WWT Insights Legal Blog

Wilson Wehmeyer Themeli, pllc provides you legal news, updates, and analysis in its blog WWT Insights. Read the latest posts.

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The Supreme Court of the United States

  • The morning read for Thursday, Sept. 16
    by James Romoser on September 16, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Each weekday, we select a short list of news articles, commentary, and other noteworthy links related to the Supreme Court. To suggest a piece for us to consider, email us at roundup@scotusblog.com. Here’s the Thursday morning read: Supreme Court job approval sinks to all-time low, poll… The post The morning read for Thursday, Sept. 16 appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

  • The morning read for Wednesday, Sept. 15
    by James Romoser on September 15, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Each weekday, we select a short list of news articles, commentary, and other noteworthy links related to the Supreme Court. To suggest a piece for us to consider, email us at roundup@scotusblog.com. Here’s the Wednesday morning read: Senators condemn protest at Kavanaugh’s home after Texas abortion… The post The morning read for Wednesday, Sept. 15 appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

  • Prelogar sails through nomination hearing with only mild Republican critiques
    by Angie Gou on September 14, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Elizabeth Prelogar, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be solicitor general, sat through a swift nomination hearing on Tuesday afternoon. Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she was met with strong praise from Democrats, limited pushback from Republicans, and few questions overall. From Biden’s inauguration on… The post Prelogar sails through nomination hearing with only mild Republican critiques appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement

US Department of Labor

  • US Department of Labor recovers $163K for 72 healthcare workers after investigation finds Linden hospital missed payrolls
    on September 17, 2021 at 1:51 am

    LINDEN, TN – Amid the pandemic, Linden hospital essential healthcare workers demonstrated their commitment to their jobs and communities when they worked long hours at a risk to themselves and their families. Yet, the hospital failed to meet its responsibilities to 72 of these workers when it did not pay them in accordance with federal law. Underpayment and missed payrolls added financial stress to the enormous burden already carried by the workers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division cited Expertus Health LLC – operator of Perry Community Hospital – for missing three payrolls in November 2020, which led to minimum wage and overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Investigators also found the facility illegally deducted break time from employees’ hours of work, despite federal law requiring that employers pay for short breaks periods. The investigation also identified other concerns in Perry Community Hospital’s pay practices, including: Paying employees straight time for all the hours they worked and failing to pay overtime when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Failing to include earned bonuses, such as incentive pay, in the calculation of overtime pay. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor and paying the worker straight time and failing to pay overtime even when the employee worked over 40 in a workweek. The division recovered $163,785 in back wages for 72 workers. “Healthcare workers provided essential services at great risk and personal sacrifice as the pandemic raged. They deserve to be paid all of their legally earned wages on their regularly scheduled payday, as the Fair Labor Standards Act requires,” said Wage and Hour Division Acting District Director Pamela Sullivan in Nashville, Tennessee. “Employers and employees alike are encouraged to contact the Wage and Hour Division to learn more about their obligations and rights under federal law. Violations like these are avoidable.” For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

  • Federal investigation of pay practices recovers nearly $120K in back wages, damages for 65 workers at Pike County truck stop, convenience store
    on September 17, 2021 at 1:51 am

