancy discrimination laws in the U.S.

Click on the map to learn about pregnancy discrimination laws by state.

Cases like…

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