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U.S. Department of Labor Announces up to $3 Million in Disaster Recovery Funding for Derecho Recovery in Iowa WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant for up to $3 million, awarded to Iowa Workforce Development, in response to the severe storms of August 2020. 

Severe storms brought hurricane-force winds across central Iowa on Aug. 10, 2020. The storm system, identified as a derecho, inflicted significant damage on businesses, homes, crops, and livestock. An initial award of $1 million will create disaster-relief jobs to address debris cleanup and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those affected by the storms. The project will focus efforts in the 16 Iowa counties of Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Dallas, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama. Work may expand to seven additional counties included in the associated disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Aug. 17, 2020.

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, National Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
http://www.dol.gov/newsroom/re....leases/eta/eta202010


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Court Orders New Hampshire Flooring Company to Pay $250,000 in Back Wages And Damages After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation, Litigation MANCHESTER, NH – The U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire has ordered C & C Flooring LLC and owner Christopher Coburn to pay 33 current and former employees a total of $240,000 in back wages and liquidated damages and $10,000 in punitive damages, to resolve violations of the overtime and anti-retaliation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The defendants have also paid a civil money penalty of $13,688 for the willful nature of the violations.

The consent judgment and order follows a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation and litigation by the Department’s Office of the Solicitor. WHD investigators found that the Manchester, New Hampshire, retailer and installer of business and residential flooring paid employees at straight-time rates, in unrecorded cash, when they worked more than 40 hours per work week instead of paying for overtime hours at time and one-half the employees’ regular rates of pay, as the law requires. The employer also “banked” some overtime hours, paying them out in later workweeks at straight-time rates. The defendants also failed to maintain accurate time records, and retaliated against employees by asking them to provide false information to WHD.

In addition to the back wages and damages, the judgment requires the defendants to:


Rehire any workers covered by this case before hiring others, unless they can substantiate that the individuals were terminated for cause;
Provide current and future employees with notice of their FLSA rights and WHD fact sheets;
Train supervisors and payroll personnel annually on compliance with the FLSA;
Supervise an annual FLSA compliance audit to be reviewed and approved by a lawyer or Certified Public Accountant with FLSA expertise; and
Agree to a writ of execution so the Department may petition the court unopposed to have the U.S. Marshals Service seize the defendants’ property if they fail to comply with the monetary terms of the judgment.


The judgment also prohibits the defendants from giving raises in compensation to Chris Coburn or his wife, who is a company employee, and further restrains the defendants from transferring or encumbering their assets and property in specific ways.

“Employers must understand their responsibility to pay overtime, keep accurate records and refrain from retaliation against workers who exercise their legal rights. In this case, the workers will receive their back pay and damages, including punitive damages, and the employer has also paid a significant monetary penalty for the willful violations,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel Cronin, in Manchester, New Hampshire. “We encourage employers to use the wide variety of compliance tools we offer to explain those requirements, and to contact us for guidance.”

“This case and its resolution send the strong message that the U.S. Department of Labor will take all necessary legal actions to ensure that workers receive the wages they have earned and are free from retaliation for exercising their rights,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Maia Fisher in Boston, Massachusetts.

Employers that discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division.

The mission of WHD is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Scalia v. C & C Flooring, LLC d/b/a C & C Flooring, and Christopher Coburn.

Civil Action Number:  19-cv-00629-JL.
http://www.dol.gov/newsroom/re....leases/whd/whd202010


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U.S. Department of Labor Restores Over $3.1 Billion to Employee Benefit Plans, Participants and Beneficiaries, the Most Ever WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued its fiscal year (FY) 2020 enforcement fact sheet highlighting the Agency’s recovery of over $3.1 billion in direct payments to plans, participants and beneficiaries in FY 2020.

In FY 2020, EBSA conducted 1,122 civil investigations.  Moreover, EBSA’s Benefits Advisors closed more than 171,000 inquiries, many of which came through EBSA’s toll-free number, 1-866-444-EBSA (3272), and the website at askebsa.dol.gov. Through those and other efforts, EBSA recovered more money for plans, participants, and beneficiaries than ever before. Over the past four years, EBSA has recovered over $8 billion, increasing its recoveries by 175 percent from FY 2017 to 2020, and 310 percent from FY 2016 to FY 2020.





Total Monetary Recoveries (Historical)




Total Recoveries


FY 2020


FY 2019


FY 2018


FY 2017




$8.4B


$3.124B


$2.57B


$1.6B


$1.1B





The fact sheet is available.

Through its enforcement of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), EBSA is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the private employee benefit plan system in the United States. EBSA’s oversight authority extends to nearly 722,000 retirement plans, approximately 2.5 million health plans, and a similar number of other welfare benefit plans, such as those providing life or disability insurance. These plans cover about 154 million workers and their dependents and include over $10.7 trillion in assets.

EBSA’s mission is to assure the security of the retirement, health and other workplace related benefits of America’s workers and their families. EBSA accomplishes this mission by developing effective regulations; assisting and educating workers, plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers; and vigorously enforcing the law.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
http://www.dol.gov/newsroom/re....leases/ebsa/ebsa2020


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U.S. Department of Labor Provides $1.5 Billion in Adult and Dislocated Worker Funding to States and Territories WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor is providing $1.5 billion in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult and Dislocated Worker program funds to states and territories.

These investments will help states and local areas provide services to businesses and job seekers and support the public workforce system in filling 6.6 million existing job postings.[1]

The WIOA Adult program helps job seekers with barriers to employment gain new skills, and find in-demand jobs in sectors that are projected to experience significant growth.

The WIOA Dislocated Worker program helps workers who have lost their jobs gain new skills and find meaningful jobs in sectors that are projected to grow. The program provides an array of employment, supportive and workforce development services to veterans, formerly self-employed individuals and displaced workers who had previously been dependent on the income of another family member but are no longer supported by that income. 

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

 

[1] https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm
http://www.dol.gov/newsroom/re....leases/eta/eta202010


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Statement by U.S. Secretary of Labor Scalia On International Religious Freedom Day WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia issued the following statement on International Religious Freedom Day:

“Today’s commemoration of International Religious Freedom Day reminds us that Americans can be deeply grateful to live in a nation where religious freedom is rooted in our founding ideals and protected by the law of the land. Today is also a reminder that many people around the world do not enjoy the freedom to practice their faith, but instead face persecution for their religious beliefs.

We particularly recognize the Uyghur Muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities in China who have been forced into state-sponsored labor and re-education camps by the Chinese Communist Party. Last month, the Department of Labor took steps to combat these exploitive labor practices by releasing its biennial list of goods produced under conditions of forced labor. China topped the list at 17 goods – four more than any other country. The list we published, and the Department’s “Comply Chain” and “Sweat & Toil” smartphone apps, help governments, companies, and consumers fight back against abusive labor practices and, by doing so, protect individuals impressed into forced and child labor because of their religious beliefs.”

 
http://www.dol.gov/newsroom/re....leases/osec/osec2020


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