News of the Month – July 2019

NewsJuly 30, 2019

A Washington Post investigation detailed the extent to which drug manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers flooded some of the nation’s most vulnerable communities with billions of opiates.

Federal law requires California to act against nursing homes that practice “patient dumping,” the act of sending low-income patients to medical or mental hospitals and refusing to take them back, a federal appeals court ruled recently. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reinstated lawsuits by three patients — one of whom has died — and an advocacy group against state health officials. The state held hearings and found that the patients’ former nursing homes wrongly refused to readmit them, but took no enforcement action, the court said. 

The House passed a bill this month to double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. This would mark the first increase to the rate in more than a decade and the highest increase ever. A total of 231 members voted in favor of the Raise the Wage Act, and 199 opposed it. Only three Republicans voted for the bill.

Federal inspectors visiting a California migrant detention center last year discovered that detainees had made nooses from bedsheets in 15 of 20 cells in the facility they visited. The inspection revealed the extent of a largely unseen mental health crisis within the growing population of migrants being held in detention centers in border states.

A new survey of the National Employment Law Project finds that state laws overwhelmingly fail to provide workers with essential retaliation protections. Only six states—Arizona, California, Florida, New York, Oregon, and the District of Columbia—have laws that offer essential retaliation protections for workers challenging wage theft.