    TAFTON, PA – A U.S. Department of Labor investigation has found the owner of two Pike County companies violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by denying 65 workers their rightfully earned wages, resulting in the recovery of nearly $120,000 in back wages and damages. Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Mohammad Tahir – owner and manager of Promised Land Truck Stop in Tafton and Whistle Stop convenience store in Greentown – violated FLSA minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping requirements, resulting in a total of $59,690 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages owed to his employees. The division recovered $42,265 in back wages for 47 Promised Land Truck Stop workers and $17,424 in back wages for 18 Whistle Stop employees, plus an equal amount in damages. The employer failed to pay workers at the Tafton location for time spent counting cash drawers and completing reports, and took deductions from workers’ pay for cash drawer shortages. By doing so, the employer paid workers less than the federal minimum wage. Tahir also did not pay any overtime when employees worked over 40 in a workweek, and did not maintain payroll and time records as required. Similarly, employees at the Greentown store were paid straight time with no overtime pay when they worked over 40 in a workweek. Investigators also found the employer paid several workers identified as assistant managers a fixed salary, with no overtime pay, in violation of the law. The employer also deducted pay from the assistant managers’ salaries when they worked fewer than 50 hours, and again failed to retain required records. After the investigation, the department filed a complaint against the employer in court to resolve the violations. In a summary judgment, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania affirmed that the employer violated law and owed the amounts the department sought. “The wages recovered for these low-wage workers will help them pay rent and put food on the table for their families,” said Wage and Hour District Director Alfonso Gristina in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. “The U.S. Department of Labor is determined to ensure that employers follow the law and create a level playing field for those competitors who pay their workers all of the wages they have rightfully earned.” “Employers have a legal responsibility to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act. The U.S. Department of Labor continues to pursue appropriate and effective legal remedies, including filing suit in federal court, to ensure employees are paid for all their hard work and employers who violate the law come into compliance,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Oscar L. Hampton III in Philadelphia. Shalimar Distributors LLC operates as Promised Land Truck Stop and TAFS Corp. operates as Whistle Stop. Mohammad Tahir owns and manages both enterprises. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages. For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the agency, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

  • US Department of Labor urges workers, employers, public to recognize hazards, ensure safety after Hurricane Nicholas
    on September 17, 2021 at 1:51 am

    DALLAS – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration urges response crews and residents in areas affected by Hurricane Nicholas to recognize the hazards created by flooding, power loss, structural damage, fallen trees and storm debris. Response and recovery workers may face hazards related to restoring electricity and communications, removing debris, repairing water damage, repairing or replacing roofs and trimming trees. Only individuals with proper training, equipment and experience should conduct recovery and cleanup activities. After a weather disaster, those involved in response and recovery should: Evaluate the work area for hazards. Assess the stability of structures and walking surfaces. Ensure fall protection is used when working on elevated surfaces. Assume all power lines are live. Keep portable generators outside. Never attach a generator directly to the electrical system of a structure unless a qualified electrician has installed a transfer switch for the generator. Operate chainsaws, ladders and other equipment properly. Use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, hard hats, and hearing protection, foot and eye safeguards. Have plenty of drinking water available, use sunscreen, and take frequent rest breaks in shaded areas. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. “Workers entering areas after severe weather must be prepared to do their jobs and help clean up and restore services safely,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Eric Harbin in Dallas. “Employers must follow safe work practices, provide training on worksite hazards and ensure the use of appropriate personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of injuries.” OSHA maintains a comprehensive webpage on hurricane preparedness and response with safety tips to help employers and workers, including an alert on keeping workers safe during flood cleanup. Individuals involved in response and recovery efforts may call OSHA at 800-321-OSHA (6742).     Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. Learn more about OSHA.

  • Unas empresas de gestión hotelera de Long Island deberán pagar $210,000 en salarios y multas después de que el Departamento de Trabajo de EE.UU. descubriera violaciones del programa de trabajadores extranjeros H-2B
    on September 17, 2021 at 1:51 am

