Category Archives: Uncategorized

Time Off or Time-Loss?

Today’s post comes from guest author Jane Dale, from Causey Wright.

Our clients often come to us with issues relating to their employment that are not directly related to their work injury or workers’ compensation claim. Given how entwined a work injury can be with employment-related issues, it can be helpful to have a general understanding of both legal areas.

One issue that comes up quite frequently is whether an Employer can require our clients to use up their vacation, sick-leave, and/or PTO for time missed from work when the reason they are missing work is a work-related injury. The short answer is yes. At present, there is no law that prevents an Employer from forcing injured workers to use up their vacation or PTO while they are unable to work due to their injury. However, it could be unlawful for an Employer to create “special rules” that apply to only one employee or only to employees with L&I claims. If they do so, it is possible they are violating other laws that prohibit discrimination of disabled persons and/or retaliation against employees who have filed L&I claims. Regardless, even if such a policy exists, the Employer cannot prevent injured workers from obtaining monetary workers’ compensation benefits if they would otherwise be entitled to it. If an injured worker is entitled to time-loss or loss of earning power benefits, then it does not matter that they are also receiving PTO or vacation benefits.

Another issue that we may see more of given the recent passage (and soon to be enacted) laws relating to Paid Sick Leave are questions about whether injured workers can earn paid sick leave if they are not working full time or full duty. Depending on what type of employee an injured worker is (salaried or hourly), they may have the right to earn paid sick leave for each hour worked. An Employer should not be able to deny accrual of paid sick leave simply because an injured worker is unable to work full-time or full-duty. Additionally, an Employer cannot prevent an injured worker from using their paid sick leave while the injured worker is receiving benefits under their claim so long as the basis for using it would otherwise be appropriate.

Ultimately, these are difficult questions to answer. The specific circumstances of each case needs to be evaluated to arrive at an answer and may require the advice of both an attorney who focuses on workers’ compensation as well as one who focuses on employment law. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me to start the discussion.

Photo by bunkosquad on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

U.S. Department of Labor

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the launch of the New and Small Business Assistance and the Compliance Assistance Toolkits webpages. These new online tools assist American small businesses and workers with simple, straightforward resources that provide critical Wage and Hour Division (WHD) information, as well as links to other resources.

The webpages were established in response to feedback received from new and small business stakeholders voicing their need for a centralized location to secure the tools and information they need to comply with federal labor laws. These new webpages provide the most relevant publications and answer the questions most frequently asked by new and small business owners. These tools, in conjunction with worker.gov and employer.gov, ensure greater understanding of federal requirements and provide tools to help employers find resources offered by other regulatory agencies.

“The Wage and Hour Division has long understood that the majority of employers want to do the right thing and comply with the law, but they need to know how,” said the Wage and Hour Division’s Acting Administrator Bryan Jarrett. “These new webpages demonstrate our ongoing commitment to proactively help employers comply with the law and provide them the tools they need to understand their responsibilities. We encourage all employers to visit these new webpages and reach out to us for assistance at any time.”

In…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

U.S. Department of Labor

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

DES PLAINES, ILThe U.S. Department of Labor has reached a settlement with Omnicare of Northern Illinois that requires the company to pay $300,000 in back pay and interest to 132 pharmacy technicians of Asian heritage to remedy pay discrimination violations identified at its Des Plaines, Illinois, facility.

The settlement follows a routine compliance evaluation by the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), where investigators found that, as of April 1, 2013, Omnicare of Northern Illinois paid Asian employees in pharmacy technician positions less than similarly situated employees.

"Employers should review their compensation processes to ensure that their employees do not suffer from discriminatory practices," said Carmen Navarro, Acting Regional Director, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in Chicago. "This settlement demonstrates the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to combating pay discrimination and holding companies with federal contracts accountable if they fail to ensure equal employment opportunity."

Omnicare of Northern Illinois also agreed to review employee compensation practices and make adjustments as necessary. Other non-monetary forms of relief contained in the settlement include compensation monitoring and Equal Employment Opportunity training for employees.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

U.S. Department of Labor

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

WASHINGTON, DC – As part of its commitment to state and local partners facing a serious impact by Hurricane Michael, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced it is ready to make available National Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) funding to help Florida assess its workforce needs.

