News Releases

August 19, 2019

Federal Court Sentences Eastern Kentucky Landscape Owner After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation

FLATWOODS, KY – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky has sentenced Michael Anthony Wheeler – owner of Tri-State Lawn Care Inc. operating in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia – to serve five years on unsupervised probation and ordered him to pay $327,087 in back wages to 17 employees for violating requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the H-2A visa program.

August 19, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Penalties to Wisconsin Company For Continually Exposing Employees to Machine Hazards

OSHA cited Choice Products for five egregious willful violations for failing to implement and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional contact with machine operating parts during service and maintenance. Inspectors also determined that the company failed to install machine guarding, and comply with forklift regulations.

OSHA cited Choice Products for exposing employees to similar machine hazards following an October 2016 inspection.

August 16, 2019

Court Sentences Omaha, Nebraska, Resident to Jail, Orders $276,878 In Restitution After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Benefits Fraud

OMAHA, NE – After a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. District Court of Nebraska has sentenced Craig A.

August 15, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Job Corps Contracting Reform

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced the release of the first solicitation under the new firm-fixed price approach to procuring Job Corps center operations on Federal Business Opportunities at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=8ebcfadd06ee5319297bd729f8ed447f&tab=core&_cview=0.

August 15, 2019

Federal Judge Orders Virginia Company’s Former CEO and Institutional Fiduciary to Restore $6,502,500 to Employee Stock Ownership Plan

FOREST, VA – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia has ordered the former CEO of a Virginia packaging equipment company and the bank that acted as a transactional fiduciary of the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to restore $6,502,500 to the plan.

August 15, 2019

CORRECTED: U.S. Department of Labor Invites Stakeholders to an Online Dialogue On Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting an online dialogue to help employers and nursing mothers understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. The Supporting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace dialogue will also solicit best practices to educate nursing mothers about key protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers, nursing mothers, state and local policymakers, and other interested people can participate through Friday, August 23, 2019.

August 15, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Cites New York Frozen Foods Packager For Exposing Employees to Multiple Hazards

BUFFALO, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Arbre Group Holding – doing business as Holli-Pac Inc. – for willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at its Holley, New York, facility. The company, which packages frozen fruits and vegetables for retailers, faces a total of $200,791 in penalties.

August 15, 2019

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report

In the week ending August 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 220,000, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 209,000 to 211,000. The 4-week moving average was 213,750, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 500 from 212,250 to 212,750.

August 14, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Florida Armor Fabrication Company For Exposing Employees to Amputation and Other Safety Hazards

MIAMI LAKES, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Point Blank Enterprises Inc. – operating as The Protective Group in Miami Lakes, Florida – for exposing employees to amputation and other safety hazards. The company faces $92,820 in penalties.

August 14, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Owner of Five Central Florida Hotels Paying $23,368 in Back Wages and Damages to Employees

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Michael Andoniades – the owner of five St. Petersburg, Florida, hotels – has paid $23,368 in back wages and liquidated damages to 30 employees for violating overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The five St. Petersburg hotels involved in the investigation are:

August 14, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes a Rule Clarifying Civil Rights Protections for Religious Organizations

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking intended to clarify the civil rights protections afforded to religious organizations that contract with the federal government. The proposed rule ensures that conscience and religious freedom are given the broadest protection permitted by law.

August 13, 2019

U.S. Labor Department Investigation Results in Colorado Company Paying Back Wages, Damages For Wage Violations in Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Huwa Enterprises – an environmental restoration company based in Keenesburg, Colorado – paid $9,174 in back wages, and an equal amount in liquidated damages for violating the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) while performing reclamation services on pipelines in western Pennsylvania.

August 13, 2019

Federal Contractor Agrees to Pay $175,000 To Settle Alleged Hiring Discrimination

PORTLAND, OR – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Conduent Commercial Solutions LLC – formerly CSG Xerox World – have entered into a conciliation agreement by which the federal contractor has agreed to pay $175,000 in back wages to resolve claims of systemic hiring discrimination at its Portland, Oregon facility.

August 13, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Pennsylvania Manufacturer Paying $358,040 in Back Wages, Damages and Penalties

PHILADELPHIA, PA - In a settlement reached with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Havpak Inc. will pay $158,230 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 126 employees after a WHD investigation found overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at its facilities in King of Prussia and Malvern, Pennsylvania. The Erie, Pennsylvania-based packaging, assembly, and manufacturing employer will also pay a civil money penalty of $41,580 for the willfulness of the violations.

August 12, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Cites California Production Company After Two Employees Suffer Injuries While Filming in Georgia

NORCROSS, GA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Garden Films Productions LLC – based in Culver City, California – for failing to protect employees from hazards while filming a movie. Proposed penalties total $9,472.

August 12, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Los Angeles Business Owner Paying $58,695 to 27 Employees for Overtime Violations

LOS ANGELES, CA – Barbara Batiste – a desserts and catering business owner in Los Angeles, California – will pay $58,695 to 27 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found the employer violated the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

August 12, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Syracuse, New York, Restaurants Paying $184,000 in Back Wages and Damages to 103 Employees

SYRACUSE, NY – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), GV Foods Inc. has paid $92,007 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 103 current and former employees at its Syracuse, New York, restaurants – Peppino’s Neapolitan Express, Honey Cafe, and Peppino’s Pizzeria. The investigation found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

August 9, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Launches Online Help Desk to Provide Compliance Assistance to Federal Contractors and Stakeholders

WASHINGTON, DC Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched the Contractor Assistance Portal, an online help desk to provide enhanced compliance assistance to federal contractors and stakeholders. The virtual online helpdesk is part of a broad push by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide innovative compliance assistance to job creators.

August 9, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Recovers $17,266 in Back Wages and Damages After Investigation of Tampa-Area Restaurant

DUNEDIN, FL – Falzon Management Corp. – a restaurant operating as Kelly’s Chic-a-Boom Room in Dunedin, Florida – has paid $17,266 in back wages and liquidated damages to 48 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found the employer violated minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

August 9, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor Cites New Jersey Landscaper After Two Employees Succumb to Carbon Monoxide Exposure

CRESSKILL, NJ - The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited AJR Landscaping Inc. – based in Cresskill, New Jersey – for exposing employees to carbon monoxide (CO) after two workers succumbed to the toxic gas.