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April 12, 2012
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Building History Right

United States Department of Labor: 1913-2013 - 100 Years. Then, Now, Next.

Editor's Note: When we get a story wrong, we correct it. And in our story two weeks ago regarding the history of the department's HQ, we missed a big chunk of history. So here's the WHOLE story (additions in italics) along with new photos. Thanks to Robert Shapiro, Associate Solicitor for Legal Counsel, who helped us get it right.

A postcard celebrated the arrival of the new Department of Labor home. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

The first headquarters for the U.S. Department of Labor was located in the Willard Building near the White House. In 1914, a year after the department was established, the headquarters was transferred temporarily a few blocks away, to the Mills Building, at the corner of 17th and Pennsylvania Avenues, NW. In 1917, employees moved to the brand new "Department of Labor Building" at 1712 G Street, NW. All three buildings are no longer standing. In 1935, Secretary Frances Perkins helped move the department into its new headquarters on the Federal Triangle at the Northeast corner of 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. That building still stands today and is part of the Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters complex. The Labor Department's final move came in 1975 when the "New Department of Labor Building" was completed. The building was officially named after Perkins in 1980 and remains our HQ.

A Big Boost for Small Biz

SBA's HUBZone map delivers street-level displays of qualified HUBZone areas. Click on the image to go to HUBZone maps.

For many small businesses in struggling communities, the opportunity to compete for and win federal government contracts can make a big difference in the bottom line. That's why the Small Business Administration oversees the Historically Underutilized Business Zone, or HUBZone, program to encourage small businesses to locate in and hire employees from economically disadvantaged areas, and why Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Jane Oates was in Chicago April 11 to talk about the department's efforts to increase its use of the program. Speaking at the HUBZone Small Business Summit along with colleagues from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Health and Human Services, Oates described how DOL and especially the Job Corps program are encouraging businesses to look into the program, which can offer competitive advantages in winning federal contracts. However, Oates wasn't the only member of the DOL family in attendance, as students from the nearly Joliet Job Corps Center's Security and Military Career Preparation program served as the color guard during the opening ceremony.

Borzi Visits Retirement Community

EBSA's Phyllis Borzi to residents and guests at the Oak Crest retirement community in Parkville, Md. Click on the photo for a larger image.

The Maryland Department of Aging recently hosted the head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration at the Oak Crest Retirement Community in Parkville, Md. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis Borzi discussed the agency's mission with residents and guests during the hour-long session held near Baltimore last week. Borzi took questions from attendees on retirement and health-care benefits and described how EBSA ensures that workers, retirees and their families get the benefits they have earned.

Williams on Workforce Panel

Nearly 400 manufacturers, educators and local officials the first Oh-Penn Interstate Region Manufacturing Workforce Summit this week at Youngstown State University in Ohio. Jay Williams, director of the department's Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, served on a panel that addressed strategies for attracting, developing and retaining a skilled workforce. Other panelists included Dennis Dio Parker of the Toyota North American Training Center; Craig Dotson, Department of Labor apprenticeship training program specialist; Rich Frederick, Office of Workforce Transformation executive director, Ohio Office of the Governor; and Jim Herrholtz, associate superintendent, Division of Learning, Ohio Department of Education.

WHD: Stronger Outreach

Secretary Solis and WHD's Nancy Leppink pose with the division's Community Outreach and Planning Specialists. Click on the photo for a larger image and detailed caption.

The Wage and Hour Division's training workshop for community outreach and planning specialists received a surprise visit from Secretary Solis on April 11, as participants discussed strategies for sustaining employer compliance. WHD Deputy Administrator Nancy Leppink hosted the week-long training. The specialist positions were created in 2011 to build a stronger connection between the division's outreach activities and enforcement.

