December 30, 2021

US Department of Labor announces enforcement policy on disclosure requirements for group health plan service providers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration today released Field Assistance Bulletin 2021-03 announcing a temporary enforcement policy regarding the new fee transparency disclosure requirements added to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for persons providing brokerage services and consulting to ERISA group health plans.

December 30, 2021

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report

In the week ending December 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 198,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 205,000 to 206,000. The 4-week moving average was 199,250, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since October 25, 1969 when it was 199,250. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 206,250 to 206,500.

December 29, 2021

US Department of Labor releases Information Copies of the 2021 Form 5500 Series Annual Return/Report

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation today released informational copies of the 2021 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and related instructions – including the Form 5500-SF. The IRS also released the 2021 Form 5500-EZ and instructions, which are posted on the EBSA website.

December 29, 2021

US Department of Labor awards $8.4M grant to address child labor, forced labor, unacceptable work conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of an $8.4 million cooperative agreement to the Pan American Development Foundation to empower civil society organizations and workers’ organizations to address child labor, forced labor and other unacceptable working conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The project will promote gender and racial equity and prioritize people of African descent, Garifuna and indigenous communities.

December 29, 2021

US Department of Labor announces rescission of Final Rule on Form T-1 Trust Annual Report filing

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the rescission of the Final Rule on “Labor Organization Annual Financial Report for Trusts in which a Labor Organization is Interested, Form T-1.

December 27, 2021

US Department of Labor finds Fairdale country club failed to pay minimum, overtime wages, violated child labor laws; recovers $21K for 43 workers

LOUISVILLE, KY – A Fairdale country club operator failed to pay some workers minimum hourly wages, denied overtime pay to other workers, paid incorrect overtime rates to others, and assigned minor-aged workers duties not permitted by law, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation has found.

December 27, 2021

US Department of Labor recovers $33K in back wages for five workers after investigation revealed Apex company violated federal wage laws

APEX, NC – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $33,230 in back wages for five employees working on a federally funded construction project in Fayetteville. Investigators found the employer failed to pay workers all wages earned as required by the Davis Bacon Act.

December 23, 2021

Contractor faces possible incarceration for failing to abide by court’s orders after willfully, repeatedly subjecting roofing workers to serious safety hazards

JACKSONVILLE, FL – A Florida-based roofing contractor – with a long history of exposing his workers to the serious and potentially fatal risks related to falls – faces possible incarceration for his failure to comply with court orders once again.

December 23, 2021

US Department of Labor cites two contractors after 25-foot fall fatally injures one carpenter, seriously injures another at Bradenton Beach project

BRADENTON BEACH, FL – Two men doing framing work at a residential construction project in Bradenton Beach on June 23, 2021, had no warning when the platform beneath them failed, causing both to fall about 25 feet – roughly two stories – to the ground. Head trauma killed a 49-year-old carpenter and crew leader, who died at the scene. The second worker, a 40-year-old carpenter, suffered fractures to his leg, knee, ribs and nose, and needed transport to a local hospital.

December 23, 2021

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report

In the week ending December 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 205,000, unchanged from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 206,000 to 205,000. The 4-week moving average was 206,250, an increase of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 250 from 203,750 to 203,500.

December 22, 2021

US Department of Labor awards $5M grant to combat illegal fishing, improve working conditions in Peru, Ecuador’s fishing sectors

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded $5 million in a cooperative agreement for the International Labour Organization focused on strengthening decent working conditions in Peru and Ecuador by combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in coastal communities.

December 22, 2021

US Department of Labor awards $8.3M in funding to Kentucky to support tornado clean up, recovery after recent devastation

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced $8,333,333 in funding to the Commonwealth of Kentucky to support disaster-relief employment after a series of deadly tornadoes on Dec. 10 caused extensive damage.

December 21, 2021

US Department of Labor cites 4 contractors after multiple inspections find workers at risk of falls, a leading cause of death, injury in construction

EASTAMPTON, NJ – While falls continue to be the leading cause of death and serious injury in the construction industry, federal workplace safety inspectors too often find employers willing to ignore required safety protections and put the safety of their workers at risk.

December 21, 2021

US Department of Labor releases Supplemental Statement on private equity investments in participant-directed retirement savings plans

WASHINGTON ­– The U.S. Department of Labor today released a Supplemental Statement clarifying a June 2020 Information Letter on private equity investments as a component of a professionally managed asset allocation fund offered as an investment option in participant-directed retirement savings plans, such as 401(k) plans. 

December 21, 2021

Federal court orders care facility employers to pay attorneys’ fee to US Department of Labor after failing to comply with OSHA subpoena

BOSTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Act authorizes the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue subpoenas to request necessary documents as part of an OSHA inspection. If a recipient fails to comply, the department may then move to enforce the subpoena in federal district court. A recent decision by the U.S.

December 21, 2021

US Department of Labor awards $10M to promote gender equity, reduce workplace discrimination, harassment in Mexico

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of a $10 million cooperative agreement to Partners of the Americas to strengthen gender equity efforts in Mexico and reduce workplace discrimination and harassment.

December 21, 2021

US Department of Labor finds violations at Mississippi fish farms, recovers more than $102K in back wages for 123 workers

JACKSON, MS – Federal investigations of six Mississippi fish farms by the U.S. Department of Labor have led to the recovery of $102,176 in back wages for 123 workers and the assessment of $69,122 in civil money penalties.

December 21, 2021

Department of Labor awards $5M grant to combat forced labor, child labor abuses in Malaysia’s palm oil, garment industries

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of a $5 million cooperative agreement to Social Accountability International to prevent and reduce forced labor and child labor abuses in the Malaysian palm oil and garment industries.

December 20, 2021

US Department of Labor finds Hawaii restaurants operator shortchanged cooks in Honolulu, Kailua, failed to pay overtime wages

HONOLULU – A U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigation found the operator of two Hawaii restaurants denied workers overtime wages, and failed to record the hours of work for its kitchen cooks accurately, both violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

December 20, 2021

US Department of Labor finds roofing contractors willfully ignored fall protections that led to 19-year-old worker’s deadly fall

NEVILLE ISLAND, PA – A workplace safety investigation into the June death in Neville Island of a 19-year-old roofing worker who fell 30 feet through an unprotected skylight found two commercial contractors willfully failed to use fall protection systems that might have saved his life.