The Vermont minimum wage will increase from $8.06 to $8.15 per hour on January 1, 2011. The 9 cent per hour increase is the first since January 1, 2009. This change will require that every Vermont employer update his or her labor law posters.
The Vermont tipped minimum wage increases by 5 cents in 2011, from $4.15 to $4.20 per hour. Under the state law, employees of a hotel, motel, restaurant or tourist place who regularly earn more than $120 per month in tips can be paid (more…)
The Oregon minimum wage will increase by 10 cents per hour from $8.40 to $8.50 on January 1, 2011. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian recently announced the increase based on a 1.15% increase in the Consumer Price Index for the year ending September 1, 2010.
This is the first increase in the Oregon minimum wage since January 1, 2009. This change means that Oregon maintains the second-highest minimum wage in the nation in 2011. The highest minimum wage is in neighboring Washington state, where the current rate of $8.55 will increase to $8.67 in 2011.
According to Commissioner Avakian, “This modest increase is the result of a slowly but steadily rising cost of living facing Oregon workers. By helping workers and their families preserve their purchasing power in difficult times, (more…)
The Arizona minimum wage for tipped employees also increases 10 cents from $4.25 to $4.35 per hour on the same date. Arizona includes car wash attendants, hair dressers, barbers, valets and service bartenders as tipped employees, along with waiters, waitresses and busboys. However, if the tipped employees wages and tips do not average at least $7.35 per hour worked (more…)
Employers need to train managers and supervisors to avoid illegal genetic discrimination under GINA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act . Recent regulations issued by the EEOC mean the employer, manager or supervisor must caution the employee not to reveal genetic information, even when the supervisor is casually expressing concern.
In practice, the new regulations mean that an employer should:
· Immediately notify all employees in writing not to share family medical history or genetic information, preferably using the EEOC language
· Notify employees again whenever health information is requested verbally or in writing
· Warn supervisors to limit queries about the employee’s medical conditions, and that of their family members, no matter how well meaning those requests might be
On November 9, 2010 the EEOC issued (more…)
OSHA recently issued a memo requiring local offices to implement more inspections and crack down on employers who underreport accidents in the workplace. The action specifically targets factories and companies with many workers at one site, who report much lower injury rates than their competitors.
At issue is the problem of over-zealous managers and supervisors who fail to report workplace accidents. Usually these accidents are not serious and may result in only minor first aid, with little or no time missed from work. However, in more severe cases, a supervisor may fail to report a very serious accident, or threaten an employee who reports a legitimate workplace accident.
Ironically, a workplace safety plan that offers incentives for very low accident rates, especially financial incentives to line supervisors or managers, may create an environment that encourages underreporting of accidents. While having a safety plan and rewarding supervisors with good worker safety records is positive, offering incentives that are too large, for unrealistic or impossible safety goals, is a negative.
OSHA launched the National Emphasis Program on Recordkeeping or NEP in 2009 after several university studies found that companies were incorrectly reporting fewer workplace accidents.
Under NEP, OSHA plans to increase focus on the manufacturing industry.
In the past, OSHA did not inspect companies that reported no days of work lost, employees on light duty or employees transferred due to a work-related accident. This provided (more…)