Showing 82 results
Thomas McGarity | June 17, 2020
Governments and industries are "reopening" the economy while COVID-19 continues to rage across the United States. At the same time, the lack of effective, enforceable workplace health and safety standards puts workers and the general public at heightened risk of contracting the deadly virus. In a new report from the Center for Progressive Reform, Sidney Shapiro, Michael Duff, and I examine the threats, highlight industries at greatest risk, and offer recommendations to federal and state governments to better protect workers and the public.
Katlyn Schmitt | June 16, 2020
On June 9, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change held a remote hearing, “Pollution and Pandemics: COVID-19’s Disproportionate Impact on Environmental Justice Communities.” The Center for Progressive Reform, joined by Fair Farms, Sentinels of Eastern Shore Health (SESH), and the Sussex Health and Environmental Network submitted a fact sheet to subcommittee members outlining the impacts of COVID-19 on the Delmarva Peninsula, along with a number of recommendations for building a more sustainable model for the region. The area is home to a massive poultry industry, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. We addressed several of the most severe problems in our fact sheet.
Michael C. Duff | June 15, 2020
While I suspect that workers' compensation claims, even without the aid of workers' compensation causation presumptions, may fare better than some actuaries suspected (preliminary scuttlebutt of about a 40 percent success rate is higher than I expected), there is no reasonable doubt that large numbers of workers will ultimately go uncovered under workers' compensation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brian Gumm, Katie Tracy | June 11, 2020
In a June 11 order, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an AFL-CIO writ of mandamus asking the court to compel the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to do more to protect workers from infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. The order continues the dangerous status quo of workers laboring with no enforceable protections from the highly contagious and deadly virus.
Darya Minovi | June 9, 2020
June 1 marked the start of hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin. While not welcome, tropical storms, strong winds, and storm surges are an inevitable fact of life for many residents of the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf Coast. As a new paper from the Center for Progressive Reform explains, with those storms can come preventable toxic flooding with public health consequences that are difficult to predict or control.
Michael C. Duff | June 3, 2020
For decades, commentators have complained about how long it can take for workers attempting to unionize to simply get an election in which workers make an up-or-down decision on whether to form a union. For many years, employers were able to raise hyper-formalistic legal arguments that took so long to resolve that the employees initially interested in forming a union had often moved on to other employment. In far too many cases, employers also unlawfully coerce workers during the delay, and those workers eventually withdraw their support for the union. After much internal wrangling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) enacted a series of new election procedures in 2014, but after Donald Trump took office, the Board published a “Request for Information” in December 2017 that implicitly questioned the continuing need for, and efficacy of, a rule that was little more than two years old.
Alice Kaswan, Amy Sinden, Brian Gumm, Catherine Jones, Darya Minovi, David Flores, James Goodwin, Joel A. Mintz, Katie Tracy, Katlyn Schmitt, Matt Shudtz, Matthew Freeman, Robert L. Glicksman, Robert Verchick, Sidney A. Shapiro, Thomas McGarity | June 1, 2020
Staff and Board members of the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) denounce the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Memorial Day. We stand with the peaceful protestors calling for radical, systemic reforms to root out racism from our society and all levels of our governing institutions and the policies they administer. CPR Member Scholars and staff are dedicated to listening to and working alongside Black communities and non-Black people of color to call out racism and injustice and demand immediate and long-lasting change. Racism and bigotry cannot continue in the United States if our nation is to live up to its creed of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.
Michael C. Duff | May 21, 2020
A recent, interesting lawsuit filed against McDonald's, in Cook County, Illinois, suffers from few of the deficiencies that I have identified in prior postings about public nuisance cases related to COVID-19. The named employee-plaintiffs allege "negligence" in what might look at first blush like a drop-dead workers' compensation case. This time, however, there is a wrinkle.
Katie Tracy | May 19, 2020
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Whistleblower Protection Program (WPP) plays a vital role in protecting workers from employers who cut corners on safety or who violate other federal laws: It protects those workers who report such abuses from retaliation, making it harder for employers to get away with breaking the law. Or at least that's how it's supposed to work. The 23 separate federal statutes the program encompasses cover a wide range of corporate wrongdoing, including violations of clean air and drinking water standards, food safety standards, workplace health and safety standards, and much more. If an employer retaliates against an employee for taking any of the actions covered by these laws, the employee may file a retaliation complaint with OSHA for investigation.