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March 21, 2013
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Women's History/Our History:
Carin Clauss, A First

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

Carin Ann Clauss advocated for equality throughout her career, both in and out of court. And by example. She won praise for successful arguments related to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. As the department's first woman solicitor, Clauss provided daily evidence of what a capable, dedicated woman could achieve if given the opportunity. Clauss joined the department in 1963 after graduating from Columbia Law School. She advanced quickly, serving as an attorney, special assistant, deputy counsel and counsel before becoming associate solicitor for the Fair Labor Standards Division in 1971. Between 1965 and 1976, Clauss briefed or argued nearly every equal pay case that reached the court of appeals. On Feb. 24, 1977, President Jimmy Carter picked her from the career ranks and nominated her to be solicitor of labor. At the time of her Senate

Carin A. Clauss is sworn in as the first woman solicitor of labor by Secretary Ray Marshall (left). Click for larger image.

confirmation, she was only 38 years old. From 1977 to 1981, Clauss directed all of the department's legal activities, including litigation, rulemaking and advisory opinion services. Today, she teaches labor and employment law courses at the University of Wisconsin Law School and provides pro bono legal services, specializing in sex discrimination. M. Patricia Smith, the current solicitor, is the second woman to hold the job. Since the department was founded in 1913, there have been 34 solicitors of labor.

View the Centennial Timeline
View the Centennial Video

Work In Progress: The Best of Our Blog

Each week, this space will bring you the best from our (Work in Progress) blog.

2012 Veterans Employment Report Reveals Positive Signs: Signs of progress on getting veterans back to work as our economy steadily recovers were abundant in an annual report on veterans employment issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 20. Acting Secretary of Labor Harris points out both the encouraging statistics for veterans overall and the positive downward trends in the unemployment rates for several veteran populations. "We must continue to use every tool available to honor their sacrifice by helping them find opportunities to succeed in good middle-class jobs," Harris writes.

Supporting Our Service Women: Writing jointly to commemorate Women's History Month, Keith Kelly, assistant secretary of labor for veterans' employment and training, and Latifa Lyles, acting director of the Women's Bureau, praise the fortitude of women veterans and highlight the department's efforts to provide services that help them successfully transition to civilian careers.

Technology as a Tool of Inclusion: Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez writes about her visit to the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference at the California State University of Northridge and discusses the role of assistive technology in ODEP initiatives.

Supporting Working Families

Acting Secretary Harris tells the group that the Labor Department and the Obama administration stand with public employees. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

In a speech to the International Association of Firefighters 2013 legislative conference, acting Secretary of Labor Harris celebrated the heroism of firefighters and other public servants who "are the heartbeat of communities nationwide." Harris gave an impassioned defense of public employee unions and their collective bargaining rights in the face of a "withering assault." The Labor Department and the Obama administration, Harris said, "stand with public employees in their struggle, committed to building an economy that strengthens and expands the middle class." He added, "If the financial sector was too big to fail — then I think America's firefighter's courage is too big for us to fail them."

Read Harris' Remarks
View the Slideshow

Agriculture Forums in the West

Wage and Hour Division Assistant Administrator for Policy Michael Hancock and Regional Administrator in the West Ruben Rosalez speak to reporter Richard Coe from The Bulletin after the Western Agricultural Forum in Portland, Oregon on March 18. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

Agriculture employers and worker advocacy groups attended two stakeholder forums March 18 and 19 hosted by the Wage and Hour Division in Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash. Michael Hancock, the division's assistant administrator for policy, and Ruben Rosalez, regional administrator, spoke about compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, and the H-2A program, among other federal laws. Hancock highlighted the need to ensure compliance with labor standards to help eliminate the unfair competitive advantage that some employers gain from paying workers substandard wages. Topics included the division's investigative process, child labor rules, the need to keep accurate records of wages paid and hours worked, and FLSA's "hot goods" provision. He also stressed that the vast majority of employers want to comply with the law and that the department will provide assistance in understanding requirements.

