Liz Borkowski

As we were putting together 2014 edition of The Year in U.S. Occupational Health and Safety (which she introduced yesterday), we noticed that a lot of the good news about workers winning better conditions was coming from cities and states.

The San Jose Mercury News has begun publishing a multi-part series on the alarming use of psychotropic medications among youth in California’s foster-care system. Among the findings: 60% of foster children have been prescribed an antipsychotic, and 12% of those who received a psychotropic drug were prescribed two to four psychotropic medications at a time.

Some men think it’s okay to rape if they do it by getting their victims too drunk to offer much resistance. Can their peers change such behavior by speaking up?

Recent pieces give a glimpse of working an Ebola outbreak, industry-backed attacks on a researcher investigating artificial sweeteners’ effects, how parking laws affect housing prices, and more.

As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa worsens, CDC sends staff to affected countries and issues a travel alert, but stresses that the disease “poses very little risk to the general US population.”

Many hourly workers struggle to get by with too few hours and schedules that are erratic and subject to last-minute changes. The Schedules that Work Act, just introduced by Representative George Miller and Congressional colleagues, aims to help hourly workers achieve flexible and predictable schedules that let them balance work with other obligations.

Journalists and commentators cover the latest developments following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, the implications for women’s health, the context of past decisions, and more.

Last week’s White House Summit on Working Families served both as a pitch to employers to adopt more family-friendly policies, and as a push for policies that require all employers to evolve for 21st-century realities.

Recent pieces include suggestions for ending drunk driving and reducing poverty; the limits of education as a path to greater equality for African-Americans; and “the corporate crusade against low-wage workers.”

A new IRS rule is likely to discourage employers from scrapping their health plans and sending workers to get health insurance from exchanges. Given that a reliance on employer-sponsored insurance disadvantages some workers and contributes to job lock, do we really want employers to keep being such a significant source of insurance coverage?