Streams

Howard Berkes

Howard Berkes appears in the following:

'Darker Possibility' For Workers When Employers Opt Out of Workers' Comp

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The first independent assessment of an emerging alternative to state programs found that injured workers face "inherent conflict of interest," barriers to benefits, and "unequal treatment."

Comment

Injured Employee Featured In Workers' Comp Investigation Settles Her Case

Thursday, April 14, 2016

When Rachel Jenkins was denied benefits for an on-the-job injury, her case was cited as a failure of a controversial alternative to state workers' compensation. Now, she and her employer have settled.

Comment

Labor Secretary Calls Workers' Comp Opt-Out Plans A 'Pathway To Poverty'

Friday, March 25, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor has begun investigating whether alternative plans to state workers' comp benefits are unfair to injured workers and violate federal law.

Comment

Challenger Engineer Who Warned Of Shuttle Disaster Dies

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bob Ebeling was one of five booster rocket engineers at a NASA contractor who tried to stop the 1986 launch of the space shuttle Challenger, which exploded 73 seconds into its flight. He was 89.

Comment

Oklahoma Commission Declares Workers' Comp Alternative Unconstitutional

Monday, February 29, 2016

An Oklahoma law that lets employers opt out of state-regulated workers' compensation has been rejected and declared unconstitutional by state regulators.

The Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission called the alternative workplace-benefit plans that some employers adopted under the law "a water mirage on the highway that disappears upon closer inspection."

...

Comment

Your Letters Helped Challenger Shuttle Engineer Shed 30 Years Of Guilt

Thursday, February 25, 2016

After NPR reported Bob Ebeling's story on the anniversary of the Challenger explosion, hundreds of people responded. Ebeling, now 89, says those letters "helped bring my worrisome mind to ease."

Comment

30 Years After Explosion, Challenger Engineer Still Blames Himself

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bob Ebeling, an anonymous source for NPR's 1986 report on the disaster, tells NPR that despite warning NASA of troubles before the launch, he believes God "shouldn't have picked me for that job."

Comment

Federal Workplace Law Fails To Protect Employees Left Out Of Workers' Comp

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Companies that opt out of state workers' comp laws say the Employee Retirement Income Security Act will ensure that injured workers get justice. An NPR investigation found that may not be true.

Comment

Lawmakers Seek Federal 'Oversight' Of Workers' Comp As States Limit Benefits

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Updated 7:30 p.m. ET with Kline comment

Ten ranking Democrats on key Senate and House committees are urging the Labor Department to respond to a "pattern of detrimental changes in state workers' compensation laws" that have reduced protections and benefits for injured workers over the past decade.

In a

Comment

When Businesses Opt Out Of Workers' Comp, Employees May Struggle For Care

Thursday, October 15, 2015

As states consider allowing employers to completely opt out of workers' compensation plans, NPR and ProPublica take a look at how the concept has worked in Texas.

Comment

Opt-Out Plans Let Companies Work Without Workers' Comp

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

State laws in both Oklahoma and Texas allow employers to develop their own workplace injury plans that generally cover fewer injuries, cut off benefits payments sooner and control access to doctors.

Comment

Doctor Who Crusaded For Coal Miners' Health Dies At 87

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Dr. Donald L. Rasmussen worked on behalf of coal miners in Appalachia and helped create a national movement against black lung disease.

Comment

FIFA Scandal Has Echoes Of Salt Lake Olympics Corruption Crisis

Friday, May 29, 2015

In 1998, the year that Sepp Blatter took the helm at FIFA, the world soccer governing body, the International Olympic Committee became ensnared in its worst ethics crisis ever. As with FIFA, there were allegations of bribery, influence-peddling and corruption among IOC members and the shadowy "agents" who helped cities ...

Comment

Feds Probe Failure To Collect Mine Safety Penalties After NPR Report

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Labor Department's investigation follows an NPR/Mine Safety and Health News series about the failure of federal regulators to collect millions in safety penalties at the nation's mines.

Comment

Mine Owner, Delinquent On Safety Fines, Announces Run For West Virginia Governor

Monday, May 11, 2015

Billionaire Jim Justice is said to be West Virginia's richest man. Now he wants to be the state's top elected official.

Justice announced his Democratic bid for governor Monday in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., which is home to his best-known asset โ€” the posh and historic Greenbrier Resort.

"You need ...

Comment

Illinois Assembly's Rare Hearing Challenges Proposed Workers' Comp Cutbacks

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Democratic lawmakers in Illinois sought to turn back proposed cutbacks in workers' compensation benefits with a rare eight-hour hearing Tuesday before the entire Illinois House.

House Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan convened the hearing in response to workers' compensation changes proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The hearing featured the findings ...

Comment

Workers' Comp: CA Bill Would Stop Insurers From Suspending Care

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A California Senate committee has approved a bill that directly addresses a problem reported in the ProPublica/NPR investigation of state changes in workers' compensation benefits.

The measure sponsored by the California Medical Association (CMA) would prohibit insurance companies from using the state's 2012 workers' compensation reforms to reopen ...

Comment

'I Lost A Hand And This Is Workman's Comp. ... I Didn't Lose A Hook!'

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The tattoos on Dennis Whedbee's left arm describe what he lost when the North Dakota oil rig where he was working blew out in 2012. There's an image of a severed hand spurting blood, framed by the word "LOST" in block letters and the date: "9-23-12."

The message underscores Whedbee's ...

Comment

Delinquent Mines: Congress Revives Bill To Hold Mine Owners Accountable

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Federal lawmakers have revived a mine safety reform bill that addresses a regulatory failure detailed in a joint investigation by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News.

The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act includes a provision that directly addresses the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) failure ...

Comment

Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes

Monday, March 30, 2015

In 10 states, injured workers are finding it more difficult to get or keep medical treatment their doctors prescribe because of reforms to workers' comp laws.

Comment