Employment Law

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“Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors Awarded $1.3 Million”
“Employer’s Job Description Instrumental in Determining Essential Duties, Employee Awarded”
“OFCCP Settles Hiring Bias Claim with Fomica Corp. for nearly $300,000”
“Employers Face Liability Risks for Distracted Driving”
“More States Passing Social Media Privacy Laws”
“Officer Disciplined, Demoted Over Facebook Page”
“Huge Jump in I-9 Audits”

With the rapid rate of change and the ever expanding areas requiring attention surrounding employment law compliance and regulation it only stands to reason that this is one of the greatest risks to our client’s assets. One claim can subject you not only to extreme business and personal financial penalties, but subject you to criminal exposure.

The U. S. Department of Labor (“hereinafter referred to as the “DOL”) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “EEOC”) has ushered in a new era of systemic discrimination enforcement. Employers cannot afford to wait for an agency claim, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (hereinafter referred to as the “OFCCP”) audit, private plaintiffs' lawsuit, or bad press.

You need to proactively assess your selection procedures, statistical trends, company policies and procedures, compensation, and make changes now. According to the EEOC's 2012–16 Strategic Enforcement Plan, the number of discrimination charges filed since the onset of the economic downturn has increased dramatically. Faced with these conditions, the EEOC concluded that the most efficient way to target discrimination is to find and pursue large—"systemic"—cases. In fiscal year 2011 the EEOC conducted 580 systemic investigations, filed 84 systemic lawsuits, and settled 35 systemic cases for a total of $9.6 million. Recent experience has shown that no charge is immune from the EEOC's search for systemic litigation.

According to the April 25, 2013 DOL newsletter, the OFCCP reached an agreement to settle a finding of hiring discrimination. The company agreed to: 1) pay more than $290,000 in back wages, interest and benefits to 400 qualified African Americans who applied for production worker positions at its Cincinnati manufacturing plant; and 2) hire 20 of these applicants as production worker positions become open. The OFCCP stated that its compliance investigators determined that the company failed to ensure that qualified job applicants received equal consideration for employment without regard to race as required by Executive Order 11246.

The number of I-9 audits multiplied over the past decade, rising from almost none—just three in 2004—to 500 in 2008 and 3,004 in 2012. The fines for substantive and procedural violations of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) can add up quickly. Penalties are not just for missing Form I 9s. More common are fines for any mistake found on the Form I-9.

……and that is just the tip of the iceberg!

At Bowen Law Professional Group we know you want to put your time and energy into growing your business. We are here to help. From creating a custom Employee Handbook to a full Employment Audit, we can support your unique and individual employment needs.

Our staff has over 20 years Employment Law and Executive Management experience and is ready to help no matter what level your business and employment compliance is currently at.