Republican senators blocked Democratic legislation that sought to provide medical care to rescue workers and others who became ill as a result of breathing in toxic fumes, dust and smoke at the site of the World Trade Center attack in 2001. Republicans are concerned with the funding of this $7.4 billion legislation. Democrats have argued that there is a moral obligation to assist those who put their lives at risk during the rescue and clean up operations at ground zero. It is unlikely that bill will be adopted before the end of this term while the Democrats have control. If it is not adopted then the bill will be reintroduced next term to a Republican majority, giving the bill a tougher chance to become a law. Full article: NY Times.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. To help ensure that employees are free to participate in safety and health activities, the Act prohibits any person from discharging or retaliating against any employee because the employee has exercised rights under the Act. These rights include complaining to OSHA and seeking an OSHA inspection, participating in an OSHA inspection, and participating or testifying in any proceeding related to an OSHA inspection. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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