Labor Day is a symbolic day of tribute to the power and strength of people's labor. Labor unions and progressive organizations have fought to bring the US to a first world standard of life through labor and justice legislation. This brought a thriving economy driven by a broad middle-class fueling consumption with disposable income. It brought the most people in history from poverty into the middle-class. It brought a social safety net that kept people from falling into hard times and not being able to re-establish themselves. It brought protection for seniors who historically fall into poverty as they become unable to work. The US was ranked first in the world on every quality of life issue-----every economic measure until------REAGAN/CLINTON AND NEO-LIBERALISM.
THIS IS WHAT LABOR AND JUSTICE LEGISLATION AND CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES BROUGHT AMERICAN CITIZENS.
“The basic bargain of America is that no matter who you are, where you come from or what you look like, if you work hard & play by the rules, you can make it.”
— Labor Secretary Tom Perez
Obama chose Tom Perez from Maryland to be Labor Secretary because Maryland does not enforce any labor laws and allows corporations to greatly increase profits by exploiting labor. Obama is a neo-liberal and Maryland is run by neo-liberals running as Democrats. As all US citizens know the quote from Perez is a lie. Labor has worked hard, played by the rule, and has been fleeced through fraud and corruption with no justice of most of its gains over a few decades. Know who endorsed Tom Perez when chosen? National AFL-CIO. A labor union leader supported a person working in one of the most repressive labor markets in the nation. We must rebuild unions but we will not if leaders work against the interests of labor. I criticize labor union leaders for backing the same pols killing labor and justice but all of us have to remember labor is under an enormous amount of pressure and threatened of union rights no doubt why these leaders support the pols that are killing labor.
WE ALL MUST SUPPORT LABOR AND LABOR UNIONS AS THIS IS THE ONLY ORGANIZED SYSTEM FOR LABOR LEFT TODAY.
The labor rights unions fought for and won gave all workers a first world quality of life. We need everyone to recognize the importance of unions-----but we also will not rebuild unions if leaders keep backing neo-liberals killing labor and justice. When labor feels sold out by union leaders---it is hard to win back that trust.
DO YOU HEAR TOM PEREZ SHOUTING THIS? LABOR SECRETARY FOR CORPORATE INTERESTS?
Under TPP, the corporation would sue the federal government, whether the case pertained to a federal, state, or local law or court decision. If the tribunal awarded damages to the corporation, the federal government would pay. So if the government doesn’t want more suits, it has to change its laws (or pressure the local government to do so).
Most unions, however, have been slow to get on board—even though the TPP would jeopardize, according to the AFL-CIO, millions of jobs. The Teamsters and Communications Workers have been the most active.
- See more at: http://www.labornotes.org/2013/07/secret-tpp-deal-would-void-democracy#sthash.2UnNFC0Y.dpuf
Keep in mind that Obama and neo-liberals teamed with neo-cons are pushing TPP which will 'force' governments to eliminate labor law that cuts into global corporations' profits.
I spoke this week about imploding Workman's Comp Insurance corporations. As you see below, the Federal and state governments should not be allowing these insurance corporations to invest in a way that creates this coming implosion. The laws state this workers' compensation program will be protected:
IT WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE AFTER THE COMING ECONOMIC CRASH FUELED BY MUNICIPAL AND SOVEREIGN DEBT FRAUD.
Workers' Compensation: Workers' compensation ensures that people receive benefits when they suffer a job-related injury. Employers are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance plans to pay an employee's lost wages and relevant medical expenses. The federal government offers its own workers' compensation program to federal employees. Each state is responsible for administrating workers' compensation for state employees.
Most laws with labor provisions regulating the transportation industry are administered by agencies outside the Department of Labor. However, longshoring and maritime industry safety and health standards are issued and enforced by OSHA. The Longshoring and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), requires employers to assure that workers' compensation is funded and available to eligible employees. In addition, the rights of employees in the mass transit industry are protected when federal funds are used to acquire, improve, or operate a transit system. Under the Federal Transit law, the Department of Labor is responsible for approving employee protection arrangements before the department of Transportation can release funds to grantees.
