California

Category archives for California

Occupational Health News Roundup

New Jersey’s growing temp industry is rife with labor violations, worker mistreatment; advocates in North Carolina demand safer conditions for poultry plant workers; former Wells Fargo workers sue over aggressive sales quotas that led to fraud; and an investigation into northern California’s marijuana industry finds rampant sexual abuse and assault.

The most recent annual Federal OSHA evaluation report of Cal/OSHA highlights progress made in some areas, but continuing failure to meet several minimum federal benchmarks as well as requirements of California law.  The underlying causes of these ongoing problems are chronic understaffing of field compliance officers and a lack of political will in the agency’s leadership. 

Occupational Health News Roundup

Restaurant workers in California experience severe injuries and disability; OSHA pushes back against a judge’s ruling in poultry plant inspection case; Gov. Chris Christie vetoes a $15 minimum wage bill; and the women making Nike products in Vietnam often earn poverty wages and face grueling production expectations.

A closer look at the latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that injury and illness stats for California show the state has worse, not better, rates of worker injuries and illnesses than national levels or the performance of other major industrial states. The “but we have better stats” response from state officials cannot be used to justify the failure of the Department of Industrial Relations and Cal/OSHA to fill 38 vacant field compliance officer positions that have been fully funded since July 2015.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Slate investigates a little-used Fair Labor Standards Act provision that could improve conditions for farmworkers; Syrian child refugees face exploitation in Turkey’s textile industry; OSHA cites a Wisconsin shipyard for exposing workers to high levels of lead; and researchers offer new insights into the effects of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law.

A ‘hidden’ workforce of foreign workers at a Tesla plant in California; Illinois legislators pass a domestic workers bill of rights; Congress uses a spending bill to weaken safety rules for truckers; and lawsuits over workplace leave policies spike way up.

Hardly a day goes by lately without another story on companies like Uber and their model of classifying workers as independent contractors while treating them more like traditional employees and sidestepping traditional employer responsibilities. It’s a model that has serious implications for workers’ rights and wages. However, there’s another form of employment that may be even more damaging to hard-fought labor standards: subcontracting.

Occupational Health News Roundup

CDC investigates diacetyl exposure in coffee production facilities; Supreme Court rules in favor of workers’ First Amendment rights; Latino workers still face the greatest fatality risks at work; and a job-seeking experiment finds women bear the brunt of age discrimination in the job market.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Reveal investigates fraud in California’s workers’ comp system; workers face unnecessary hazards in the recycling industry; anger over union exemptions in Los Angeles’ new minimum wage law; and two miners win their retaliation case against Murray Energy.

Occupational Health News Roundup

A peek inside the life of Miami’s hotel housekeepers during spring break; a tie vote at the Supreme Court is a win for labor unions; California on track to adopt statewide minimum wage of $15; and Los Angeles nurses go on strike for safer working conditions.