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November 15, 2012
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MSHA at Labor (and at work)

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

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 amended the Coal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1969. Enacted 35 years ago this month, the Mine Act renamed the Mine Enforcement and Safety Administration as the Mine Safety and Health Administration, transferring the agency from the U.S. Department of Interior to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Miners posing after a shift.

 Click on the image for a larger version.

The first federal legislation governing mine safety was passed in 1891, 22 years before the Labor Department was created. The relatively modest legislation applied only to mines in U.S. territories, established minimum ventilation requirements in underground coal mines, and prohibited children under the age of 12 from working in mines.


View the Centennial Timeline
View the Centennial Video


Cornell Symposium at Labor

Secretary Solis welcomes keynote speaker Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the podium.. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

As part of the department's centennial observance, Cornell University's Industrial & Labor Relations Review - a top-ranked scholarly journal - circulated a call for papers focused on improving the quality of workplaces that the department regulates. Throughout 2012, the ILRR coordinated a peer review process to fine tune the papers for publication, and the papers will be published next year. On Nov. 9, the ILRR - in partnership with the department - assembled and hosted a symposium at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C. The authors of the soon-to-be-published papers were joined by a number of distinguished scholars and experts to discuss the department's worker protection strategies, regulatory activities and other topics. Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan D. Krueger gave the keynote address.

View the Slideshow


Enhanced Job Help for Vets

The Veterans' Employment and Training Service has been more proactive in providing enhanced "touch point" employment assistance to separating military personnel, John Moran, deputy assistant secretary for VETS, told the House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on Nov. 15. Moran said the touch points occur when a service member decides to separate from military service, when he or she attends a Transition Assistance Program Employment Workshop, at the point of formal separation, and at approximately 70 days after separation. "Each touch point reinforces the service member's awareness and understanding of the benefits of the American Job Centers," Moran said. Under the Vow to Hire Heroes Act, the departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs began a Veterans Retraining Assistance program to provide unemployed, eligible veterans ages 35 to 60 with retraining assistance to pursue an associate degree or certificate in a high-demand occupation. "As of Nov. 1, there were 59,737 veterans accepted into VRAP," Moran told the subcommittee.

Read Moran's Testimony


BLS Advisory Committees

Bureau of labor Statistics Acting Commissioner John M. Galvin leads the Data Users Advisory Committee meeting at BLS headquarters on Nov. 8.  Click on the image for a larger version.

A daylong meeting of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Users Advisory Committee took place on Nov. 8 at the Postal Square Building in Washington, D.C. Forty-five attendees heard presentations by BLS staff members with discussion periods afterwards soliciting feedback from committee members on how to improve BLS products and services. The committee is composed of highly experienced data users with deep understanding across the broad range of BLS program areas. Members come from various sectors of the U.S. economy, including the labor, business, research, academic and government communities. Some topics discussed involved how best to present different types of BLS data and methodology to the public, and a new data finder that will make it easier to retrieve cross-program data. Speakers included Acting Commissioner Jack Galvin; BLS economists, researchers, systems developers and committee members. That meeting was followed on Nov. 9 by a session held by the BLS Technical Advisory Committee. Topics discussed included the Occupational Employment Statistics Time Series, Enhancements to the Chained CPI, and the Survey of Occupational Illnesses and Injuries Undercount.

Visit the Data Users Website

Visit the Technical Advisory Website


Connecting in Wisconsin

Connecting  Communities in Wisconsin.  View the slideshow for more images and captions.

Community and faith leaders from across Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin came together on Nov. 8 for a Job Clubs and Career Ministries Symposium hosted by the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Jay Williams, director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, addressed the gathering of more than 100 people, commending job clubs and networking groups for the role they have played during the economic recovery. CFBNP Deputy Director Ben Seigel provided information on the Job Clubs Initiative and how community-based job search support groups can get involved. The following morning, Seigel hosted a roundtable meeting at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee with local nonprofits and community-based organizations to discuss the department's job training programs.

View the Slideshow


The Value Veterans Bring

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training Service Ismael Ortiz (r) receives appreciation certificate from Maj. Gen. Joseph Osterman, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command following delivery of his remarks.
 Click on the photo for a larger image.

The Annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball was held on Nov. 10 in Virginia with Ismael Ortiz Jr., deputy assistant secretary of labor for the Veterans' Employment and Training Service as a keynote speaker. Ortiz told an audience of 200 Marines and their spouses about the work currently being conducted by the department to help transitioning service members find gainful employment upon separating from the military. Ortiz was also featured as a keynote speaker at the Veterans Day Program held by Treasury Department's Financial Management Service on Nov. 8. There, Ortiz spoke about the importance of hiring veterans, the values that veterans bring into the workplace and departmental initiatives to help veterans find good jobs. "You can't place a value on greatness and veterans do not know anything but how to be great. It is embedded in their DNA," Ortiz said.


YouthBuild's Path to Success

 Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Jane Oates and Secretary Hilda Solis thank the non-profit leaders for their commitment to helping young people through YouthBuild. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

For many community-based organizations, getting a federal grant can be a game changer for their organization and the people they serve. Last week, approximately 150 representatives from nonprofit organizations across the country participated in a grant orientation program in Washington, D.C., for new 2012 YouthBuild grant recipients. These grantees were the first to receive grant awards since new YouthBuild regulations were published in February 2012. Under the new regulations, occupational skills training was expanded beyond the construction field to include other in-demand occupations, including health care, information technology and heating and air conditioning maintenance. Secretary Solis spoke to the new grantees during the last day of orientation, and stressed the importance of the work they are being asked to do, and the responsibilities that come with being stewards of federal resources. Of the 74 grants awarded in August, approximately 24 of these programs will offer expanded occupational skills training in addition to the core construction skills training.

Read the News Release Announcing Awardees
View the Slideshow


Excellence in Labor Diplomacy

 
 Peter T. Shea receives the Excellence in Labor Diplomacy award.

Click on the photo for a larger image.

The departments of Labor and State jointly presented the Award for Excellence in Labor Diplomacy to Peter T. Shea at the Nov. 14 State Department awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Carol Pier, acting deputy undersecretary of labor for international labor affairs, joined Linda Thomas-Greenfield, director general of the Foreign Service at the State Department, in presenting the award to Shea in recognition of his tireless advocacy for workers, efforts to increase employment and timely reporting on the key role of labor during a period of transition in Egypt. Shea, a Foreign Service officer at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, has 10 years of experience in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Read About the Labor Diplomacy Award


U.S. Private Sector Growing

 
 Click on the photo for a larger image.At the IMF's Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference, DOL Chief Economist Adriana Kugler discusses employment trends, noting that the U.S. private sector has grown for 32 straight months.

How has the 2008 recession affected the U.S. labor market? Chief Economist Adriana Kugler addressed this question at the International Monetary Fund's Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference in Washington, D.C., last week. Kugler joined Harvard University professors Ricardo Hausmann and Lawrence Katz and the World Bank's Martin Rama on the "Policies and Jobs" panel. Before an audience of 250 researchers and policymakers, Kugler noted that the U.S. private sector has added more than 5.4 million jobs over 32 months of uninterrupted growth. "We see evidence that there has been steady improvement and that there has been strong improvement," she said.

Watch the Video


Six Degrees of Job Creation

From left to right, Executive Director of DirectEmployers Bill Warren, National Association of Colleges and Employers Executive Director Marilyn Mackes, Facebook Vice President of Global Public Policy Marne Levine, National Association of State Workforce Agencies President Bonnie Elsey, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis "like" the new Social Jobs Partnership app. 
 Click on the photo for a larger image.

Mark Granovetter coined the phrase "the strength of weak ties" to describe a job-seeking phenomenon: that a large network of social acquaintances is a powerful job-hunting tool. With the goal of leveraging social networks to increase hiring and employment throughout the country, the department last year joined the National Association of Colleges and Employers, DirectEmployers Association, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and Facebook to create the Social Jobs Partnership. This week, the partners released a Facebook app that will help users share more than 1.7 million job opportunities with their networks. A recent SJP/NACE survey found that 50 percent of employers use Facebook in their hiring processes. "Through the expertise of our partners and the foundation of an industry-supported open source job posting schema, the Social Jobs Partnership is helping get America back to work," Secretary Solis said.

