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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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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Expired FMLA Forms OK for Now

January 11, 2012 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The calendar now says 2012, but employers may notice that their Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) carry a December 31, 2011, expiration date. What to do? For now, just keep using the old forms.

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has submitted the forms for medical certification, leave designation, and certification related to service member leave for renewal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Until the OMB approves the documents, you can continue to use the expired forms.

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Categories: DOL / FMLA / GINA / WHD

Preliminary FLSA Record-Keeping Regulations Expected in April

January 11, 2011 - by: Holly Jones 0 COMMENTS

An agency Web chat hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on Thursday, January 6, provided expected dates for proposed regulations on record-keeping under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the “Right to Know Under the Fair Labor Standards Act” initiative is expected in April 2011.

The proposed rule, which will further the department’s Plan/Prevent/Protect and Openness and Transparency goals, will be drafted to provide workers with essential information about their employment status and earnings, including notification of status as an employee or independent contractor as well as notification of whether the employee is exempt or nonexempt. The rules also may require employers to provide a wage statement containing this or other information to employees each pay period.

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DOL Announces ‘Bridge to Justice’ Attorney Referral System

December 14, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 0 COMMENTS

It may soon be easier for employees to find private legal representation after the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) declines to pursue their Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims. This is thanks to a new collaboration between the WHD and the American Bar Association (ABA) to establish an attorney referral system. Vice President Joe Biden, along with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, announced this new “Bridge to Justice” program at a Middle Class Task Force event on November 19, 2010.

Starting December 13, 2010, when workers with FLSA or FMLA claims are told that the WHD is not going to pursue their complaints, they may be given a toll-free number to contact the new ABA-Approved Attorney Referral System. If they call this number, they will be referred to ABA-approved attorney referral service providers in their area.

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FLSA Recordkeeping, FMLA Rule Revisions Planned for Later This Year

April 28, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 0 COMMENTS

This morning the Department of Labor (DOL) hosted its final two agency agenda web chat sessions, beginning with an hour-long segment hosted by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Deputy Administrator Nancy Leppink fielded questions and provided insight toward the Division’s current regulatory initiatives.

The agenda priorities for the Division in the Spring agenda include proposed rules on recordkeeping under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), proposed rules affecting the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and final rules related to child labor. Proposed rules on employee recordkeeping are expected to be published in August, while the proposed revisions to the FMLA rules are expected in November. Final child labor regulations, which have been in the works for some time, are expected to be published soon.

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Wage War: DOL Launches Aggressive “We Can Help” Enforcement Outreach

April 07, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has fired a loud warning shot to employers in its ongoing effort to increase federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enforcement. In a news release late last year, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis first unveiled plans for a proposed program to work with advocacy groups and other stakeholders to inform workers of their labor rights. However, We Can Help, which was officially launched last week, represents a very active effort on the WHD’s part to reach out to employees for their help in cracking down on suspected wage violations.

The We Can Help website presents employees who think they aren’t “being paid right” with a nothing-to-lose wage complaint scenario, encouraging them to take advantage of a toll-free information hot line, complainant confidentiality, and protection for undocumented immigrant workers. Employers defending against the complaints, however, aren’t afforded similar luxuries and may face significant loss of time, money, and resources on the program’s effort to solicit (potentially frivolous) claims.

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Solis’ Proposed Budget Opens Door for 358 More DOL Inspectors, Staff

February 01, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 1 COMMENTS

Today, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis hosted her third live Web chat during her tenure with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). During the session, Solis answered questions on the department’s proposed budget for the 2011 fiscal year. She touched briefly on the agency’s plans with the requested $116.5 billion, a decrease from last year’s $193.6 billion. This decrease can be largely attributed to a decline in unemployment insurance benefit payments.

Solis noted that the DOL’s priorities for the coming year would focus on protecting workers’ rights, expanding the agency’s role in enforcing those rights, ensuring that workers are aware of and have equal access to DOL programs, and maintaining department transparency with the public. The DOL hopes to return worker protection agencies to staffing levels that were present in 2001. For that purpose, $1.7 billion — a $69 million increase — will be allocated to these programs, allowing for an additional 177 inspectors, investigators, and other staff to be hired.

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DOL’s Agenda Focuses on Safety and Wages

January 28, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 2 COMMENTS

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis has announced the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulatory agenda for 2010, saying, “Protecting wages and working conditions for workers is key to the mission of our department, and ensuring that workers have a voice on the job is also vital.” The agenda is expected to satisfy many union demands. Below is a summary of the DOL’s priorities by department.

Wage and Hour Division
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Employing Minors in Dangerous Jobs: A Bad Idea

May 06, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Employers all over the country will soon be hiring summer workers, many of them minors. If you are an employer with jobs that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has listed as hazardous to minors, then take note. One Atlanta employer has learned a hard lesson at the expense of a teenage worker’s life.

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has fined Atlanta contractor Demon Demo, Inc., a civil penalty after investigating the death of a teenage worker from a second-floor fall at the company’s Gwinnett Place mall demolition site.

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Categories: DOL / Federal Agencies (List) / WHD

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