California’s wildfires may continue to worsen, but our ability to protect ourselves from their worst impacts doesn’t have to. That was the goal in mind behind a new regulation, adopted last week, to better protect outdoor workers from wildfire smoke-related hazards.
When corporations violate the law by calling some workers “independent contractors” instead of recognizing them as employees, those workers are denied a host of fundamental protections like a minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment insurance and workers’ comp. Without these protections, working people are living on the edge. Every single day.
In 2018, CEOs of S&P 500 companies made, on average, $14.5 million, a $500,000 increase from the previous year, according to the latest AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch report. Compare that to the average rank-and-file worker who received barely more than a $1,000 raise, bringing total take-home pay in 2018 to $39,888.