DOL Apprenticeship Task Force Concludes

The Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, created by President Trump under the leadership of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, finished its work last week and issued its final report to the President. Almost one year after the group was created by executive order, they identified a number of hurdles to creating the new industry-led apprenticeship programs,…

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DOL Clarifies Tip Pooling Rules

The US Department of Labor this week issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2018-3 on the impact of the tip pooling provisions contained in the Omnibus Spending Bill signed into law by the President a few weeks ago. The FAB makes clear that employers who pay the full FLSA minimum wage are no longer prohibited from…

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Labor Amnesty Program Starts Tuesday

The Department of Labor’s new amnesty program for companies that owe back wages becomes effective next Tuesday, April 3. The Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program allows employers to self-report wage and hour violations without legal consequences so long as they are not prior offenders and they pay affected workers the full back pay owed.…

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DOL Launches Self-Reporting Wage Error Pilot

The US Department of Labor is certainly taking a different approach to resolution of wage disputes with a new pilot program the department announced this week. DOL announced the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program on Tuesday of this week as a vehicle that will be operated by the Wage and Hour Division to help…

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Labor Market Getting Tighter

Our members often lament the difficulties they encounter in trying to hire and retain good workers in a tight labor market. Well, it seems the labor market is only getting tighter as Labor Department figures released last week showed unemployment claims for the week ended February 24 had decreased by 10,000 claims to 210,000. That…

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Miscellaneous

We note the NPD Group 2017 restaurant census was released this week and it reported that the number of US restaurants fell another 2 percent from a year ago, down to 647,288 units. The unit count for independent restaurants dropped 3 percent, while the count for chains grew by less than 1,000. Fast casual restaurants…

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Tip Pool Rule Comments

Those interested in the Department of Labor’s proposed new rule governing tip pooling have just over one more week to submit comments to DOL. The comment period, originally set to expire on January 3, was extended for another month and now expires one week from next Monday, on February 5, 2018. The changes overturn the…

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DOL Roller Coaster Ride

It has been quite the lengthy roller coaster ride for 4 executive nominees within the Department of Labor (DOL), a ride that began back last summer and hasn’t ended yet. Just before they were set to vote, the Senate Health Education Labor & Pensions Committee (HELP) postponed votes on four DOL nominations – Patrick Pizzella,…

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Back in Play, Again

In many ways, the validity of various federal regulations could be described as a roller coaster of sorts as well, as evidenced by action last week by the Department of Labor. Recall that during the final days of the George W. Bush administration, the Wage & Hour Division issued a number of opinion letters interpreting…

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DOL Issues Proposed Rule for Expanded Health Plans

The Department of Labor continued issuing business-friendlier regulations yesterday when it proposed new regulations to expand association health plans (AHPs) and thereby create more affordable health care options for small businesses. Back in October, President Trump issued an executive order promoting health care competition. That order specifically directed federal agencies to loosen restrictions on associations…

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