Juice Couture is known for its expensive denim and its velour track suits. Jeans retail for upwards of $178 and handbags around $230. And yet! Employees at the company’s flagship store on 5th Avenue in NYC allege that the company is systematically trying to bilk employees out of hours and benefits. A petition started by employee Duane and former employee Darrell claims that the company has reduced all but a few employees to part time work. Now, they say, most of the store’s 128 employees are limited to less than 21 hours a week. That’s so they don’t have to offer health insurance to their workers — under the Affordable Health Care Act, employees who work 30 hours or more are eligible to receive health care benefits. Further, in order to qualify for sick days, Juicy says you must work more than 1400 per year, which is impossible on a 21-hour per week schedule.
“Darrell and I are just two of the full-time employees that have been forced out of Juicy Couture,” writes Duane on his Retail Action Project petition. “Now we’re speaking out on behalf of my coworkers who remain at the store, because we all deserve Just Hours.”
Keep reading »
The Obama administration released new details this morning about which religious employers will be exempt from covering the cost of birth control under health care reform — which the Associated Press describes as a “broader opt-out.”
The Health and Human Services Department announced this morning that businesses which object must “self-certify that they are non-profits with religion as a core part of their mission,” according to The Huffington Post. For example, you can’t just object to covering women’s preventative care if you are, for example, a religious Catholic who objects to birth control and also happens to employ people working at a nonprofit animal shelter. Additionally, if a religious nonprofit refuses to provide coverage of contraception, a third-party health insurer must handle the coverage for women who want it. Keep reading »
Earlier this week, the world reacted to the news that a hospital in Ireland refused medical care to a woman during her miscarriage and she eventually died from blood poisoning. Savita Halappanavar, a dentist, began slowly and painfully miscarrying at 17 weeks into her pregnancy, but University Hospital Galway refused to terminate the pregnancy because a fetal heartbeat could still be detected. Halappanavar and her husband, who are both Indian and Hindu, repeatedly asked for an abortion but were told no because Ireland is “a Catholic country.” Within days, the fetus died inside Halappanavar and was removed, but it was too late; she died soon after at age 31 from blood poisoning and E.coli ESBL. Keep reading »
Unlike my future captor Tom Cruise, I’m a big fan of psychiatry. Why? Well, it’s given me opportunities I never could have experienced without medical intervention for depression, agoraphobia and panic attacks. To put it more simply: Psychiatry has saved my life. But thanks to a couple of friendly letters from health insurance companies, I’ve recently learned I don’t deserve to go to the doctor.
And here I thought I was doing well. Keep reading »
Happy Saturday, folks! Did you hear? Mitt Romney has announced his running mate for the presidential election — Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Let’s get to know him, shall we? Keep reading »
Happy free birth control day! President Obama’s free birth control mandate begins today, but before you get your hopes up there are some important things to know about what it means for you. A part of Obama’s healthcare reform stipulates that private insurance companies must be required to provide contraception without copays beginning today, Aug. 1, so here’s what you need to know about taking advantage of this new policy:
- It’s more than birth control: Under Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), new insurance plans must cover a variety of services for women at no out-of-pocket costs. These include domestic violence counseling, cervical cancer screenings, FDA-approved contraception, STI screenings, breastfeeding supplies, and a “well woman” visit with her healthcare provider. Read more…
Remember this morning, when the Supreme Court upheld Obama’s health care law? That was awesome. But in the moments after the ruling came down, there was mass confusion about what it all meant. After all, Supreme Court rulings aren’t just like, YAY or NAY. They’re hundreds of complexly worded legal documents. So because both CNN and Fox News were concentrating so hard on being first with news of the ruling, instead of right, they both went to air with the wrong information. It’s a very “Dewey Defeats Truman” kind of moment, isn’t it? And it proves that reading really is fundamental.
[W]hat I’ve learned [after being called a "slut" by Rush Limbaugh on his show] has less to do with Mr. Limbaugh specifically and more to do with a part of our population that has this view. Because frankly, you don’t go on national radio and talk for several days about something that no one wants to hear. There’s an audience for this type of sexist vitriol. There is real hate and sexism within our society that we have to do something about.
– Here, here, Sandra Fluke! The Georgetown University law student — who was famously called a “slut” and “prostitute” on-air by Rush Limbaugh after she testified before House Democrats about the limited coverage for birth control at her school — was interviewed this week in The New York Times Magazine. Even though I found Fluke’s comments about erotica/pornography ignorant and annoying — Interviewer: “What does feminist porn look like?” Fluke: “I’ll let you know when I find any.” — she was otherwise super articulate and smart, especially when discussing the difference between free speech and slander. I hope Sandra Fluke runs for office someday and unseats some douchebag Rick Santorum acolyte. [NY Times Magazine]