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

  • Court sets quiet March argument calendar
    by Amy Howe on January 28, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    The Supreme Court ended a week of momentous news on a much more low-key note, releasing on Friday afternoon the argument calendar for the justices’ March arguments. The court will hear eight hours of oral arguments over six days, on topics ranging from arbitration to… The post Court sets quiet March argument calendar appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

  • Always an optimist, always a teacher
    by Aileen McGrath on January 28, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    This article is part of a series of tributes on the career of Justice Stephen Breyer. Aileen McGrath is senior counsel in the Supreme Court and appellate practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. She clerked for Breyer during the 2008-09 term. Those of us who… The post Always an optimist, always a teacher appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

  • The many Stephen Breyers
    by Deanne Maynard on January 28, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    This article is part of a series of tributes on the career of Justice Stephen Breyer. Deanne E. Maynard is co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s appellate and Supreme Court practice and a former assistant to the solicitor general. She clerked for Breyer during the 1994-95 term. I… The post The many Stephen Breyers 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 cites Pomp’s Tire Service after Abbotsford worker suffers fatal trauma while attempting to mount tire on rim
    on January 29, 2022 at 11:18 am

    ABBOTSFORD, WI ‒ At the Abbotsford location of a popular Midwest tire sales-and-service provider, a worker mounting a new tire sustained fatal injuries after the tire came loose and struck him on July 28, 2021. A few weeks later, another worker from the same company suffered a similar fate at a Savage, Minnesota, location on Aug. 17, 2021. After an investigation of the first incident, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Pomp’s Tire Service – based in Green Bay – for one serious violation of standards for servicing multi-piece and single-piece rim wheels. OSHA has proposed $14,502 in penalties. The second incident is still under investigation by Minnesota OSHA. Since 2017, five workers in the Midwest have died in similar circumstances as they serviced vehicle rims or wheels. “Like most fatal incidents, these tragedies could have been prevented if the employer took the necessary steps to protect their employees,” said OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack in Appleton. “Employers should develop an effective safety and health plan, and they are required to train workers on how to identify hazards and use required protective measures to help ensure their safety.” Founded in 1939 in Green Bay, Pomp’s Tire Service has approximately 200 Midwest locations. View safety information on proper demounting and mounting of tires.   Learn more about OSHA.

  • Federal court orders shuttle service to pay $742K in wages, damages to 368 employees after US Department of Labor investigation, litigation
    on January 29, 2022 at 11:18 am

    NEW YORK – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has entered a consent judgment  ordering a Brooklyn bus and shuttle service to pay $742,500 in back wages and liquidated damages for overtime wages denied to 368 shuttle drivers, following an investigation and litigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. The department’s Wage and Hour Division investigation determined that Brooklyn-based Trans Express Inc., a subsidiary of National Express Transit Corp. failed to pay overtime wages to employees who picked up and dropped off passengers for Trans Express Inc.’s clients. The division found Trans Express paid the drivers flat rates ranging from approximately $100 to $190 per day without regard to the number of hours they worked in a day or in a workweek. Employees typically worked 45 to 60 hours per workweek. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay overtime when employees work more than 40 hours in a workweek. The division found Trans Express improperly assumed its employees were not entitled to overtime under FLSA. Investigators also found Trans Express failed to keep adequate and accurate records as the law requires. “Trans Express failed to pay hundreds of workers all of their hard-earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Jorge Alvarez in New York. “The company shortchanged these employees and their families, and gained an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors. Now, Trans Express is being held accountable.” In addition to payment of the back wages and liquidated damages, the court ordered Trans Express to comply with the FLSA’s overtime and recordkeeping requirements. “The U.S. Department of Labor vigorously pursued legal action to ensure Trans Express’s employees were properly compensated as required by the law. The department will continue to pursue litigation where employers fail to comply with the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey Rogoff in New York. The division’s New York City District Office conducted the investigation. Senior Trial Attorney David Rutenberg of the department’s regional Office of the Solicitor in New York litigated the case for the department. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Trans Express Inc. is a regional transportation firm, specializing in point to point shuttle services. 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 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. Walsh v. Trans Express Inc. Civil Action No. 19-1423-SJ-RER

  • US Department of Labor announces pilot program to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among miners in Kentucky, Arizona
    on January 29, 2022 at 11:18 am

