Arkansas Places Sweeping Restrictions on Employers’ Access to Social Media Accounts

Arkansas has passed legislation banning employers from requesting passwords to job applicants' and employees' social media accounts. Employers are also banned from asking applicants and employees to change their privacy settings or to add the employer on their contact list. The only thing employers can still do is view the public pages of any employee's […]

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Jenny Yang Confirmed as EEOC Member

Jenny R. Yang has been confirmed as a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to fill an open Democratic seat. She joins Chair Jacqueline Berrien (D) and members Constance R. Barker (R), Chai Feldblum (D) and Victoria A. Lipnic (R). Yang's term expires on July 1, 2017. She comes to the position from […]

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State OSHA Agencies Do More Inspections Than Feds But Fine Less

Some 21 states and Puerto Rico operate their own Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) operations, covering 40 percent of all affected entities (government and private sector), but they perform more inspections each year than federal OSHA, 52,000 vs. 40,000. However, federal inspectors term a greater percentage of violations as serious, resulting in an average […]

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Average for Settling a Wage-and-Hour Lawsuit: $5.8 Million

Wage-and-hour litigation is the fastest-growing employment law threat employers face, according to a study by the Crowell & Moring law firm. It costs an average of $5.8 million to settle a wage-and-hour case, largely because so many are class-action lawsuits. The firm warns that exempt/nonexempt misclassification cases will continue to be particularly troublesome because of […]

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HHS Proposes Rule to Ease HIPAA Barriers on Gun Background Checks

Responding to concerns that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule is preventing states from reporting relevant information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is used to clear or disbar people from making gun purchases, the Department of Human Services (HHS) will seek public input on what should […]

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DOL Proposes to Add More Whistleblower Agents

Under the Obama adminnistration's proposed 2014 budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the whistleblower program would hire 47 new staff members with a $5.9 million increase in its funding to $21.8. Meanwhile, the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) would be cut by 33 positions. Explained OSHA head David Michaels: “To focus on the integrity […]

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OSHA Publishes Fact Sheet for Training of Workers on New Hazard Communiciation Standard

By Dec. 1, 2013, employers must have trained their workforces on the revised Hazard Communication Standard that was published in the Federal Register in March 2012. Specifically, workers must be trained on the labeling elements for the Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) that will accompany workplace chemicals under the revised standard. To aid in the educational […]

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New Mexico, Utah Ban Employer Requests for Social Media Access

Following the failure of Congress in 2012 to pass legislation barring employers from seeking social media account information from job applicants and employees, the states are moving quickly to enact such legislation. New Mexico and Utah are the latest to ban employers from seeking passwords and other social media information, though the New Mexico law […]

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USCIS Corrects Mandatory Date for New Form I-9 Use to May 7

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) this week corrected the effective date of its new Form I-9, which was launched March 8, 2013. In its original statement, the USCIS said that older forms could not be used after May 7, 2013. In its correction, the agency clarified that the old forms could no […]

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Obama Budget Seeks Increase for Labor Department Enforcement Agencies

The Obama administration is proposing a $12.1-billion budget for the Department of Labor (DOL) for Fiscal Year 2014, starting this October. That represents an increase of $20 million. But when in comes to the enforcing agencies with the DOL, including the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and others, […]

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