New Massachusetts Law Limits Certain Criminal History Inquiries

Massachusetts has limited certain inquiries into criminal history.

Restricted Information
Among other things, employers with 6 or more employees are generally prohibited from requesting any information or using any job application to request a person’s:

  • Sealed or expunged criminal record; or
  • Misdemeanor conviction where the date of the conviction or completion of any period of resulting incarceration, whichever date is later, occurred 3 or more years (a change from 5 or more years) before the date of the job application or request.

These provisions are effective October 13, 2018Click here to read the law.

Posted by HR360

Beware of Scam Targeting Small Businesses through Mailers and “Inspectors”

All In One Poster Company

Inspector and Mailer Heading PhotoAll in One Poster Company, Inc would like to warn its customers as well as other small business owners to avoid mass mailer scams informing them that their labor law posters are outdated while pressuring them to purchase an overpriced product for their employee and business.

These mailers are false, misleading, deceptive and even threatening. As a part of this scam, business owners are demanded to pay varying amounts that range from $65 to $285 or face fines up to $17,000.

One mailer is marked with the company name “Corporate Compliance Services” and labeled “Labor Law Compliance Request Form.” Several businesses who receive these notices are just starting up and have yet to have any employees, and therefore are not required to post such information. Even when posting is required, the individual notices are provided at no charge by the U.S. Department of Labor as well as various agencies within…

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Colorado Repeals Certain State Employment Verification Requirements

Employers Still Must Comply with Federal Employment Verification Requirements

A new law in Colorado, effective August 10, 2016, repeals certain state employment verification requirements.

State Verification Law Repealed

Under current state law (until August 10, 2016), each employer in Colorado must:

  • Make an affirmation within 20 days after hiring a new employee and keep a written or electronic copy of the affirmation for the term of employment of each employee; and
  • Keep a written or electronic copy of the employee’s documents required by 8 U.S.C. § 1324a (commonly known as Form I-9 identity and employment authorization documents) and retain the copies for the term of employment of each employee.

Effective August 10, 2016, these requirements are repealed.

Federal Law Still Applicable
The law does not repeal a provision allowing the state Department of Labor and Employment to request documentation that demonstrates compliance with federal verification requirements.

Federal law requires employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States—either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. To comply with the law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each employee hired to work in the United States by completing and retaining Form I-9,Employment Eligibility Verification.

Employers must have a completed Form I-9 on file for each person on their payroll (or otherwise receiving remuneration) who is required to complete the form. Employers must also keep completed Forms I-9 for a certain amount of time after their employees stop working for them. Once an employee no longer works for the employer, the employer must determine how much longer to keep the employee’s Form I-9. To calculate how long to keep an employee’s Form I-9, click here.

Click here to read the text of the new state law. Additional information regarding Form I-9 is available by clicking here


Workers affected by California drought to receive temporary employment

Labor Department announces $18M in National Dislocated Worker Grant funding

WASHINGTON — Now well into its fourth year, one of the worst droughts in California in more than a century continues to cause economic insecurity for many families in the region, particularly in the agriculture sector. A recent University of California Davis study estimates 18,000 people lost jobs because of drought. These losses leave working families struggling to make ends meet, and today the Department of Labor is announcing up to $18 million in National Dislocated Worker Grant (formerly referred to as National Emergency Grants) funding to the state of California to provide jobs for workers dislocated by the drought, with $3 million released initially.

“For so many in California’s growing regions, water has been their livelihood for generations,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Without it, growth — both the natural growth of living things and of the local economy — slows to a standstill. For those whose ability to provide for their families is most immediately affected by the drought, this funding will provide much needed temporary employment. I am particularly grateful to Congressman Jim Costa — who is announcing the grant today in Fresno — for bringing the suffering of these families to my attention and setting in motion this much-needed federal assistance.”

This NDWG will employ up to 1,000 workers for up to six months with public and nonprofit agencies working to remove dead foliage to prevent potential fires and mudslides, and renovating and repairing public facilities damaged by the sustained drought. Made possible by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the grant will focus on the areas facing the most severe impacts in California. Other states that have received a drought emergency declaration and can document drought-impacted job losses will have the option to apply for similar dislocated worker grants. The program will also support youth in drought-impacted households as well as the long-term unemployed.

California’s Employment Development Department will deploy the project funds through the Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium and through La Cooperativa Campesina de California. NoRTEC — a local Workforce Development Board in the far northern part of the State — and La Cooperativa — a statewide convener of farm worker programs throughout California — will work directly with regional partners and project work sites to assist impacted workers.

As President Obama said on a visit to Fresno, Calif., last year, “California is our biggest economy, California is our biggest agricultural producer, so what happens here matters to every working American, right down to the cost of food that you put on your table.” That’s why the administration has announced new actions and investments of more than $110 million — of which this NDWG is part — to support workers, farmers and rural communities suffering from drought and to combat wildfires. This builds on the more than $190 million that agencies across the federal government have invested to support drought-stricken communities so far this year.

National Dislocated Worker Grants are part of the secretary of labor’s discretionary fund. The department awards the grant based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines.

ETA News Release: Workers affected by California drought to receive temporary employment [07/20/2015]//

ETA News Release: [07/20/2015]
Contact Name: Egan Reich
Phone Number: (202) 693-4960
Release Number: 15-1449-NAT

Labor Commissioner Awards $138,386 to Caregiver Who Worked Round-the-Clock for Less Than Minimum Wage

San Francisco—California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su awarded $138,386 in back pay to a caregiver who worked 16-hour days in San Francisco for less than minimum wage, usually without a day off. The amount includes minimum wage and severance pay violations, liquidated damages and waiting time penalties.

Francisca Vasquez, a Salvadoran war refugee, was hired in 1992 by siblings Magdalena Lindvall and Reynaldo Peña Jr. to work as a companion to their elderly parents for $400 a month. Eventually Vasquez became a housekeeper and then round-the-clock caregiver to their mother for $500 a month. Upon the mother’s death, Vasquez was discharged.

“Workers are not always aware of their rights,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). “California labor law protects domestic workers as well as others who work in industries susceptible to wage theft.” The Labor Commissioner’s Office, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), is a division within DIR.

Because Vasquez filed her claim two years into the three year statute of limitation for minimum wage claims, she could only collect wages on the last year she worked.

“This was an egregious case of worker abuse, where someone providing care was treated with an utter lack of care for her rights and for her humanity,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. “I am pleased that through the Berman wage claim process, my office was able to help her get some of the hard earned wages she deserved. This is a sign that when workers come forward to file wage claims, they can win some measure of justice.”

The Labor Commissioner awarded her $50,008 for wages, $48,209 in liquidated damages, $35,707 in  interest, and $4,464 in penalties.

Vasquez was assisted in the wage claim process by the community organization Mujeres Unidas y Activas and the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, investigates retaliation and whistleblower complaints, issues licenses and registrations for businesses, and educates the public on labor laws. Updated information on California labor laws is available online.

The Wage Theft is a Crime public awareness campaign, launched last year by DIR and its Labor Commissioner’s Office, has helped inform workers of their rights. The campaign includes multilingual print and outdoor advertising as well as radio commercials on ethnic stations in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hmong and Tagalog.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may call the toll-free California Workers’ Information Line at (866) 924-9757 for recorded information in Spanish and English on a variety of work-related topics. Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046 for more information.

This article was originally published by DIR.CA.GOV.

All in One Poster Company located in Buena Park, California is a leading provider of state and federal labor law posters as well as OSHA safety posters in the country.