View the Slideshow
Learn About FLSA
Learn About MSPA

Safety First in Little Rock

OSHA Area Director Carlos Reynolds (dark jacket) and Wayne Alley, executive vice president of VCC, shake hands after signing the partnership. David Trigg, CAS in OSHA's Little Rock office (far left) and John Ellis, Safety Director of VCC, look on. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

Better health and safety for construction workers at the 120,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shop project in Little Rock, Ark., is a top priority of a new partnership between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and VCC, LLC. "This partnership affirms a shared commitment toward providing a safer work environment on this project," said Carlos Reynolds, OSHA's area director in Little Rock. OSHA and VCC will work together to reduce serious workplace injuries and illnesses at the worksite, increase the number of safety and health programs among contractors and subcontractors and build a relationship focused on preventing work-related fatalities.

Learn About OSHA Partnerships
View the Slideshow

Safety Alliance for Steel Workers

At the alliance signing are from left to right:  Michael Tierney, president, Steel Erectors Association of Metropolitan Philadelphia and Vicinity Inc.; Frank Marsh, apprentice coordinator, Iron Workers Local Union No. 401; Joseph Dougherty, business manager, Iron Workers Local Union No. 401 and Domenick Salvatore, director,  OSHA Philadelphia Area Office. Click for larger image.

An alliance that has provided safety and health cross-training sessions to more than 1,300 steel erection workers and safety and health professionals in the Philadelphia area since its inception in November 2008 was renewed on March 19. The alliance partners are the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Steel Erectors Association of Metropolitan Philadelphia and Vicinity Inc., and Iron Workers Local Union No. 401. The partners will continue to promote workplace safety and health, provide guidance and training resources for steel erection workers, and enhance awareness of OSHA's fall prevention campaign.

Read the News Release

Atlanta's 'Fireside Chat'

Panelists participants included (left to right) Paulette Norvel Lewis, regional administrator of the Women's Bureau; Monica Richardson, managing editor of Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Jannet Walker, vice president Transportation Business Group/Aviation CH2MHill; Nita Sardana, vice president of community outreach and corporate giving for American Cyber systems, Inc.; Rabbi Analia Bortz, M.D., bioethicist and Rabbi Congregation Or Hadash; Alvetta Peterman Thomas, Ed. D., president of Atlanta Technical College and Sharmen Gowens, interim CEO of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta.Click for larger image.

For a fourth year, the Women's Bureau and the YWCA of Greater Atlanta have collaborated to present "The Story Behind the Story: A Fireside Chat." On March 14, more than 100 women attended the Women's History Month event designed to provide working women and girls with inspiration, encouragement and an appreciation of the contributions and professional journeys of successful women in the community. Dr. Alvetta Peterman Thomas, president of Atlanta Technical College, urged young women to look at each life experience, positive and negative, as a learning experience that would ultimately create a beautiful patchwork quilt of their lives. "Although an individual piece may not be particularly attractive, when it is viewed in perspective it adds to the beauty of the quilt and tells the compelling story of your life," Thomas said.

Changing Young Lives

Colorado's Lt. Governor Joe Garcia (on left), Kelly Causey, Ph.D. (white helmet), chief executive officer of the Mile High Youth Corps, and Dusti Gurule, the secretary's regional representative in Denver (on right), listen as participants share personal stories about how impactful the YouthBuild program is for them. Click for a larger image

As part of national AmeriCorps Week, the Secretary's Regional Representative Dusti Gurule joined Colorado state officials at a YouthBuild program in Denver on March 14. Eight YouthBuild participants shared compelling stories about how AmeriCorps and YouthBuild changed their lives. Among the officials on hand at the Denver Housing Authority's Mariposa Project in the La Alma neighborhood were Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia; Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National Service; Ellen Golombek of the Colorado Department of Labor, and Lindsay Dolce, executive director of Serve Colorado.

Learn About YouthBuild

Honoring Women Veterans

Heather Leiby (in vest) discusses progress and challenges for women veterans.. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

"What was a band of brothers has truly become a band of brothers and sisters." In that spirit, guest speaker Heather Leiby of the Army Community Services at Natick Soldier Systems Center celebrated the progress of women veterans and their contributions to the nation. Leiby, speaking at a March 20 event hosted by the Women's Bureau's Boston office, also noted the challenges women veterans face today, including homelessness and post-traumatic stress disorder. Jacqueline Cooke, Women's Bureau regional director, and Angela Rizzolo, program analyst, discussed the agency's initiatives to assist women veterans, including the "Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Service Providers."

