February 29, 2012 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 3Comment

The topics for my blog posts sometimes come from unusual places. This post is one of these. It popped in my head as I watched Natalie Portman announce the nominees for best actor during Sunday night’s Academy Award broadcast. The snippet featuring Demián Bichir in “A Better Life” reminded me of a worker-fatality report that […]

February 23, 2012 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 2Comment

Agricultural exceptionalism is a term used to describe the special status awarded to employers and firms involved in agriculture. Proponents argue that the special status is necessary because (1) agricultural products contribute to broad national goals (e.g., providing safe and affordable food, preventing hunger); and (2) farming is inherently risky because of the uncertainty of […]

December 1, 2011 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH

The worker-led organization Restaurant Opportunities Center United released this month a new type of diners’ guide, one that focuses on working conditions for the employees at 180 restaurants nationwide. The US restaurant industry employs 10 million individuals and is the fastest growing sector in the economy. More than half of restaurant workers, however, earn less […]

November 18, 2011 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 10Comment

For U.S. workers, the risk of dying on the job is highest if you are employed in agricultural, fishing or hunting. These jobs are not just a little riskier than the average job, they are nearly 8 times more life-threatening. The fatality rate for all private sector workers is 3.5 per 100,000 workers; in agriculture, […]

November 7, 2011 The Pump Handle 3Comment

By Mark Pendergrast As I watched the blockbuster bio-thriller Contagion, I was struck by how realistic it was in many ways. That isn’t surprising, since many epidemiologists, including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, served as advisors. The film was based on a simple premise. What if a new, […]

September 30, 2011 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 6Comment

Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and his Republican members of the House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Labor Department don’t think coal miner deserve better protection from black lung disease. In their FY 2012 appopriations bill they would prohibit the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) from using any funds to develop, promulgate, enforce or […]

September 22, 2011 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 2Comment

At a recent congressional hearing called “Workforce challenges facing the agricultural industry,” one Minnesota employer explained why he relies on “guest workers” to fill his seasonal jobs: “…few Americans who are seriously seeking work will apply for, accept, and remain in seasonal and intermittent employment, especially in the agricultural sector. Many who are hired do […]

January 11, 2011 Liz Borkowski, MPH 3Comment

According to new research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in 2010 44 million private-sector US employees, or 42% of the workforce, lacked access to paid sick time. This IWPR analysis distinguishes between employees who are eligible for paid sick time vs. those who can actually access it, because employers often don’t allow for […]

November 29, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH

Given that Haiti is suffering from the devastation of a major earthquake and a cholera epidemic, it’s not surprising that voters yesterday encountered disorganized polling places where many were told their names weren’t on the rolls. But there were also reports of violence and intimidation, polling places being ransacked and ballot boxes ripped open, and […]