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Massachusetts 328 articles

Majority of those who report workplace harassment face job loss, retaliation

More than two thirds of employees who file a sexual harassment complaint get fired or are retaliated against by their employers, according to a new study by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Employment Equity. The study involved an analysis of more than 46,000 sexual harassment claims made between 2012 and 2016 – before the #MeToo movement took hold last year. The claims were registered with either the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices. Researchers found that of the people who filed a sexual harassment claim against their employers, more than 64 percent ... Read More

Lawsuit knocks Kellogg for not disclosing its breakfast foods contain glyphosate

California resident Mason Kein is leading a group of angry consumers in a proposed class action lawsuit against Kellogg Co. for selling breakfast foods without revealing that they contain a possible cancer-causing chemical. Kein told the Southern District of California that testing by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group revealed that Kellogg Co.’s strawberry Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars and Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal contain the herbicide glyphosate, a chemical deemed a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Glyphosate is the same chemical found in Monsanto’s Roundup, the controversial weed killer that was ... Read More

College takes action against deceased professor accused of sexual misconduct

Claims of sexual misconduct and harassment against college and university professors seem to be surfacing more since the #MeToo movement took hold. Last month, a lawsuit was filed against Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, by a group of women who claimed three psychology professors made inappropriate advances toward them, publicly groped them, and even coerced them into engaging in sexual relations. All three professors were put on paid leave and had their access to campus restricted by the college as the school conducts an investigation into the claims. But what if the professor being accused is dead? Such is ... Read More

Smoldering E-Cigarette Triggers Boston Logan Airport Evacuation

A lithium-ion battery for an e-cigarette overheated inside a checked bag at Boston Logan International Airport, prompting an evacuation of a section of the busy airport and reminders from federal security agents that the batteries are prohibited in checked luggage. The smoldering e-cigarette battery was discovered on a busy Saturday morning after Thanksgiving when smoke began pouring from a suitcase inside the baggage screening room. According to NBC 10 Boston, the smoldering bag was discovered moments before it was loaded onto an airplane. Transportation Security Agents evacuated the baggage screening area and called in Massport Fire & Rescue and a ... Read More

Patient neglect rampant at VA nursing homes

A half dozen veterans’ groups representing nearly 5 million members asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve the care at its nursing homes after an investigative report by USA TODAY and the Boston Globe revealed “blatant disregard for veteran safety” at a VA nursing home in Massachusetts. A whistleblower had alerted officials of about possible signs of nursing home neglect at the Brockton VA facility, such as bedside urinals left unemptied and patients being regularly left unchecked. The home knew health officials would be following up on those claims by inspecting the facility for potential signs of neglect. But ... Read More

Columbia Gas Could Face Criminal Charges For Massachusetts Explosions

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and its parent company NiSource are under a criminal investigation over the natural gas explosions that triggered a series of explosions and fires across three communities Sept. 13, killing one person and injuring about two dozen others. NiSource disclosed the criminal investigation in regulatory filings, saying a federal grand jury served it and Columbia Gas subpoenas on Sept. 24, Reuters reported. The utility companies say they are cooperating with the ongoing probe, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts is conducting. The grand jury is looking for evidence that Columbia Gas acted with neglect or other misconduct ... Read More

Family Plans To Sue Columbia Gas Over Teen’s Gas Explosion Death

The family of an 18-year-old student who was killed in the Columbia Gas explosions that rocked three Massachusetts towns in September plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the utility company. Leonel Rondon, a high school junior from Lawrence, Massachusetts, was sitting in his SUV with three other friends when the Columbia Gas explosions occurred, toppling the brick chimney of a friend’s house where Mr. Rondon’s car was parked. The heavy structure fatally injured Mr. Rondon, who had just gotten his driver’s license a few hours before the pipeline blasts erupted throughout the Merrimack Valley. He died in the ... Read More

Adenovirus Outbreak At New Jersey Pediatric Center Claims Seven Children

Seven children sickened by a strain of adenovirus associated with communal living facilities have died in a New Jersey nursing and rehabilitation center, state officials announced. The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed that at least 18 people, including the seven children who perished, have been sickened in the adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell. The Wanaque Center includes a pediatrics unit staffed by medical professionals, teachers, and administrators serving the needs of “medically fragile” children. The seven confirmed child deaths were associated with that part of the facility. The Department of Health says ... Read More

NTSB: Columbia Gas’ Faulty Work Orders Led To Gas Pipeline Explosions

Faulty work orders Columbia Gas of Massachusetts issued to crews upgrading natural gas mains led to a series of explosions and fires that caused widespread property damages across three northern Massachusetts towns, killing one person and injuring 21 others, federal investigators found. In its preliminary report on the Sept. 13 gas explosions, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that work crews were taking a century-old cast-iron gas main out of service and replacing it with a new plastic main. However, Columbia Gas failed to instruct workers to deactivate pressure sensors. The sensors, detecting low pressure in the pipes, automatically ... Read More

MA companies penalized for illegal asbestos removal

Two Worchester, Massachusetts, companies have agreed to pay a combined $195,000 to settle claims with the state attorney general’s office that they engaged in or allowed illegal asbestos removal to be performed during renovations on two multi-family homes. According to the lawsuit, general contractor Capstone General Contracting Inc., and its owners and managers, Charbel and Christine Najem, allegedly violated the Massachusetts clean air law and consumer protection law. The AG’s office claimed that the Capstone’s subcontractor Simulis Plumbing and Heating Inc., allegedly illegally cut and removed asbestos-containing pipes and insulation from the cellar in one house, and disposed of the ... Read More