DOJ Celebrates Labor Day By Getting Tougher on Employment Laws
September 13, 2010
After last week's Labor Day celebration, our Newport Beach employment attorneys have been following U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis's ongoing declarations about the importance of celebrating the male and female workers who contribute to the strength and prosperity of this country, by continuing to fight to expand federal wage and hour laws and by forming new guidelines to create better standards for safer workplaces.
Solis claimed that during her 18 months as Labor Secretary, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has fought to:
• Protect Wage and Hour Laws: As Labor Secretary, Solis has fought to make sure that American Workers are compensated fairly for their hard work. Many employers in this current economy are violating minimum wage and overtime laws, or many other employment benefits. The DOL's Wage and Hour Division has fought to secure nearly $259 million in back wages for around 318,000 employees since January of 2009. Our Carson employment attorneys discussed one of these cases in a recent blog, when Teleperformance USA, a call center based in Salt Lake City, failed to compensate 15,862 of their employees in ten different states across the country with overtime payment. The DOL made the company compensate the workers $1.97 million in back wages that they were lawfully owed.
• Promote Equal Pay for Female Employees: President Obama and his administration have ensured strategic enforcement of pay discrimination cases, by encouraging collaboration between the Labor Department, the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to reduce the constant compensation gap between male and female employees in the workplace as a result of discrimination.
• Farm Worker Wages: The DOJ has been fighting for better working conditions and better wages for farm workers by revising migrant farm worker regulations. The DOJ has ensured that nonimmigrant workers will only have access to enter the country when companies can verify that no U.S. workers have interest in the jobs. The DOJ has also fought to ensure that humane living conditions are provided for legal and domestic migrant farm workers by employers, and that farm workers receive wage compensation that is competitive and fair.
• Protect the Health and Safety of Workers in the U.S.: After Solis became Labor Secretary, she stated that there was "a new sheriff in town" with her intention to protect the health and safety of workers. Solis and OSHA have since then issued the largest fine in the agency's history, after BP's refinery explosion that resulted in 170 injuries, killing 15. The Mine Safety and Health Administration has also introduced and implemented new inspections for identifying safety hazards, has assisted in creating new legislation on mine safety, and is revising regulations to make safety standards for workers more comprehensive, in an effort to protect the health and safety of America's miners in the workplace.
If you or someone you know in Orange County who has experienced violations of employment and labor laws, our Anaheim-based team of experienced attorneys and professionals at Howard Law, PC can help. To set up a free meeting, please contact us online or call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.
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