Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ask the Times

Q&A: Fewer toys recalled this year

Recalled toys are piled in a shopping cart after being pulled from a store’s shelves.

Getty Images (2007)

Recalled toys are piled in a shopping cart after being pulled from a store’s shelves.

Fewer toys recalled this year

Q: There don't seem to be as many recalls on children's toys this year as in previous years. Is that true?

A: Yes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in the middle of November that there had been just 38 toy recalls in 2009, compared with 162 in 2008 and 148 in 2007. Toy recalls involving lead paint are also down this year, to 14 from 85 in 2008 and 63 in 2007.

The CPSC says better enforcement at U.S. ports, higher industry compliance and greater cooperation with countries that make toys are responsible.

Federal safety rules have also been tightened, the CPSC announced. Limits on lead paint in children's toys dropped to 90 parts per million, toys for children under 12 must be tested and certified they meet the lead paint standard, children's toys cannot be made with more than 300 parts per million of total lead or more than 0.1 percent of six prohibited phthalates (substances added to plastics to increase flexibility, transparency and durability), and most children's toys now fall under mandatory standards instead of voluntary ones.

Time off for religious reasons

Q: What are my rights when requesting time off work for religious reasons?

A: For companies with more than 15 people, federal law requires employers to "reasonably accommodate" an employee's religious beliefs. Employers are exempt only if they can show the accommodation would cause an "undue hardship" on business.

Examples of accommodations include shift swaps, flexible scheduling or use of lunch time in exchange for early departure.

Employers generally do not have to pay workers for time off taken for religious reasons, however, so workers should arrange to use vacation or unpaid personal days. As long as religious needs are accommodated, the employer is not obligated to meet specific requests preferred by the worker.

Workers are not required to provide proof of their religious beliefs to employers, such as notes from a member of the clergy.

Growing diversity in the workplace is one reason for the spike in religious discrimination filings with the federal government, said a spokesman for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Last year, there were 3,273 religious discrimination filings with the EEOC. There are likely many more cases that go unreported for fear of retaliation or lack of awareness about federal protections.

Potential employers are not allowed to question job applicants about their religion or whether their religion would prevent them from working certain days. However, employers may detail the days and hours of the job.

For a Q&A about religious discrimination in the workplace, see www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_religion.html.

Q&A: Fewer toys recalled this year 12/03/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 3, 2009 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A historic Tampa family saves a historic Tampa home built by an ancestor

    Human Interest

    The Knight family has replaced their roof and people are celebrating.

    The Peter O. Knight historical cottage, located in Tampa's Hyde Park neighborhood, is seen Thursday, July 20, 2017. The cottage fell into disrepair in recent years, but the Knight family stepped up with financial support to help stabilize the structure.
  2. Miami woman, 74, admits to voter fraud. Does jail await, or will she go free?

    State Roundup

    MIAMI — An 74-year-old woman pleaded guilty Monday to filling out other people's mail-in ballots while working at Miami-Dade's elections department.

    Gladys Coego
  3. In Twitter rant, Bucs' Gerald McCoy says he's unappreciated

    Bucs

    Gerald McCoy is feeling underappreciated again. He says somebody has crossed the line this time. He's speaking out and suggesting he might be gone "soon enough" from Tampa Bay.

    Photo Illustration RON BORRESEN   |   Photo by LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 
Gerald McCoy may be upset that Ronde Barber said a defensive leader “has to have a huge personality’’ like Warren Sapp’s. Monday, Barber walked that back.
  4. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  5. Photo gallery: Nine years later, library attack victim Queena works at learning to walk again

    Blogs

    Slowly, Queena Phu is learning the act of walking again through exercises in locomotion, strength and balance.
    She practiced her steps once again Monday afternoon with trainer-technician Mike Lopez at the nonprofit Stay In Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center near the University of South Florida.
    Queena …

    Activity based exercise trainer George Palang, 33, and trainer technician Mike Lopez, 22, help Queena Phu during physical therapy at the Stay In Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center on Monday, July 24, 2017, in Tampa, Fla.