Basketball Champs in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Job Corps Center celebrates winning the National Basketball Championship after defeating the Potomac Jobs Corps Center 50-48 in the championship game, April 6, hosted by the Turner Job Corps Center in Albany, Ga.  Front Row Left to Right: Brandy Thomas, Shakiyla Green, Kyisha Ricks, Tiaira Robinson, Aron Lovett. Back Row Left to Right: Coach Donald Thompson, Alisha Manns-Finkley, Jalisa Luckett, Chasity Rogers, Coach Brock Schliem. Click on the photo for a larger image.

Students at the Milwaukee Job Corps Center are winning. Not only are they learning job skills in health care and trades such as welding, masonry and heating and air conditioning, but other very important life skills — such as teamwork and cooperation, taught both in the classroom and on the basketball court. In their rookie season, the Milwaukee Jobs Corps Center Women's basketball team just earned the title "Job Corps Center National Champions," with a 22-2 record. "This experience was a second chance ... a highlight of my life," said Tiaira Robinson, who was unable to continue playing basketball in high school because she was moved frequently in the foster care program. The team was undefeated in the double-elimination national tournament and defeated the Potomac Jobs Corps Center 50 to 48 in the championship game April 6.

Reaching Out to Local Nonprofits

The Human Services Coalition of Prince George's County, Md., partnered with Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin's office to provide valuable information to local nonprofit organizations about federal grants and programs. Ben Seigel, deputy director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, represented the Department of Labor at a luncheon this week at the Hyattsville City Hall, where he shared information about the national and local workforce investment system, the department's grant programs and opportunities for partnering with the department. Representatives from approximately 50 local nonprofit organizations attended the event, including the Training Source, Inc., and the Port Towns Community Development Corporation.

Taking Action

Secretary Solis and Rev. Al Sharpton pause for a photo before the 14th annual NAN Convention. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

Addressing the 14th Annual National Action Network Convention April 12, Secretary Solis reaffirmed that the Department of Labor "continues to invest in job training programs directed at low-income and underserved communities" and will "continue to protect vulnerable and immigrant workers by reaching out to them and making sure they know they have rights on the job ... both in terms of a safe workplace and in terms of being paid the wages they are owed." She brought the audience to its feet when she asked, "Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? I hope so, because we've got work to do! Keep working! Keep believing!" The National Action Network was founded in 1991 by the Rev. Al Sharpton and works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to promote a civil rights agenda that includes justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, national origin and gender.

On the Road with Martinez

ODEP's Kathy Martinez. Click on the photo for a larger image.

A large part of Kathy Martinez's job is connecting with stakeholders, and early April was no exception. Over the last week, the assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy has spoken to audiences from coast to coast. She started in Redmond, Wash., with a meeting with members of Microsoft's Cross-Disability Employee Resource Group to discuss the Office of Disability Employment Policy's Accessible Technology in the Workplace initiative. Next up was an event in Chantilly, Va., where she spoke with employees of federal contractor CACI about the important role people with disabilities play in corporate diversity and inclusion. Finally, she visited San Antonio, Texas, where she delivered a plenary speech at the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Industry Liaison Group's regional conference. "Engaging with a broad array of our constituents — from employers to advocacy groups to individuals — is absolutely critical to advancing our mission to increase employment opportunities for all Americans, including those of us with disabilities," said Martinez.

The "Essence" of Mentoring

Secretary Solis met with Susan L. Taylor, former editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine. Click on the image for a larger photo and detailed caption.

A familiar face to millions of woman across the country paid a visit to the Labor Department this week. Susan L. Taylor, the former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine and host of "Essence, the Television Program" met with Secretary Solis to discuss her newest passion: mentoring. Taylor now runs the National CARES Mentoring Movement, which was founded in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Taylor and CARES are specifically focusing on literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, group mentoring, community engagement and efforts to build self-esteem among under-resourced youth in communities across the country. Solis and Taylor explored ways for the department and CARES to partner on a variety of initiatives.

