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DOL 22 articles

DOL Proposes Rule Allowing Teens to Operate Powered Patient Lifts

If U.S. labor officials have their way, 16- and 17-year old teenagers will soon be allowed to operate powered patient lifts in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation clinics, and other facilities. The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed rolling back youth-employment provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandating that patient power lifts be operated by employees ages 18 and older. The proposed rule, published in the Sept. 27 Federal Register, would change the FLSA’s Hazardous Occupations Orders under to exempt powered patient lifts, effectively allowing all employees to operate the devices regardless of age. Powered patient lifts are devices ... Read More

Overtime pay to be expanded? Senators pen letter to DOL requesting FLSA extension to more workers

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), established in 1938, set out to provide U.S. workers with minimum wage, recordkeeping policies and even youth employment standards for full-time and part-time workers within the private sector. Overtime pay is one of the most quintessential benefits provided by the FLSA considering the importance that overworked employees are recognized and compensated for laboring longer than recommended by law. However, not all employees are eligible to receive overtime pay due to past restrictions. Now, lawmakers are challenging this statute in hopes of helping millions of Americans working long hours without fair pay. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren ... Read More

San Jose Mexican chain found guilty of more than $510K in FLSA violations after DOL investigation

According to HRMorning.com, restaurant chain San Jose Mexican has been found guilty of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and must pay a total of $511,745 in back wages to 125 of its employees. The Department of Labor (DOL)’s investigation uncovered 10 of the San Jose Mexican Restaurant locations in North Carolina were actively committing the following FLSA violations: Compensating employees a fixed salary rather than the actual number of hours they actually worked, which has allowed San Jose Mexican to pay workers less than the federal minimum wage for every hour worked. Refusing to pay employees overtime when ... Read More

Chinese buffet accused of ‘egregious’ FLSA violations

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), a Chinese buffet located in Virginia has been in egregious violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by refusing its employees’ rights to minimum wage and overtime pay. Wah Feng LLC, operating under the name Win Buffet, was investigated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Baltimore District Office, which uncovered a high number of wage-related grievances. The business opted to pay workers based on a fixed monthly salary in cash, completely disregarding the number of hours worked, minimum wage, or if any of the employees were eligible for overtime pay. Some ... Read More

osha accused of mismanaging whistleblower protection program

The federal whistleblower protection program that is supposed to serve 200 million U.S. workers is languishing under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s authority and should be removed, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The GAO report admonished OSHA leadership for its inattention to the whistleblower program and recommended that it be elevated to its own separate office. The GAO’s recommendation jibes with the calls of whistleblower support organizations, such as Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which has petitioned Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to turn the program into its own office within the Department of Labor. Entitled ... Read More

Scaffold collapses, killing one Alabama worker and injuring another

A Cullman, Alabama, man died Tuesday afternoon after falling on the scene of a construction site. Authorities said that Kenneth Ball, 51, a contractor and resident of Cullman, was installing a window on the fourth floor of a construction project when his scaffolding collapsed. According to Cullman County Coroner Gary Murphree, the accident, which occurred around 11 a.m. in the Vinemont area, left Ball with massive head and body trauma. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Another worker who has not been identified sustained injuries when the scaffolding fell and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. To ... Read More

Nashville workers settle FLSA complaint against employer

A Nashville car wash company has reached a settlement with three employees who claim they weren’t paid for several hours of work. The minimum-wage employees sued Shur-Brite Hi Speed Car Wash, alleging the company’s owners clocked them in and out throughout the day, depending on how busy their work shifts were. The agreed settlement for $130,000 will be distributed among 120 employees, who, like the plaintiffs, weren’t being paid for hours spent on the job. According to the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, compensable hours include all the time that an employee is required to be on the ... Read More

Teddy bear company cited for FLSA child labor violations

Build-A-Bear-Workshop Inc. is listed on Fortune’s 2009 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work for,” but the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division disagrees — at least where the company’s youngest employees are concerned. The government agency cited the St. Louis-based company for violations of child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and ordered it to pay $25,600 in civil penalties. Build-A-Bear Workshop, an international retailer with more than 400 locations worldwide, allows customers to design and create their own teddy bears. The Wage and Hour Division found that many Build-A-Bear’s Midwestern retail locations violated ... Read More

Teenager’s death leads to multiple FLSA and OSHA fines for Georgia company

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and hour Division has ordered a Suwanee, Georgia-based demolition company to pay a steep penalty for violating child labor laws after a teenage employee died on the work site. The teenager, an employee of Demon Demo Inc., was working on a demolition site at Macy’s in the Gwinnett Place Mall when he fell from the third story of the building. The boy had been tossing debris off the building when he fell. The fine was the first one issued by the Wage and Hour Division under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 – ... Read More

Solis works to revamp and empower Wage and Hour Division

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, under which the Fair Labor Standards Act came into existence in 1938 as part of a nationwide effort to protect working class citizens from corporate exploitation and abuse, may be on the mend after an long era of being little more than a bureaucratic entity. In March, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced her intentions to revamp and empower the Wage and Hour Division, saying that she would increase the Division’s staff size by a third in an effort to “refocus the agency on [its] enforcement responsibilities.” The addition of new field investigators, ... Read More