You can bet this exists in Maryland. Corporations are not paying payroll deductions for SS and Medicare, insurance premiums required by law like this one. They do it because the DLLR agencies in Maryland are dismantled.
Ohio companies fail to pay workers' comp premiums
- www.columbusworkerscompattorneysblog.com/2012/05/ohio... Ohio companies fail to pay workers' comp premiums. ... Failure to pay also places injured workers at risk because there may not be insurance to cover workplace injuries.
When N.C. employers dodge workers' comp costs, employees pay ...
www.newsobserver.com/2012/...nc-employers-dodge-workers.html CachedApr 01, 2012 ·
Thousands of North Carolina employers don't buy workers compensation insurance, ... failing to carry workers’ comp insurance ... companies without insurance.
Eight hour work day is gone as employees are cut and the burden of work falls on increasingly long hours for those who are still employed. Don't like it----quit! Take your chances in 36% unemployment in the US. This is how workers in third world countries live----literally locked inside factories and offices for 12-18 hour days. I talked with a security employee at BWI that worked 12 hour shifts and then was required to stay for another shift if coverage was needed....we know this happens across all industries.
Wage theft is rampant and because states like Maryland have no functioning Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulations- DLLR-----which Tom Perez found perfectly fine obviously-----businesses openly alter and deny Maryland workers overtime, illegally categorize them as independent contractors so they do not receive these rights.This happens to immigrants and domestic labor.
Minimum Wage: The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all companies, with very few exceptions, must pay a minimum wage to employees. States can set additional minimum wage requirements. As a result, minimum wage can vary greatly from state to state to adjust for costs of living.
State and federal governments enforce standards for overtime and hiring practices. Certain employees are guaranteed extra earnings when they work beyond a 40 hour work week, and other employees are guaranteed additional time off.
This is just one wage scam that operates openly. Fluctuating work week is legal but corporations rarely follow the restrictions of the law. They use this law illegally. This list below is breath-taking and all of these wage theft categories are exploding in fraud.
Fluctuating Work Week
The fluctuating workweek method is a formula for calculating overtime that was formerly referred to as "Chinese overtime." It is legal under federal law and the laws of most states, but only if all of the law's requirements are followed. Violations of the fluctuating workweek rules most often occur under these circumstances:
1. The employee works a regular schedule and her hours do not fluctuate.
2. The employer fails to include all proper payments to the employee when calculating the hourly rate. Where an employer fails to include commissions, bonus or holiday pay into the hourly rate calculation, it may be violating the fluctuating workweek rules.
3. The employer fails to pay his employees the full base salary in weeks where the employee works less than forty hours in a week. The employer cannot have it both ways. If the employer is going to pay a base salary, the salary has to be paid whether the employee works more than forty hours or not.
4. The employee works so many hours in a week that the hourly rate falls below the minimum wage.
5. The employee and employer did not have an agree that they would be paid according to the fluctuating workweek method. This formula allows an employer to save money on overtime costs. Compared to the standard overtime calculation method, an employee paid under the fluctuating workweek method could be earning hundreds of dollars less per week. However, when employers don't follow the strict rules required to use this method of payment, the fluctuating workweek calculation may be disallowed and the employer may have to pay his workers the standard method.
Types of Wage Theft
Cheated Out of Overtime
Denied Minimum Wage
Illegal Unpaid Internships
Independent Contractor Abuse
Exempt Employee Abuse
Prevailing Wage Fraud
Fluctuating Work Week Ripoffs
Unpredictable Work Hours Are Stressing Too Many People Out
While the problem is vastly more challenging for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, those who work in well-paid, white collar jobs also feel the effects of variability. Employees at Boston Consulting Group, one of the most elite workplaces there is, suffered the stress created by lack of control over their work hours. Deborah Lovich, a BCG Partner who engaged Harvard Business School Professor Leslie Perlow, writes: “The big problem wasn’t so much the long hours and incessant travel. Our consultants expected that when they joined BCG. Rather, Perlow discovered, it was the complete lack of predictability or control they had over their daily lives.”