Learn More About the Social Job Partnership


Weekly UI Claims

The department reported the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial Unemployment Insurance claims was 439,000 for the week ending Nov. 10, an increase of 78,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average was 383,750, up 11,750 from the previous week's revised average of 372,000.

Read the News Release


Upcoming Deadlines & Events

Open Funding Opportunities

 

EBSA — The Affordable Care Act: Important New Protections for You and Your Family Webcast

November 28 — Online


OFCCP — Community Based Education & Outreach

December 6 — Memphis, TN
December 13 — Memphis, TN
December 20 — Memphis, TN


OFCCP — Compliance Assistance Seminar

November 20 — Boston, MA
November 28 — Boston, MA
December 5 — Boston, MA
December 12 — Boston, MA


OFCCP — Compliance Assistance Seminar — Construction Contractors

November 29 — Memphis, TN
December 20 — Miami, FL


OFCCP — Compliance Assistance Seminar — Supply & Service Contractors

November 27 — Milwaukee, WI

November 28 — Nashville, TN


OFCCP — Construction — Nuts and Bolts

December 5 — Houston, TX


OFCCP — Construction Requirements

December 6 — Columbus, OH


OFCCP — How to Develop an AAP — Small and First Time Contractors

December 5 — Houston, TX


OFCCP — Incumbency vs. Availability Seminar

December 19 — Milwaukee, WI


OFCCP — Internet Applicant Recordkeeping Rule

December 20 — Omaha, NE


OFCCP — Retaliation Complaints

December 6 — Omaha, NE


OFCCP — Workplace Accommodations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

December 5 — Chicago, IL


OSHA — Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health

November 27-30 — Washington, DC


WB — Improved Outcomes for Women Veterans: Brain Injury Services As Part of a Trauma-Informed Environment

November 28 — New York, NY


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What's New

At Annual Salute, Department Renews Commitment to Veterans Hiring

Members of the audience at the 2012 Salute to Veterans held by the Department of Labor.

The department's 2012 Salute to Veterans, in recognition of the increasing numbers of military service members transitioning to the civilian labor force, sounded the theme of "Honoring Veterans by Hiring Veterans." Secretary Solis praised military service, saying the first people she met on a recent trip to Hurricane Sandy recovery sites in New York were reservists called to duty. The department, Solis said, is proud of its programs that help veterans find good-paying civilian careers, especially its efforts to do more for homeless veterans and for women who are returning from combat zones. Solis noted that the department's commitment to veterans employment "begins at home" — more than 3,000 veterans work for the department and more than 400 hold managerial positions. Her remarks at the Salute, held Nov. 15, were followed by a panel discussion led by Ismael Ortiz Jr., deputy assistant secretary of labor, Veterans' Employment and Training Service, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. The panel members were all veterans, and, in the discussion held in the department's César Chávez Auditorium, they related key moments that shaped their careers. The panel participants were Wilma Vaught, president of the board of directors, Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation; Chris Marvin, director of the veterans hiring initiative for Got Your 6; James Lander, head of the Goodwill Industries' veterans and military families services program; Miguel Cumbo, a department employee; and Chauntay Green, who is employed by CACI, a federal contractor at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Read Secretary's Prepared Remarks
View the Slideshow
Watch the 2012 Salute to Veterans

Prepare, Provide, Protect — for the Nation's Veterans

In the next five years, 1.5 million military personnel will be transitioning from active duty to civilian life. Helping our military heroes find good jobs is a challenge — and a sacred obligation — that has been embraced by the department. In its efforts, the department has adopted a P3 campaign — to Prepare transitioning service members for civilian employment; to Provide resources and priority case management to veterans through the American Job Centers network; and to Protect their employment rights. The department is also part of the president's newly created Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force, designed to develop proposals to maximize the career readiness of all service members. This effort aims to give separating service members a clear path to; civilian employment; success in an academic or technical training program; or successful start-up of an independent business entity or nonprofit organization. The Task Force includes the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor, Education, Small Business Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management. The department's commitments to veterans are being led and coordinated by the Veterans' Employment and Training Service.