OSHA on the Ground in Texas

A tornado on April 3 cut a wide swath of destruction in Lancaster, Texas. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

Compliance assistance staff of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration continue to provide safety and health guidance to Texas employers, workers and the general public following damages caused by tornadoes on April 3. "The safety of workers and the public is what's at stake here," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "We are trying to prevent further injuries from the devastation left behind by the tornadoes." Safety issues include failing to wear safety harnesses, helmets, eye protection and gloves, as well as improper use of ladders. Hazards involved in cleanup work may include illness from exposure to contaminated water or food, heat exhaustion, downed electrical wires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Additional Funds for NC

The department has awarded $375,200 to fund 200 temporary jobs for eligible workers to continue cleanup and recovery efforts in North Carolina following Hurricane Irene, which struck in August 2011. Back in September, the Labor Department awarded a $2 million grant to the North Carolina Department of Commerce's Division of Employment and Training, with $750,000 released initially. The new funds bring the total to $1,125,200. "North Carolina's rural areas have limited public transportation and were severely damaged. Residents in those areas require assistance with continued removal of debris and restoration to public properties," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Jane Oates. "Today's grant sends a clear message that displaced families along the North Carolina coast can depend on the federal government to help them restore their communities."

Upcoming Deadlines & Events

Open Funding Opportunities

Savannah River Site Town Halls

The department will host two town hall meetings on April 17 in Augusta, Ga., to provide former employees of the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C., with information concerning a new class of employees recently added to the Special Exposure Cohort of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. Former Savannah River Site employees employed Jan. 1, 1953, through Sept. 30, 1972, for at least 250 workdays and diagnosed with one of 22 specified cancers may qualify.

OWCP — Town Hall Meeting to Assist Nuclear Weapons Workers

EBSA — Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning Workshop

EBSA — Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar

ETA — H-2B In Person Briefing

MSHA — Spring Thaw Workshop

OASAM — Vendor Outreach Session

OFCCP — The ABC's of the AAP

OFCCP — Analyzing Personnel Activity Data

OFCCP — OFCCP- Building Community and Veteran Partnerships

OFCCP — OFCCP- Community Based Education & Outreach

OFCCP — Community Based Organizations Roundtable Collaboration

OFCCP — Compliance Assistance for First Time Supply and Service Contractors

OFCCP — Construction Seminar

OFCCP — Developing Written Affirmative Action Programs

OFCCP — OFCCP and Industry Liaison Group

OFCCP — Community Outreach and Education Event

OFCCP — Compliance Assistance Seminar

OFCCP — Compliance Assistance Seminar for Construction Contractors

OFCCP — Good Faith Efforts to Accomplish Goals

OFCCP — OFCCP and Industry Liaison Group

OFCCP — Kentucky ILG Spring Seminar

OFCCP — Service and Supply Seminar

OFCCP — Service and Supply Compliance Assistance Seminar for First Time Contractors

OFCCP — Technical Assistance Seminar

OFCCP — Women in Non-Traditional Occupations

OLMS — Compliance Seminar

OPA — Conference Call on Changes to DOL Press Lock-ups

OWCP — Town Hall Meeting to Assist Nuclear Weapons Workers

OWCP — Traveling Resource Center to Assist Nuclear Weapons Workers

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What's New

Women and the Economy

President Barak Obama talks to the attendees at the forum. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

On the same day last week that she announced that the economy created another 121,000 jobs in March, and that the unemployment rate ticked down, Secretary Solis joined President Obama at a White House event focused on "Women and the Economy." The forum explored the challenges that are unique to women's economic security and how the administration can play a role in addressing them. In his remarks, President Obama noted, "I wanted to make sure that every agency across my administration considers the needs of women and girls in every decision we make. Every decision made by those of us in public life impacts women just as much as men."

HHS' Kathleen Sebelius, AG Eric Holder, Secretary Solis and Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute listen to the speakers. View the slideshow for more images and captions.
The White House also released a report that looks at women's economic security through all stages of life — from young women furthering their education and beginning their careers, to working women who create jobs and provide for their families, to seniors in retirement. Secretary Solis noted during the events and in press interviews throughout the day that the economy has "created more than 4 million private sector jobs over the past two years, and more than 600,000 in the past three months alone. That's encouraging news for women, for men, for everyone." She added, "There will still be ups and downs along the way, and we've got a lot more work to do."

