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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.

As summer approaches, mosquito bites will become common, and the Zika virus could start spreading in parts of the continental US. Although public health officials are working hard to address this threat, the response from many lawmakers has been disappointing and, in some cases, erected barriers to successful research.

New York State’s new budget deal includes a paid-leave program that will offer the most paid leave in the nation once it’s fully implemented in 2021: 12 weeks of leave at up to two-thirds of pay.

What part don’t you understand? “Don’t expose people to asbestos!”

I’m marking Global Awareness Asbestos Week by shaming some companies in San Antonio, TX for exposing workers and the community to asbestos.

“We’ve been waiting for this day” — Blankenship gets prison time

It’s been six years and one day since 29 men were killed by a coal-dust explosion at former Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine. Today, U.S. District Judge Irene Berger sentenced the company’s former CEO Don Blankenship for his practices that contributed to the disaster.

You know how opponents of paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage always cite resistance in the business community? Well, in turns out that such resistance might be closer to a marketing gimmick rather than a genuine reflection of employer sentiment.

In debates over air pollution control, it’s always a tug-of-war between the cost to business and the cost to public health. Late last month, a study emerged with new data for the public health column: the cost of the nation’s nearly 16,000 annual preterm births linked to air pollution is more than a whopping $5 billion.

Workplace fatalities due to reckless business decisions

It’s time to get passed thinking that workplace fatalities are “just accidents.” A new toolkit by the Center for Progressive Reform will help worker- and community-coalitions encourage prosecutors to review on-the-job fatalities for possible criminal charges.

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.

Who’s saying what about OSHA’s new silica standard

Here are some of my favorite quotes in response to OSHA publishing a final rule on silica dust.