Spotless worker says coronavirus hotel quarantine contractors also took shifts at Alfred Health hospitals

A Spotless worker has described how contractors in COVID-19 ‘hot hotels’ were also working shifts at Melbourne’s Alfred Health hospitals, and cast doubt on the Government’s assertion the contractors were not working as security guards.

The employee, who spoke to the ABC on the condition of anonymity, said security staff were working at Alfred hospitals within days of shifts at the Novotel Hotel at South Wharf, which is housing people with coronavirus who cannot safely self-isolate.

He also said former bouncers with little experience were given jobs leading “security” teams in the quarantine facilities.

Spotless has been sub-contracted by Alfred Health to undertake “non-clinical” work at the hot hotels as an extension of its arrangement at the hospitals.

Both Spotless and Alfred Health insist the staff performing “floor monitoring roles” were not acting as security. The Government has said police officers, and not private security contractors, have been managing security at the hotels under the revamped program.

But the Spotless employee said: “Security was definitely working there — Spotless even recruited former pub and club bouncers who were out of work and didn’t have the required skill set to work in a hospital.

“One [staff member] at quarantine … didn’t know his way around a hospital let alone how it operates, in regard to infection control”.

Email, roster indicate workers moved between sites in August

Spotless has told the ABC it introduced a rule in late July requiring its staff to declare that they had not been working at any other facility within 14 days.

But in August, an email sent by a Spotless security supervisor — seen by the ABC — described two workers as coming back from the hotel program into “regular rostering”.

The Spotless employee told the ABC the two team members had been working in the

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Worker electrocuted to death in Santa Paula


Here are some key tips to avoid a fire at your home.

Authorities are investigating an incident involving a worker who died Tuesday night in Santa Paula after suffering electrocution injuries.

An employee of Mike’s Handyman Service was fatally electrocuted on the job, according to Frank Polizzi, a spokesperson for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The incident was reported at 6:37 p.m. in the 1200 block of Say Road, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. 

Fire crews arrived to find the electrocution victim who was pronounced dead at the scene.

More: 1 trapped in crash involving pickup, big rig outside Santa Paula

The contractor was performing work in the attic related to the repair of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, when he came into contact with an exposed wire, according to James Mason, the director of Community and Economic Development for the city of Santa Paula. 

“It could have happened to anyone,” Mason said. “He was up there in a dark space.”

Mason called it an unfortunate cautionary tale for contractors and homeowners. 

“Anything like this is an opportunity for lessons learned and a life saved,” Mason said. 

OSHA was notified and arrived on scene to begin investigating the incident, according to Polizzi. The process could take up to six months, by law, according to Polizzi.

Santa Paula police officers also responded to the scene. 

In 2018, 29-year-old Eduardo Sampayo Jimenez was electrocuted to death while trimming a palm tree in Camarillo.

Star reporter Joe Curley contributed to this report. 

Jeremy Childs is a breaking news and public safety reporter covering the night shift for the Ventura County Star. He can be reached by calling 805-437-0208 or emailing [email protected] You can also find him on Twitter @Jeremy_Childs.

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DOL Proposed Rule Clarifying Test for Worker Classification

On September 22, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) released a long-awaited proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) providing guidance for determining employee versus independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  For decades, employers have struggled with properly classifying workers, oftentimes resulting in substantial liability for, among other things, unpaid overtime and unpaid payroll taxes.  If adopted, the Proposed Rule may make it easier for employers to classify workers as independent contractors.

Background and the Need for Rulemaking

While the employee versus independent contractor debate has garnered significant attention over the years as more workers desire the flexibility that comes with contractor status, the DOL has never promulgated a formal regulation addressing the matter.  Instead, since 1954, the DOL has issued and revised guidance based upon a multifactor “economic reality” test, which focuses on the economic independence of the worker.  This evolving guidance, mostly issued through opinion letters, has often been anything but clear.

The Proposed Rule critiqued the DOL’s prior guidance on the issue as follows:

First, the test’s overarching concept of “economic dependence” is under-developed and sometimes inconsistently applied, rendering it a source of confusion. Second, the test is indefinite and amorphous in that it makes all facts potentially relevant without providing any guidance on how to prioritize or balance different and sometimes competing considerations. Third, inefficiency and lack of structure in the test further stem from blurred boundaries between the factors. Fourth, these shortcomings have become more apparent over time as technology, economic conditions, and work relationships have evolved.

The Proposed Ruled is intended to bring clarity and consistency to the employee versus independent contractor determination, allowing employers to more readily identify workers covered by the FLSA and at the same time respecting the prerogative of workers to pursue

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Epcor contractor fires worker, contributes to $30,000 donation after racist smudge ceremony encounter at school

a sign on the side of a building: A construction company contracted by Epcor has fired the employees who disrupted a smudging ceremony outside Edith Rogers School last week.

© Provided by Edmonton Journal
A construction company contracted by Epcor has fired the employees who disrupted a smudging ceremony outside Edith Rogers School last week.

A construction company contracted by Epcor has fired an employee after workers disrupted a smudging ceremony outside a southeast Edmonton school last week.

Wilco Contractors Northwest, issuing a statement on the company’s official Twitter account Tuesday, said employees working on a dry pond project near Edith Rogers School made racist comments and disrespectful actions towards participants at the ceremony.

On Saturday, a Twitter user identifying as a teacher at Edith Rogers School, said construction workers “revved their engines and yelled racial insults at staff and students” while the school hosted a smudging ceremony Friday.

On September 25, we let down the community,” the company tweeted Tuesday. “We apologize unreservedly to the students and staff who were hurt by these actions. We take full responsibility for what occurred, and we are taking concrete action to ensure this never happens again.”

The company said it undertook an internal and external review and terminated a staff member who was involved. It also announced it will be implementing cultural and Indigenous awareness training.

“T o support the broader community, we are pleased to be joining Epcor and Sureway Construction Group in jointly funding a $30,000 donation to the Edmonton Public School Board’s Amiskwaciy Academy,” read the Twitter statement.

Arthur Mann, president and CEO of Wilco Contracting, said the company has terminated one staff member and are continuing to review documentation of the event.

He said the company has sent a personal apology to the school, students and parents involved as well as Grand Chief Billy Morin.

“We have

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NC State worker dies in Raleigh campus construction accident

The future Plant Sciences Initiative building at N.C. State.

The future Plant Sciences Initiative building at N.C. State.

NC State

A construction worker died on N.C. State University’s campus after a lift collapsed in wet ground, the state Department of Labor reported Tuesday.

The lift carrying the worker on Saturday was extended about 35 feet in the air when the dirt caved in around one of its tires, said Natalie Bouchard, DOL spokeswoman.

DPR Construction identified the subcontractor as Tiburcio Mendoza.

Campus police were called to the scene but are not investigating the incident and do not have a report, university spokesman Mick Kulikowski said. He added he believed the worker died of injuries at WakeMed.

The accident happened at the site of N.C. State’s new Plant Sciences building, a 185,000-square-foot project.

Ro Norman of DPR Construction said the worker was a subcontractor and the team is “deeply saddened.”

“Our focus continues to be the safety of all employees, workers and visitors on our job sites,” Norman said in an email. “The investigation of this incident is ongoing, and DPR is fully committed to working closely with investigators to help determine the details surrounding this incident. At this time, our thoughts are with this individual’s family and friends.”

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