Visit the VETS Website
Visit the American Job Center
Visit Joining Forces
Learn About My Next Move for Veterans
Learn About the Gold Card
Learn About Veterans Retraining Assistance


International Scene

Consulting With Labor Advisory Committee

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk listen to representatives from the Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy.. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

"Good jobs for everyone" is the department's top priority, and a level international playing field is critical to achieving that goal. Ensuring respect for workers' rights globally prevents countries and companies abroad from gaining an unfair advantage by exploiting workers. This week, top officials from the nation's labor unions joined Secretary Solis and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk for a meeting of the Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy. Attendees discussed job creation in the United States and ongoing challenges in negotiating and enforcing trade agreements' labor protections. Advisory Committee members praised the department for listening to their concerns about the impact of globalization on U.S. workers, and Solis underscored the department's determination to "promote a global labor market that respects international labor standards, that provides decent work, and that is fair to all."

View the Slideshow


News You Can Use

Rebuilding After Superstorm Sandy

Benefits. Click here to go to the benefits website.

Tens of thousands of Americans are rebuilding homes and businesses in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and citizens are turning to local authorities and the federal government for aid. That's where Benefits.gov can help. This collaborative partnership comprises 17 federal agencies with the U.S. Department of Labor as managing partner. As the single online source for more than 1,000 government assistance programs, the site received 225,506 visits shortly before and after Sandy came ashore on Oct. 29 — a 25 percent increase from normal web traffic. The department also supplies technical support to DisasterAssistance.gov, which received more than 1.5 million visits between Oct. 30 and Nov. 13 — representing a staggering spike of 2,357 percent. As recovery continues from Sandy, key agencies in the department, including the Employment and Training Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Wage and Hour Division, are focused on outreach to workers and employers, coordination with federal, state and local agencies, health risk assessments, and other disaster-related matters.

Visit Benefits.gov

Visit DisasterAssistance.gov

Learn About the Department's Hurricane Recovery Assistance

Holiday Sales, Crowd Control and Worker Safety

Retail employers are being encouraged to take precautions to prevent worker injuries during Black Friday and other major sales events during the holiday season by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Crowd-related injuries have increased in the last few years. In 2008, a worker was trampled to death while a mob of shoppers rushed to take advantage of a Black Friday sales event. "Crowd control and proper planning are critical to preventing injuries and deaths," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "OSHA urges retailers to adopt a crowd management plan during the holiday shopping season." Pre-setup and emergency situation preparedness are a part of OSHA's recommended guidelines, which also include barricades or ropes established well in advance of store openings, on-site trained security personnel, and customers' lines that do not start at the store entrance.

Read the News Release

Read the Letter to Retailers

Read the Crowd Management Fact Sheet


DOL Working for You

Minnesota Business Hires Veterans With Fast-Track Training

Pat Patterson. Click on photo for a larger image.

Because veterans "have exceptional qualities and skills," businessman Erick Ajax was determined to hire some vets for his small metal stamping manufacturing company in Minnesota. He found his candidates through the local Hennepin Technical College. Its training program is designed to fast-track students into a manufacturing career and is funded by the department through a community-based job training grant. One Hennepin student was Army veteran Pat Patterson, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was hired by E.J. Ajax & Sons while taking courses toward an associate's degree in machine technology. "I have found a job where I can support my family," Patterson said. Ajax said six post-9/11 veterans from his company have benefitted from training through the college program. Being able to hire talented and tested veterans "is good business," Ajax said.


Georgia Stand Down Gives 'New Beginning' to Homeless Veteran

Elizabeth Reid. Click on photo for a larger image.

As an instructor, Army veteran Elizabeth Reid was used to taking charge while training combat soldiers in first aid techniques. She later held civilian jobs in retail and food services. But a progressive disability suffered during a military training accident kept her from being able to work full time as she got older and she became homeless when her spouse died. Reid attended a veterans' Stand Down sponsored by Goodwill Industries of the Coastal Empire, Savannah, Ga., a grantee of the Veterans' Employment and Training Service. At the Stand Down, Reid got a hot shower and received clothing, medical and dental care. She has also received career counseling services to update her resume and prepare her for job interviews. Reid said she is eager to get back to work and has "hope for a new beginning" in her life.


