OT Violations, Pet Bereavement, and more

The OperationsInc Navigator
September 9, 2016
DOL Throws $2.3M Fine at Massachusetts Construction Cos for Misclassifying Workers
The Department of Labor (DOL) has saddled two Massachusetts construction firms with over $2.3M in fines for failing to pay over 478 employees overtime pay. The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) reports that Force Corp. and AB Construction Group must also pay $262,900 in civil penalties for the “willful nature of their violations”, and are also ordered to take “corrective actions to prevent further violations of federal labor law”. The construction companies had misclassified workers as Independent Contractors, a misclassification that has received increased scrutiny from the DOL in recent years. 


Survey Says “Thank You” Goes a Long Way 

Recognition and rewards company O.C.Tanner recently released a report showing that 89 percent of workers who feel appreciated by their employer are satisfied with their jobs, and are more likely to be satisfied with their life in general. Of those who do not feel appreciated at work, only 51 percent say they are satisfied at work, with the remaining 49 percent of this population reporting that they are trying to “just get by until they can find a new job”. Inc. reports that small praises and “thank you’s” create a culture of collaboration, lead to lower stress levels among employees, and inspire workers to demonstrate good work habits.


Pet Bereavement – Growing Benefits Trend
According to CBS News and Money Magazine, more and more companies are offering pet bereavement leave to their employees. According to a recent study, more than 95 percent of pet owners consider their pet to be a true part of their family, and nearly 33 percent of those who lose a pet “experience sadness and grief” for six months or more. Supporters of this growing benefit trend say that “paid time off to grieve the loss of a pet shows employees that their pain is validated”.

75% of Workers Willing to Take Lower Salary if Employer Provides Positive Candidate Experience
A recent CareerBuilder survey found “more than three of four candidates would be willing to accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process”. So what creates a positive candidate experience? Business2Community reports that quality communication paired with an efficient and well managed hiring process are the two keys to leaving a positive brand impression on candidates. 

20 Million Reasons to Train Your Team

Earlier this week, a settlement was announced in the sexual harassment / hostile work environment lawsuit filed by former co-anchor Gretchen Carlson against Fox News. The settlement resulted in the payment of $20 million to Ms. Carlson, accompanied by a highly unusual public apology. The joint press release from Carlson and Fox included a statement from Fox – “We seriously regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect that she and all of our colleagues deserve”.

U.S. Department of Labor Releases Q&A’s on Misclassification of Independent Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released a publication containing 12 “myths” regarding the misclassification of independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and aims to educate workers on how to identify if they are appropriately classified as an independent contractor. The publication focuses on “whether the worker is economically dependent on the employer” and debunks a number of myths including statements about telework, payroll, and unemployment insurance. 

2016 EEO-1 Survey Notification Letters
Notification letters have been sent by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alerting relevant employers that the 2016 EEO-1 survey is now open. Private employers with more than 100 employees, as well as certain federal government contractors, are required by federal law to submit the survey by the deadline of September 30, 2016. 

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