Bartlett Grain Cited for Safety Violations After 6 Killed in Explosion

Bartlett Grain Co. L.P., based in Kansas City, Mo., faces five willful and eight serious safety violations following an October 2011 grain elevator explosion in Atchison that killed six workers and left two others hospitalized. "The deaths of these six workers could have been prevented had the grain elevator's operators addressed hazards that are well known in this industry," said Secretary Solis. "Bartlett Grain's disregard for the law led to a catastrophic accident and heartbreaking tragedy for the workers who were injured or killed, their families and the agricultural community." Topeka-based Kansas Grain Inspection Services Inc., a contractor employed by Bartlett Grain, also is being cited for one willful, one serious, and one other-than-serious violation.

Around DOL

Agencies Meet on Ending Pay Discrimination

Panel members discuss the national initiative on equal pay during at an interagency roundtable in Chicago, April 9, from left: Andrew Daley and Wendy Martin, from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Deborah Pascal, DOL's Women's Bureau, Dorothy Stephens, Counsel for Civil Rights Office of the Solicitor Region V, Ken Bennett, Secretary's regional representative, Elizabeth Banaszak, trial attorney, Department of Justice and Bradley Anderson, OFCCP Midwest Regional Director. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

Celebrating the 16th anniversary of Equal Pay Day, the department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Midwest Region and the Women's Bureau sponsored an Equal Pay for Equal Work Interagency Roundtable in Chicago. "Women still make 20 percent less than men," said Ken Bennett, regional secretary's representative, who highlighted the National Equal Pay Task Force, which brings together representatives from OFCCP, Women's Bureau, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice and Office of Personnel Management to work on combating pay discrimination. Participants at the April 9 event included: Bradley Anderson, OFCCP Midwest regional director and representatives from the department's Women's Bureau, Wage and Hour Division, Counsel for Civil Rights Office of the Solicitor Region V, along with representatives from the EEOC and the Justice Department Civil Rights Division.

News You Can Use

Financial Capability Webinar for College Seniors, Young Workers

April is National Financial Capability Month and the Employee Benefits Security Administration is hosting a webinar next week to help college seniors and young workers get on track to pay down debt and start saving for retirement. "Many young adults are entering the workforce today with the right knowledge and skills for the job market, but lack understanding of how to manage their personal finances," said Secretary Solis. "By acting early and utilizing employer-sponsored benefits, young workers can take charge of their finances and begin to build retirement savings at a time in their lives when it will have the greatest impact." The webinar, "Key Financial Steps for College Seniors and Young Workers," is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18 from 4 to 5:15 p.m. EDT.

WHD Field Office Opens in Southern Utah

The department's Wage and Hour Division has opened a field office in St. George, Utah, to connect employees, employers, community organizations and other stakeholders with the resources and assistance needed to ensure compliance with federal wage and hour laws. "This new office will be a great resource for the people of southern Utah, as it will serve as a one-stop shop for anyone who needs compliance assistance and information concerning the federal labor laws we enforce," said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator of the division in the Southwest. The St. George office has oversight for agency enforcement through southern Utah, including enforcement on federal construction and service contracts.

Seeking Nonprofits for OSHA's Training Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking applications from nonprofit organizations to provide classroom instructions as part of the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers Program. Launched in 1992, the program is working to meet the growing demand for private sector training. "The number of requests for occupational safety and health training from private sector and federal agency personnel continues to grow. In 2012, OSHA hopes to increase the number of OTI Education Centers capable of offering quality occupational safety and health training," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. In the past 10 years, OTI Education Centers have trained more than a quarter million students, and more than 38,000 individuals received training in fiscal 2011 alone.

