Small Businesses Can Now Offer Investment Advice

With a new rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) this past week, small business owners will now be allowed to offer investment advice to employees on their 401(k), IRA or other retirement vehicles. Small businesses that offer retirement plans were previously barred from giving investment advice since, as fiduciaries, offering advice would be […]

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DOL Partners With Facebook to Help Job Seekers

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis unveiled an innovative partnership via a live Web stream on Thursday (Oct. 20, 2011) that brings together the U.S. Labor Department, Facebook, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, the DirectEmployers Association and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. In addition, Facebook debuted a new Social Jobs Partnership page that […]

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OSHA Offers Heat Index App for Android Smartphones

On the heels of its time-keeping smartphone app for tracking hours worked, the Department of Labor (DOL) is now introducing a smartphone app to measure the heat index at a work site. It is available now for Android operating systems, with apps promised soon for the iPhone and Blackberry. The app allows workers and supervisors […]

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DOL Withdraws Its Fiduciary Re-Definition but Plans to Resubmit It, Modified

The Department of Labor (DOL) has temporarily withdrawn its proposed new definition of a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974—one that would have embraced even realtors—but still plans to modify and reissue the definition next year. Under the proposed regulations, a person rendering advice on an ERISA plan would have […]

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OSHA Extends Commentary Period on Proposed Injury-Illness Reporting Rule

At the request of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is extending by 30 days the public commentary period on its proposed new injury and illness reporting requirement. The proposed rule would shrink the number of industries exempt from OSHA's injury and illness reporting requirements and would also […]

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IRS Establishes Worker Misclassification Amnesty Program

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has commenced a program by which companies can admit to having misclassified workers as independent contractors and settle up by paying a portion of back taxes owed, thereby avoiding most penalties and fees assessed during an audit. There are strings attached, of course. The company applying for the amnesty cannot […]

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OSHA Updates Its Whistleblower Investigation Instructions and Standards

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new edition of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual, one of a series of measures to improve OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program that were announced in August. The new edition of the manual contains updates to case handling procedures, information on the new laws enacted […]

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Tyson to Pay $32 Million to Settle Donning-Doffing Lawsuit

When Perdue Farms in 2002 settled with the Department of Labor (DOL) on back-paying its workers for the time spent donning and doffing required personal protective equipment (PPE), Tyson didn't read the tea leaves and refused to pay its workers for donning-doffing time. The piper came calling this week as Tyson was forced into a […]

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DOL Ups the Ante on Independent Contractor Misclassification Violations

The Department of Labor (DOL) is launching a program whereby states and the federal government will share information on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors, and the DOL in turn will rat to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The goal is to increase penalties for misclassifying employees and thereby restrict or eliminate the practice. […]

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Proposed Regulations Issued on PPACA Disclosure Requirements

The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Labor (DOL) have joined the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in proposing regulations to fulfill the requirement of 2010's health care reform for insurers to issue full statements of benefits to all affected. These summaries of benefits were mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act […]

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