Training, enforcement key parts of DOL’s proposed budget

March 06, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The Obama administration’s proposed U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) budget for fiscal year 2015 stresses a continuation of enforcement initiatives from previous years as well as new job training and assistance initiatives.

Released on March 4, the budget proposal includes $11.8 billion in discretionary funding for the DOL, $300,000 less than the request in the 2014 proposed budget. The 2015 proposal also includes new dedicated mandatory funds. A DOL statement says the proposed budget adheres to the spending levels agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and includes the fully paid-for Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative.

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Categories: DOL / OFCCP / OSHA / WHD

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ECN attorneys get updates from top Washington officials, observers

April 17, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The Employers Counsel Network (ECN), a group of attorneys from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada who specialize in employment law matters, is meeting April 24-26 in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn about the latest developments from Congress and the Obama administration that are of importance to employers.  

The attorneys, who represent employers on all types of workplace issues, will hear speakers outline the latest developments affecting employers, including presentations from government officials representing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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Categories: DOL / EEOC / NLRB / OFCCP / OSHA


Job programs, misclassification initiative among DOL budget priorities

April 11, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new budget request pushes programs to help veterans and the long-term unemployed while continuing priorities from previous years, including efforts to fight misclassification of workers as independent contractors.

The DOL’s fiscal year 2014 budget requests $12.1 billion in discretionary funding—money Acting Labor Secretary Seth D. Harris said will be used for investments to create jobs, upgrade workers’ skills, and “make sure Americans can support their families with a decent wage and secure benefits.”

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OSHA injury, illness summary to be posted by February 1

January 30, 2013 - by: HR Hero Alerts 2 COMMENTS

February 1 marks the deadline for covered employers to post a new summary of work-related injuries and illnesses.

The summary—the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Form 300A—is required to be posted in the workplace every year from February 1 to April 30. The summary form must be completed and posted even if no work-related injuries or illnesses occurred during the year.

Employers with 10 or more employees whose workplaces aren’t classified as a partially exempt industry must record work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. (Partially exempt industries include those in specific low-hazard retail, service, finance, insurance, or real estate industries.) Information on which employers are required to keep them and links to the forms are available on OSHA’s website.

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OSHA urges employers to think crowd control for Black Friday

November 19, 2012 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

As shoppers plan their Black Friday bargain hunting, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging retail employers to plan their crowd-control measures to keep workers safe.

In 2008, a worker was trampled to death while a crowd of shoppers rushed the doors of a Wal-Mart store in New York. OSHA recommends that retailers follow certain safeguards to prevent that kind of tragedy on Black Friday and during other holiday sales events.

OSHA is urging retailers to adopt crowd-management plans, including: read more…

Minneapolis shooting a reminder to be on guard against workplace violence

October 02, 2012 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

The September 28 shootings that killed six at a Minneapolis business put employers on notice that workplace violence can occur with no warning.

Other times, though, there are signs that employers should heed. The October issue of Minnesota Employment Law Letter contains an article titled “Employers look anew at preventing violence in the workplace.” It reminds employers that indications of potential workplace violence can include violent or aggressive behavior, threats, employees carrying weapons, and drug or alcohol abuse.

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Alabama law banning texting while driving takes effect

Alabama’s law banning texting while driving went into effect August 1, meaning you need to be careful not to encourage employees to text and drive while on the job.

House Bill 2 prohibits “any person from operating a motor vehicle on a public street, road, or highway while also text messaging on a handheld cell phone or other handheld wireless telecommunication device.” The new law expands on other legislation that already prohibited text messaging or phone use by those under 18 holding a restricted license.

The law imposes a $25 fine for the first violation, a $50 fine for a second violation, and a $75 fine for a third violation. In addition, a conviction will constitute a two-point violation on the violator’s driving record.

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Categories: Alabama / OSHA

Texting While Driving Now Illegal in West Virginia

West Virginia has become the 41st state to ban texting while driving. The law, which went into effect July 1, makes it a primary offense to text with a handheld cell phone while driving. Because it’s a primary offense, violators can be pulled over and cited. Texting already was a secondary offense, meaning someone violating a primary offense also could be cited for texting.

Beginning July 1, 2013, it will become a primary offense to talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving in West Virginia.

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Categories: OSHA / West Virginia

OSHA Targets Nursing Homes in New National Emphasis Program

April 10, 2012 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Injuries to Nursing Home WorkersThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) that for the next three years will step up inspections of health hazards to workers in the nursing and residential care industry.

A statement from OSHA quotes figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that workers in nursing and residential care facilities experience one of the highest rates of lost workdays due to injuries and illnesses of all major American industries. In 2010, the incidence rate for cases involving days away from work in the sector was 2.3 times higher than that of all private industry as a whole.

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Categories: OSHA

NTSB Urges Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving

December 14, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Employers have been on notice for more than a year that government safety officials are highly critical of employees using cell phones while driving. The practice is coming under even more scrutiny now that the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended a total ban on the use of cell phones and other such devices by all drivers.

Following a meeting on December 13, during which the agency examined an August 2010 multi-vehicle highway accident in Missouri that killed two people and injured 38 others, the NTSB called for a nationwide ban on driver use of personal electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. The Board’s investigation showed that the driver of a pickup truck had sent and received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes before the accident, which involved the pickup, a tractor-trailer rig, and two school buses.

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Categories: OSHA

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