Archive for June, 2013

OSHA Requests $570,519,000 Budget for Inspections and Enforcement

  • 20th June 2013

The newly published 2014 OSHA Budget Justification makes its case for an upcoming fiscal 2014 budget of $570,519,000.

Citations in the justification include educational article references that attribute safer workplaces to safety inspections. The justifications also specify that “the average employer saved $355,000 (in 2011 dollars) as a result of an OSHA inspection.”

An additional $2 million is also being requested in the justification for these and other initiatives. OSHA projects that it will issue:

  • Four Final Rules (Infectious Disease, Recordkeeping Modernization, Beryllium, and Vertical Tandem Lifts)
  • Seven Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (Standards Improvement Project Phase IV, Infectious Disease, Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, Combustible Dust, Backover
  • Protection, and two consensus standard update actions).
  • Initiate SBREFA reviews for five rules (Combustible Dust, Backover Protection, one chemical standard, and two other initiatives).

Businesses are encouraged to continue monitoring changing laws and ensuring they are up-to-date with requirements and changes.

Tennessee Unemployment Insurance Labor Law Poster Change

  • 20th June 2013

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has revised Tennessee’s Unemployment Insurance poster to reflect additional clarification on the eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits.

The law now states that in order for a person to be eligible for unemployment benefits, they must display an active search for work by making a minimum of three tangible job contacts each week. Employers are now required to post updated Tennessee Labor Law posters to notify employees and avoid fines and lawsuits.

Pennsylvania Mandatory Labor Law Poster Change

  • 20th June 2013

The State of Pennsylvania has changed its mandatory Unemployment Compensation notice to reflect revised information regarding reporting requirements when filing an unemployment compensation claim.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has updated the “Unemployment Compensation” notice to reflect that a driver’s license is no longer needed if a person is filing a claim for unemployment compensation benefits. Those reporting claims will now report gross wages that were earned during any week for which they are claiming unemployment compensation benefits.

In addition, computer cross matching will now be used to determine whether any illegal receipt of unemployment compensation has resulted from unreported work, earnings and pensions. A person who knowingly makes a false statement or knowingly withholds information will be considered to have committed a criminal offense.

Employers in Pennsylvania are required to display the update mandatory Unemployment Insurance posting. Labor law postings can change at any time, and it is the employer’s responsibility to display up-to-date Pennsylvania Labor Law posters.

Bill to Raise California’s Minimum Wage Moving Forward

  • 7th June 2013

Ca-Minimum Wage V2A bill that would increase California’s minimum wage has begun to gain momentum after being approved by the Assembly vote. Assembly Bill 10 would increase the state’s minimum wage for the first time in six years.

California ranks fifth-highest in the country for minimum wage at $8 an hour and the bill would raise the minimum wage in California to $9.25 over the next three years. This measure aims to increase it to $8.25 in 2014, $8.75 in 2015, and $9.25 in 2016. Moving forward, the bill would require inflation-adjusted increases every year, so starting in 2017, it would be adjusted on an annual basis according to the rate of inflation. Eighteen states currently have a minimum wage above the federal level, and ten of those states provide for annual, inflation-adjusted increases.

Opposition to the bill is led by the state’s major employer organizations, including the California Restaurant Association, Western Growers Association, California Grocers Association and state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

California businesses should prepare to update their 2013 labor law posters as the bill climbs the higher ranks, to protect themselves against non-compliance and law suits. Labor law changes are to be expected for the year and should be monitored with a solution like an e-compliance update service.

Minimum Wage Increases

  • 7th June 2013

Minimum WagePresident Obama has called for an increase in the federal minimum wage to at least $9 an hour. The President also proposed to index the minimum wage to inflation, which means that minimum wage would increase as the cost of living increases. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and if it is passed, will raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by 2015. In addition the index would adjust it each year to keep up with the rising cost of living. This legislation also proposes to increase the minimum wage for employees who receive tips.

While the legislation would need to be passed by both the Senate and the House to go into effect there have already been minimum wage increases in many states this year as of January 1, 2013. Connecticut and New York are two of the most recent states to have just passed minimum wage increases.

New York passed an increase in the minimum wage to $9 per hour which will go into effect over 3 years, at the end of the year there will be an $8 per hour increase, followed by an increase to $8.75 the next year, and $9 per hour the following year. The most recent state to jump on board with the increases, Connecticut aims to increase minimum wage to $9 by January 1, 2015, making it one of the highest rates in the country. The increase will begin from $8.25 to $8.70 on Jan. 1, 2014, followed by an increase on Jan. 1, 2015 to $9. While, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour, if an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher of the two minimum wages.

In additional state news, California has a pending bill that would also require the State to raise it’s minimum wage. California’s current minimum wage is $8 an hour, and the measure would increase it to $8.25 in 2014, $8.75 in 2015, and $9.25 in 2016.  Then starting in 2017, it would be adjusted annually according to the rate of inflation.

California would be another state joining the following states in their 2013 minimum wage increases this year:
Arizona – $7.80
Colorado – $7.78
Florida – $7.79
Missouri – $7.35
Montana – $7.80
Ohio – $7.85
Oregon – $8.95
Rhode Island – $7.75
Vermont – $8.60
Washington – $9.19

It is very important for businesses to continue to update their State and Federal Labor Law Posters to reflect these ongoing changes. Because these laws can change and are expected to change at any time, the safest solution is a Worry-Free Poster Solution, which will continue to give you coverage and e-updates throughout the year.