Read the Trauma Guide

Reaching Out to Women

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Women's Bureau is participating in events across the country that educate women about initiatives to improve workplace opportunities and build stronger families. On March 16, the bureau's regional administrator, Jacqueline Cooke, gave the keynote address at the Rho Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Women's Day Brunch in Wellesley, Mass. Cooke talked about the agency's history of working for women, the changing demographics of women in the workplace, the path to economic security through high paying jobs in nontraditional occupations, promoting equal pay for women, workplace flexibility and helping women veterans reintegrate into the workforce.

Read About Equal Pay
Read About Workplace Flexibility

Discussing Key Issues

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez visits Arizona Bridge to Independent Living in Phoenix and the Disability Empowerment Center. From left to right, standing: Amina Kruck, Martinez, Darrel Christenson, Sherri Collins;  front row: Jennifer Longdon, Phil Pangrazio, Peri Jude Radecic. Click for larger image

Global competitiveness, growing the middle class, and disability issues were topics of discussion by Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, in Phoenix on March 15 for a meeting with community leaders. She also discussed immigration with disability advocates at the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living's Disability Empowerment Center, saying, "the promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that's always been one of our greatest strengths." Martinez met with tribal leaders at the Gila River Indian Community to talk about matters affecting Native Americans.

Promoting Flexible Policies

To promote cross-cultural dialogue on disability law and policy, Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, participated in a panel discussion at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles on March 18. Martinez joined American and Japanese experts on disability employment in discussing policy challenges and effective strategies related to increasing the employment of people with disabilities in both countries. Martinez highlighted programs and tools that ODEP is using to address issues such as workplace flexibility, accessible technology and access to generic job systems. "Employment policy should be based on valid and reliable data and clearly work to better our society in a flexible and adaptable way," she said.

Learn About Workplace Flexibility
Learn About Accessibility and Accommodations
Learn About the Disability Employment Initiative

Connecting Workers to Jobs

Workforce investment and training for in-demand skills were predominant themes in recent speeches by Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Jane Oates. In Cleveland on March 15, Oates delivered a keynote address to the Strategic Workforce Alignment Group, a project of the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board. She highlighted the department's priorities for workforce investment and gave her perspective on the workgroup's efforts to connect workers with the credentials valued by industry. At the 50th Annual American Technical Education Association National Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn., on March 21, in another keynote, Oates shifted the focus of her remarks to technical education, while reinforcing the importance of working with businesses to identify their most pressing needs and sharing best practices on connecting skilled workers to opportunity.

Safety at Stone, Sand & Gravel

The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association convened its alliance committee meeting with the Mine Safety and Health Administration on March 19, during its annual convention in San Antonio. Joseph Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, addressed the association's board of directors, which represents the crushed stone, sand and gravel-construction aggregates production industries. Main highlighted MSHA initiatives and improvements to mine safety, noting that mining fatalities and injuries are the lowest they have ever been. But, he added, "There is still much more to be done to provide miners the opportunity to go to work, put in their shift and return home safe and healthy each day. That is our mission and that is our goal. Together we can make that happen."

Learn About the 1977 Mine Act

Weekly UI Claims

The department reported the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial Unemployment Insurance claims was 336,000 for the week ending March 16, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average was 339,750, down 7,500 from the previous week's revised average.

