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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Secret Shopping and OWCP

A Postal Inspector tactic to trick injured workers has recently been brought to my attention. An injured worker was contacted by someone from a “marketing” company who wanted her to work as a secret shopper. She met with them, was given some gift cards to use, and proceeded to “work” by occasionally buying things. Turns out, the various representatives of the company were all Postal Inspectors. The injured worker even went to a bowling party with other “employees” of the “marketing” company. Her new friends were all Postal inspectors. The injured worker was successfully prosecuted for fraud.

If you are receiving benefits because you are unable to work, you cannot work. You cannot engage in any activity that could be construed in any way as working or operating a business.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hot Coffee - The Movie

Anyone struggling with the workers compensation process recognizes how our society now treats injured workers as second-class citizens. Since the 1960's, insurance companies and big business interest groups have pushed the many myths that have together turned workers compensation and other critical safety nets of our society into decisions that cause people to feel shame and draw the scorn of those who have not had the misfortune of needing to draw these benefits.

With this in mind, I encourage you to watch Hot Coffee, a documentary about the well-known incident of the woman burned by McDonalds’ coffee. Hot Coffee shows just how a story that should be about corporate greed can be turned on its head to blame the victim. You will be shocked to learn how corporate interests spend enormous amounts of money to influence public debate to the point where ordinary citizens no longer understand their own self-interest!

Susan Saladoff produced and directed this film as an article of faith and a labor of love. Years of hard work paid off when Hot Coffee was shown at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Shortly after that, HBO optioned the film. I had the honor of being invited to an early screening last year.

Be sure to watch this Monday at 9 pm (EST), June 27, the HBO premiere of Hot Coffee -- a documentary about the fictions and false alarms that threaten the civil justice system.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mail Sorters

Postal Service Mail Sorters
After losing almost 57,000 jobs between 2004 and 2009, the BLS expects a further 30% decline in this occupation by 2018. With more automated processes for mail sorting and increasing correspondence via e-mail and fax, this job is quickly becoming unnecessary.