OSHA Predicts 37,635 Inspections for Fiscal 2014

The October government shutdown has reduced projected worksite inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from 39,250 to 37,635, having lost an estimated 1,400 site visits during the budget-squabble shutdown. But with the agency now fully funded at $207.8 million and the whistleblower program increased by $2 million, OSHA spokesperson Lauren North told […]

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Obama Establishes New Minimum Wage for Federal Contract Workers

President Obama today is expected to sign his executive order raising the minimum wage for employees working under new federal contracts from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, following up on his promise made in last night's State of the Union address. His speech and executive order are part and parcel of his administration's push to […]

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Supreme Court Holds Donning and Doffing Time Not Compensable

A unanimous Supreme Court has ruled that employees' donning and doffing of protective equipment and then traveling to and from their workstations is not compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) unless collectively bargained. In Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, the court ruled: "We hold that petitioners' donning and doffing of the […]

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HHS Releases Poverty Guidelines for 2014

The federal government has released slightly higher poverty guidelines for 2014, but they won't affect purchasers of health insurance on the marketplaces until they enroll in policies for 2015. Under the new guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Medicaid will be available for individuals earning up to $16.105 annually and […]

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USDA Awarding Grants to Spur Local Development

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing in rural businesses to help create jobs and spur economic development. "These investments will help businesses expand, help rural communities grow their economies and help support the community-based development goals of the Obama administration," Vilsack said. "USDA is providing loans and grants to our local […]

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Obamacare Enrollments Reach 3 Million, CMS Blogs

Without releasing any demographics or figures on how many enrollees have actually paid their premiums, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday said in a blog post that health care enrollment on the state and federal marketplaces had reached 3 million. That's a boost of about 800,000 since figures were released in […]

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CMS: ‘Entire Healthcare Reform Program Is Jeopardized’

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this week said its decision to switch web developers for HealthCare.gov without competitive bidding was done because the "entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized" by the site's malfunctioning. In a 10-page document it released called "Justification for Other Than Full and Open Competition," CMS said HealthCare.gov "urgently […]

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OSHA Extends Commentary Period on Electronic Reporting Until March 8

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that it will extend the comment period to March 8, 2014, on the proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The proposed rule would amend recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and […]

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OSHA Launches Hospital Safety Website

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a website aimed at encouraging worker and patient safety in hospitals. The site, Worker Safety in Hospitals, contains factbooks, self-assessment tools and best-practice guides for hospital risk managers. As the home page explains: "OSHA created a suite of resources to help hospitals assess workplace safety needs, […]

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EEOC Reaches Settlement on First GINA Lawsuit

Founders Pavilion, Inc., a former Corning, N.Y. nursing and rehabilitation center, will pay $370,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced, marking the first such settlement in history. The EEOC charged that Founders Pavilion requested family medical history as part of its post-offer, pre-employment medical exams […]

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