Read the News Release

Upcoming Deadlines & Events

Open Funding Opportunities

OASAM — Vendor Outreach Session

April 17 — Washington, DC

OFCCP — Analyzing Personnel Activity Data

April 3 — Columbus, OH

OFCCP — Analyzing Your Compensation Data

March 27 — Milwaukee, WI

OFCCP — Compliance Seminar and Job Fair

April 12 — Lakewood, WA

OFCCP — Compliance Assistance Seminar: Supply & Service Contractors

March 27 — Nashville, TN

OFCCP — Construction Requirements

April 4 — Omaha, NE

OFCCP — Developing Written Affirmative Action Programs/ Workplace Accommodations

March 22 — Columbus, OH

OFCCP — HIV/AIDS Outreach Event

April 16 — Boston, MA

OFCCP — How to Avoid Costly Employment Practices

April 17 — Houston, TX

OFCCP — Internet Applicant Record Keeping

April 17 — Orange, CA

OFCCP — Individuals with Disabilities Seminar

April 3 — Milwaukee, WI

OFCCP — Meeting of the State Consumer Advisory Board

April 16 — Boston, MA

OFCCP — Preparing Small and New Supply and Service Contractors for an Audit

April 3 — Pittsburgh, PA
April 16 — Philadelphia, PA
April 18 — Baltimore, MD

OFCCP — Public Briefing on OFCCP's Feb. 28 Rescission of the 2006 Compensation Guidance and New Investigation Protocols

March 22 — Webinar
March 22 — Webinar

OFCCP — Understanding AAP Requirements

April 9 — Dallas, TX

OFCCP — Workplace Accommodations

April 18 — Omaha, NE

OFCCP — What to Expect During an OFCCP Audit - Overview of 503 and 4212

April 18 — Columbus, OH

OLMS — Compliance Assistance Seminar

March 26 — San Francisco, CA
March 26 — San Francisco, CA

OSHA — Stakeholder Meetings on Crane Operator Certification Requirements

April 2-3 — Washington, DC

WB — Celebrating Children and Literacy

April 27 — Detroit, MI

WB — Federal Labor Standards: Prevailing Wage and FLSA Training

April 25 — Kansas City, MO

WB — Green Jobs Guide Webinar

March 27 — Atlanta, GA

WB — Green Jobs Workshop

April 30 — Philadelphia, PA

WB — Trauma-Informed Care Webinar

March 26 — Atlanta, GA

WB — Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in STEM

March 27 — Boston, MA

WB — World Green Energy Symposium

March 26 — New York, NY

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What's New

President Announces Thomas Perez for Secretary of Labor

Thomas Perez delivers remarks after President Barack Obama announced Perez as his nominee for Labor Secretary, in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2013.  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). Click for larger image.

Growing the nation's economy and strengthening the middle class is the top priority of President Obama, and he sounded those themes on March 18 when he announced the nomination of Thomas E. Perez to be the next secretary of labor. Perez currently serves as the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. He previously served as the secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, which enforces workplace safety laws, wage and hour laws and a range of consumer rights laws. In Maryland, the president said, Perez "helped implement the country's first statewide living-wage law, because he understood that a minimum wage should be a wage that you can live on." Perez, the president said, "understands that our economy works best when the middle class and those working to get into the middle class have the security they need on the job, a democratic voice in the workplace, everybody playing by the same set of rules."

Watch the Announcement

Report for 2012 Shows Significant Drop in Veterans' Unemployment

Veterans Unemployment - Annual Average 2006 to 2012. Click for larger image.

The unemployment rate for Gulf War-era II veterans — those who served on active duty at any time after September 2001 — fell by 2.2 percentage points in 2012, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released March 20. The jobless rate for all veterans fell from 8.3 percent in 2011 to 7 percent in 2012. "While this morning's report shows that we are moving in the right direction on reducing unemployment among America's veterans, much more needs to be done to ensure that no veteran struggles to find work after serving honorably to keep us safe and secure," acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris said. The report is compiled annually by BLS to provide year-over-year data on veterans' employment, and includes a supplement to the August 2012 survey that expands the collected data to include information on topics such as service-connected disability and current or past Reserve of National Guard membership.