"The Department of Labor will deploy resources to help Floridians who, as a result of Hurricane Michael, find themselves unable to work and without a paycheck," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "The American workforce – along with our volunteers and first responders – is the greatest in the world. As we did during last year’s destructive hurricane season, Americans will come together to rebuild their communities. The Department is here to help ensure the safety and stability of Floridians along the way."

DWG funding will be made available to impacted counties to supplement state and local response and recovery efforts. The Department is monitoring the situation to ensure it is doing everything it can to help Floridians and the mobility of the workforce.

As the severity and geographical extent of the damage becomes known, the Department will monitor activities and take additional actions as necessary.

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, DWGs temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

U.S. Department of Labor

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced nearly $110 million in Trade and Economic Transition Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) for state, tribal, and non-profit entities that are working in collaboration with community partners and local Workforce Development Boards to prepare Americans for professions in high-growth employment sectors. These grants will assist in implementing innovative skills instruction and career services for Americans who are seeking reemployment as a result of changes in workforce needs or from economic changes across multiple sectors.

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance. An "economic transition," as defined in Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 2-18, is a far-reaching economic or workforce trend or event, beyond the operating conditions of one employer, which has caused significant worker dislocations in a stated geographic area.

1

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

$8,000,000

2

Cherokee Nation

$7,996,649

3

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

$2,000,000

4

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

$2,200,000

5

Michigan Talent Investment Agency

$3,200,000

6

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

$3,353,732

7

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

U.S. Department of Labor

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recovered a record $304 million in wages owed to workers in Fiscal Year 2018. WHD also set a new record for compliance assistance events in FY 2018, holding 3,643 educational outreach events – including on the ground presentations and trainings – to help job creators understand their responsibilities under the law.

“Through vigorous enforcement and compliance assistance, the Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that workers receive the wages they have earned,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “These record-breaking numbers confirm the Department’s strong commitment to enforcing the law and providing employers with the tools they need to comply with the law.”

WHD today also announced a six-month extension of the voluntary Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. PAID is a compliance initiative that helps workers receive more back wages due in an expedited manner – without having to wait for lengthy investigations to conclude and court cases to resolve.

WHD encourages employers to audit their pay practices and consider participating. More information about the program is available at www.dol.gov/whd/PAID.

[Click here to see the original post]

U.S. Department of Labor

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has added compliance assistance materials on Association Health Plans (AHPs) to its new Employer.gov website that will help job creators and plan sponsors understand their Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) obligations when setting up and managing AHPs.

A recent final rule published by the Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) makes it easier for employers, especially small businesses, to pool resources to create AHP health insurance plans for their employees, and will help increase access to health coverage for workers and business-owners, including sole-proprietors, who previously faced challenges in securing employer-sponsored health coverage.

Employer.gov is a new compliance assistance website that covers various topics and labor laws enforced by federal agencies. This resource, which continues the goal of the Department’s recently announced Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI), encourages and facilitates compliance evaluations.

"This addition to Employer.gov includes links to an array of compliance assistance resources covering the various aspects of establishing and managing an AHP, and will help employers get the information they need to understand the rules of the road when setting up and managing new AHPs," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Preston Rutledge. "Expanding access to AHPs creates a path to affordable health…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

U.S. Department of Labor

Today’s post was shared by US Dept. of Labor and comes from www.dol.gov

WASHINGTON, DC – As part of its commitment to state and local partners facing a serious impact by Hurricane Michael, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced it is ready to make available National Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) funding to help Georgia assess its workforce needs.

"The Department of Labor will deploy resources to help Georgians who, as a result of Hurricane Michael, find themselves unable to work and without a paycheck," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "The American workforce – along with our volunteers and first responders – is the greatest in the world. As we did during last year’s destructive hurricane season, Americans will come together to rebuild their communities. The Department of Labor is here to help ensure the safety and stability of Georgians along the way."

DWG funding will be made available to impacted counties to supplement state and local response and recovery efforts. The Department is monitoring the situation to ensure it is doing everything it can to help Georgians and the mobility of the workforce.

As the severity and geographical extent of the damage becomes known, the Department will monitor activities and take additional actions as necessary.

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, DWGs temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to…

[Click here to see the rest of this post]