Union Nurses in North Carolina Claim ‘Big Wage Victory’ As $22M Wage Hike Takes Place

Union nurses at HCA Healthcare-owned Mission Health are claiming victory as a $22 million wage hike went into effect Sept. 11 for many employees, including union members, even though the hospital previously indicated union pay increases might be “delayed.”

Though Mission originally said the raises could have been “delayed” by collective bargaining procedures, everyone, including union members, will get pay increases on the same day.

There are just fewer than 1,400 members in the Asheville chapter of National Nurses United, according to labor representative Brian Walsh. The union formed in 2020 and has been active since.

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The American Medical Association Joins Class-Action Lawsuit Against Insurance Company Cigna

The American Medical Association (AMA) has joined a class-action lawsuit against Cigna, alleging the insurer underpaid for claims filed by providers in the contracted MultiPlan network.

MultiPlan is the country’s largest third-party network, and Cigna contracts with it to access providers. According to the lawsuit, which was initially filed in June, Cigna reimbursed for claims from providers in MultiPlan’s network at its non-participating providers rate rather than at the rate expected for a MultiPlan contract.

As such, the insurer “significantly underpaid claims, and put patients at risk of balance billing,” the plaintiffs claim.

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Class-Action Lawsuit Filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana Against State’s Abortion Ban

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana today filed a class action lawsuit claiming that Senate Enrolled Act 1, a ban on abortion in Indiana, violates Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Hoosier Jews for Choice, and five women who, like many Hoosiers, have sincere religious beliefs that they must be able to obtain an abortion under circumstances prohibited by S.E.A. 1. RFRA, a law that passed the Indiana legislature in 2015, prohibits government action that interferes with a person’s religious exercise, unless the government can prove it has a compelling reason for doing so that is the least restrictive alternative available.

According to the ACLU of Indiana lawsuit, although some religions believe that human life begins at conception, this is not an opinion shared by all religions or all religious people.

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Eastern Michigan University Faculty Union Still on Strike Amid Lawsuit from Administration

The strike by the faculty at Eastern Michigan University continues. Educators have been picketing on EMU’s campus as their union is facing a lawsuit from the administration that could force them to go back to work.

Outside of Welch Hall across the street from the Ypsilanti Water Tower, dozens of members of the EMU American Association of University Professors are picketing.

There is a steady stream of chanting and very animated people like biology professor Jonathan Hall. Hall says if a court ruling sends him back into the classroom, he will trust union leadership.

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Migrant Woman in Nevada Who Alleged Sbarro Pizza Manager Raped Her Loses Lawsuit, Pushes for Mistrial

A woman who accused her manager at Sbarro Pizza of repeatedly raping her in 2016 lost a federal lawsuit against him and Sbarro on all counts Friday. Her lawyers are now pushing for a mistrial on the grounds that the company alleged she fabricated the claims to win legal immigration status.

Sandra Perez alleged in a federal lawsuit that her manager Zachary Ceballes raped her weekly inside a walk-in cooler at the Sbarro inside the Monte Carlo resort on the Las Vegas strip. She said Ceballes knew she was undocumented at the time he hired her and other family members, including her undocumented daughter and sister, and threatened to deport them if she did not comply.

Ceballes admitted to having sex in the cooler with Perez, but said the relationship was consensual. He denied threatening her with deportation.

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U.S. Department of Labor Sues Texas Newspaper for Retaliation Against Whistleblower

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed a lawsuit after finding that Texas-based newspaper the Killeen Daily Herald retaliated against a whistleblower.

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation found that in May and June of 2021, a reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald, which is owned by Frank Mayborn Enterprises Inc., “sent messages to company management complaining about” an infestation of what they believed to be fleas, according to the news release. The reporter also complained to management about the bug bites from the infestation.

The reporter “had the bugs examined and learned they identified as ‘no-see-ums’ or ‘biting midges,” the news release states. After the reporter shared the information about the type of bugs with Killeen Daily Herald management, “the company responded by terminating the employer.”

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Labor Board Blocks Amazon Objection to Union Vote

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Thursday recommended that tech giant Amazon’s objections to votes by the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) be blocked.

“I conclude that the Employer’s objections be overruled in their entirety,” wrote the NLRB hearing officer according to documents posted by ALU President Christian Smalls.

The report continues: “The Employer has not met its burden of establishing that Region 29, the Petitioner, or any third parties have engaged in objectionable conduct affecting the results of the election.”

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Department of Labor Sues Rhode Island Nail Salons Over Unfair Wages and Violating Employee Rights

The U.S. Department of Labor is accusing three nail salons in Rhode Island and their owner of deliberately failing to pay technicians fair wages and of violating their rights through a consistent pattern of “brash conduct and callous indifference” to the law.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and the department sued Steven Xingri Cao, president and owner of the three nail salons named in the complaint, alleging fair wage violations and retaliation against employees who exercised their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The salons named in the suit are New VIP Nail Spa, Inc., doing business as VIP Nails & Spa, at 545 Main Street, East Greenwich; VIP Neo Nails, Inc., operating as VIP Nails & Spa at 1401 Douglas Avenue, North Providence; and VIP Spa & Nails, Inc., and its successor VIP Emerald Nails, Inc. doing business at VIP Nails & Spa at 2 Mendon Road, Cumberland.

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Ex-Lonza Employee in New Hampshire Seeks Damages After Alleging Sexual and Racial Discrimination

A Black female employee is seeking $828,000 from Lonza Biologics after the state Human Rights Commission ruled that an “overall culture and standard of behavior” at the company led her becoming the victim of racial and sexual discrimination.

The claim appeared in a case that was moved last week to federal court by the Portsmouth-based biotech company’s attorneys.

According to a complaint filed with the HRC in February 2019, Tia Lyles-Williams, who was hired as a manufacturing supervisor in July 2017 – instead of a better-paying manufacturing manager position that she originally interviewed for, she claimed – she was the victim of belittlement by several co-workers and supervisors. Employees interrupted and talked over her, forgot to invite her to meetings and called the then 35-year-old professional “young Miss Tia,” she said.

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Class-Action Lawsuit Claims Amazon’s Best Selling Mattress Is a Health Hazard

One of Amazon’s bestselling products is a health hazard, alleges a proposed class-action lawsuit against Zinus, the maker of a popular and inexpensive “Green Tea Mattress” sold by retailers nationwide. 

A California woman is leading the proposed class-action suit — one of multiple lawsuits being levied against the company — representing several thousand people across the country who claim to have suffered health troubles from flame-resistant fiberglass fibers released from the product. 

The suit, filed in Sacramento in July, alleges the South Korean company’s mattresses have taken a toll on multiple customers. Vanessa Gutierrez told the Los Angeles Times that the Zinus mattress she bought for her daughter on Amazon for $400 wound up costing her nearly $20,000 in damages, including medical bills. 

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