Webinar on How to Apply for Harwood Grants

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will host a webinar to provide information on how to apply for a 2012 Susan Harwood Training Grant. A total of $1.2 million is available to nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations; employer associations; labor unions; joint labor/management associations; as well as and colleges and universities. The Harwood grant funds training for workers and employers in recognizing workplace hazards and control measures, and understanding their rights and responsibilities. The webinar will explain the application process, including eligibility, performance and submittal requirements. Pre-registration is not required. All potential applicants are encouraged to participate on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. EDT.

Comment Period Extended on FMLA Proposal

The Wage and Hour Division has announced an extension of the comment period for proposed amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act that would expand military family leave provisions and incorporate a special eligibility provision for airline flight crew employees. Because of the interest that has been expressed and the department's desire to obtain as much information about its proposals as possible, the period for submitting public comment on the notice of proposed rulemaking has been extended through April 30. The FMLA, enacted in 1993, entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

DOL Working for You

Overcoming Challenges on the Way to Becoming Town Clerk

Marilou Harrington. Click on photo for a larger image.

Marilou Harrington overcame health concerns and unemployment to become an elected official thanks to the Disability Employment Initiative - a collaborative effort by the Employment Training Administration and the Office of Disability Employment Policy. With career guidance from the initiative, Harrington worked at a series of part-time jobs in New York State as her health improved. She also received other employment and work counseling through the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work program. Eventually, Harrington found a part-time job recording official records and issuing licenses in the town clerk's office. Her drive and determination was rewarded when voters elected her to become the town's full-time clerk.

Department Grant Helps Navy Veteran Land Security Career

Tim Pollard. Click on photo for a larger image.

Navy veteran Tim Pollard had always held a job. But when his career took a wrong turn and he not only became unemployed but homeless, the department's Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) offered him a lifeline. Pollard received housing, job counseling and was enrolled in security training through the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, a department grantee. He completed his course work, received a certificate in protective services, and now works at a large security company. He also returns to the center to mentor fellow veterans. Pollard, 61, said he was "glad to have a job at my age," adding, "I wished there were more programs available for veterans" like HVRP.

DOL in Action

Assistance for Displaced Paper Mill Workers

The department has awarded $1,793,475 in National Emergency Grant funding to the Washington State Employment Security Department to assist approximately 570 workers affected by layoffs at Kimberly-Clark Corp. in Everett, Wash., between Dec. 15, 2011, and March 31, 2012. Under the grant, workers will receive training and re-employment support services in conjunction with Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits. "Any time a major employer shuts its doors, a community suffers," said Secretary Solis. "This federal grant will help Everett by providing these workers the services they need to transition to jobs in growing local industries."

Grant to Assist Dislocated West Virginia Workers

A $514,800 National Emergency Grant was awarded April 12 to Workforce West Virginia to create temporary jobs for eligible dislocated workers affected by severe storms, tornadoes, flooding, mudslides and landslides that struck West Virginia. "The storm-battered citizens of West Virginia need our help," said Secretary Solis. "The department's funding is part of the federal government's commitment to support the people of West Virginia as they rebuild their communities."

Targeting Abuses at Portland Restaurants

An enforcement initiative focused on the restaurant industry in Portland, Ore., to combat widespread violations of the minimum wage, overtime, record-keeping and child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act has been launched by the Wage and Hour Division. Investigators will make unannounced visits and will pursue corrective action when violations are found, including collection and payment of back wages, assessment of penalties and liquidated damages, and possible litigation. Information on establishments investigated will be posted online with information available to consumers through a departmental smartphone app, "Eat Shop Sleep." From 2006 through 2011, the division's Portland office conducted 281 restaurant investigations and identified FLSA violations at 79 percent of the restaurants, which resulted in more than $3 million in minimum wage and overtime wages owed to more than 1,600 workers.

Florida's La Nopalera Restaurant Agrees to Pay Back Wages

La Nopalera Restaurant in Orange Park, Fla., has agreed to pay $177,935 in back wages to 24 employees after an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division found that the business violated the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime provisions. "Last August we announced that more than $934,000 in back wages were found due to employees of two other restaurants in Florida doing business under the same franchise name, and we continue to hold employers accountable when they abuse low-wage workers," said Michael Young, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Jacksonville District Office.

