148 research outputs found

    The Time Is Now: A Call for Federal Elimination of Non-Competes Against Low-Wage and Hourly Workers in the Wake of the Pandemic

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the United States’ labor market and has led to an economic recession. Millions of Americans lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and were forced to apply for unemployment benefits. Consequently, many of these workers were confronted with the question of whether their existing non-compete agreements were enforceable. Not surprisingly, courts across the nation started seeing more pandemic-related litigation surfacing during the second part of 2020, related to employees seeking a declaration that these agreements were unenforceable. Prior to the pandemic, there was a rise in the use of noncompete agreements at all levels, including management-level employees and low-wage employees. To combat this, the federal government and several states have become increasingly critical of the use of non-competes. In fact, in July 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order urging the FTC to curtail employers’ use of unreasonable noncompetition agreements. This Article argues that it is even more critical in the wake of the pandemic for the federal government to ban non-compete agreements, particularly for low-wage and hourly workers. Many of the individuals who were terminated during the pandemic were lower-wage earners or hourly workers—individuals very likely in the most vulnerable financial positions—and enforcing noncompete agreements against them would unfairly restrain their ability to earn money. Recent job market changes, beginning in 2021, indicate that workers who generally work in low-wage jobs have seen an influx of job opportunities, and employers have struggled with filling these positions. The United States is currently in need of workers to rejoin the job market in order to help the economy rebound and grow. Thus, forcing non-compete agreements on low-wage or hourly workers in this pandemic era would be a disincentive to those workers regaining employment, and negatively impact the recovery of the economy

    Making a Declaration: The Rise of Declaratory Judgment Actions and the Insurer as Regulator in the Fight to End Sex Trafficking in the Hotel Industry

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    “Let it not be said that I was silent when they needed me.” – William Wilberforc

    Southeast Ecological Observatory Network (SEEON) Workshop on Ecological Sensors and Information Technology. Report on Second SEEON Workshop

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    A fundamental goal of the new National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is to provide timely and broad access to the ecological data collected at NEON sites. Information management and data collection will be critical components to achieving this goal and a successful NEON implementation. The Southeast Ecological Observatory Network (SEEON) working group recognized the importance of information management and sensor technology in its first planning workshop and recommended that interested parties in the region come together to discuss these subjects in the context of the needs and capabilities of a southeast regional ecological observatory network. In February 2004, 28 participants from 14 organizations including academic institutions, state and federal agencies, private and non-profit entities convened at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL) at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida for two days of presentations and discussions on ecological sensors and information management. Some of the participants were previously involved in the first SEEON workshop or other meetings concerned with NEON, but many were somewhat new to the NEON community. Each day focused on a different technical component, i.e. ecological sensors the first day and cyber-infrastructure the second day, and were structured in a similar manner. The mornings were devoted to presentations by experts to help stimulate discussions on aspects of the focal topic held in the afternoon. The formal and informal discussions held during the workshop succeeded in validating some concerns and needs identified in the first SEEON workshop, but also served to bring to light other questions or issues that will need to be addressed as the NEON planning and design stages move forward. While the expansion of the SEEON community meant that some of the presentation and discussion time was needed to help bring the newcomers up to speed on the goals, objectives and current status of the various NEON efforts, the additional perspectives and technical expertise included in this workshop helped fuel some valuable interdisciplinary discussions that will need to continue to bring SEEON and NEON to fruition. Participants agreed that continued discussions of SEEON are needed , to keep up the momentum and that the southeast region must continue to be represented at the national level. It is vital that the all'the regions continue to push things forward for NEON to succeed

    Simplicity within complexity: Seasonality and predictability of hospital admissions in the province of Ontario 1988–2001, a population-based analysis

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    BACKGROUND: Seasonality is a common feature of communicable diseases. Less well understood is whether seasonal patterns occur for non-communicable diseases. The overall effect of seasonal fluctuations on hospital admissions has not been systematically evaluated. METHODS: This study employed time series methods on a population based retrospective cohort of for the fifty two most common causes of hospital admissions in the province of Ontario from 1988–2001. Seasonal patterns were assessed by spectral analysis and autoregressive methods. Predictive models were fit with regression techniques. RESULTS: The results show that 33 of the 52 most common admission diagnoses are moderately or strongly seasonal in occurrence; 96.5% of the predicted values were within the 95% confidence interval, with 37 series having all values within the 95% confidence interval. CONCLUSION: The study shows that hospital admissions have systematic patterns that can be understood and predicted with reasonable accuracy. These findings have implications for understanding disease etiology and health care policy and planning

    Comparison of immune response generated against Japanese encephalitis virus envelope protein expressed by DNA vaccines under macrophage associated versus ubiquitous expression promoters

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the leading cause of viral encephalitis, with ~50,000 cases reported annually worldwide. Vaccination is the only measure for prevention. Recombinant vaccines are an efficient and safe alternative for formalin inactivated or live attenuated vaccines. Nowadays, incorporation of molecular adjuvants has been the main strategy for melioration of vaccines. Our attempt of immunomodulation is based on targeting antigen presenting cells (APC) "majorly macrophages" by using macrosialin promoter. We have compared the immune response of the constructed plasmids expressing JEV envelope (E) protein under the control of aforesaid promoter and cytomegalovirus (CMV) immediate early promoter in mouse model. Protection of immunized mice from lethal challenge with JEV was also studied.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The E protein was successfully expressed in the macrophage cell line and was detected using immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and Western blotting. APC expressing promoter showed comparable expression to CMV promoter. Immunization of mice with either of the plasmids exhibited induction of variable JEV neutralizing antibody titres and provided protection from challenge with a lethal dose of JEV. Immune splenocytes showed proliferative response after stimulation with the JEV antigen (Ag), however, it was higher for CMV promoter. The magnitude of immunity provided by APC dominant promoter was non-significantly lower in comparison to CMV promoter. More importantly, immune response directed by APC promoter was skewed towards Th1 type in comparison to CMV promoter, this was evaluated by cytokine secretion profile of immune splenocytes stimulated with JEV Ag.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Thus, our APC-expressing DNA vaccination approach induces comparable immunity in comparison to ubiquitous promoter construct. The predominant Th1 type immune responses provide opportunities to further test its potency suitable for response in antiviral or anticancer vaccines.</p