OSHA Celebrates 40th Anniversary Today

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was signed into law 40 years ago today (April 28, 2011) by then-President Richard Nixon. In a ceremony marking the anniversary, OSHA head David Michaels noted that, at the time of signing, 14,000 Americans were dying on the job every year, a number that has been reduced to […]

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NLRB Expands Reach, Scope of ‘Protected Concerted Activity’

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) extends workplace safeguards to employees' "protected concerted activity" in discussing wages, hours and working conditions, a protection that was generally thought to be confined to union organizing. Thus if a worker were fired for discussing a union issue with other employees, that could be considered a […]

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New Jersey Bans Help Wanted Ads That Shun the Unemployed

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) earlier  this year held a series of meetings to look into the issue of businesses' refusing to hire the unemployed and blatantly announcing so in their help wanted advertisements. Now, New Jersey has taken matters into its own hands and outlawed ads that exclude the unemployed, whether the ads […]

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DOL Seeking Comments on Electronic Disclosure Rules

Under a 2002 electronic safe harbor rule, benefit plan administrators can use electronic delivery methods for summary plan descriptions, benefit statements, administrative forms, annual notices and the like. However, the safe harbor places various restrictions on the use of electronic delivery. For instance, merely posting the information on an intranet site is not deemed sufficient, […]

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Wage, Hour, Overtime Settlements Fall in Dollar Value But Rise in Frequency

Wal-Mart is all over the news as the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to let a massive class-action, gender-discrimination lawsuit with the potential for a multi-million-dollar judgment to go forward. Meanwhile, NERA Economic Consulting has pored through public records of 187 settlements based on wage-and-hour violations from 2007 to 2010 and found that, though the […]

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Free Choice Voucher Eliminated Along With 1099 Reporting

The law that President Obama signed this month to eliminate 1099 reporting under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) also eliminated the "Free Choice Voucher" component of the health care act. Free Choice Vouchers were to be made available to employees who earned less than 400 percent of the poverty line and whose […]

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Social Security Administration Resumes Sending No-Match Letters

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed its practice of sending no-match letters to notify employers when any of their employees' submitted Social Security numbers do not correspond to a valid number on record. The SSA temporarily stopped issuing the letters in 2009 when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under pressure from both unions […]

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PPACA Requirement for 1099 Reporting Axed

Congress has passed and President Obama has signed legislation to repeal a much-loathed provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that would have required the issuance of an IRS form 1099 for every expenditure of $600 or more. The mandate would have kicked in on Jan. 1, 2012, but HR4 amended PPACA […]

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DHS to Publish Form I-9 Final Rule Tomorrow

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is poised to publish its final rule concerning documents acceptable to verify employment eligibility on the federal Form I-9, which is used to establish a person's legal right to work in the United States. The final rule, which will be published tomorrow (April 15) in the Federal Register, adopts […]

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Data Breaches Now Affect 10 Million Americans, OCR Reports

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the unit of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsible for monitoring health information breaches, recently reported that the total number of Americans affected by large data breaches has surpassed 10 million individuals. With the enactment of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act […]

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