minimum wage

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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.

Low wages certainly impact a person’s health, from where people live to what they eat to how often they can visit a doctor. And low and stagnant wages certainly contribute to poverty, which is a known risk factor for poor health and premature mortality. But should low wages be considered an occupational health hazard?

A couple months ago, we reported on a study that found raising the minimum wage to $15 could have prevented thousands of premature deaths in New York City alone. Now comes more science on the life-saving benefits of higher wages — this one found that just a modest increase in the minimum wage could have saved the lives of hundreds of babies. It’s yet another reminder that the movement for a living wage is also a movement toward a healthier nation for all.

Reveal investigates the toll of nuclear testing on the country’s “atomic vets”; federal labor officials propose new mining safety rules; D.C. officials vote in support of a $15 minimum wage; and an Amazon employee writes a first-person account from inside one of the company’s warehouses.

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.

Workers inside Donald Trump’s Las Vegas hotel speak up about wages and conditions; New York’s governor sides with farmworkers in right to organize; reporters investigate the lack of women coaches in college sports; and Uber agrees to a workers guild with very limited power.

Just a few weeks ago, legislators in New York reached a deal to raise the minimum wage to $15. And while that’s certainly a big boost for incomes, it could also turn out to be a literal lifesaver.

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.

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.