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Department of Labor 68 articles

Overtime pay update blocked by federal judge prior to taking effect

Despite efforts by the Obama administration, the new overtime rule that would have expanded eligibility to nearly four million Americans has been blocked a federal judge. The law, which would have required employers to pay time-and-a-half to their employees who worked more than 40 hours in a week and earned less than $47,476 annually, was set to take effect on Dec. 1. According to NPR, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III was responsible for issuing the preliminary injunction in the case after siding with plaintiffs who believed the new rule would’ve caused government costs in their respective states to increase ... Read More

Fair Labor Standards Act: Whistleblowing and Retaliation – FLSA anti-retaliation provisions

The Fraud List: Fair Labor Edition

This is the fifth installment in The Fraud List: Fair Labor Series Nobody likes a tattletale, but when laws are being broken by one’s employer, it becomes the responsibility of the employee to “blow the whistle” to upper management. This responsibility can seem like more of a burden to some workers fearing their job will be affected by whistleblowing. Fortunately, thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), any employee that experiences discrimination or retaliation due to their brave actions is protected by the anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA. According to the FLSA, it is a direct violation for any ... Read More

Fair Labor Standards Act: Protecting the American Dream

The Fraud List: Fair Labor Edition

This is the first installment of The Fraud List: Fair Labor Series There’s no doubt that the United States would not be the country it is today without the laws created by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Sadly, many foreign countries still allow businesses to employ child labor, pay unfair wages for extended amounts of work and even refuse medical bills from injuries sustained while on the job. In the United States, in 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into action the beginnings of the FLSA, and thus, changed the course of the American workforce forever. The FLSA has put into place ... Read More

Air Force Contractor Agrees To Pay Employees Nearly $1 Million In Back Wages

Air Force contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., a San Diego-based manufacturer of unmanned aircraft and surveillance systems is paying nearly $1 million in back wages to employees throughout the country who were paid less than the prevailing rates at work sites away from their home base. Corporations that want government contracts are required to pay their workers the prevailing wage rates and benefits of the geographical area where their work site is located. The law aims to ensure that companies do not make their services less costly at the expense of their workers or drive down wages for other ... Read More

OSHA fines Wireless Horizon for tower collapse that killed two workers

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Wireless Horizon Inc. with two willful and four serious safety violations following an investigation of a March 25 cell tower collapse that killed two workers in Kansas. The deaths of the workers, two technicians ages 25 and 38, bring the number of U.S. communication tower deaths to 11 so far this year. There have been 24 deaths among cell tower workers since the beginning of 2013, according to OSHA records. The Wireless Horizon workers were dismantling a tower in Blaine, Kansas, using a gin pole, a special load-lifting device. The ... Read More

OSHA orders back pay, damages, and job reinstatement to railroad employee

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) LLC, the second-largest freight railroad network in North America, retaliated against a North Dakota worker in December 2013 for reporting a work-related injury and submitting a physician’s treatment plan to his employer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concluded in an investigation. OSHA ordered Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF to pay the worker more than $30,000 in back wages and damages and to take other corrective actions. The former employee submitted a whistleblower complaint to OSHA alleging BNSF violated the anti-retaliation provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act, which prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who ... Read More

Wyoming fracking site blast kills one worker, injures three others

One worker has died and three others were seriously injured after an explosion ripped through a storage tank Wednesday at a natural gas production facility operated by fracking giant EOG Resources Inc. in southwestern Wyoming. The worker who was killed was contracted to clean natural gas storage tanks at the EOG site south of LaBarge, Wyo., alongside another contract worker and two EOG employees. A company representative told Reuters that the site contained one natural gas well and two gas storage tanks. “The tank stores natural gas, and was undergoing cleaning when the explosion occurred,” the Lincoln County Homeland Security ... Read More

Companies must report all employee amputations, eye loss, death to OSHA under new rule

Under a new federal safety rule that will take effect Jan. 1, all employers will be required to notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) whenever an employee is hospitalized for an on-the-job injury, suffers an amputation, or loses an eye at work. OSHA regulators originally proposed the new rule change three years ago to enhance current requirements, which mandate that employers notify OSHA when a work-related accident kills an employee or injures and hospitalizes three employees. “Hospitalizations and amputations are sentinel events, indicating that serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention ... Read More

Long hours, fatigue made deadly Arizona fuel truck crash inevitable, whistleblower says

Arizona officials investigating the deadly August 1 crash of an asphalt oil truck in North Phoenix said that driver fatigue was to blame, and a whistleblower has bolstered those findings with claims that Cactus Transport forces its drivers to work dangerously long driving shifts without a break. Witnesses told investigators that they noticed the oil tanker swerving in the southbound lanes on Interstate 17 just before 5 a.m. The truck then ran onto the median, struck a sign post, and rolled over. The driver of the truck was killed. No other vehicles were involved, but the crash ruptured the tank ... Read More

Feds side with Oregon truck driver whistleblower, order reinstatement and back pay

An Oregon truck driver who filed a whistleblower complaint against her employer alleging she was fired for refusing to drive an unsafe truck will receive back wages and compensation for legal fees in addition to being reinstated to her job, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced. After completing an investigation of the complaint, OSHA ordered Terry Unrein, an independent trucking contractor based in Gresham, Ore., to reinstate the driver, who was fired in late 2011 after she refused to drive a five-ton truck with inadequate tire tread on public highways. According to OSHA, Terry Unrein fired the driver ... Read More