How a Mississippi court case could pave the way for new abortion bans across the U.S.

Nationwide Women’s March ahead of new Supreme Court term; here’s where demonstrations will be held in NC

This Saturday women will be marching in every single state across the country ahead of the Supreme Court reconvening on October 4. Women’s March and more than 90 other organizations are organizing a national call to mobilize and defend reproductive rights. Learn more at https://womensmarch.com/

Local in-person events include:

Rally for Abortion Justice – Raleigh
Starts On Saturday, Oct 2 11:00am
Bicentennial Plaza. 1 E Edenton St Raleigh NC 27601

File photo. Demonstration for reproductive rights, Raleigh NC

Women’s March 2021 Durham NC
Starts On Saturday, Oct 2 1:00pm
City Square. 201 Corcoran St, Durham, NC 27701 Durham NC

Protest for Women’s Rights
Starts On Saturday, Oct 2 11:00am
Governmental Plaza. 110 S Greene St Greensboro NC 27401

Reproductive Rights March
Starts On Saturday, Oct 2 2:00pm
To City Hall Winston Salem. 650 W 4th St Winston Salem NC 27101

Women’s Rights Rally
Starts On Saturday, Oct 2 11:00am
First Ward Park. 301 E. 7th st Charlotte NC 28202

Rally Against Abortion Bans
Starts On Saturday, Oct 2 11:30am
Vance Monument Downtown Asheville. pack square Asheville NC

Reproductive Rights Protest
Starts On Saturday, Oct 2 1:00pm
East Carolina University- Student Center Lawn. 501 E 10th St Greenville NC 27858

Twilight Women’s March
Starts On Saturday, Oct 2 5:00pm
Craven County Courthouse. 302 Broad Street New Bern NC 28560

‘Their tank is empty’: Local public health officials combat staff burnout, low pay, harassment

OSHA to ramp up workplace heat checks as global warming progresses

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Federal workplace safety regulators say they are taking steps toward protecting workers from heat-related illness.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Sept. 24 announced that it will finally establish a federal workplace heat standard. The agency also promised an expansion of heat inspections and enforcement of rules protecting against heat hazards.

Between 2016 and 2020, there were 75 recorded heat-related deaths among North Carolina residents, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Those figures are for all deaths, whether they resulted from people who got ill at work or not.

The number is likely an undercount. A July study found that U.S. safety regulators are significantly undercounting workplace injuries due to hot temperatures. Researchers used California insurance claim data to determine that workplace injuries related to heat stress do not appear in official counts.

Heat stress affects not only employees laboring in the sun, but workers who are indoors as well, researchers found.

An investigation by Politico and E&E News uncovered that federal workplace safety officials have refused to set a workplace heat standard across nine presidential administrations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first recommended OSHA write heat-specific protections in 1975.

They also found that even if OSHA does create such a standard, the agency is deeply unprepared and understaffed to enforce it.

The problem will continue to get worse as climate change fuels rising temperatures across the country, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. They project more days per year when temperature and humidity combine to create a heat index — that’s what the weather really feels like outside.

Data show, for instance, that Raleigh has already experienced 59 days in 2021 in which the high temperature has exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit and many more that have come close to that mark.

Without any action taken to combat climate change, that number is expected to continue to rise significantly in the years ahead.

OHSA said area directors across the country will begin prioritizing inspections of heat-related complaints, referrals and employer-reported illnesses, and initiate onsite investigations where possible.

The directors will also be expected to instruct compliance safety and health officers during their travels to job sites to intervene or begin an inspection when they see workers performing strenuous work in hot conditions, and to expand other inspections based on workplace conditions even when no complaint has been made.

Austin Fisher is a reporter for Source New Mexico, which first published this report.

Mecklenburg Co. Manager to suspended, unvaccinated employees: You put yourself in this situation. (with video)

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio didn’t mince words Tuesday when it came to the status of 86 employees who have failed to follow the county’s COVID protocol.

The county announced in August that government employees would be required to show proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing in September. As of last week, 322 of the more than 5,800 employees were not in compliance.

That number had dropped to 86 by Tuesday.

“And the people who got jammed-up are the people who didn’t read the information, didn’t follow-up, didn’t have a plan, and they got snagged,” Diorio told county commissioners.

Diorio said county workers who have submitted the appropriate documentation are no longer on the suspension list, but will not receive back pay for the time they were suspended. .

“There are people who have not submitted anything – who have not submitted a vaccination card, who have not submitted any information at all. Nothing. They have been silent,” Diorio said. “Those people are in trouble.”

Those employees who have failed to respond now risk termination.

“That’s an indication to me that they’re not going to follow the policy, and that not following the policy is more important than keeping your job.”

To date, 75% of the county’s employees have complied and received the COVID vaccine, according to Diorio. Countywide, 55% of residents are fully vaccinated.

More than 1,100 residents of the county have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Click below to hear an excerpt of Diorio’s remarks: