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As heat becomes a national threat, who will be protected?

Summary

In Florida, the deadliest state for heat-related fatalities, Laurie Giordano's impassioned plea led to the Zachary Martin Act, ensuring safety provisions for student athletes after her son's death from heat stroke. However, the legislation failed to extend protections to outdoor workers like Clovis Excellent, an undocumented farm laborer who perished under scorching conditions. Despite advocacy efforts, Florida's labor laws remain deficient in safeguarding vulnerable workers. The contrast in responses underscores systemic disparities in prioritizing lives based on occupation and ethnicity. As climate change intensifies heatwaves, the absence of comprehensive legislation jeopardizes the safety of marginalized communities. While strides have been made in school sports safety, the plight of outdoor laborers reveals the urgent need for equitable heat-illness protections across all sectors, urging policymakers to address the glaring gaps in safeguarding public health.

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