Legal

Category archives for Legal

Last weekend, construction worker Jose Perez stood up and spoke about life as a construction worker in one of then nation’s most prosperous cities. In front of him were hundreds of supporters who had gathered in downtown Austin, Texas, to call on a local developer to treat its workers better. Looming behind him was the new Gables Park Tower, an unfinished luxury apartment complex where construction workers have reported dangerous working conditions and frequent wage violations.

The day I spoke with Idaho minimum wage activist Anne Nesse, it was quite cold in her hometown of Coeur d’Alene — 29 degrees, to be exact. The harsh winters came up more than once during our conversation about low wages in the northwestern state.

It’s probably my earliest public health memory — the image of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and his grandfatherly beard on the television warning my elementary school self about the dangers of smoking. He was the first doctor I knew by name.

With so much pressure on the Affordable Care Act to immediately live up to high expectations, and with opponents who seem gleeful at the news that Americans are having a hard time signing up for affordable health care, it’s reassuring to read that the health reform law can readily take a few blows and keep moving forward.

There are few factors that shape a person’s health as strongly and predictably as income. And while enforcing wage and labor laws may at first seem outside the purview of public health agencies, Rajiv Bhatia adamantly disagrees. In fact, he says that public health may wield the most persuasive stick in town.

This week, Houston became only the second major city in the U.S. South to pass a law to prevent and punish wage theft. It’s a major victory for all workers, but it’s especially significant for the city’s low-wage workers, who lose an estimated $753.2 million every year because of wage theft.

Call for coal companies to ditch law firm Jackson & Kelly

The scheming by Jackson Kelly attorneys to deny coal miners with black lung disease modest compensation is immoral. If coal companies are sincere about their workers being their “most precious resource,” they should dump the law firm.

It takes time to change social norms, so it’ll probably take many, many years until it’s as socially unacceptable to text or use a cell phone while driving as it is to start the engine without first buckling a seat belt. In the meantime, researchers say, smart policies are needed to address the increasing share of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths attributed to distracted driving.

According to a new report from the Center for Effective Government, American workplace health and safety is suffering from – and as a result of – a serious lack of resources. While the number of US workplaces doubled between 1981 and 2011 and the number of US workers increased from 73 million to 129 million…

Thou dost protest too much. Let the disclosure chips fall where they may

The worlds of Georgia-Pacific, asbestos-litigation, scientific journals, and OSHA all fell together last week under the umbrella of transparency and disclosure.