Wage Watch: The government really wants to know about gruesome workplace injuries

September 12, 2014, 9:45 PM UTC
Circular Saw
Philipp HofstAtter—Getty Images

OSHA: tell us about amputations, eye loss

The world of worker pay was a tad sleepy this week; leave it to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to liven it up. The agency announced Thursday that effective January 1, 2015, employers must notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours of the incident and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or eye losses within 24 hours.

The previous rule gave employers 24 hours to notify the agency about workplace fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. “Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule,” the release says. All employers covered by OSHA must abide by the new rule.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said the rule change was aimed at preventing work-related deaths. “Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. We can and must do more to keep America’s workers safe and healthy,” he said in the announcement.

Mets hit with pregnancy discrimination suit

The senior vice president for ticket sales for the New York Mets sued the baseball team and its chief operating officer this week, claiming that COO Jeff Wilpon fired her for being pregnant and unwed.

Leigh Castergine, who had worked for the team since 2010, said Wilpon terminated her last month after she complained about him to the team’s human resources department. Castergine alleges that Wilpon told her that she’d make more money and receive a bigger bonus if she got married. Castergine said that other executives did nothing to stop Wilpon’s behavior and that the team’s head of human resources encouraged her to quit.

The Mets have denied the allegations.

Intern sues Letterman, then drops suit

Quicker than a David Letterman one-liner, a former Late Show intern sued CBS and Letterman’s production company Worldwide Pants for unpaid wages and then dropped the lawsuit—all in a week’s time.

Last week, New York University grad Mallory Musallam filed a class action lawsuit alleging minimum wage and overtime violations on behalf of six years worth of Tonight Show interns, who worked 40-plus hours a work without pay.

On Wednesday, Musallam dropped the suit and wrote a letter of apology to Letterman. She said that she was duped by lawyers from Virginia & Ambinder, who she said contacted her incessantly on LinkedIn and by phone and email as the six-year statute of limitations on her right to sue over her 2008 internship neared expiration. Musallam said she was particularly vulnerable to the lawyers’ advances because of concerns about her student debt.

Virginia & Ambinder have represented unpaid interns in pending lawsuits against Donna Karan and Warner Brothers. The firm did not immediately return a request for comment.