Howard Berkes

Howard Berkes appears in the following:

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


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.


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.


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.


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 ...


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.


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 — the posh and historic Greenbrier Resort.

"You need ...


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 ...


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 ...


'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 ...


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 ...


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.


California Auditing Insurance Company That Took Away Home Health Aide

Monday, March 16, 2015

California's labor department says it will conduct an audit of how Travelers Insurance handled the case of paralyzed worker Joel Ramirez, who was left to fend for himself for months after the company withdrew his 24-hour home health care.

Ramirez was featured in a ProPublica/NPR investigation of state ...


Feds Add Coal-Dust Coverup Allegation To Mine CEO's Indictment

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Six weeks before a landmark mine disaster trial, federal prosecutors in West Virginia have added a new allegation to the criminal conspiracy charges lodged against former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

A superseding indictment filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Beckley, W. Va., accuses Blankenship of ...


As Workers' Comp Varies From State To State, Workers Pay The Price

Friday, March 06, 2015

Injured workers who are dependent on workers' compensation have faced eroding benefits. We go to Alabama and Georgia, where the value of an amputated arm is $700,000 more just across the state line.


U.S. Appeals Court Overturns Gag Order In Mine Disaster Case

Thursday, March 05, 2015

A federal appeals court has vacated a sweeping gag order in the criminal case involving former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship and the 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster.

More than two dozen news organizations, including The Charleston Gazette and NPR, filed appeals after U.S. District Judge ...


'Grand Bargain' In Workers' Comp Unravels, Harming Injured Workers Further

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Changes to workers' compensation laws mean families and government bear more of the costs that result from injuries on the job.


Federal Regulators Link Workers' Comp Failures To Income Inequality

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Changes to workers' compensation laws mean families and government bear more of the costs that result from injuries on the job.


Injured Workers Suffer As 'Reforms' Limit Workers' Compensation Benefits

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Over the past decade, states have slashed workers' compensation benefits, denying injured workers help when they need it most and shifting the costs of workplace accidents to taxpayers.

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Regulators Take Action Against Delinquent Mines

Monday, January 12, 2015

In reaction to an NPR/MSHN investigation, federal regulators, a member of Congress and others are considering ways to crack down on mining companies that fail to pay delinquent mine safety penalties.