Category Archives: Uncategorized

DHS hit with immigration lawsuit

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.washingtonpost.com

Anibal Fuentes came to the United States illegally years ago, faced deportation proceedings in December and was ordered to leave the country. Now, he is among a group of people suing the Department of Homeland Security.

An advocacy group filed a lawsuit against DHS Wednesday, alleging that the agency failed to respond to a rulemaking petition filed in February that asked the agency to suspend deportations of undocumented workers and their families and expand the deferred action for childhood arrivals program. A number of people who came to the country illegally, including Fuentes, are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network claims that the agency is in violation of the Federal Administrative Procedure Act. "DHS’s failure to respond constitutes an effective denial that is arbitrary, capricious and void of any legitimate explanation,” the group said in the lawsuit.

"What the law says is, they have to respond in a reasonable amount of time," said Jessica Karp Bansal, a staff attorney at NDLON. "In a case like this where peoples’ lives are at stake, nine months is clearly unreasonable."

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment on the suit.

The rulemaking petition was filed earlier this year as President Obama was mulling whether he should act alone on the issue. Fuentes and five other people who came to the United States illegally signed on. Now that the…

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Phoenix arson investigators named in civil-rights lawsuit

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.azcentral.com

Phoenix Fire Department
Phoenix Fire Department

(Photo: The Republic)

A 44-year-old man has filed a lawsuit against Phoenix alleging that Fire Department investigators violated his constitutional and civil rights in 2009 when he was indicted on suspicion of arson.

Carl Vincent Ball Caples, who now lives in Illinois, spent more than 14 months in a Maricopa County jail awaiting trial for allegedly setting fire to a home he shared with two other men near 19th Avenue and Union Hills Drive, according to the lawsuit. An arson expert hired by his then-defense attorney determined the blaze was an unintentional electrical fire.

Prosecutors dismissed the case against Caples the day his trial was set to begin.

His suit, filed Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court, alleges that the city failed to hire properly trained investigators, did not provide them with additional training and allowed them to use discredited investigation techniques. The suit also alleges that fire investigators approached investigations with a "preconceived idea of whether a fire was arson." Caples’ attorneys demanded that damage amounts be determined in a jury trial.

Phoenix spokeswoman Stephanie Romero could not immediately comment on the suit because she didn’t know whether the City Attorney’s Office had had time to review it.

The lawsuit also names former Phoenix Fire Chief Robert Khan, former Fire Marshal Jack Ballentine, and Capts. Sam Richardson, Fred Andes and William Nelson.

The lawsuit is the latest development…

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How a Coalition Pushed for a Hotel Workers’ Minimum Wage

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

Most Sunday mornings last summer, Julia Gould set up a table at the Hollywood Farmers Market. Alongside stalls selling shiitake mushrooms, free-range poultry and orange-blossom honey, she was selling an idea: a $15.37-an-hour minimum wage for the city’s hotel workers — more than twice the federal minimum wage and one of the highest minimum wages in the nation.

As shoppers wandered past, Ms. Gould asked them to sign a petition calling on the Los Angeles City Council to approve the proposal. She also urged them to write on a whiteboard their reasons for supporting the higher wage. One shopper wrote that “to live a healthy life, you need a living wage,” while a woman carrying a Starbucks coffee scribbled that she supported the idea “because rent is expensive.”

A second community organizer photographed these shoppers and their hand-scrawled signs and then posted those pictures on Facebook and Twitter, steering them to Mitch O’Farrell, the City Council member who represents Hollywood. Mr. O’Farrell had questioned the wisdom of the $15.37 wage proposal, fearing that it would force hotels to lay off some of the city’s 17,000 hotel workers. “We were trying to show him that his constituents cared about this,” Ms. Gould said.

Her politicking was one small part of a campaign orchestrated by one of the nation’s leading advocacy groups for low-wage workers: the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, or Laane. Harold…

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Health specialist: Christie Ebola quarantine ‘inappropriate’

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from thehill.com

Today’s post is shared from hill.com

An Emory University health specialist slammed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 21-day quarantine policy of health workers returning from West Africa who were exposed to Ebola.

“To infringe on their civil liberties for the sake of fighting a shadow or the bogeyman is absolutely inappropriate,” Sean Kaufman told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview to air Sunday on “The Cats Roundtable” – AM 970 in New York.

Christie has faced backlash from a nurse in Maine who was quarantined outside a New Jersey airport after recently treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone.

Kaci Hickox, the first person quarantined under New Jersey’s strict anti-Ebola protocols, called her treatment “inhumane” and has since won court reprieve from the order.

“Any individual who is not showing signs or symptoms — they are not contagious and they are not a risk,” said Kaufman, a bio-security expert who oversaw infection control at Emory University Hospital when it treated the first two U.S. Ebola victims.

Kaufman said he was a “huge fan of Christie’s leadership, but questioned his actions that stoke new fears about Ebola’s possible spread in the United States.

