Federal regulation of working conditions did not

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Federal regulation of working conditions did not begin to occur until long after the industrial revolution State-level laws were the first attempts to control workplace conditions Massachusetts was the first state to enact such laws By 1920 35 states had labor protection laws, but standards varied widely between them
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Occupational Safety and Health Administration Union standards for non- governmental employees did not begin to until the 1950s and 1960s In 1970 the OSH Act was signed into law by Nixon Occupational Safety and Health Act was created to assure workers had safe and healthy working conditions
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Occupational Safety and Health Administration Among other tasks, they are responsible for Creating safety and health standards conduct inspections and investigations force employers to keep records of illness/injury Issue citations Set fines for non-complicance
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OSHA Effectiveness Initially, OSHA was symbolic Under-staffed and under funded Hardly regulated, average fine was < $50 and the max fine for serious violations was $625 Deregulation under Reagan stripped OSHA of any power it did have Clinton tried to enhance the effectiveness of OSHA, but did not increase its budget or staffing
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OSHA Today Since its creation, the US labor force double and now has ~115 million workers at 7 million job sites In the 1990s it was estimated that it would take OSHA nine decades to inspect all job sites Since then job sites have increased and the number of OSHA’s inspectors has decreased Only 2% of job sites are inspected each year
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Current OSHA Statistics Work-related accidents and diseases are the single greatest cause of disability and premature death in the U.S. today Estimated that 30,000 deaths result each year from work place accidents and disease ~3.6 million annually suffer from significant accidents and diseases
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Difficulty with Estimates Businesses are responsible for reporting accidents to OSHA Underreporting is a serious problem in general Estimates may be under or over depending on the definition of “job- related” Some deaths are the result worker negligence or freak accidents Difficult to separate these out
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Discrimination Treating employees unequally based on the following characteristics is illegal Age Gender Race Ethnicity National Origin Mental or Physical Disability Pregnancy or Parenthood
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Not Just in Hiring DISCRIMINATION CAN OCCUR DURING ANY ASPECT OF EMPLOYMENT INCLUDING: Hiring Transfer, promotion, layoff Compensation, assignment, or classification of employees Job advertisements Pay, retirement plans, and disability leave Use of company facilities Training and apprenticeship programs Fringe benefits Recruitment Testing
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Reacting to Discrimination Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles discrimination complaints Responsible for enforcing discrimination laws
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