Safety Violations at Pasta Manufacturing Plant

Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for six safety violations – including three willful – after two maintenance employees conducting welding operations sustained serious burns to their upper bodies as the result of an explosion within a dust collector at the company's Steeleville, Ill., pasta manufacturing plant on Oct. 6, 2011. Proposed penalties total $231,000.

Subway Franchisee in Tampa Bay to Pay Back Wages

A Subway eatery franchisee with 29 locations in Tampa Bay, Fla., has been ordered to pay 122 employees a total of $7,536 in back wages plus $3,768 in liquidated damages by Judge Richard Lazzara of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division. The judgment resolves a lawsuit filed by the department against Franchise Equity Group Inc., doing business as MacSub. The court case followed an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage provisions. "Low-wage workers deserve the full protection of federal labor laws," said James Schmidt, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Tampa District Office.

Cyclone Drilling Cited for Safety Violations in North Dakota Oil Field

Cyclone Drilling Inc. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with two repeat, five serious, and one other than serious violation of safety and health standards for exposing workers on an oil drilling rig to electrical, fire and fall hazards, among others, in an oil field near Ray, N.D. Proposed penalties total $65,600. Cyclone Drilling Inc. was inspected under the OSHA Bismarck Area Office's Problem Solving Initiative, which aims to prevent injuries and fatalities while also raising the safety and health awareness of employers in the oil drilling and construction activities of North Dakota's western region.

DOL Settles Lawsuit Against Union in Puerto Rico

A department lawsuit against the Union General De Trabajadores in Rio Piedras has been settled with the stipulation that the Office of Labor-Management Standards will supervise the union's nomination and new election of its officers by January 31, 2013. The department sued to set aside the union's January 2010 election after an OLMS investigation found employer funds were used to promote the winning slate with advertising and design services in violation of the law, and that the winning slate only repaid the funds following the OLMS probe.

Georgia Auto Parts Recycler Cited After Employee Injured

LKQ Corp. in Jenkinsburg, Ga., has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for willful and serious safety violations. OSHA conducted an inspection after being informed that an automobile fell off a lift and landed on top of an employee, who consequently suffered a broken hip and internal injuries. Headquartered in Chicago, LKQ Corp. recycles used auto parts and has locations throughout the United States. "Although the employer knew workers were being put in harm's way and at risk of serious injury or death, the lifts were kept in use," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "This type of negligence and disregard for worker safety is unacceptable." Proposed penalties are $78,000.

Hotel Contractor Cited for Scaffold, Fall Hazards

Stamford, Conn.-based demolition contractor Konko LLC has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 14 alleged violations of safety standards. Konko faces a total of $98,800 in proposed fines, chiefly for exposing employees to scaffolding and fall hazards during renovation work at the Stamford Plaza Hotel. Workers were exposed to falls of up to 57 feet due to a lack of protection and because they accessed the scaffold's upper levels by climbing its cross bracing.

$222,000 in Back Wages for Arkansas Construction Workers

Conway, Ark.-based Klassmeyer Construction has paid $222,602 in overtime back wages to 204 construction workers following an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigators found the company did not include employees' bonus payments as part of their overall rates of pay when computing overtime.

Sheet Metal Company Cited for Repeat Violations

Don Park USA L.P. in Conley, Ga., has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 16 safety and health violations based on a follow-up inspection. OSHA found the same violations as during the original inspection, which was conducted after a fatality occurred at the Conley facility in October 2010. Don Park performs sheet metal work for the custom fabrication of air conditioning ducts and air distribution systems. The company received five repeat, 10 serious and one other-than-serious violation, including exposing workers to live electrical parts, among other hazards. Proposed penalties total $81,180.

Farmers Cooperative Faulted for Combustible Dust, Other Hazards

Alabama Farmers Cooperative Inc. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with 17 safety and health violations for exposing workers at its Decatur facility to combustible dust and other hazards. Proposed penalties total $191,700.