    NUEVA YORK – Los empleados de dos empresas de gestión hotelera de East Hampton (Nueva York), de propiedad común, descubrieron que su trabajo no era vacacional cuando sus empleadores -Dune Resorts LLC y Ocean Bay Management Inc.- violaron varios requisitos del programa de visados H-2B, lo que supuso la pérdida directa de puestos de trabajo para 39 trabajadores estadounidenses y el pago insuficiente a 59 empleados H-2B. Como resultado de una investigación llevada a cabo por la División de Salarios y Horarios del Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos, Dune Resorts y Ocean Bay Management pagarán $210,000 en salarios atrasados y multas civiles monetarias y acordarán mejores condiciones de cumplimiento para resolver las violaciones actuales y evitar futuras violaciones. También se prohíbe a Dune Resorts participar en el programa de visados H-2B durante dos años. La división determinó que Dune Resorts no se puso en contacto con los trabajadores estadounidenses de la temporada anterior para solicitarles que volvieran a trabajar y omitió beneficios fundamentales en los anuncios de contratación de empleo requeridos, en violación de los requisitos del programa. Estas infracciones provocaron un fuerte descenso del número total de trabajadores estadounidenses empleados por Dune Resorts. Los investigadores identificaron a 38 ex trabajadores estadounidenses que perdieron sus trabajos. La investigación también descubrió que tanto Dune Resorts como Ocean Bay Management: Exigían a los trabajadores H-2B que trabajaran fuera de sus clasificaciones laborales aprobadas y que realizaran un trabajo que debería haber sido remunerado con un sueldo más alto. No pagaron a los trabajadores H-2B las dietas por viajar hacia y desde su país de origen. No comunicaron por adelantado a los trabajadores H-2B la deducción de los costos de alojamiento de sus salarios. También determinó que Ocean Bay Management pagaba menos de la tarifa salarial ofrecida a los trabajadores H-2B del servicio doméstico. En virtud del acuerdo aprobado por la Oficina de Jueces de Derecho Administrativo del departamento, Dune Resorts pagará $121,567 en salarios atrasados a los empleados y $32,454 en multas civiles monetarias al Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos, mientras que Ocean Bay Management pagará $23,523 en salarios atrasados y $32,454 multas. Además, contratarán a un contratista externo para que les ayude a cumplir la normativa H-2B, incluida el entrenamiento de los propietarios y gerentes. “El incumplimiento de las normas por parte de estos empleadores perjudicó tanto a los trabajadores estadounidenses como a los trabajadores extranjeros, negando oportunidades de empleo a los primeros y una compensación adecuada para los últimos”, declaró el director de distrito de la División de Salarios y Horarios, David An, en Westbury (Nueva York). “Dichas violaciones se pueden prevenir. Alentamos a todo los empleadores y empleados que tengan preguntas sobre el proceso H-2B a que se pongan en contacto con la División de Salarios y Horarios”. “Los empleadores que no cumplen con las normas del programa H-2B no sólo perjudican a los trabajadores, sino que también obtienen una ventaja económica injusta sobre los empleadores que respetan la ley. El Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos litigará activamente en estos casos para lograr resoluciones que garanticen que los solicitantes y los trabajadores sean contratados adecuadamente y eviten futuras violaciones”, dijo el Procurador regional del Trabajo Jeffrey Rogoff en Nueva York. La Oficina de Distrito de Long Island de la división llevó a cabo la investigación original. Los abogados litigantes Hollis Pfitsch y Peter Kellett, de la Oficina Regional del Procurador de Nueva York, litigaron el caso para el departamento. Los trabajadores pueden llamar a la División de Salarios y Horarios de forma confidencial para hacer preguntas –sin importar su estatus migratoria– y el departamento puede hablar con quién llame en más de 200 idiomas. Para recibir más información sobre el programa de visa H-2B, la Ley de Normas Laborales Justas de Trabajo (FLSA, por sus siglas en inglés) y otras leyes aplicadas por la división, póngase en contacto a la línea de ayuda gratuita de la agencia 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Obtenga más información sobre la División de Salarios y Horarios, y use su buscador si crees que la división le debe salarios atrasados. Lea el comunicado en inglés Administrador, División de Salarios y Horarios, Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos  v. Ocean Bay Management Inc. y Dune Resorts LLC, d/b/a Dune Resorts. Números de caso 2020-TNE-00051, 2020-TNE-00052

  • US Department of Labor awards $550K to assist clean up, recovery after Tennessee’s torrential rainfall in August 2021
    on September 17, 2021 at 1:51 am

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced funding of $550,085 to support disaster-relief employment for individuals to assist with clean up and recovery, and provide employment and training services, after catastrophic rainfall on Aug. 21 led to flooding and extensive waterway damage in parts of the Middle Tennessee region. Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the fully funded National Dislocated Worker Grant to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will provide temporary employment for individuals to remove debris, clear downed trees and perform other clean-up activities in Hickman and Humphreys counties. On Aug. 21, the National Weather Service reported up to 17 inches of rain fell in the area in less than 24 hours, causing deadly flash floods and inundating hundreds of homes. On Aug. 23, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a major disaster declaration which allows for the state to request federal assistance for recovery efforts. Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, National Dislocated Worker Grants temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events that cause significant job losses.