You know who most of those mass layoffs of millions of US workers after the deliberate economic collapse in 2008 were? People over 40, people of color, and women. Now they are called the long-term unemployed with no chances of being re-hired. Guess what? There's a law for that except no laws are being enforced right now. It seems Tom Perez/AFL-CIO is returning to 1960 and speaking as if 5 decades of public wealth and law has not been fleeced and suspended----let's pretend to start all over with civil and labor rights. If corporations are allowed to openly flaunt laws injuring millions of people no longer able to seek immediate justice because state public justice has been dismantled----does it matter if the Feds bring class action lawsuits that take years to get financial relief? Of course not.....
THEY NEED TO BE REGULATING AND ENFORCING THESE LAWS EVERY DAY.
In Maryland and especially Baltimore people with disability are seeing all of these ADA laws ignored and public agencies tasked with protection dismantled. Proving age discrimination only if you can pay for the legal costs? That is the condition today in Maryland and in your neck of the woods.
IF LABOR UNIONS KEEP VOTING FOR THE SAME NEO-LIBERALS DOING ALL OF THIS THEY ARE WORKING AGAINST THEIR MEMBERSHIP. WE NEED TO SEE MASS PROTEST, SHOUTING, AND COURT CASES FIGHTING THIS. IT TAKES LITTLE MONEY AND SIMPLY ENERGY AND TIME!
Under the Civil Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against job applicants by race, disability, or gender. Safeguards are also in place to prevent age discrimination against people over the age of 40.
Disability Discrimination Lawsuits Are A Growing Concern February 4th, 2010
| Author: Larry Anson
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, provides a number of protections for disabled persons who encounter barriers in life activities. There have been many legislative acts passed as the interpretation of the ADA has evolved in the years since 1990. The ADA remains the dominant definer of protective laws for persons with disabilities. The Disability Discrimination Lawsuit has similarly grown through interpretation.
Age discrimination a growing issue in a difficult economy
By Curt Burnett
For the Deseret News
Published: Thursday, March 8 2012 10:14 a.m. MST
Summary Age-discrimination complaints in Utah are rising, although not as significantly as for the nation. The primary reasons for the increase? More seniors remaining in the workforce and greater public awareness of anti-discrimination laws.
Robert sees a sad irony in becoming a victim of age discrimination.
“It was my generation – the Baby Boomers – that pushed through federal anti-discrimination laws in 1967," he said. "Yet, we’re still experiencing the bitter taste of age bias in today’s workplace".
If you do not pay for maternity leave do workers living from paycheck to paycheck----right now 70% of Americans and growing actually get the benefit of maternity leave? Of course not. Neo-liberals have done more to hurt women and children than Republicans because they run as Democrats and serve as corporate pols killing these labor and justice protections.
FMLA provides up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave if an employee has a new baby or a serious illness in the family. But there are a number of restrictions, meaning some 40 percent of the workforce is not eligible.
Maternity Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act was enacted in 1993 by the United States Department of Labor. Legislation states that an employee may have a minimum of 12 unpaid weeks of leave time per year for medical or family reasons. Pregnant women can use this leave to give birth and care for their newborn. Fathers can also take a leave under this act. Parents can take leave to take care of a seriously ill child, when adopting a child, and taking in a foster child.
US Losing Out on Maternity Leave Pay: UN
May 13, 2014 11:10 AM ET // by AFP
The United States is one of just three countries not to guarantee any paid maternity leave, a policy that costs the country dearly, the UN's labor agency said Tuesday.
Only Papua New Guinea, Oman and the United States -- the world's largest economy -- do not require employers to provide paid leave, according to an International Labor Organization report published Tuesday entitled "The State of Maternity and Paternity at Work."
