In Focus

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Watchdog Finds That Nearly 1 in 5 OSHA Whistleblower Probes Are Flawed

Federal officials responsible for protecting whistleblowers and examining their claims of employer retaliation are mishandling nearly one in five of their investigations, a government watchdog reports. A review by the inspector general of the U.S. Labor Department found that 18 percent of the investigations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lack one or more […]

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Health Groups Laud Treatment of Tobacco in Trade Deal

The sweeping trade deal concluded Monday by negotiators from the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries still faces strong criticism from environmentalists, labor unions and many lawmakers– which makes its approval by Congress uncertain. But public health groups are rejoicing over a provision barring the tobacco industry from using the treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to […]

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Railroad Vindicated as Judge Rejects Claim of Legal Corruption in Arbitration Case

A federal judge today rejected an allegation of legal corruption against BNSF Railway Co., ruling that a former company executive didn’t threaten to blackball an arbitrator to win a favorable ruling in a dispute with a fired worker. Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma, Wash., said comments made to the arbitrator by the retired BNSF executive, […]

California Measure Takes Aim at Use of Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock FairWarining Reports

California Measure Takes Aim at Use of Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock

With the threat of antibiotic-resistant germs on the rise, California Gov. Jerry Brown is poised to sign tough restrictions on administering antibiotics to livestock. Some public health experts contend that the overuse of antibiotics in cattle, pigs and other farm animals has contributed to the worldwide spread of bacteria that are resistant to life-saving drugs. […]

Workplace Deaths in U.S. Rise 2 Percent, Federal Report Shows FairWarining Reports

Workplace Deaths in U.S. Rise 2 Percent, Federal Report Shows

More Americans died on the job last year, with the increase concentrated among older employees as well as self-employed and contract workers. Preliminary federal figures released today for 2014 put the workplace death total at 4,679, up 2 percent from the final count of 4,585 for 2013. The new figures amount to the highest preliminary […]


Rail Giant BNSF Accused of Telling Arbitrator: ‘Our Way or The Highway’

A run-of-the-mill employment dispute could become a major embarrassment for railroad giant BNSF over an allegation that a senior executive threatened to blackball an arbitrator from the industry if she ruled against the company. In a federal court case set to go to trial next week in Tacoma, Wash., a fired BNSF Railway Co. employee […]

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The Hard Truth About the Softest Mineral

Tougher Testing Sought to Detect Asbestos in Talc

We use talc in many up close and personal ways: to powder babies’ bottoms, as an ingredient in cosmetics, a filler in capsules and pills–even as a food additive. In a world of ominous, unpronounceable chemicals, could anything be less scary than talc? Yet talc, the softest known mineral, is dug from the ground, where […]

On the Warpath Against Independent Contractor Schemes FairWarining Reports

On the Warpath Against Independent Contractor Schemes

When National Consolidated Couriers, Inc., a Northern California delivery service, was under investigation by the U.S. Labor Department for possible wage violations, government officials told owner Tanweer Ahmed not to delete emails that could be evidence in the case. At a deposition in February, Ahmed said he understood he was supposed to save his emails, […]

Marsha Dau FairWarining Investigates

Jailhouse Medicine

A Private Contractor Flourishes Despite Controversy Over Inmate Deaths

In July 2011, a jailhouse nurse in Imperial County, Calif., found inmate Marsha Dau lying naked and dazed on the concrete floor. Charged with illegally transporting aliens, Dau, 58, recently had been exhibiting strange and aggressive behavior. For her own safety, the jail put her in an empty, beige cell with no clothes. Now, three […]

Asbestos Found in Imported Crayons and Toy Fingerprint Kits FairWarining Reports

Asbestos Found in Imported Crayons and Toy Fingerprint Kits

Asbestos has been found in several brands of children’s crayons and fingerprint kits made in China and sold in the U.S., according to tests commissioned by an environmental group. The findings are detailed in a report being released today by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund. It marks the third time in 15 years that […]