I recently found these three news stories where companies had to deal with government agencies because they made detrimental mistakes when it came to their employees and hiring practices.
Don’t let any of this happen to you…
"Employers may face more scrutiny over pay practices in 2010, thanks to a new report claiming that wage-and-hour violations are running rampant in the workplace."
"Starting this month, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") is commencing a National Research Project to collect information on employment tax compliance issues."
WSJ.COM, WASHINGTON — Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has spent her first few months in office focusing on handing out $46 billion in stimulus money. Now, her department is adding staff and signaling it will soon begin putting in practice the more assertive regulation of business she promised early in her tenure. Ms. Solis has begun hiring 670 new investigators to enforce labor regulations
There will be 150 investigators added in the Wage and Hour division to enforce wage rules and child-labor laws. Another 100 staff will be added to ensure contractors on stimulus projects are in compliance with applicable laws. The additions will boost the division’s staff by more than one-third.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration, which helps to regulate private retirement, health and other benefit plans covering 150 million Americans, is adding 75 staffers to conduct nearly 600 more criminal and civil investigations.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently formed a task force to design an enforcement program for severe violators. OSHA will conduct an intensive examination of an employer’s inspection history and any systematic problems would trigger additional, mandatory inspections.
"Employers, especially smaller ones, are really looking for help in terms of understanding the requirements and making sure they’re doing things right," said Marc Freedman, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s executive director of labor law policy. Instead, the department’s "rhetoric" on workplace safety "seems to be heavy-handed enforcement and generation of more regulations," he said. Mr. Obama’s nominee to head OSHA, David Michaels, is an epidemiologist and research professor at George Washington University known for studies on the health effects of occupational exposure to toxic chemicals.
According to azcentral.com
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office arrested nine employees of a Scottsdale Mexican restaurant Friday on suspicion of identity theft and forgery.
Sheriff’s officers executed a search warrant at Arriba Mexican Grill, 15236 N. Pima Road, following a one-year investigation into suspected immigration-related violations.
Nine employees, including the store manager who was found hiding in the bathroom, were booked into jail at 11 a.m., Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
The Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the restaurant for more than a year after a former employee tipped the office, Arpaio said. The former employee told investigators that several employees admitted to living and working in the state illegally.
According to HLR.com
McLane Co., Inc., has agreed to pay $1,559,316 in back wages to 570 current and former retail merchandising specialists after the Department of Labor accused the company of misclassifying the workers as exempt employees.
The Department of Labor said that McLane Co., a wholesale distributor of food and grocery products, erroneously regarded retail merchandising specialists as outside sales employees exempt from FLSA coverage. The department also accused the company of failing to keep records of hours worked.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $5.85 an hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked over 40 per week, unless otherwise exempt. The minimum wage will increase to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008, and to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Under the law, employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.
According to BLR.com
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published a proposed rule addressing the “reasonable factors other than age” (RFOA) defense under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
The agency is soliciting comments from the public by Monday, April 19, 2010.
The proposed rule follows a March 31, 2008, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on disparate impact under the ADEA. In addition to requesting comments on its substance, the prior NPRM asked whether the EEOC should provide more information on the meaning of the RFOA defense. Most commenter’s supported addressing the issue and, accordingly, the EEOC is publishing a new NPRM on RFOA. The NPRM has been coordinated with other federal agencies and reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
The proposed rule explains that the RFOA defense applies only if the challenged practice is not based on age and that a neutral practice that disproportionately affects older workers can be justified only by showing that the practice is objectively reasonable when viewed from the perspective of a reasonable employer under like circumstances. The proposed rule sets forth non-exhaustive lists of factors relevant to determining whether a factor is “reasonable” and “other than age.”
What if this had been you??? What if you had never known these laws? Your company could be ruined forever. Using a PEO is much more vital than you think. Let us do all of the messy work for you…so you never have to get involved in the first place…