Raise your hand if you know OSHA laws are no longer enforced and that the US workplace has never been so dangerous and full of unnecessary accidents because of poor training, overwork, and poor work conditions-----the US has nothing on China and yet it does have the Constitution and laws requiring these protections. Neo-liberals and neo-cons simply ignore the law and labor/justice leaders keep supporting neo-liberals as if that if OK.
EVERYONE!!!!!! PEOPLE ARE DYING IN RECORD NUMBER FROM WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS AND EXPLOSIONS.
OSHA: OSHA stands for the Occupation Safety and Health Administration. This agency is a part of the United States Department of Labor and serves to enact laws that protect the health and safety of employees in the workplace. They have strict standards for safety in equipment usage, personal protective equipment, safe working conditions, ergonomics, and construction site safety in all industries. Penalties for noncompliance include fines, suspension of business permits, and revocation of business licenses.
'The number of workplace inspections conducted by federal and state regulators has rebounded since falling to all-time lows during the Clinton administration'.
Workers Threatened by Decline in OSHA Budget, Enforcement Activity
by Matthew Madia, 1/24/2008
Government Performance, Publications
OMB Watch has published a new article titled, "Workers Threatened by Decline in OSHA Budget, Enforcement Activity." OSHA, like many other federal agencies, faces budget constraints that make it more difficult for the agency to achieve its mission. Over the past three decades, OSHA's budget, staffing levels, and inspection activity have dropped while the American workforce has grown and new hazards have emerged.
The article is the first in a series called Bankrupting Government: How a Decades-Long Campaign against Federal Spending Has Undermined Public Protections. In the coming months, the series will examine how long-term resource shortfalls at federal regulatory agencies have affected the ability of those agencies to fulfill their missions.
The Employee and Benefit Security is the agency receiving all of the pensions and benefits shed by corporations using bankruptcy to shed debt and contracts only to come back to billions of dollars in profit. The laws regarding these actions requires corporations come back to fund these pensions and benefit plans once stable and not leaving them in this agency. Currently once strong labor health plans are now being given mostly Medicaid-level coverage by the government and no attempt to bring corporations back to these contracts is made. None of this is legal----they are just doing it. Anyone needing COBRA knows that it has been unaffordable from the start. It has yet to serve its directive. COBRA will be dismantled with the Affordable Care Act.
YET, LABOR UNION LEADERS SUPPORT THESE NEO-LIBERALS EVERY ELECTION.
Employee Benefit Security
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates employers who offer pension or welfare benefit plans for their employees. Title I of ERISA is administered by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) (formerly the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration) and imposes a wide range of fiduciary, disclosure and reporting requirements on fiduciaries of pension and welfare benefit plans and on others having dealings with these plans. These provisions preempt many similar state laws. Under Title IV, certain employers and plan administrators must fund an insurance system to protect certain kinds of retirement benefits, with premiums paid to the federal government's Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). EBSA also administers reporting requirements for continuation of health-care provisions, required under the Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) and the health care portability requirements on group plans under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Employees are now being openly fired if a corporation knows these workers are whistle-blowing. Corporations are using excuses for dismissal that do not pass any test in retaliation for whistle-blowing. Even the government is casting a hard line on an employee that comes forward with laws being broken. Obama pretended to loosen conditions for whistle-blowers but the US Justice Department is refusing to move on these complaints leaving employees twisting in the wind with corporations finding any reason to fire them. So, the law below has been suspended and ignored.
We need to remember that US corporations overseas operate with complete disregard to these US laws and when military for example exposed to wide-spread fraud and corruption come back to the US----they bring back that third world ethos----anything goes. None of that is legal as well and this is what has corporations owing tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud. We need to make sure it is not brought back to the US as it looks to be by protecting the whistle-blowers.
Most labor and public safety laws and many environmental laws mandate whistleblower protections for employees who complain about violations of the law by their employers. Remedies can include job reinstatement and payment of back wages. OSHA enforces the whistleblower protections in most laws.
Retaliation Against Whistleblowers in the Workplace on the Rise
Whistleblowers Pay a Price for Coming Forward
The Ethics Resource Center recently issued its 2011 National Business Ethics Survey (NBES) and the results are mixed. Here are some of the major results reported in its Executive Summary.