Read the BLS Report
Read the Statement by Acting Secretary Harris
Learn About Veterans Employment Services

Nation's Workers Make Case for Minimum Wage Raise

Acting Secretary Seth D. Harris listens as Casey Foley discusses raising the federal minimum wage at John H. Boner Community Center in Indianapolis. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

Acting Secretary Harris made stops in Ohio and Indiana on March 20 as part of his promise to meet with low-wage workers across the country and hear how a raise in the federal minimum wage would help them. "My commitment to you is that if you share your stories with me, I'll share them with those in Washington," Harris told a gathering in Cincinnati where he was joined by Mayor Mark Mallory. In the Queen City, worker Debra Cofer echoed other workers from around the country who tell of hardship in just trying to afford the basics. "A raise would allow me to do those things I need to do, not just what I want to do, but what I need to do," she told Harris. Next door in the Hoosier state, Kenji Williams told Harris at a discussion in Indianapolis, "You end up borrowing money until you get your paycheck, only to have to pay that back when you do get your paycheck and you end up not being able to pay your bills." Harris has met with workers in eight states since President Obama called for raising the federal minimum wage in his State of the Union address from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour by 2015. Harris plans on meeting with more workers across the country in the weeks ahead.

View the Slideshow
Read the President's Proposal

From Midwest to Southwest, a Call for a Raise

William Ivey talks about raising the federal minimum wage with acting deputy administrator for the Wage and Hour Division, Mary Beth Maxwell, in Gary, Ind., on March 20. Click for larger image.

The acting deputy administrator for the Wage and Hour Division, Mary Beth Maxwell, also has been meeting with workers around the country about raising the federal minimum wage. She made a stop in Indiana on March 20 and listened to workers in the city of Gary discuss their struggles to afford necessities like food, housing and transportation. They also remarked on how an increase in pay will not only lessen that struggle, but lead to greater self-worth. "With a little extra money to save, it makes you feel human," said William Ivey who holds down several jobs. "All of us at this table are living paycheck to paycheck." In the Lone Star State on March 14, Maxwell heard from Irasema Cavazos in San Antonio who underscored the respect that many low-wage working Americans have for the value of work over accepting government support. "We don't want handouts; we know there is dignity in work," she said. "We want to be compensated for work. We want to work, to raise a family." Maxwell also visited Houston on March 15 and heard from workers there.

Read About the Minimum Wage

National News

$20 Million in Training Grants for Work Release Participants

Adult inmates in work release programs will soon have opportunities to prepare to re-enter the workforce, the department announced on March 18. About $20 million in grant funds will be made available through the Training to Work-Adult Re-entry program. The department expects to award 15 grants of up to $1.4 million each to organizations that will provide training and employment services. Grantees will focus on in-demand industries and occupations in which ex-offenders are eligible to work. Research shows that ex-offenders are more likely to obtain employment and career growth if they acquire industry-recognized credentials.

Read the News Release
Learn About Reintegration of Adult Ex-Offenders

Preparing for Retirement: 'What Can I Do?'

Phyllis C. Borzi makes a point as forum participants listen in. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

The public has an ongoing need for information and guidance on investing and preparing for retirement, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis Borzi said at a roundtable on March 15. Borzi's remarks came at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' "Financial Literacy and the Educated American" forum in Cambridge, Mass. "People ask 'What can I do?' They want to talk to a real person and get practical advice," Borzi said. She then outlined how the department's efforts to educate workers about, and protect them from, conflicted advice fit into the financial literacy picture.

View the Slideshow
Learn More About the Department's Efforts
Read the EBSA Newsletter

Keeping Jobs in the USA

A total of $40 million in funding from four federal agencies is now being offered to qualified applicants to develop projects that accelerate job creation by encouraging insourcing by U.S. firms. The Employment and Training Administration is partnering with the Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Delta Regional Authority to build upon the Obama administration's bottom-up approach to strengthening the economy by partnering with state, regional and local co-investors. Applications for the "Make it in America" Challenge funding will be accepted until May 31. Proposed projects should "foster increased foreign direct investment, encourage companies who are considering leaving the U.S. to keep or expand their businesses — and jobs — here at home, and training local workers to meet the needs of those businesses."

Learn About the "Make it in America" Challenge

Pathways to Prosperity for Young People

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Jane Oates participates in a panel at the 'Creating Pathways to Prosperity' conference at Harvard University in Boston, March 18, 2013. Click for larger image

The persistent difficulties of preparing young people for good jobs in the current economic recovery were the subject of a conference at Harvard University in Boston on March 18. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Jane Oates appeared on a panel discussion entitled "Where Are the Jobs for Young Adults?" along with representatives from industry, academia and the nonprofit sector. Moderated by Jonas Prising of the ManPower Group, the conference's plenary session was designed to "examine the education and skills young people need to succeed; the outlook for youth employment; and what we must do to improve prospects for young adults." Oates affirmed that the Employment and Training Administration is committed to getting young people the training they need to thrive in the workforce.

