What’s an Employer to Do When a Customer Says, “Give Them the FBI Treatment…”?

Picture this scenario: a marketing company signs a new client. As part of the contract between them, the client requires the marketing company to sign a document agreeing that any marketing company employees who perform work for the client must pass a broad background check including a full criminal history, confirmation of past employers and home addresses reaching years back, and a full drug screen. This document is handed to the marketing company as a simple, standard document that all service providers must sign. Far too often, the marketing company in this scenario simply signs the document along with all of the others without thinking twice. Continue reading this entry

OSHA Shines Its Headlights On Auto Suppliers

In a continuation of the Obama Administration’s amped up regulatory enforcement agenda, OSHA recently announced its intention to target auto suppliers. In its Regional Emphasis Program For Safety Hazards in the Auto Parts Supplier Industry, OSHA identified hazards that it believes are particularly prevalent in the industry. According to OSHA, workers in the auto supplier industry are particularly exposed to “caught-in, crushing, struck-by and electrical hazards due to the machinery utilized in making these parts,” resulting in serious injuries, including amputations and deaths. As a result, OSHA is instituting an outreach and enforcement program covering all auto suppliers in the Southeast. Continue reading this entry

College Football Players Are Employees, and the Heisman Trophy Becomes the “Employee of the Year” Award…

Making massive waves throughout the collegiate and legal communities, the Chicago Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) determined Wednesday that scholarship – but not walk-on – football players of Northwestern University are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). As a consequence, college football players at the university may, at least for now, vote whether they wish to be represented by a union and collectively bargain over the terms and conditions of their association with Northwestern. The determination that scholarship athletes are actually employees of their schools has potentially far-reaching consequences. Continue reading this entry

President Obama: Overtime Is Good, Let’s Give It Out to More!

In another attempt to stimulate the earning power of middle class Americans, President Obama recently took a bold move and issued a memo to his Secretary of Labor, telling him to tighten the regulations creating exemptions so that more workers will be eligible for overtime premium pay. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, all covered workers are presumed eligible for overtime premium pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in any one work week, unless the employer proves they fit into one of several specific exemptions. In his March 13, 2014 Memorandum, the President declared that the regulations, which define the so called “White Collar” exemptions from overtime pay, “have not kept up with our modern economy” and that “because the Regulations are outdated, millions of Americans lack the protections of overtime.” Continue reading this entry

Hit With I-9 Violations? Put Them on ICE

Employers who seek administrative review of enforcement fines sought by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (“ICE”) related to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) Form I-9 violations may petition relief from such ICE allegations before the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), a division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In previous years, the amount of published decisions issued by OCAHO has been relatively small, recently, it has ticked upward. The increase in published decisions, as well as the topics covered in those decision, provide insight into increasing Government scrutiny on I-9 compliance issues and the potential risks associated with such heightened scrutiny. Furthermore, as we noted last year, I-9 scrutiny is on the rise, and the increase in published decisions may only be the latest step in that campaign. Continue reading this entry