Norfolk Southern has agreed to enhance safety measures for workers cleaning up the site of its February derailment and chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that the rail giant entered into an agreement with the federal government and the Teamsters’ rail maintenance worker division to enhance working conditions and crew training after federal inspectors discovered the company had broken a number of regulations, including not requiring or enforcing the use of protective gear.
Teenagers in Ohio could be permitted to work until 9:00 p.m. on a school night if a bipartisan bill progressing through the Statehouse passes.
Senate Bill (SB) 251, sponsored by State Senators Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) and Tina Maharath (D-Columbus), aims to allow kids as young as 14 to work late during the school year if their parents give permission, to help with “staffing problems.”
Reports indicate as much as $400 billion in COVID-19 unemployment relief were likely lost to waste and fraudsters. Lawmakers want answers.
Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor demanding documents and information related to the unemployment fraud.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) obtained a federal court order to restrict an Alabama-based automotive parts manufacturer for Kia and Hyundai from employing children, many as young as 13, according to a recent DOL press release.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama ruled in a September consent judgment that the company, SL Alabama LLC, a subsidiary of South Korean SL Corporation, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and engaged in “oppressive” labor practices, the release stated. The ruling follows an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division, and will effectively block SL Alabama LLC from shipping any products within 30 days of violations.
The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $67,294 in unpaid wages for 29 workers after Akron, Ohio, based employer McNeil and NRM Inc. failed to pay them for two and a half months this year.
“Workers cannot be expected to bear the burden of the employer’s financial issues which, in this case, left them wondering if or when they would be paid,” Matthew Utley, director of the Wage and Hour Division District in Columbus, said in a statement, adding, “Any worker not getting paid should contact the Wage and Hour Division immediately.”
America’s high schools have problems. Nearly twenty years ago, Bill Gates observed that the existing model is obsolete — that, even when high schools “work,” the results are too often mediocre. In 2016, The Education Trust found that 47 percent of high schoolers graduated prepared for neither college nor a career. In 2018, Gallup reported that two-thirds of high schoolers described themselves as wholly or partially disengaged. And, just last month, the National Center for Education Statistics concluded that high schools are plagued by grade inflation: Over the past decade, grades have risen to a record high even as math and science performance by 12th graders has edged down.
Scammers took nearly all of the $330 million in reported improper payments the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services made with Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds, Director Kimberly Henderson said earlier this month. That amount was funneled, in part, through 56,000 fake claims which were identified in December. There were also overpayments on legitimate claims.
But there may be more fraud – much more – that is not yet reported.
Whether the $330 million is from misappropriation that happened in December alone, or is a pile of results spanning several months, is unknown. Henderson said total losses will likely be pinpointed at the end of February.
“They should be able to pinpoint the amount weekly, or monthly,” said Ohio State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova). He continued, “we need to get checks and balances in place to ensure money isn’t stolen in the first place.”
One Ohio State Senator told The Ohio Star the Director has signaled to him that the amount of money lost in ODJFS processing is likely in the ballpark of $1B.