International Scene

Meeting Under Korea-US Free Trade Agreement

Carol Pier (4th from left) opens the Labor Affairs Council meeting on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.  Seated with her from left to right are:  Dr. Timothy Wedding of the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, Bryant Trick of USTR, Assistant US Trade Representative Lewis Karesh, Pier, ILAB's Eric Biel and Dr. Yeong Don Na, Director General, International Cooperation for the Republic of Korea. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

The Labor Affairs Council convened on March 18-19 at the department's headquarters for the first meeting on implementation of the labor provisions of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Carol Pier, acting deputy undersecretary of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, said in a statement that "we look forward to continuing the productive discussions we started here and to pursuing our shared goals of closer cooperation on important labor issues of common interest." Participants attending this first meeting included representatives from the department, the Department of State, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor, and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The discussion focused on plans to move forward to share best practices on collection and analysis of employment and labor statistics and to initiate collaboration on advancing corporate compliance with international labor standards in global supply chains.

Read the News Release
Read the Joint Statement with USTR
View the Slideshow

Around DOL

Signs, Cranes and Derricks

A special meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health convened March 18 at the department. Committee members considered a proposed update to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's standard on accident prevention signs and tags in all industries including construction. Proposed standards in construction and general industry are based on revisions in the American National Standards Institute consensus standard, and give employers the option of applying newer design standards to signs already required by OSHA's standards. The newer design standards allow signs that are more descriptive of hazards. Proposed amendments and corrections to OSHA's Cranes and Derricks standards, published in August 2010, were also discussed at the meeting.

Learn About ACCSH

DOL Working for You

Transition Program Helps Solider Make the Move to a New Career

Stephen Landrum. Click to view larger image.

The Transition Assistance Program that 10-year Army veteran Stephen Landrum recently underwent at Ft. Riley in Kansas exposed his weakness. Landrum said he realized he was being too structured and rigid in his personal interactions and used too much military jargon in his resume. Stephen Heyman, Landrum's TAP instructor and a former Air Force veteran, acknowledged that some of his students came to the military right out of high school and many never had to prepare a resume or go for a job interview. In the three-day TAP class, designed to prepare military personnel for civilian jobs, Heyman worked with Landrum and his classmates on how

Stephen Heyman. Click to view larger image.

to translate their military skills and experiences into easily understood resumes with terminology designed to impress potential employers. The classmates also went through mock job interviews aimed at sharpening their answers. The TAP classes, Landrum said, "gave me the tools I needed to represent myself to an employer" making him "more suited to a civilian position." Landrum said he had worked in radio and computer communications in the military and operated and repaired "anything that got plugged into a wall socket." A few months later, Landrum accepted an offer to move to Michigan and work for General Motors where he installs, configures and maintains their exchange servers.

DOL in Action

Job Assistance for Former Hostess Workers in Missouri

Under a $2,183,749 National Emergency Grant awarded by the department on March 19, nearly 400 workers in Missouri affected by the closure of Hostess Brands Inc. will receive training and re-employment services. While most of the workers were employed at 39 work sites throughout Missouri, the grant also will serve residents who worked at three locations in Kansas and one in Oklahoma. The grant was awarded to the Missouri Division of Workforce Development to provide training and support services as well as benefits available under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program to help affected workers successfully find new jobs.

Read the News Release

Court Grants Judgment Against Kentucky Mine Operator

Failure to pay more than $1.6 million in civil penalties has resulted in a default judgment against D & C Mining Corp., of Harlan County, Ky. In March 2012, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and U.S. Attorney's Office filed a complaint against the coal mine operator. The complaint alleged that D & C failed to pay penalties for 1,244 violations cited in a six-year period. Two weeks ago, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky granted the judgment. "Not only has this mine operator repeatedly disregarded health and safety standards and put its miners at tremendous risk, it flouts any attempt by the federal government to collect penalties for violations that have been assessed," said Joseph Main, the assistant secretary of labor who heads MSHA. "MSHA will continue to work with the Department of Justice to pursue mine operators that blatantly refuse to pay their penalties while continuing to operate."

