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(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Asbestos likely more widespread than previously thought

Naturally occurring asbestos minerals may be more widespread than previously thought, with newly discovered sources now identified within the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The asbestos-rich areas are in locations not previously considered to be at risk, according to a new report. “These minerals were found where one wouldn’t expect or think to look,” said a co-researcher of the study. The naturally occurring asbestos was found in Boulder City, Nevada, in the path of a construction zone to build a multi-million dollar highway.

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Ladies of Charity

Kim Bobo
Todays post is shared from http://wisworkcompexperts.com/
Mary Domer heads the local chapter of the Ladies of Charity and just chaired the national conference held in Milwaukee.  She recruited Kim Bobo, Director of Interfaith Workers Justice and author of Wage Theft in America to speak to the assembly. Kim’s presentation reminded us of the disparities of wealth in America and how that wage gap is increasing, in some measure because of wage theft.  Among the gems garnered from Kim’s presentation
  • If your employer tells you you are an independent contractor, you’re probably not.
  • Methods of “contingency employment” are on the increase including ever increasing temporary workers, seasonal workers and permanent “part time” workers.
  • Three-quarters of low wage workers don’t get overtime.  These include folks who can’t do all the work needed in 40 hours, but who would be fired if they didn’t perform all the work needed, daycare workers who have to stay off the clock and wait for parents to arrive, and “off the clock” work done in set up and clean up.  The most egregious examples were McDonalds workers told by their managers to clock out and sit and wait in the car until they were needed when more customers arrived.
Kim noted that many “tip” workers do not receive any of the tips, reminding us to either ask the question about whether the worker would receive a tip paid for by credit card or alternatively to simply pay in cash.  She noted an average of $2,600 lost average per year for low wage workers including janitors, drivers, landscapers, care workers.
Despite these negative trends, Kim suggested five ways in which we can all support low wage workers.
  1. Support campaigns to increase the minimum wage.
  2. Help with legislation and ordinances on paid sick days (40 million low wage workers have no paid sick days).
  3. Push Wal-Mart, McDonalds and other employers to increase their wages.  (She noted Wal-Mart does pay well in Europe so they have the capability when they are forced to do so.  Astoundingly, she noted six members of the Walton family possess a significant portion of the wealth in America.)
  4. Support legislation to provide a clear paystub to all employees.  (Many are being paid by debit cards where they have to actually pay money to their employers to get paid.)
  5. Honor employers who pay well through “a living wage certification program” in each of our communities.
 Through these methods and many more, we can all be men and Ladies of Charity.

Truckerlawyers.com Announces Mobile Website


Today post authored by Emily Wray Stander is shared from http://workerscompensationwatch.com/

A new mobile website for truckerlawyers.com has gone live, said Rod Rehm, owner of truckerlawyers.com and Rehm, Bennett & Moore law firm.

It can be found on truckerlawyers.com/mobile or by searching for trucker lawyers on a mobile device. The site will make it easier for drivers who use cell phones and tablets to contact the firm for help with workers’ compensation, personal injury and employment-law issues, Rehm said.

“I have represented truckers from all over the United States for more than 25 years,” Rehm said. “We use technology a great deal in the firm’s day-to-day business when working with clients. Offering a mobile website to drivers is a choice that we made to give drivers an easier way to contact us. The reality is that not everyone is on the road with a laptop, so a mobile website is more convenient.”

The firm’s attorneys have over 70 years of collective experience in workers’ compensation and personal-injury law. For more details about the firm and its work with truck drivers, go towww.truckerlawyers.com to read about informational topics such as “Finding a Qualified Lawyers to Handle Your Case.”

To continue the conversation, feel free to reach out and follow or interact with the firm through these sites:
Twitter: @truckerlawyers and @rehmlaw
Google+: Search for Trucker Lawyers or Rehm, Bennett & Moore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/truckerlawyers andhttps://www.facebook.com/rbmlawfirm
Web pages: www.truckerlawyers.com andhttp://www.rehmlaw.com/Workers-Compensation/Workers-Comp-for-Truckers.shtml
LinkedIn: Search for the company page for Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

Finally, the firm’s blog continues to include news on workers’ compensation, employment, personal injury, Social Security disability, and consumer safety and alerts.


