September 30, 2015

Labor Day yearbook highlights worker safety at the state and local levels

Kim Krisberg freelance public health writer, The Pump Handle

Paid sick leave, new rights for temp workers, and extending OSHA protections to public sector employees were among the many victories that unfolded at the state and local levels in the last 12 months and that we highlight in this year’s edition of “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety.”

In California, a number of new worker safety laws went into effect. Among them, a new law that holds companies responsible if they contract with staffing agencies that engage in wage theft and fail to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. California health care workers gained new protections as well, with a new state regulation requiring hospitals to implement safe patient handling programs. Also, a new sick leave law went into full effect in July 2015 and which applies to nearly every employer in California, with no exception for small businesses or employers with less than a particular number of employees. In San Francisco, local officials passed the nation’s first Retail Workers Bill of Rights, which takes on fair scheduling practices and job retention. Within the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), officials tightened standards to protect workers from heat illness. In addition, employers who are cited for violations by Cal/OSHA will now no longer be able to avoid fixing the problems while filing endless appeals. ... read more

Posted In: Health and Safety

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