DOL in Action

Nearly $220 Million Recovered for Madoff Victims

Victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme scored a victory this week with the recovery of nearly $220 million in employee benefit plan and other investments that were stolen by the felon-financier. The department and the New York State Attorney General's Office announced the settlement, which is pending approval in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. If approved by the court, this settlement, combined with expected payments from the Madoff bankruptcy estate, will allow employee benefit plans impacted by Bernard Madoff's scheme to recover all, or nearly all, of the money they invested. The settlement was reached with Ivy Asset Management LLC, J.P. Jeanneret Associates Inc., Beacon Associates Management Corp., Andover Associates Management Corp., and their current and former owners and officers. The settlement resolves department litigation, actions brought by New York's attorney general, and several private lawsuits and class actions brought on behalf of plans and others who invested with Madoff.

Read the Blog Post

Read the News Release


Former Madoff Associate Pleads to Multiple Charges

Irwin Lipkin, the former controller of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court last week to multiple charges following a multi-agency investigation that included the department's Employee Benefits Security Administration and Office of Inspector General. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York prosecuted the case after the investigation found that Lipkin was involved in a conspiracy to commit securities fraud, to falsify records, to make false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and to falsify statements in relation to documents required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. As part of the conspiracy, Lipkin arranged "no-show" jobs for himself and his wife. As a result, they received income from salaries, health care insurance, 401(k) plans, and other benefits to which they were not entitled.

Read the Department of Justice News Release


$787,000 Recovered for Workers After Wage Violations Discovered

Five contractors performing work on a federally funded project at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn., have paid 124 employees $787,548 in back wages following investigations by the Wage and Hour Division. The investigations found that the contractors violated provisions of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts as well as Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, which resulted in the workers being underpaid and not receiving the fringe benefits due them. The five contractors are Complete Automation of Lake Orion, Mich.; Jesco Inc. of Fulton, Miss.; T.W. Frierson Contractor Inc. of Nashville, Tenn.; Electronics Automation Corp. of Columbus, Ohio, and Custom Window Covering of Antioch, Tenn.

Read the News Release


Combustible Dust, Amputation Hazards at Texas Cabinet Maker

Carmen Creative Cabinets LLC was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with 32 serious safety and health violations for exposing workers to a variety of hazards, including combustible dust accumulations and amputations from unguarded saws. OSHA's Austin Area Office initiated an inspection of the company's cabinet manufacturing facility in Belton, Texas, upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards. The safety violations include failing to provide a proper conduit for compressed air and train and certify forklift operators. Proposed penalties total $64,800.

Read the News Release


Settlement Provides Back Wages for Students Repackaging Candies

A settlement agreement reached with The SHS Group, LP, the Council for Educational Travel-USA, and Exel Inc. has resulted in $213,042 in back wages recovered for 1,028 foreign students employed in summer jobs at an Exel-operated facility in Palmyra, Pa. The students were hired to repackage candies for promotional displays, under the State Department's Summer Work Travel program, which is designed to promote educational and cultural exchanges. The settlement resolves federal minimum wage and overtime violations, and also resolves $143,000 in fines against Exel for violations of the occupational noise exposure standard and record-keeping regulations. It also includes commitments by Exel to implement procedures to help ensure future compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act and occupational safety and health standards at each of their more than 300 facilities across the country.

Read the News Release


Utility Cited After Fatality at Joplin Reconstruction Site

Utility company Missouri American Water has been cited for two willful safety violations following the May 16, 2012, death of a worker. The worker suffered fatal injuries when a gas-powered saw kicked back while he and another employee were cutting sections of old cast-iron pipe. The work was part of efforts to reroute underground water lines in a residential neighborhood being rebuilt following the catastrophic tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011. The violations involve exposing workers to "struck-by" hazards and lack of training on pipe-cutting operations.

Read the News Release


Wage Violations Found in Colorado Child Care Industry

An ongoing enforcement initiative conducted by the Wage and Hour Division, focusing on the child care industry in Colorado through 2013, has uncovered significant violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and resulted in the recovery of more than $393,000 in wages for 867 employees. The Denver District Office conducted 103 investigations of child care service providers in Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, including franchises, employers with multiple locations and facilities operating under a state license. Violations include not paying employees for all hours worked; improperly classifying FLSA-covered employees as exempt from receiving overtime compensation; making illegal deductions from employees' wages; paying "straight time" rates for all hours worked, and failing to maintain accurate records of employees' work hours and wages.