- The percentage of employees who witnessed misconduct at work fell to a new low of 45 percent. That compares to 49 percent in 2009 and is well down from the record high of 55 percent in 2007.
- Those who reported the bad behavior they saw reached a record high of 65 percent, up from 63 percent two years earlier and 12 percentage points higher than the record low of 53 percent in 2005.
- Retaliation against employee whistleblowers rose sharply. More than one in five employees (22 percent) who reported misconduct say they experienced some form of retaliation in return. That compares to 12 percent who experienced retaliation in 2007 and 15 percent in 2009.
- The percentage of employees who perceived pressure to compromise standards in order to do their jobs climbed five points to 13 percent, just shy of the all-time high of 14 percent in 2000.
- The share of companies with weak ethics cultures also climbed to near record levels at 42 percent, up from 35 percent two years ago.
Any VET will tell you this law is no longer being enforced. Now, part of that has to do with the National Guard being deployed for multiple terms overseas so instead of being gone a year or two these workers have been gone a decade. These military are not being re-hired to their old positions or to any positions in many cases.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
Certain persons who serve in the armed forces have a right to reemployment with the employer they were with when they entered service. This includes those called up from the reserves or National Guard. These rights are administered by the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).
First, most employees of projects winning Federal, state, or local bids will tell you these laws are circumvented all the time in many ways. The most common has workers brought from out of state allowed to work under the wage conditions in their state. Bring someone from Texas to work on a government bid contract and pay them the prevailing wage in Texas, not Maryland. Hire immigrant workers to these projects and ignore all labor and justice laws as these workers have no rights. All kinds of deliberate circumvention of this law exists and it is all illegal. Laws passed that supposedly allow these labor laws to be ignored would not meet Constitutional challenge.
Government Contracts, Grants, or Financial Aid Recipients of government contracts, grants or financial aid are subject to wage, hour, benefits, and safety and health standards under:
- The Davis-Bacon Act, which requires payment of prevailing wages and benefits to employees of contractors engaged in federal government construction projects;
- The McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act, which sets wage rates and other labor standards for employees of contractors furnishing services to the federal government;
- The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act, which requires payment of minimum wages and other labor standards by contractors providing materials and supplies to the federal government.
As everyone knows there have been more mining disasters in the US as happen in third world countries since Reagan/Clinton deregulation. None of these mines are held to standards----no inspections finding faults have followup----and the mines and CEOs are allowed to skirt any legal responsibility and financial awards to employees are limited more and more by state laws regarding damages and compensatory rewards.
THESE LAWS ARE SIMPLY IGNORED.
Below you see the MSHA working as hard as any government agency to hide the facts of discovery from the public no doubt followed by failure to act.
Mine Safety & Health
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) covers all people who work on mine property. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) administers this Act.
The Mine Act holds mine operators responsible for the safety and health of miners; provides for the setting of mandatory safety and health standards, mandates miners' training requirements; prescribes penalties for violations; and enables inspectors to close dangerous mines. The safety and health standards address numerous hazards including roof falls, flammable and explosive gases, fire, electricity, equipment rollovers and maintenance, airborne contaminants, noise, and respirable dust. MSHA enforces safety and health requirements at more than 13,000 mines, investigates mine accidents, and offers mine operators training, technical and compliance assistance.
Ridiculous redactions by the Labor Dept’s mine safety agency
Posted by Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH of George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services on July 2, 2014
They wanted to keep these words secret:
“two” ….. “two miner operators” …….”worn by the miners. Both” …….“right miner” …….“left miner”
They are the phrases the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) initially redacted from a document requested by Mine Safety and Health News (MSHNews). (You can see the before and after versions here.) It’s not only redaction overkill, but it’s made worse coming from the Administration that “pledged to make this the most transparent Administration in history.”
