HR compliance is more important than ever, with recent news that the U.S. Department of Labor filed suit against a Houston employer for not keeping adequate records of employee time worked, including weekly time sheets. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao wants to send a clear message to employers that violations of labor rights will not be tolerated.
“To protect workers, last year the department deployed additional investigators to the Gulf Coast region to better ensure that employers fully comply with wage and hour laws,” said US Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. “This legal action is among our many efforts on behalf of these workers who are doing vital work for the Gulf Coast region’s recovery and who deserve and are entitled to receive all the wages they have earned.”
While busy employers may think of HR compliance as a minor matter, to the Department of Labor, violations are a serious offense. The recent suit filed by the U.S. Labor Department confirms Secretary Chao’s caution against employers who violate labor rights. The suit, to recover over $500,000 in back wages for employees working on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, alleges that the employer committed violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) filed the suit against a Houston drywall firm for violating the labor rights of employees. Specifically, the employer misclassified employees as independent contractors, in order to avoid overtime payments mandated under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA).
The drywall company performed on contracts for reconstruction along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The WHD investigation of the Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino contract in Biloxi, Miss. and other worksites, found that the company owner regularly misclassified employees as independent contractors and failed to pay them the additional half time overtime premium for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The company also failed to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages and hours of work.
While most states have just a few required laws that need to be posted in the workplace, Louisiana posters cover many different laws. These posters need to be posted in the workplace in a visible area where all employees have access to them. Some possible areas are the employee break room, work room or mail room. Other places would be anywhere that the employees tend to gather before, during or after work.
These posters are necessary for the employers and employees because of the benefits they have. Employers can benefit from the posters because they serve as a quick reference to let employers know their responsibilities when it comes to upholding labor laws in their workplaces as well as what is expected of them if a problem should arise. Employees benefit from the posters because they give them labor law information that they might not have access to anywhere else. It tells them exactly what they need to expect in terms of their rights and possible exceptions to the rights as well as what they need to do if there is a labor law problem within the workplace. The Louisiana posters also provide the proper contact information to help them contact who they need to in case the employee needs to file a complaint or grievance.
Kentucky posters need to outline multiple state laws. They include Earned Income Credit, Timely Payment of Wages, Age Discrimination, Out-of-State Motor Vehicles, Workers’ Compensation, Employers Support/Guard and Reserves, Unemployment Insurance, Smoking Policy, Sickle Cell Anemia Discrimination, Child Labor and Genetic Information/Discrimination. In addition, specific federal laws must also be covered on the posters: USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law, Federal Minimum Wage, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and OSHA-Job Safety & Health Protection.
Labor laws change frequently, so it’s important for employers to make sure they have the most current Louisiana Posters available posted in the workplace.