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a new program designed to encourage and help America’s miners to get the COVID-19 protections that vaccinations offer. The department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration will pilot the Mine Vaccine Outreach Program to deliver free vaccinations in mining communities and provide educational outreach to mining communities in Kentucky and Arizona on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that vaccination rates are below 60 percent in two states where a substantial number of mining operations exist. Participation in MSHA’s Mine Vaccine Outreach Program is voluntary and free for mine operators in Kentucky and Arizona. Program representatives will collaborate with the states’ mine operators to identify convenient locations, coordinate with health professionals to administer vaccine services and develop communication programs to address the community’s questions and concerns. On Wednesday Jan. 26, the agency will hold a public vaccine clinic at the Kentucky Crushed Stone Association Safety and Education Seminar in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, MSHA will host two vaccination clinics in Arizona this week for mine employees at the Asarco Ray Mine in Kearny on Tuesday, Jan. 25, and Asarco Mission Mine in Sahuarita on Wednesday, Jan. 26. “The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration exists to protect the safety and health of the nation’s miners from hazards in their workplaces,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Jeannette Galanis. “COVID-19 has killed more than 860,000 people in the U.S. alone and like other mining hazards, it demands we take action to prevent workers from suffering needlessly. Providing free COVID-19 vaccinations is a natural extension of our efforts to ensure safe workplaces.” MSHA has selected Jazz Solutions Inc., an Ashburn, Virginia, IT solutions provider for federal, state and local governments, to administer the program. Learn more about MSHA.

  • US Department of Labor announces pilot program to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among miners in Kentucky, Arizona
    on January 29, 2022 at 11:18 am

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a new program designed to encourage and help America’s miners to get the COVID-19 protections that vaccinations offer. The department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration will pilot the Mine Vaccine Outreach Program to deliver free vaccinations in mining communities and provide educational outreach to mining communities in Kentucky and Arizona on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that vaccination rates are below 60 percent in two states where a substantial number of mining operations exist. Participation in MSHA’s Mine Vaccine Outreach Program is voluntary and free for mine operators in Kentucky and Arizona. Program representatives will collaborate with the states’ mine operators to identify convenient locations, coordinate with health professionals to administer vaccine services and develop communication programs to address the community’s questions and concerns. On Wednesday Jan. 26, the agency will hold a public vaccine clinic at the Kentucky Crushed Stone Association Safety and Education Seminar in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, MSHA will host two vaccination clinics in Arizona this week for mine employees at the Asarco Ray Mine in Kearny on Tuesday, Jan. 25, and Asarco Mission Mine in Sahuarita on Wednesday, Jan. 26. “The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration exists to protect the safety and health of the nation’s miners from hazards in their workplaces,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Jeannette Galanis. “COVID-19 has killed more than 860,000 people in the U.S. alone and like other mining hazards, it demands we take action to prevent workers from suffering needlessly. Providing free COVID-19 vaccinations is a natural extension of our efforts to ensure safe workplaces.” MSHA has selected Jazz Solutions Inc., an Ashburn, Virginia, IT solutions provider for federal, state and local governments, to administer the program. Learn more about MSHA.

  • Federal investigation recovers $221K in back wages, damages for 59 workers
    on January 29, 2022 at 11:18 am

    BOISE – The U.S. Department of Labor recovered $221,053 in back wages and liquidated damages for 59 drywall installation workers in Idaho after their employer recklessly denied them overtime wages they earned and then lied to investigators about it. The department’s Wage and Hour Division found Intermountain Drywall and Acoustical Inc. of Eagle intentionally underpaid its workers by denying them their rightfully overtime wages earned, a Fair Labor Standards Act violation. The employer repeatedly told investigators that the company paid employees overtime wages at time-and-one-half their rates of pay when they worked more than 40 hours per week, as the law requires. Investigators determined the employer’s claims were untrue and that the employer had not paid workers overtime as claimed. The investigation led to the division’s recovery of $110,526 in unpaid overtime wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for the shortchanged workers. The reckless nature of the violations led the division to assess Intermountain Drywall and Acoustical with $22,560 in civil money penalties.  “Shortchanging employees who work long, hard hours to provide shelter and safety to so many is unfair and illegal. Then, Intermountain Drywall and Acoustical lied to federal investigators. It’s hard to understand how they thought that would end well,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carrie Aguilar in Portland, Oregon. “In this case, the employer has learned that such actions have significant and costly consequences. We encourage other construction industry employers to avoid making similar mistakes.” In fiscal year 2021, more than 3,000 Wage and Hour Division investigations recovered more than $36 million in back wages for more than 20,000 construction industry workers. 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.