“I wonder what Governor Christie would have said if nobody showed up to New Jersey after Hurricane [Sandy] because if you returned to New Jersey you’d be in quarantine for three weeks … It’s not a leadership decision. It’s a management of fear,…

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Lawsuit accuses Denver attorney of filming sex encounters with clients

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.denverpost.com

Updated:   10/30/2014 11:58:46 PM MDT

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A lawsuit accuses a Denver attorney of having illicit relationships with law clients, filming sexual liaisons in his office and going so far as marrying some of them in a polygamist union because it was "commanded of God."

Charles L. Fife, who specializes in drunken driving law, was sued by a client who claims Fife surreptitiously filmed himself having sex with women including clients. The plaintiff’s name is listed as Jane Doe because she claims to be the victim of sexual exploitation.

"For at least the last decade, Fife has sexually exploited, victimized and preyed upon women, including female clients, which is a violation of ethical standards," says the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Denver County Court by attorney Jerome Reinan.

Reached by phone Thursday, Fife said he had not been served with any lawsuit. "I have absolutely no comment," Fife said.

In a 2004 lawsuit filed against Fife by Michael McCullough, his former law partner, Fife was accused of abusing illicit drugs, confiscating client funds and having sex with clients, the lawsuit says.

The civil lawsuit claims that Fife, who is married, purports to be a member of a fundamentalist Mormon group that believes in polygamy, and is known to approach and explain his extramarital affairs to his victims through his religious beliefs, the lawsuit says.

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The mainstream Mormon church disavowed the…

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Silver Buildings: New Buildings for Older People

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

Today’s post is shared from nytimes.com/

SAN FRANCISCO — I HEARD about the new building for months before I saw it. Part of a leading medical center, its green architecture and design were getting a lot of attention, as was its integration of top-notch modern medicine with health and wellness spaces inspired by cultures from around the world. My father’s doctor had moved there, and driving to his appointment we looked forward to experiencing the cutting-edge new building firsthand.

Outside, I unloaded the walker and led my 82-year-old father through the sliding glass doors. Inside, there was a single bench made of recycled materials. I noticed it didn’t have the arm supports that a frail elderly person requires to safely sit down and get back up. It was a long trek to the right clinic and I was double-parked outside. Helping my father onto the bench, I said, “Wait here,” and hoped he would remember to do so long enough for me to park and return.

He nodded. We were used to this. It happened almost everywhere we went: at restaurants, the bank, the airport, department stores. Many of these places — our historic city hall, with its wide steps and renovated dome, the futuristic movie theater and the new clinic — were gorgeous.

The problem was that not one of them was set up to facilitate access by someone like my father.

That may have been intentional. A few years earlier, I’d heard about a new community center where the older…

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Williams-Sonoma Agrees to Pay $700,000 Civil Penalty for Failure to Report Defective Pottery Barn Kids Roman Shades

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.prnewswire.com

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1973 and charged with protecting the American public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call the CPSC hotline at 1-800-638-2772, or visit http//:www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. Further recall information is available at http://www.cpsc.gov.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1973 and charged with protecting the American public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call the CPSC hotline at 1-800-638-2772, or visit http//:www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. Further recall information is available at http://www.cpsc.gov.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Williams-Sonoma, Inc., of San Francisco, Calif., has agreed to pay a $700,000 civil penalty.

By the time that Williams-Sonoma filed its full report with CPSC, seven consumers had reported that children had become entangled on the inner cords of the Pottery Barn Kids Roman shades. Williams-Sonoma ultimately recalled approximately 85,000 of the Roman shades in cooperation with CPSC.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any consumer product safety requirement enforced by CPSC.

Williams-Sonoma has agreed to continue to maintain the compliance program and system of internal…

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U.S. practices of Burn Pit use in Iraq questioned by public health researchers

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.michigandaily.com

Today’s post is shared from michigandaily.com/

Two experts in the field of Iraqi public health gave a lecture Wednesday night on the increase of birth defects in the war-torn nation.

Muhsin Al-Sabbak, a physician at Iraq’s Basra Maternity Hospital, and Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist who resides in Ann Arbor, presented a one-hour lecture centered on their research, which links the increase in congenital birth defects in Iraq over the last two decades to the use of U.S. and coalitions force weapons there.

Al-Sabbak referenced his study that found a 17-fold increase in children with birth defects between the years 1995 and 2003, a jump from 1.37 birth defects per 1,000 children to 23 per 1,000. By 2008, the number had increased to 48 per 1000, and in 2014 it was 37 per 1000.

Savabieasfahani attributed the spike to an increase in pollutants caused by U.S. weapons and the presence of military bases.

“The most important event that happened in these years was U.S. invasion and U.S. bombardments,” Savabieasfahani said. “As much as we don’t like to get into politics, pollution is a very political thing.”

Savabieasfahani said bombs, bullets and explosives increase the amount of toxic metal such as lead and mercury in the environment. She also said U.S. military bases often have “open air burn pits,” or pits in which they burn disregarded military waste, releasing dangerous pollutants into the atmosphere…

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