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May 2016 Archives

The Tragic Result when Companies Cut Corners

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or "OSHA") was formed to enforce minimum safety standards in the workplace. It promulgates rules that employers must obey or face fines. These rules are important especially in dangerous industries, like construction. They protect workers and save lives. Unfortunately one company, Southern Pan, decided to ignore the rules and as a result one of their projects collapsed, killing one worker.

Dept. of Labor busts another company for discrimination

Federal contractors are held to higher standards than most private sector companies. They must pay higher wages, provide more worker protections and are under greater civil rights protections. This is the lesson that Gordon Food Service Inc. is learning as it is required to pay $1.85 million to 926 female job applicants for discriminatory hiring practices.

Safety tips for working in trenches

Workers that excavate and enter trenches risk death or serious injury every day. It may not seem like a lot but one cubic yard of dirt can easily weigh more than 3,000 pounds. This can easily crush or suffocate a buried worker. From 2000 to 2009, 350 workers died in trench cave-ins. These are preventable deaths. Humans have known how to safely excavate dirt for hundreds of years. It requires careful study of the soil and proper use of stabilizing tools.

The three types of religious discrimination

The Constitution and the Amendments lay out the various rights that people have as citizens of the United States. One of those rights is the freedom to exercise their own religion. This means that neither the states nor the federal government can establish a state religion or stop you from practicing your own religion. These protections were extended to include private companies by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Unborn baby defies odds and survives truck accident

Having a baby is supposed to be a joyful time in a Missouri parent's life. Unfortunately, that joy was forever denied a woman who was on her way to the hospital to deliver her baby when she was killed in a truck accident. Her unborn child miraculously survived the crash, and doctors delivered the baby girl via emergency Cesarean section.

The Department of Labor issued a new overtime rule

Typically, you go to work, clock in and earn your paycheck. But what happens if your employer needs to keep you late? In those situations, you are entitled to overtime. Generally, overtime kicks in if you work more than 40 hours a week. For each hour worked over that threshold you get overtime, or time-and-a-half pay.

Fatigue is one of the biggest causes of truck accidents

Long-haul truck drivers spend a lot of time on the roadways in the country, including those in Missouri. Most truck drivers only make money when they deliver their loads on time, and this can cause some drivers to push themselves beyond reasonable limits. People who do not drive 18-wheelers for a living might not understand how tiring this can be. Being on the road for too long can easily lead to fatigue, which makes it one of the biggest causes of truck accidents.

Motorcyclists face injuries more serious than road rash

Motorcycles have just as much right to be on Missouri's roadways as other passenger vehicles. The problem is that their riders are much more vulnerable to injury than those in enclosed vehicles are if an accident occurs. Motorcyclists often face more serious injuries than just road rash, such as serious head injuries and spinal cord injuries.

Disability versus workers' compensation

When a worker is injured on the job, there are several different types of financial support that may assist them. You can access disability benefits, Social Security disability insurance and workers' compensation. Each of these programs carries different requirements and differing payout schedules. This article will discuss the difference between disability insurance and workers' compensation.

How can the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program help you?

The federal government has numerous programs to assist workers who lose their jobs due to foreign trade. One of the largest of these initiatives is the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, which is administered by the states on behalf of the Department of Labor. This article will go over how TAA may assist you if you lose your job.

Truck accident kills 2 women in northwest Missouri

Many drivers here and around the country might agree that sharing the streets and highways with 18-wheelers can be at least a bit intimidating. Few things are more intimidating than looking in the rear view mirror and seeing a tractor-trailer barreling down on the vehicle. This could be one of the last things that a Missouri woman saw before a truck accident took her life and the life of her passenger on a recent Saturday.

OSHA expands retaliation protection for food workers

Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released new rules that protect employees under the FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act. There is always a tension between what you want to do to help your boss or your job and what you think you should do to protect the public. Food safety is one of those industries that are woefully under-appreciated. Every worker is critical in making sure that the food supply is safe for consumption. This article will go over those expanded protections and how they may shield you from being unlawfully fired.

Uber lawsuit settles

The "gig" economy is continually evolving. Government regulators, industry insiders and workers do not know what, if any, protections extend to "gig" workers. Are they entitled to a minimum wage? Are they employees or independent contractors? How do they fit into the tax system? Should a new classification of worker be invented that blends employee and contractor rules? Uber and several thousand drivers just settled a major lawsuit that may partially answer some of these questions.