The document with the redacted terms is a citation issued in January 2014 to Armstrong Coal company for violations at its Parkway mine. The underground coal mine was the subject of a story written last month by HuffPost’s Dave Jamieson. Jamieson reported on the experience of two whistleblowers who alerted federal inspectors that their company was cheating when it collected air samples to measure respirable coal dust. Rather than assigning miners to wear the dust pumps, the company put the devices in a part of the mine far away from coal dust.
The cheating by coal operators on respirable dust sampling is nothing new. Back in the early 1990′s Republican Labor Secretary Lynn Martin said the coal mining industry was “addicted to cheating.” Ouch. But it’s not so easy to catch mine operators in the act.
The article below is from 2008 and shows that even the few laws on the books for immigrant workers is ignored. Things have gotten worse with Obama and neo-liberals as more and more immigrant workers are entering more and more labor categories at the same time enforcement is not there. As immigrants are allowed into more job categories and feel the illegal actions in the workplace----these actions spill over to the US domestic workers who are now being treated as having no rights and protections. All of this has to do with Trans Pacific Trade Pact that will make US workers on par with third world workers----they are simply allowing it to happen.
This makes conditions worse for these domestic immigrants as well as they are now competing with immigrants brought from Africa and Asia having an even lower standard of living.
ALL OF THIS IS NEO-LIBERALISM AND NEO-CONS AND WE NEED TO SHAKE THESE POLS OUT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!
Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Workers
The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) regulates the hiring and employment activities of agricultural employers, farm labor contractors, and associations using migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. The Act prescribes wage protections, housing and transportation safety standards, farm labor contractor registration requirements, and disclosure requirements. The Wage and Hour Division administers this law.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempts agricultural workers from overtime premium pay, but requires the payment of the minimum wage to workers employed on larger farms (farms employing more than approximately seven full-time workers. The Act has special child-labor regulations that apply to agricultural employment; children under 16 are forbidden to work during school hours and in certain jobs deemed too dangerous. Children employed on their families' farms are exempt from these regulations. The Wage and Hour Division administers this law. OSHA also has special safety and health standards that may apply to agricultural operations.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires employers who want to use foreign temporary workers on H-2A visas to get a labor certificate from the Employment and Training Administration certifying that there are not sufficient, able, willing and qualified U.S. workers available to do the work. The labor standards protections of the H-2A program are enforced by The Wage and Hour Division.
Migrant Workers at Bottom of Food Chain Face Abuse, Growing Economic Disparity
By Richard Cohen, President An April 16, 2008, article in The New York Times about the loot taken home last year by hedge fund managers, provides us with the starkest – and most obscene – evidence yet about the growing disparity between the rich and the poor in our country.
Topping the list was John Paulson, the founder of Paulson & Company. His payday: $3.7 billion.
Let's compare that to the pay and benefits of those at the bottom rung of the economic ladder – migrant tomato workers.
Their payday: about 45 cents for every 32-pound bucket of tomatoes they pick. That comes to about $50 for every two tons picked. On average, these workers earn less than $10,000 a year.
As for benefits, these farmworkers are denied the fundamental labor protections and benefits that most U.S. workers take for granted.
They were excluded from nearly all major federal labor laws passed during the New Deal, and many exemptions remain today.
They are not covered by workers' compensation laws in many states. They are not entitled to overtime pay under federal law. Some aren't even entitled to the federal minimum wage if they work on small farms or during short harvest seasons.
And these farmworkers have few options when they stand up for better treatment.
They are not protected by federal law against unfair labor practices when they try to collectively bargain for better wages or working conditions. Although a handful of states have passed statutes extending such protections to these workers, most have not.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Labor has sharply cut resources to investigate and bring enforcement actions against those who abuse farmworkers. Even federal legal programs serving migrant workers are prohibited from bringing class action lawsuits, the type of litigation most likely to bring far-reaching change.
But these workers often choose to remain silent.
The fear of being fired, blacklisted or deported keeps many from protesting deplorable work conditions.
As one tomato worker in Immokalee, Fla., told us, "If you say something, they fire you."