Category archives for Legal
It seems we barely go a week now without news of another violent gun incident. Last week’s shooting rampage in Santa Monica, Calif., has resulted in the deaths of five people. And since the Newtown school shooting last December — in the span of less than six months — thousands of Americans have been killed by guns.
Every week, the Austin-based Workers Defense Project welcomes standing room-only crowds to its Workers in Action meetings. And once a month, a local OSHA representative would join the meeting, giving some of Texas’ most vulnerable workers the chance to meet face-to-face with the agency. Unfortunately, due to the federal sequester, OSHA has had to indefinitely suspend its participation. It’s a significant loss.
When it comes to nonviolent drug offenses, systems that favor treatment over incarceration not only produce better health outcomes, they save money, too. It’s yet another example of how investing in public health and prevention yields valuable returns on investment.
Earlier this month, Florida lawmakers wrapped up their latest legislative session. And nearly 500 miles south of Tallahassee in Miami-Dade County, workers’ rights advocates breathed yet another sigh of relief.
Another day, another study that shows investing in public health interventions can make a serious dent in health care spending. A new study has found that banning smoking in all U.S. subsidized housing could yield cost savings of about $521 million every year.
Eric Rodriguez and his colleagues at the Latino Union of Chicago quite literally meet workers where they’re at — on the city’s street corners. Many of the day laborers who gather there are hired to work construction at residential housing sites. Work arrangements are hardly formal and day laborers are frequently subjected to unnecessary and illegal dangers on the job. Unfortunately, worker safety is often kicked to the curb in the street corner marketplace.
For Angel Nava, Chicago’s newly adopted wage theft ordinance is particularly personal. Until recently, Nava had worked at the same car wash business in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood for 14 years. The 55-year-old employee did it all — washing, detailing, buffing — for about 50 hours each week. Then, his boss decided to stop paying overtime.
In California, a minimum wage worker has to work at least 98 hours in a week to afford a two-bedroom unit at fair market rental prices. In Texas, that worker would have to work between 81 and 97 hours in a week, and in North Carolina it’s upward of 80 hours per week.
A new study finds that the public does, indeed, support legal interventions aimed at curbing noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. However, they’re more likely to support interventions that create the conditions that help people make the healthy choice on their own.
Texas construction workers who’ve lost their lives on unsafe worksites may be gone, but they certainly haven’t been forgotten. Earlier this week, hundreds of Texas workers and their supporters took to the streets to demand legislators do more to stop preventable injury and death on the job.