Employer Fraud and Recommendations from New York State Supreme Court’s Grand Jury Report

Today's post is shared from http://legaltalknetwork.com/

A recent Grand Jury Report from the New York State Supreme Court brought recommendations of change to handle Employer Fraud in Workers’ Compensation. Among the recommended areas of change are the application process, criminal statutes, and the method of collecting data. On this episode ofWorkers Comp Matters, host Alan Pierce interviews Gilda Mariani of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Together they discuss the results of the Grand Jury Report and the subsequent victims of premium fraud. Tune in to learn more about employee classifications, the involuntary insurance market, and drivers of cost for workers’ compensation insurance.
Gilda Mariani is with the New York County District Attorney’s Office, having held supervisory positions including Deputy Chief of its former Frauds Bureau as well as Chief of its former Money Laundering and Tax Crimes Unit. She has had a significant role in drafting legislation, including the New York Money Laundering Statute and the misdemeanor crime of Providing a Juror with a Gratuity. She has conducted several investigations that have led to issuance of Reports by the New York County Grand Jury, including the Grand Jury Report released in March 2014  on workers’ compensation reform. Mariani is also a recipient of the Robert M. Morgenthau Award by the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York.

Are Uber Drivers Getting Their Tips?

Today's post is shared from http://ncworkcompjournal.com/

A U.S. federal judge recently ruled that a ride-sharing service must face a lawsuit alleging that the company has been pocketing tips meant for the drivers (Detroit Free Press, September 19, 2014). Uber Technologies is a smartphone-summoned car service based in San Francisco that has been charging a 20% surcharge on rides. Uber was founded in 2009 and is currently in 35 countries and more than 100 cities. It is valued at $18.2 billion and is the most valued ventured-back company in the world.

Filed in January, the class-action suit alleges that Uber has been keeping a “substantial portion” of the gratuity as additional revenue rather than sharing with its drivers. This lawsuit also accuses the company of misleading customers about the true cost of its service. The complaint characterizes Uber’s practice as unfair and deceptive because Uber keeps most of the surcharge and it’s not a gratuity.

Uber, Lyft and other car-booking companies have been facing a growing number of legal challenges. In Chicago, cab drivers sued the city claiming that these smartphone-summoned services are not subject to the same regulations governing conventional taxi companies. In Connecticut, Uber and Lyft have also been accused of racketeering by taxi and livery operators who accuse the companies of preying on established businesses and cutting legal corners by partnering with affiliated drivers instead of owning cars. That way, these companies claim they are different from taxi dispatchers and shouldn’t be forced to comply with existing regulations, such as driver background checks and liability insurance.

California Nurses’ Union Pulls Ebola Into Contract Talks

Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org

This story is part of a partnership that includes KQED, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

The powerful California Nurses Association has put Ebola on the bargaining table in its negotiations for a new contract with Kaiser Permanente.

Contract talks have been going on for months and the nurses’ most recent demands are all about Ebola — better training, more staffing, protective gear that goes beyond what’s recommended by federal officials and even a special life insurance policy.

“We’d like to have an extra supplemental coverage, for specifically Ebola, if we were to contract Ebola while we’re at work,” says Diane McClure, a nurse at Kaiser Permanente’s hospital in Sacramento, where a patient suspected of having Ebola was treated in August. He later tested negative for the virus. (KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente).

And, she says even a month after the Ebola scare at her hospital, nurses had not received any meaningful, hands-on training.

“They felt that all they had to do was pull up some [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] information online and put some flyers on the tables and in the bathroom and that was it,” says McClure, who is a member of the nurses’ bargaining team.

Kaiser Permanente hasn’t responded to all of the California Nurses Association’s demands. In a statement, KP said that it is rolling...

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Chemical leak contained at New Jersey refinery

Today's post is shared from app.com
Officials say no one was injured during a chemical leak in northern New Jersey.
Infineum USA says the leak was spotted in a drum containing 25 percent of ethyl aluminum dichloride art the company’s plant in Linden’s Bayway Refinery Complex around 8 a.m. Monday.
Employees sheltered in place and the leak was isolated about 45 minutes later.
Infineum says approximately 1,400 pounds of the chemical was released in the form of a cloud that dissipated within an hour. The company says there was no danger to those in the complex or in the community.
The state health department says the highly flammable and reactive chemical can irritate the nose, eyes and skin. It also can cause rash and burns.
The company is investigating to determine what caused the leak.
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