By Chuck Idelson
National Nurses Union
We are in the midst of the worst Ebola epidemic in history-- over 4,500 deaths globally and now two U.S. nurses are infected. RNs from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where Ebola victim Thomas Duncan died describe a chaotic and unprepared environment where workers and patients were not adequately protected. "There was no advanced preparedness on what to do with the patient. There was no protocol. There was no system."
By Jon Zerolnick
Several leading port trucking companies have taken a bold new position in the ongoing battle over whether or not they are misclassifying drivers as independent contractors. In recent filings with the U.S. District Court, they have attempted to position themselves as beyond the reach of California’s employee protection laws. In effect, they are saying that whether or not they are misclassifying drivers there is nothing the State of California can do about it.
By Rachel Hooper
There is no question that the game of football is dangerous. NFL players get injured on the job - so many that an "injury report" section is ubiquitous in our sports page. In fact, a study run by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that the risk of death associated with neurodegenerative disorders is about three times higher among NFL players than the rest of the population.
NFL athletes are not merely players, they are also employees.
Their employers are now trying to take away their collectively bargained right to Workers Compensation Benefits in California. It is not right, and it sets a dangerous precedent.
By Danny Feingold
If you're like me, right now you may be scrambling to stock up on all of your Passover essentials. So what if I told you that you could get 12 boxes of matzah - more than enough to cover the eight days and nights of breadless revelry - for just over $40 bucks?
Ah, but there's a catch: You'll have to buy this miracle matzah pak at Walmart. Moral dilemma? You bet.
Last year I provided a short list of reasons you might want to think twice about a Walmart matzah binge. I wish I could report that Walmart had cleaned up its act since then, but alas, the world's largest retailer has racked up a series of alleged corporate crimes and indiscretions that would make a pharaoh blush.
By Sam Gold
Injured Workers Television Network
The insurance industry and specifically large self-insured companies are ramping up support in Sacramento for another, as they call it, Workers Compensation Reform – a very bad choice of words as the definition of the word reform means “the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt or unsatisfactory!” And corrupt and unsatisfactory it most certainly is, but not caused by employees, but the employers and their insurers. They have the vast financial resources to lobby our legislators who will gladly take their political contributions to make changes in existing law.
By Julius Young
Boxer & Gerson, Oakland, CA
Publisher Of WorkersCompZone.com Blog
Today the legislature is holding an informational hearing on SB 863, a comprehensive workers’ comp reform bill.
Although the bill has some good elements, has been improved from recent versions and although any progressive workers’ comp reform effort may involve some compromises, SB 863 has too many takeaways for workers and should be rejected.
By Maria Elena Durazo
LA County Federation of Labor
At any point in their lives, workers may need to take time off to care for either a new child or a sick family member. While we have state and federal laws to protect workers from losing their jobs or benefits when they take leave, the leave time is mostly unpaid. Unpaid leave hurts a family’s income and economic security – many of our working families, especially in this economy, live at the margin and can’t afford to take leave without pay.
No worker should have to make the difficult choice between a paycheck and being there for a loved one.
Ten years ago, labor unions and community organizations in California came together to ensure that our working families did not have to make this difficult choice. We successfully advocated for and passed the California Paid Family Leave (PFL) Act in 2002.
By Sam Gold
It hasn’t since the insurance industry got their claws into it, and it won’t until their sphere of influence is sufficiently reduced to a point where the system can achieve it’s primary goal: compensating the occupationally injured for their inability to compete in an ever changing workplace and getting them back to work as quickly as possible.
All the occupationally injured ask for is a little respect and dignity and maybe a bit of help dealing with what can sometimes be insurmountable odds. Yet, the truth just seems to get swept by the wayside and replaced by rhetoric meant to paint the injured workers as crooks and frauds and a drain and burden on society.
By (announcement) the Harvard Business School
Research published yesterday in Science sheds light on a hot-button political issue: the role and effectiveness of government regulation. Does it kill jobs or protect the public?
The new study, co-authored by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Toffel, Professor David Levine of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and Boston University doctoral student Matthew Johnson, examines workplace safety inspections conducted by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). The authors carried out the first evaluation of a “clinical trial” of the state’s mandated randomized inspections to discern their effect on both worker safety and companies’ bottom lines.
By Sam Gold
Three words: Money, Power & Politics. Why do they even call it Workers’ Compensation? It’s certainly not about workers, it’s about insurance companies and their financial bottom lines, and the last thing in the world it does is adequately compensate workers for their occupational injuries which in many cases are due to the negligent actions and behavior of their employers. But hey, they have a “Get Out Of Jail FREE” card called the “Exclusive Remedy!"
When a worker can no longer perform his normal job duties, the law says he must be compensated for his inability to compete in the future job market. But what the insurers throw at the injured worker simply amounts to “Chump Change,” wholly inadequate and certainly not enough to make a difference to the worker.