workers rights

215 petitions

Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Charlie Baker, Massachusetts State Senate, Massachusetts State House

Disability for Firefighters with Parkinson's Disease due to toxins on the job. (MA H.1455)

  A fire can expose firefighters to millions of chemicals and toxins. We have become aware of the massive risks these toxins pose for first responders, who breathe them in, ingest them, and absorb them through the skin while putting their lives on the line. Most states have adopted “cancer presumptive laws,” meaning that if a firefighter gets cancer on the job, they are automatically awarded accidental disability to see them through their illness. But the increased rate of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), a degenerative brain disorder, in firefighters has mostly been ignored. I am a firefighter who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I am not alone -- while the rate of PD in the general population is 3 out of 1000, it is 30 out of 1000 for firefighters. I am young to be experiencing this disease, but that’s often how it works for emergency responders, and there is mounting evidence that our exposure to burning chemicals is the culprit. I have 12 years left until I reach retirement, and, unfortunately, I am not sure I'll be able to keep working that long. My state of Massachusetts has great presumptive laws for firefighters, not only for cancer, but for heart and lung disease as well. It is now time for our legislators to include Parkinson’s Disease among these illnesses. We cannot ignore the connection between toxic chemical exposure and PD anymore. While PD usually develops slowly among the general population, symptoms often hit firefighters fast, seemingly out of nowhere. Research now suggests that toxin-induced PD has a more rapid onset than genetic PD, another indicator that we are, indeed, contracting this illness on the job. For those of us struggling with Parkinson’s, walking, talking, grasping and even blinking become increasingly difficult tasks to accomplish. Needless to say, continuing to work as firefighters while battling this disease is most often not possible. Indiana recently became the first state to include Parkinson’s in its presumptive law. This has provided unimaginable relief to many firefighters, who were running out of sick time, and facing unemployment and massive medical bills due to their debilitating disease. We now must band together and demand that more states recognize the link between firefighting and PD, and include PD among the illnesses covered by their presumptive laws. Please sign this petition to include Parkinson's in Massachusetts’ presumptive law, which would allow firefighters with Parkinson's to retire on full accidental disability.

Greg Heath
53,146 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Verizon

Justice for our son who was stabbed working in your store

My son was the victim of a violent robbery while working at a Verizon store. Verizon says it’s not their problem and is allowing his bills to pile up. I need your ohelp to make sure my son doesn’t lose everything. It only took seconds for my son’s life to change. He was working at a Verizon 3rd party vendor as an assistant manager when 3 men robbed the store. They ruthlessly slashed my son’s throat, leaving him for dead. Luckily, he survived. We were thankful to have our son and thought the worst was over. Unfortunately, his nightmare was just beginning. My son was laying in the trauma center of the hospital when the store owner informed us he did not have the proper workers’ compensation insurance. He had been operating the business in violation of Verizon’s policy and Illinois law. Our son had no way of knowing he wasn’t protected if something happened at work. When we contacted Verizon to fix the situation, they refused to help my son since his employer is a 3rd party vendor. Verizon should take responsibility when their vendors fail to protect their employees and consumers. Tell Verizon to pay the workers’ compensation my son needs to survive. The attack has already cost my son over $60,000 dollars in medical bills. The doctor’s say it is too soon for him to go back to work. He still needs time to heal from both the physical and mental injuries of this horrific event. Everyday he’s out of work, he finds himself more and more behind on his car payment and other bills. Unless Verizon steps up, the robbery will cost my son everything. Nobody should lose everything just because they went to work. Our family just wants the workers’ compensation our son should have gotten in the first place. We don’t want to be forced into litigation that could take years and just add to the debt facing our son. Verizon just has to do what is right. They allow these vendors to conduct business under their name, taking in the profits when things are going well so they have a responsibility to those workers when something goes wrong. Join my family in finding  justice for my son. With your voice we can help him heal without the fear he could lose everything. Sign our petition asking Verizon to provide workers’ compensation to our son.

Jennie McLean
86,770 supporters