It’s not all bad employment news this week. Nor is it bad news for workers who have a grievance against their employer and plan to file a wage related complaint. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is hiring . . . in fact they will be adding 250 investigators, a staff increase of more than a third, announced U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis.
Solis made the announcement after the release of a Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) report that found the department’s system for receiving and responding to wage and hour complaints is ineffective and discourages wage-theft complaints.
Of the 250 new investigators, 100 will focus on contractor compliance under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the economic stimulus package.
A recent national SHRM article describes how President Obama has revised some federal labor orders. Here are excerpts from the article: Two of the orders signed by Obama directly contravene directives signed by [former President George] Bush.
One of Obama’s new directives revokes Executive Order 13201, which required federal contractors to post a notice of nonunion employee rights concerning payment of union dues—also known as the Beck Poster. According to Obama’s order, federal contractors will no longer use the Beck Poster and will be required to post another notice that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will develop.
Think you are safe from California’s employee-friendly labor laws just because some of your employees who sometimes work there don’t actually live there? Think again!
Like Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Present, California’s laws may come to haunt you in the here and now if you’re not careful. A recent decision from the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over California has ruled that California’s overtime laws may apply to employees who lived in Arizona and Colorado, but who worked for temporary periods of time in California.
The employees were trainers for a large computer company who trained California clients for time periods ranging from several weeks to several months. Their employer also had a corporate presence in California and other employees who lived and worked there.
The federal appeals court concluded that these facts were enough to subject the visiting employees to rules like daily overtime pay for work in California of a day or longer. Consider the implications of this decision as you send your employees off to work in California.
Continuation of post introducing various HR issues being addressed in Washington DC and providing additional information on each topic.
Washington is much more union-friendly now that it was before the 2008 elections. Watch for Congress to pass laws allowing employees to unionize by signing cards (rather than by a secret ballot vote). Democrats will now also gain control of the National Labor Relations Board, which governs the area of business-union relations. Congress also seems more likely to raise the minimum wage again, perhaps to as high as $10/hour. Congress also may again explore “living wage” legislation, which could result in even higher minimum wage standards.