OSHA Fines Fashion Designer $77,000 for Messy Office

Oct 30, 2013, 11:29 am EDT

New York designer Rebecca Minkoff has received a citation from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration over potentially hazardous conditions in her Manhattan offices and showroom after workers complained about the clutter.

The agency said it found “serious violations of workplace safety” in Minkoff’s premises, which were “congested with boxes, rolling racks, workstations, chairs, equipment, storage and other materials.” According OSHA routes to emergency exits were blocked or inaccessible, endangering worker safety.

Minkoff’s company faces $77,000 in fines over the hazardous conditions. “Management knew of the hazard of compromised emergency exit access, yet allowed the hazard to continue. Because of that, we are proposing the maximum fines allowable for the willful and serious violations,” an OSHA spokesperson said. Read 

Report: Millions May Lose Their Current Coverage Under Obamacare

Oct 29, 2013, 1:44 pm EDT

Obamacare is causing millions of people to lose their current health insurance.

Anywhere from 7 million to 14 million Americans may have their insurance plans cancelled by their private carriers because of Obamacare. More than 1.5 million people have already been notified that their plans will expire next year, but only 700,000 people have been able to register for a plan through Obamacare. Those 700,000 people include Medicare enrollees and people who may not be eligible for a plan through Obamacare. Plans are being cancelled because insurance companies are unable to keep them due to Obamacare. The law is suppose to allow plans to be grandfathered in, but a regulation that is part of the law has resulted in them being cancelled. The relegation makes it so that plans can only be grandfathered in as long as they have no significant changes made to them. These changes can include deductibles, co-pay and benefits, which are all things that can change regularly, reports Reuters.

According to the New York Post, 50% to 75% of the 14 million people who have individual insurance plans can expect them to be cancelled next year. Read 

Texas Judge Overturns Strict Abortion Restrictions

Oct 29, 2013, 1:08 pm EDT

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel overturned parts of Texas’ strict abortion law on Monday.

Judge Yeakel ruled that the part of the law that required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic “does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the State in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health,” and that it “places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her.” Judge Yeakel also ruled that women no longer needed to be under a doctor’s supervision to take two pills on two different days to terminate a pregnancy. The change means that doctors can now allow patients to have a medical abortion at home instead of at a doctor’s office. These two parts of the law will not take effect on Tuesday, which is when the rest of the law will go into effect, reports The Washington Post.

“Today’s ruling marks an important victory for Texas women and sends a clear message to lawmakers: It is unconstitutional for politicians to pass laws that take personal, private decisions away from women and their doctors,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told The Los Angeles Times. Read 

White House Granting Extension on Obamacare Sign-Up

Oct 28, 2013, 7:27 pm EDT
White House Granting Extension on Obamacare Sign-Up

After weeks of frustrating glitches surrounding the online marketplace many Americans will use to purchase health care under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has granted a six-week extension to citizens to get insured before they face tax penalties.

Under the original law, uninsured Americans had until February 15 of next year to get insured. That date has been pushed back until March 31. People who sign-up between October 1, the first day the insurance marketplaces opened, and March 31 will not face a penalty. The penalty currently for not purchasing insurance is $95 or 1% of income, whichever is higher. That penalty will increase to $325 or 2% of income in 2015, and $695 or 2.5% of income in 2016.

Previously, there was also some confusion about two of the key dates in the law. Open enrollment ended March 1, but those who enrolled after February 15 still faced a penalty.  That will no longer be the case. The March 31 date is the only deadline people now face. Read 

Soldiers Turning to Liposuction to Past ‘Fat Test’

Oct 28, 2013, 3:20 pm EDT

Military personnel are using liposuction to lose weight whenever they need to pass the Pentagon’s body fat test which affects their future in the military.

The Associated Press reports that plastic surgeon Dr. Adam Tattelbaum has been doing liposuctions for soldiers because it’s a fast way to lose excess fat around the waist. Pentagon’s body fat test has very rigid standards that make it hard for some military personnel to pass. Failing the test once can decrease one’s chances of getting a promotion and failing the test three times results can be grounds for expulsion.

168 Army soldiers were booted in 2008 for being overweight but that number has risen to an alarming 1,815 soldiers. That figure also rose within Marine Corps soldiers from 102 in 2010 to 186 in 2011 but down to 132 in 2012. Read 

Attorney General Asks For Attica Prison Riot Documents to Be Unsealed

Oct 28, 2013, 2:05 pm EDT

New York’s attorney general is asking the court in Wyoming County to release documents related to the 1971 Attica state prison riot.

The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants the hundreds of pages regarding the bloodiest prison riot in the nation’s history. He said that it’s important to release these documents for the families and loved ones of those who died due to the riot. The Attorney General added that it’s been 40 years since the rebellion happened and all related criminal civil litigation has ended. Additionally, this information could help future generations understand the riot better and help us understand how to prevent future tragedies.

The 1971 Attica state prison riot resulted in the death of 11 staff and 32 inmates with an additional 89 men injured. Read 

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