January 8, 2021

Statement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia on the December Jobs Report

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia issued the following statement regarding the December 2020 Employment Situation Report:

“Today’s report shows that the economy generally continues to recover, but that employment in certain sectors and States remains challenged. 

January 7, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor Announces $2 Million In Short-Time Compensation Grants to Washington State

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded $2,366,077 in grant funding to the Washington Employment Security Department to improve and promote its Short-Time Compensation (STC) program, known as the “Shared Work Program.” Employers can use short-time compensation to avoid layoffs by reducing work hours for an entire group of workers rather than laying off some of them, and those workers can supplement their reduced wages with a partial unemployment benefit.

January 7, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Grant Funding to the District of Columbia to Enhance Short-Time Compensation Program

WASHINGTON, DCThe U.S. Department of Labor today awarded grant funding of $431,513 to the D.C. Department of Employment Services to improve and promote its Short-Time Compensation (STC) program. The STC program gives employers the opportunity to avoid layoffs by reducing work hours for an entire group of workers rather than laying off some of them. Those workers then become eligible to supplement their reduced wages with a partial unemployment benefit payment.

January 7, 2021

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report

In the week ending January 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 787,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 3,000 from 787,000 to 790,000. The 4-week moving average was 818,750, a decrease of 18,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 750 from 836,750 to 837,500.

January 6, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Final Rule to Clarify Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a final rule clarifying the standard for employee versus independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

January 5, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has issued updated guidance that provides implementation information to states regarding two unemployment insurance programs: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC). 

January 5, 2021

Court Sentences Former United Industrial and Service Workers Union President After U.S. Department of Labor Embezzlement Investigation

LOS ANGELES, CA – The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has sentenced John S. Romero – a former president of the United Industrial and Service Workers of America in Colton, California – to 12 years in prison for embezzling funds from the union’s health plan, conspiracy and making false statements on annual government filings.

January 5, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Kentucky Landscaping Contractor Violated Requirements of Guest Worker Visa Program

WILDER, KY – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Merkle Lawn Care Inc. – based in Wilder, Kentucky – has paid $20,502 in back wages to 42 employees for violating labor provisions of the H-2B visa program. The Department also assessed Merkle Lawn Care Inc. a civil penalty of $10,335.

January 4, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor to Award $4 Million Grant to Improve Worker Rights in Rural Sectors of the Indo-Pacific with a Focus on Women’s Rights

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced its intent to award up to $4 million in grant funding to the International Labor Organization (ILO) to improve worker rights in rural sectors of the Indo-Pacific with a focus on women’s rights.

January 4, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Award of Up to $25 Million In Disaster Recovery Funding in Response to California’s 2020 Wildfires

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of a Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant for up to $25,092,803 to the California Department of Employment Development to create jobs to address debris cleanup and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those affected by the September 2020 wildfires. 

January 4, 2021

Auto Care and Tire Shop Pays $152,109 in Back Wages to 248 Employees After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Wage Violations in Carolinas and Virginia

COLUMBIA, SC After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Colony Tire Corp. has paid $152,109 in back wages to 248 employees for overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at 25 establishments throughout the Carolinas and Virginia.

January 4, 2021

Florida Landscaping Material Supplier Pays $15,804 Civil Penalty After U.S. Department of Labor Discovers Child Labor Violations

ORLANDO, FL After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Sunscape LLC – a landscaping materials supplier based in Orlando, Florida – has paid a civil money penalty of $15,804 for violating child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

January 4, 2021

U.S. Labor Department Recovers $35,492 in Overtime Back Wages For 12 Employees of Pittsburgh Area Ambulance Service

PITTSBURGH, PA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Jefferson Hills Area Ambulance Association – a private ambulance service operating as Southeast Regional EMS in Clairton and Elizabeth, Pennsylvania – has paid $35,492 in back wages to 12 first responder employees for violating overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

December 31, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Guidance on Expiration of Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave for Coronavirus

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) today announced additional guidance to provide information to workers and employers about protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA’s paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements will expire on Dec. 31, 2020. 

December 31, 2020

City of Tipton, Indiana, Pays $91,924 in Overtime Back Wages To 15 Firefighters Following U.S. Department of Labor Investigation

TIPTON, IN After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the City of Tipton, Indiana, paid $91,924 in back wages to 15 firefighters for violations of the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The WHD investigation found the City of Tipton failed to pay overtime to firefighters who worked more than 106 hours in their two-week pay period. 

December 31, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Two Wage and Hour Opinion Letters on Fair Labor Standards Act Compliance

WASHINGTON, DC The U.S. Department of Labor today announced two opinion letters that address compliance issues related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). An opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the person or entity that requested the letter.

The opinion letters issued today are:

December 31, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Announces $3,849,222 In Coronavirus Violations

WASHINGTON, DC – Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Dec. 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations arising from 295 inspections for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $3,849,222.

OSHA inspections have resulted in the agency citing employers for violations, including failures to:

December 31, 2020

Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report

In the week ending December 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 787,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 3,000 from 803,000 to 806,000. The 4-week moving average was 836,750, an increase of 17,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 750 from 818,250 to 819,000.

December 30, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Guidance to States on Unemployment Insurance Programs

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has issued guidance that provides overarching implementation information about unemployment insurance (UI) provisions contained in the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020, which is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.