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If you have a job, do you know who your employer is? The answer isn’t always straightforward, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández points out in a recent Boston College Third World Law Journal article, and the implications can be profound.

In “Feeble, Circular, and Unpredictable: OSHA’s Failure to Protect Temporary Workers,” García details the disadvantages temporary workers face. Temporary work is unstable, and few of the workers – who tend to be women, blacks, and Latinos – receive health insurance, paid vacation days, sick leave, or pension plans. The fact that many temporary workers are recruited and paid by temporary help firms, and then assigned to user firms, complicates the question of who’s actually employing them and is responsible for providing a hazard-free workplace. García explains:

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by Les Boden

I’m going to answer this question. But before I do, I’m going to have to explain a few things about (ugh!) insurance.

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The sub-headline in Andrew Wolfson’s story tells it all about the perils of workers’ compensation for injured and ill workers:

It’s either meager benefits or nearly impossible suit.” 

The Louisville-Courier Journal reporter’s May 19 article describes both the physical and economic challenges faced by William D. “Billy” Parker, who lost both arms four months ago in a drywall shedding machine while working at Six Sigma Inc. in Jeffersontown, KY.   Mr. Parker, 39, is a single father, raising his 15-year old son (who now cooks the meals at home and, every morning, applies deodorant under his dad’s arms.)

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by Les Boden

For the past several years, Nevada employers and insurers could avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits to workers who had positive drug tests. According to an article in Occupational Hazards, this led to the denial of 10%-12% of claims filed in Nevada. But there’s a loophole that the Nevada legislature is considering closing. Workers have the right to refuse drug testing. The Insurance Journal reports that proposed legislation would require all injured workers to submit to drug tests if they apply for workers’ compensation.

What a good idea!

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