Read the News Release


Workers Exposed to Lead Dust, Inspection Finds

Waclaw Cilulko, doing business as American Masonry Inc., has been cited for seven alleged willful health violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's lead standards. An inspection of a commercial building site in Chicago that houses several art studios found workers exposed to excessive amounts of lead during sandblasting operations. Proposed penalties total $196,000. The violations involve failing to implement a written lead compliance program, provide personal protective equipment, provide clean changing rooms or separate storage facilities for protective work clothing to prevent cross-contamination with street clothes, and vacuum and remove lead dust from the work site.

Read the News Release


Janitorial Services Company Debarred for 3 Years

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based janitorial service company Teltara Inc. and five affiliates have been barred from entering into federal contracts for a three-year period. The debarments resulted from a series of investigations by the Wage and Hour Division that determined the company failed to make $840,000 in payments into fringe benefit plans for workers cleaning federal facilities, mostly on military bases. The lapses resulted in lost health care coverage for 77 workers and their families. Employees were able to retroactively submit claims for reimbursement following the department's intervention in the case.

Read the News Release


Court Enforcement Sought to Reinstate Terminated Drivers

The department has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to enforce a final decision and order issued to North Canton, Ohio, trucking company Star Air and owner Robert R. Custer for terminating two truck drivers in violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act's whistleblower provisions. The company has been ordered to pay $612,205. The department's Administrative Review Board issued a final decision to Star Air on Dec. 19, 2011, requiring the company to reinstate the two employees and pay back wages and attorney fees. To date, Star Air has not taken any action to comply, prompting the department's suit, which has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division in Akron.

Read the News Release


Department Files Suit in 2 Ohio Steelworkers Elections

Lawsuits against United Steelworkers of America Local 1104 in Lorain, Ohio, and Local 1190 in Steubenville, Ohio, have recently been filed by the department. The lawsuits seek to nullify the locals' April 2012 elections for the offices of president, vice president, financial secretary, recording secretary, treasurer, trustee, guide, inside guard and outside guard. The lawsuits stem from complaints received by the Office of Labor-Management Standards. The Local 1104 complaint alleged that the union applied an unreasonable meeting attendance requirement, which disqualified 95 percent of union members from running for office. The Local 1190 complaint alleged the union's requirement that candidates attend one third of the local's membership meetings in the two years prior to the election was unreasonable because it disqualified 96 percent of the members. The complaint also alleged the requirement was improperly applied to disqualify a nominee who met the requirement.


Safety Violations Found at Wisconsin Iron Foundry

Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC has been cited for nine safety violations at the company's Berlin iron foundry by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These violations carry $56,320 in proposed penalties. OSHA conducted an inspection in May as a follow-up to an August 2010 inspection. There were two repeat violations for operating a grinder with a missing guard and failing to have a cover on an electrical junction box. Similar violations were cited based on the 2010 inspection.

Read the News Release


112 Hotel Employees to Receive $102,000 in Back Wages

The DoubleTree Hotel Dallas/Richardson has agreed to pay $102,592 in back wages to 112 hotel employees following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigators found that the employer failed to compensate employees for work allegedly performed "off the clock," such as tasks performed prior to or beyond scheduled shift periods, which resulted in minimum wage violations. The employer also took wage deductions for lunch breaks whether or not workers took a lunch period, paid "straight time" for all hours worked rather than time and a half regular rates for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Read the News Release


Texas Bakery Pays $244,770 in Back Wages to 101 Workers

Los Poblanitos LLC, doing business as Panaderia Chuy Bakery, has paid $244,770 in back wages to 101 restaurant and bakery employees at two of the company's locations in Austin. An investigation by the Wage and Hour Division's San Antonio District Office found that cooks, cashiers and bakery staff did not always receive at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, and were not paid the proper overtime rate. Instead, the employees were paid fixed salaries without regard to actual hours worked or the Fair Labor Standards Act's requirements.

Read the News Release


Overtime Violations Found at Mississippi Roofing Company

Mandal's Inc. of Gulfport, Miss., has agreed to pay $85,106 in back wages to 94 employees following a Wage and Hour Division investigation that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer paid workers "straight-time" for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek rather than time one and one-half their regular rates. The employer also failed to keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid. Mandal's is a roofing and sheet metal company that builds and services roofs and other structures.

Read the News Release



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