Wage Compliance Effort Set for Guam's Construction Industry

The Wage and Hour Division aims to promote sustained labor law compliance among Guam's contractors and subcontractors working on federally funded construction projects. Guam is experiencing an upsurge of construction projects in preparation for the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan. This relocation will be one of the largest movements of military assets in decades and requires significant infrastructure developments. Partners such as the Guam Department of Labor and the Guam Contractors' Association will assist in identifying and addressing local patterns of noncompliance.

Illinois Company Held in Contempt for Rebuffing OSHA Inspections

All-Feed Processing & Packaging Inc. of Alpha, Ill., has been found in civil contempt of court for failing to allow the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to inspect its Galva facility between May 4 and July 5, 2011. The company has been ordered to pay $31,000 in fines for contempt and $10,964.95 in attorney's fees. Senior District Judge Joe Billy McDade of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division, determined that the company's refusal to allow subsequent inspections of its pet food research and packaging facility in Galva unless OSHA would agree to limitations on time and conditions constituted clear and convincing evidence of a deliberate attempt to evade the warrant requirements issued by the district court.

Two Restaurants in Los Angeles Sued for FLSA Violations

The department has sued two Chan Dara Thai restaurants in Los Angeles after the Wage and Hour Division found the defendants willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay proper overtime wages and maintain required records, as well as for terminating some employees in retaliation for exercising their rights. Investigators identified $104,807 in overtime back wages due to employees. The employer admitted to maintaining two sets of payroll records, one with misleading information. The department also assessed $10,000 in civil money penalties. The department's regional solicitor's office in Los Angeles filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Settlement With Republic Steel to Include Safety Measures, Training

The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reached a settlement with Canton, Ohio-based Republic Steel Inc. resolving citations issued in May 2011 for violations found at the company's facility in Lorain. Republic Steel, formally known as Republic Engineered Products Inc., will pay $235,000 in fines, hire full-time health and safety managers, and improve safety training for workers at its steel mills in federal OSHA's jurisdiction. In addition to the Lorain mill, three other facilities are located in Canton and Massillon, Ohio, and Blasdell, N.Y.

Alabama Gas Station to Pay Back Wages to 6 Cashiers

Raceway 700 in Montgomery, Ala., has agreed to pay six cashiers a total of $27,236 in back wages and liquidated damages following an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division that revealed the gas station violated the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions. Investigators found that the employer had made a verbal agreement with nonexempt hourly employees that violated the FLSA because it did not require the payment of overtime wages when the employees worked more than 40 hours per week. The employer also made deductions during some workweeks from employees' pay to make up for register shortages, which caused pay to fall below the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Sign Maker Cited for Fire, Explosion Hazards

Sign Source USA in Lima, Ohio, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with 26 safety and health violations, including exposing workers to fire and explosion hazards. OSHA initiated a safety inspection of the custom sign manufacturer's plant on Dec. 19, 2011, based on a complaint, and opened a separate health inspection on Jan. 5. Proposed penalties total $67,400.

Child Labor Violations Found at Shopping Mall

Three stores operating in the Jersey Gardens mall — Cold Stone Creamery, Tommy Hilfiger and Mr. Smoothie — were assessed a total of $21,370 in penalties by the Wage and Hour Division for allowing 16- and 17-year-old employees to load and operate trash compactors throughout the Elizabeth, N.J., mall in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act's child labor provisions. The investigations were part of the agency's concentrated effort aimed at curbing child labor violations in New Jersey shopping malls.

Nurses, Aides in Abilene, Texas, to Receive $168,000 in Back Wages

Sears Methodist Retirement System Inc. has agreed to pay $167,805 in back wages to 318 vocational nurses and aides employed at three facilities in Abilene, Texas, after an investigation discovered they violated the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions. The Abilene Field Office found that the company deducted one hour from employees' pay for lunch periods, even though employees took only half-hour breaks for lunch.

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