Weekend News and Commentary: February 1-2
The Associated Press reports that lawmakers in South Dakota and other farm states are concerned that OSHA may begin regulating small farming operations. This concern is a response to OSHA’s expressed intent to address an increase in deaths related to grain storage. In response, Congress has warned the Obama administration that only it could approve changes that would allow OSHA to inspect small farms. OSHA’s deputy administrator responded to the outrage, clarifying that it has never been the agency’s intent to target small farms for inspections or to ignore Congress’ intent.
The Boston Globe reports that union members and the AFL-CIO are urging Boston’s mayor to push for the reinstatement of four school bus drivers who were fired after being accused of instigating an illegal strike. The company that manages Boston’s school buses fired the workers in November after almost 30,000 students were left stranded. Union activists claim that the company locked the workers out of the bus yards. Mayor Walsh has refused to call for the rehiring of the drivers, calling the issue a private matter that should be handled by the NLRB.
The New York Times reports that Domino’s delivery workers have settled their lawsuit, which alleged minimum wage and overtime violations, for $1.3 million. The awards will range from $61,300 to $400 per delivery person, depending on how long the employee worked for one of the four Manhattan Domino’s. The Legal Aid Society represented the workers and litigation proceeded for three years.
The Associated Press, via the Kansas City Star, reports that a Kansas City jury has awarded four former Kansas Gas Service employees more than $917,035 in damages after deciding that they were discriminated against based on age after being fired for sharing emailed pornography. Ten workers among the 52 who received pornographic emails were terminated when the company discovered them on the company e-mail system. Four of the terminated employees were over the age of 40 and claimed that they were disciplined more harshly due to their age. The award was for lost income and emotional distress.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that United Airlines has dropped Cleveland as a hub airport due to profit losses, eliminating 470 jobs.