Read the News Release

Restaurant Initiative in Florida Finds Widespread Violations

An ongoing enforcement initiative focused on full-service restaurants in Florida has found widespread violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime and child labor provisions. During 2012, the Wage and Hour Tampa District Office conducted more than 80 investigations of restaurants that resulted in nearly $500,000 in minimum wage and overtime back wages for more than 800 employees. These investigations also resulted in the assessment of liquidated damages and civil money penalties. The division is committed to strengthening compliance in this industry and is collaborating with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to ensure compliance.

Read the News Release

Don Gallo Restaurants in Tennessee to Pay Back Wages

Don Gallo Mexican Grill LLC and Specialty Food Marketing LLC, doing business as Don Gallo, Las Limas Mexican Restaurant Inc. and Don Gallo Mexican Cuisine, in Knoxville, Tenn., have agreed to pay $29,061 in back wages to 43 employees. This action follows an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions. Eduardo Lopez, owner and operator of Don Gallo Mexican Cuisine, was also assessed $2,431 in civil penalties for repeat violations. Investigators found that many kitchen staff employees were improperly classified as exempt from overtime pay and were paid a fixed monthly salary without regard to the actual number of hours worked.

Read the News Release

Connecticut Auto Body Shop Faces Fines for Repeat Violations

Hoffman Auto Body Shop of East Hartford, Conn., has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards. OSHA's Hartford office re-inspected the business to verify correction of hazards cited during a 2011 inspection. OSHA found recurring hazards from the storage of equipment and materials, some flammable, near paint spray booths and electric panels. The stored materials limited access to extinguish potential fires, presented fire and shock hazards and impeded cleaning around the booths, allowing potentially combustible materials to accumulate. The auto body repair shop faces proposed fines of $54,300.

Read the News Release

Michigan Union to Hold New Election Following Investigation

A Michigan union has decided to hold a new officer election after an Office of Labor-Management Standards investigation found multiple problems with the original vote. Last month, the American Federation of Government Employees, on behalf of Local 2274, located in Saginaw, Mich., agreed to conduct new nominations and a new election for president, first vice president and chief steward by May 31. The supervised election will supersede a vote held last July. The OLMS investigation disclosed that Local 2274 failed to comply with a reasonable request to distribute campaign literature; failed to treat candidates equally with respect to campaign literature distribution; failed to elect officers by secret ballot; failed to provide adequate safeguards to ensure a fair election, and failed to properly count the ballots.

Violations Found at New Jersey Recycling Company

Lieze Associates, doing business as Eagle Recycling of New Jersey, was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with one repeat and three serious safety violations. OSHA's investigation was initiated after a worker's fingers were amputated in December 2012 at the company's North Bergen, N.J., recycling transfer station. Investigators found that procedures were not used to lock out the energy source of a conveyor belt system while the worker was clearing a cardboard jam, which resulted in the amputation. The recycling company faces $70,070 in penalties.

Read the News Release

Georgia Printing Company Faulted on Family Medical Leave Act

H&W Printing Inc., of Marietta, Ga., has paid $31,863 in back wages to 69 employees following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division. The investigation revealed violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions. The company failed to notify an employee of their rights and responsibilities under FMLA and did not designate an eligible employee's qualifying leave as FMLA-protected. Additionally, the employer misclassified employees as independent contractors during a 90-day probationary period and, consequently, denied them overtime compensation. The department also assessed $7,741 in civil penalties for the company's repeat violations of the FLSA.

Read the News Release

Laundry Company Faces Penalties for Safety and Health Violations

Brite Services Inc., doing business as Star Laundry, was cited for 39 serious safety and health violations at its commercial laundry facility in Paterson, N.J. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's investigation was prompted by a complaint alleging the company would not allow workers to leave the building during an emergency. The cited violations included electrical hazards, an obstructed and improperly marked exit route, employees potentially struck by traffic while transporting laundry bins from one building to another while crossing a public street, and a lack of safety equipment to protect the employees' vision and hearing. The company faces $164,700 in proposed penalties.

