What is Wage Theft, and Are You a Victim?

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Wage theft commonly refers to workers illegally not being paid their full wages.  Usually this refers to low-wage workers who are denied full pay for a variety of reasons.  Some of these include:  refusing to pay the legal minimum per hour wage, not paying for all hours worked and/or not paying over-time pay.  This is a wide-spread problem, and costs the workers in the U.S. approximately $8 billion per year.  Obviously, this is another social issue that effects the poor more than others, since earning a minimum wage is not really a sustainable wage.  To steal from people like this is particularly nasty.

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However, there is another kind of wage theft that also happens.  Frequently people are told that their health insurance costs a certain amount and that amount is withheld from their paychecks by their employer to pay their portion of the health insurance costs, only to find out later that what was being withdrawn was a higher amount than the insurance actually cost.  This is particularly hard to prove, since (at least in my state) the insurance company will decline to tell you how much your employer-offered health insurance actually costs.

Another type of wage theft is when a “salaried” employee routinely works many hours of overtime, but is not paid because they are considered “salaried”.  The usual answer for not paying salaried workers is that they will be “given” the same number of hours as extra time off.  However, trying to receive any of that promised time off is difficult, to say the least.

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This whole concept is particularly evil, since you have a right to be paid for the work that you do, and you should have the right to find out exactly how much your own health insurance costs.  Has any of this happened to you or to anyone you know?  If so, let me know in the comments below.  I’ve included some links below that give you more information regarding this issue.

http://www.epi.org/publication/employers-steal-billions-from-workers-paychecks-each-year-survey-data-show-millions-of-workers-are-paid-less-than-the-minimum-wage-at-significant-cost-to-taxpayers-and-state-economies/?utm_source=Economic+Policy+Institute&utm_campaign=f46b5aacc2-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e7c5826c50-f46b5aacc2-58297025&mc_cid=f46b5aacc2&mc_eid=d8e2a8427b

http://www.nclnet.org/wage_theft_six_common_methods

 

Music and Health

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As someone who spends way too much time being depressed and suffering from anxiety about the state of the world – and other things that I can really do little about, I do my best to listen to music that is designed specifically to soothe, relax and bring about a peaceful frame of mind.  Because of this I was wondering if listening to certain kinds of music had been found to scientifically improve mood and health.  So, of course, I looked into it.

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So, what I’ve discovered is that yes music is a valid, scientific way of improving health.  It is used in a variety of medical situations including depression, anxiety, autism, dementia, brain development and sleep disorders.  It is also used in the premature baby ward in many hospitals to help promote the growth and health of these babies.  Different types of music also enhance different feelings; for example, rock music increases the heart-rate and can either agitate or energize.  Personally, I try to usually listen to peaceful and relaxing music since I’m just a bit hyper and on edge naturally.

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Do you purposefully listen to different types of music to either energize or to relax?  Let me know in the comments below.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10673229.2011.549769

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/natural-standard/201306/music-therapy-health-and-wellness

 

 

Be Your Own Advocate!

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I’ve been writing about self-education for a long time.  I truly believe that the more educated you are on a subject, the better off you are.  Do you check out the reviews of a product before you buy it?  How about ingredients on the side of a box at the grocery store?  Do you know what most of those ingredients are?  Are you the type to look something up if you don’t know?  If you are, then you’re definitely ahead of the game.

Knowing what your buying and/or ingesting is a good thing.  Finding about more about a disease you or a loved one may have is another good thing.  Educating yourself is always wise.  If you’ve got a long-term disease, keeping up-to-date on new ways to manage/deal with it is a great thing to do.

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No one is going to take care of you.  Self-care is one of my problems.  I live I the land of denial at all times, and this has been a real challenge in my life. I’m really good at taking care of everyone else, but not so good at taking care of me.   As a quick example of this, my underwear drawer is full of torn panties.  I know what you’re thinking, but unfortunately, they were not torn in a fit of passion, they are just old. In my defense, I’m still losing weight and am waiting to drop some more to replace them with a hopefully smaller size.

Being your own advocate can be hard.  This means that you have to take responsibility for yourself, whether it be at work, at home, in relationships or with your health.  Being responsible is difficult.  However, think of the benefits (besides great underwear), you can influence in your own life.  Wouldn’t it be great to live the life you really want?  This is what being your own advocate can achieve for you.  Let me know what you do to advocate for yourself.  Let’s see if we can inspire each other!

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Dutch Documentary on Donald Trump

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There is a recent documentary that has come out regarding Donald Trump and his business associates that is a must watch for people who are concerned about the future of the United States.  What struck me most while watching the first part of this was why the U.S. Congress seems to be sitting on its hands.  However, what bothered me the most about the second part was the greed and zeal it takes to deliberately set out to rape and rob a country.  I encourage you to watch this documentary.  Let me know what you think.

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http://www.alternet.org/video/donald-trumps-financial-ties-russian-oligarchs-and-mobsters-detailed-new-documentary?akid=15556.302291.6IM7Io&rd=1&src=newsletter1076882&t=2

 

http://www.alternet.org/video/dutch-documentary-part-ii-blood-trumps-and-kushners-hands-deals-africa-war-zone-diamond-mines?akid=15566.302291.syzStJ&rd=1&src=newsletter1076957&t=2

Shopping

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This week was a little different.  I went to the mall with my daughter, and this time, I came home with two shopping bags.  Yes, me, yes, two bags!  A number of years ago, my son gave me a gift card from Victoria’s Secret as a Christmas gift, and I put it away in a safe place (because that’s what you do with gift cards).  Even though I understand that it’s to a woman’s benefit to have her bra size checked every few years, I haven’t had mine checked since I first started wearing bras – more years ago than I want to remember.  I buy my bras from Walmart, and even though I’ve breast-fed two babies, gained more weight than I want to even think about, and have been feeling (seeing) the effects of gravity, I’ve still been simply guessing at bra size, throwing my shirt on, and trying to forget about it.  If you can’t see it, it’s not there, right?

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So, I screwed my courage to the wall, took a deep breath, and got sized.  You know what?  The woman who helped me was so nice, caring and understanding that I almost cried.  Yep, having someone else take care of me does that to me.  Thanks to my son’s gift card I’m now the proud owner of two bras that make me look pretty good – gravity be damned!  But, for those of you out there who love to get freebies, I also got a pretty beach cover-up and a beach tote for FREE!  So, after years of hemming and hawing, I just so happened to pick a freebie day!  Wow!

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My second bag was for a ten-dollar black sleeveless duster, much like one the wonderful, worldly wise Miss Fisher would wear.  I’ve been looking for one of these for quite some time, and found it in a store that sells everything for the princely sum of $10.00.  So, it was bargains all around.  What a great shopping experience!

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For someone who absolutely hates shopping, this was one day for the record books.  Best of all, I now know my bra size and what a well-made bra looks like, so I can purchase some better bras now.  And, I get to swan around (somewhat) like the fantastic Miss Fisher! What a great day!