News Releases

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta issued the following statement today regarding President Trump’s trip to St. Charles, Missouri, in support of tax reform: “Tax reform is about job creation. President Trump is working to revitalize America’s main streets by reducing taxes, and making the tax code simpler and fairer. With nearly 1.5 million jobs created since January and two consecutive quarters of GDP growth above 3 percent, the President has unleashed a spirit of economic optimism – but our work is not done. Lowering taxes for jo
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
DOWNINGTOWN, PA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited US Environmental Inc. for 12 safety violations, including willfully exposing workers to confined space and fall hazards at its Downingtown location. The company faces proposed penalties of $333,756. Investigators inspected the facility on May 31, 2017, and found that the company failed to implement rescue procedures for employees in confined spaces; provide protective equipment when working in confined spaces; and provide employees with fall pro
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has opened an area office in Queens to connect employers, community and trade organizations, employees, and other stakeholders with resources and assistance to ensure compliance with federal labor laws. The new office is located at 68-60 Austin St., Room 601, Forest Hills, New York, 11375. “This office will serve as a one-stop resource for compliance assistance and information,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director David An, i
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
NASHVILLE, TN – The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, issued a consent order and permanent injunction against Casa Vieja Mexican Grille, Inc., and its owners, after a U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division investigation determined that Casa Vieja violated the minimum wage, overtime wage, and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Hendersonville-based restaurant and its owners – Martin Salazar, Jaime Salazar, and Alejandro Mendez – failed to accurately record the hours that em
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
ALPHARETTA, GA – A U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation into an Alpharetta-based furniture installer, determined the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and owed employees $194,069. R.I.O.F Inc. – which provides labor for furniture dealers and other furniture installation businesses –misclassified 109 employees as independent contractors and failed to pay overtime. This violation of the FLSA was discovered in the company’s records, which showed the number of hours employ
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
MARSHALL, TX – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Marshall Pottery, Inc., have reached a settlement agreement including a penalty of $545,160, after the death of an assistant plant manager. On April 16, 2017, investigators determined that the manager was servicing a kiln and became trapped inside when it activated. The company was cited for six willful violations and 21 serious violations. Citations were issued following OSHA’s investigation into failures to implement
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Two Philadelphia restaurants have agreed to pay 156 employees a total of $414,765 in back wages, and an equal amount in liquidated damages, to resolve alleged federal wage violations. A proposed consent judgment filed on Nov. 27 – which must still be reviewed and approved by a federal judge – details the terms of the agreement. In addition to paying back wages and damages, the employers will pay a $10,000 civil money penalty. An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in Philadelphi
Monday, November 27, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an 18-month extension from Jan. 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019, of the special Transition Period for the Fiduciary Rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption and the Principal Transactions Exemption, and of the applicability of certain amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 (PTEs). This follows public comment on a proposed extension that was published in August. The extension gives the Department the time necessary to consider public comments submitted pursuant to the Department’s July Request
Friday, November 24, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a ninety (90) day delay – through April 1, 2018 – of the applicability date for ERISA plans to comply with a final rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to disability benefits. The three month delay of the applicability date announced today is intended to give interested stakeholders the opportunity to submit, and for the Department to consider, data and information related to concerns by some insurance industry and employer groups, and some members of Congress, that the
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
HARTFORD, CT – A Manchester-based chain of pizza restaurants and its owner will pay $26,575 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to employees to rectify violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) found by the U.S. Department of Labor. The restaurant chain and owner will also pay $14,000 in damages to a former employee who refused to provide false information to investigators. The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut entered a consent judgment ordering Chemro, LLC – doing bu
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
AKRON, OH– The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and an Akron restaurant have reached an agreement to resolve violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including payment of $59,177 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages – totaling $118,354 – owed to 21 workers. Division investigators found Azteca Restaurante Mexicano Inc. and its named owner, Salvador Alatorre, failed to comply with the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime and recording-keeping provisions. The Division assessed a civil money penalty of $9,646 for willfu
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
BOSTON, MA – A Dudley contract packager of aerosol containers and the U.S. Department of Labor have reached a settlement agreement resolving alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Shield Packaging Co. Inc. has paid $210,227 and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 205 employees and pledged future compliance with the FLSA. The Department’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company failed to pay the employees overtime based on their regular pay rates between April 1, 2015, and Oct. 31, 2016. The company also failed to pay empl
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – To allow affected employers additional time to become familiar with a new electronic reporting system launched on August 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  has extended the  date by which employers must electronically report injury and illness data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) to December 15, 2017. OSHA’s final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses sets Decem
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
In the week ending November 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 239,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 3,000 from 249,000 to 252,000. The 4-week moving average was 239,750, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 750 from 237,750 to 238,500.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of Hurricane Maria and the October 2017 California Wildfires. The Department understands that plan fiduciaries, employers, labor organizations, service providers, and participants and beneficiaries may encounter issues complying with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) over the next few months as the implications of Hurricane Maria and the California Wildfires unfold. The guidance provided in this statement generally
Monday, November 20, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today released advance informational copies of the 2017 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions. The “Changes to Note” section of the 2017 instructions highlight important modifications to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF and their schedules and instructions.  Mod
Friday, November 17, 2017
GIBSONTON, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Tampa Electric Co. and Critical Intervention Services, a security services provider, for $43,458 in total proposed penalties, following a release of anhydrous ammonia – a chemical refrigerant – at its Gibsonton facility. On May 23, 2017, OSHA responded to the incident and determined that the ammonia release occurred when a relief valve activated after a pipeline became over pressurized.
Friday, November 17, 2017
CAMBRIA, WI – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $1,837,861 in fines against Didion Milling Inc. following a May 31, 2017, explosion that killed five workers and injured 12 others, including a 21-year-old employee who suffered a double leg amputation after being crushed by a railcar.  OSHA found that the explosion likely resulted from Didion’s failures to correct the leakage and accumulation of highly combustible grain dust throughout the facility and to properly maintain equipment to control
Thursday, November 16, 2017
NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor has reached agreements to resolve three lawsuits with First Bankers Trust Services Inc. (FBTS). The lawsuits alleged that FBTS violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when it approved stock purchases by three Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). As part of the agreements, FBTS will pay $15.75 million to the plans and reform its procedures for handling ESOP transactions. The Department filed suit against FBTS in 2012 in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Distri
Thursday, November 16, 2017
In the week ending November 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 249,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 239,000. The 4-week moving average was 237,750, an increase of 6,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 231,250.

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