Read the News Release

Penalties Proposed for Roofing Contractor After Worker Injured by Fall

Conte Roofing Co. Inc. in Ridgefield, N.J., has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with six safety violations. OSHA's investigation was initiated after a worker fell through a roof and suffered a broken neck at a Moonachie, N.J., work site. The company faces $57,300 in proposed penalties for violations including failure to provide fall protection and training for workers performing roof work, a ladder not properly extended above the landing surface, and a lack of ladder training.

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Child Labor Violation Found at Tennessee Sawmill

Tennessee Timber and Lumber Inc., a sawmill in Ashland City, Tenn., has paid $7,800 in penalties and $3,739 in back wages. This action follows an investigation that found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's child labor and overtime provisions. Wage and Hour Division investigators found a 14-year-old operating a chain saw, removing lumber from a conveyor and loading scrap wood into a wood chipper in violation of FLSA's Hazardous Occupation Orders No. 4 and 14. The orders prohibit workers under the age of 18 from being employed at any sawmill, and specifically prohibits minors from being employed in any occupation involving the operation of a chain saw or wood chipper.

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Workers Exposed to Amputation Hazards at Recycling Facility

Ecorec Rio Grande Valley Inc. has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing workers to amputation hazards. Following a complaint, an investigation at the company's recycling facility in Edinburg, Texas, resulted in 17 serious violations and $74,900 in proposed penalties. According to OSHA, the company did not provide machine guarding, had inoperable emergency stop buttons; did not provide control of hazardous energy to prevent workers from being crushed when working inside a baling machine; did not provide fire protection in the event combustibles should spark, and did not ensure electrical circuits have a path-to-ground.

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Nebraska Agricultural Equipment Manufacturer Cited for Violations

CNH America LLC has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with 10 safety violations at its Grand Island agricultural equipment manufacturing facility. Proposed penalties of $51,000 resulted from the local emphasis program inspection for high-hazard general industry establishments, as identified by injury and illness rates in Nebraska. The 10 serious violations included electrical hazards, failing to ensure compressed gas cylinders were properly stored and secured and not removing a powered industrial truck from service after inspections revealed safety hazards.

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Electrical Hazards Found at Rail Transit Manufacturer

Morton, Pa., rail transit manufacturer UTCRAS Inc. was cited with 27 health and safety violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The violations found at the company's Morton facility included electrical hazards, failure to provide machine guarding, no lockout/tagout program for the energy sources of equipment, and compressed gas and flammable liquids improperly handled and stored. OSHA's investigation resulted in $60,900 in proposed penalties.

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Overtime Violations at Landscaping Company in North Carolina

KBE Landscaping Inc. of Garner, N.C., has agreed to pay 33 employees $14,651 in back wages following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division. The investigation determined the company failed to pay employees overtime at time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked in excess of 40. Instead, KBE Landscaping paid overtime only for hours worked beyond 45 in a workweek. The company also failed to pay employees for time spent transporting equipment from the last job site of the day back to the company's headquarters. These unpaid hours resulted in additional violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime requirements.

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Workers Exposed to Scaffolding Hazards at Arkansas Project

Builders Stone and Supply, doing business as J & S Plastering, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with 11 serious and one repeat safety violation. The violations were for exposing workers to scaffolding and other safety hazards at a company work site in Fayetteville, Ark. The investigation was part of the agency's regional emphasis program on construction, designed to prevent fatalities and injuries in the construction industry. Investigators determined that workers were applying stucco, at heights up to 26 feet, to the exterior surfaces of a student housing complex building at the University of Arkansas without adequate scaffolding protection. Penalties of $69,300 have been proposed.

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Gas Pipeline Contractor Faces Fines for Repeat Trenching Hazards

Henkels & McCoy Inc., a gas pipeline contractor, was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with one repeat violation for trenching hazards found at a Bayonne, N.J., work site. The company's Pipeline Division is based in Norman, Okla. OSHA inspectors found workers in an 11-foot deep trench were working without the proper protection and exposed to struck-by and crushing injuries from a potential cave-in. The company faces $70,000 in penalties.

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