Archive for August 2015

Agriculture Dept. dispenses funds for energy projects

providing grant funds for 264 renewable energy projects. The projects will be funded through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), and $63 million has been allocated for them. “This funding will have far-reaching economic and environmental impacts nationwide, particularly in rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Investing in renewable energy and energy-efficient…

Read More

$15 minimum wage not a win for all, says Bureau of Labor Statistics

New York state — have managed to raise wages for employees to a $15-per-hour minimum, the Bureau of Labor Statistics warns that many businesses underpaid their workers even when the minimum wage was lower. The Bureau stated that in 2014, employers failed to pay up to 1.7 million workers the federal minimum wage of $7.25…

Read More

July 2015 employment: small uptick in new jobs, unemployment rate steady

a release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate remained constant in July at 5.3 percent. About 8.3 million people remain unemployed, though 215,000 new jobs were created last month. Gains were primarily in the retail, health care and professional services industries. Over the past year, the previous average monthly gains hovered around…

Read More

Mississippi Court: injured applicants can receive worker’s comp

may be qualified for worker’s compensation should they become injured while the test is being administered. This case was brought to court after Kevin Collins injured his knee climbing into and out of a truck cab during a pre-employment driving and agility test in 2012. His employment with the company was contingent on passing these…

Read More

Louisiana daycares lose licenses due to lack of background checks, disregard for state law

Two daycare centers in Louisiana recently had their child care licenses revoked when Louisiana Department of Education inspections revealed that each had violated dozens of state laws. Violations included not conducting criminal background checks on all employees, not having properly licensed and qualified directors, not documenting all workers, not meeting required employee-to-child ratios, not having…

Read More

Department of Education: Pell Grant pilot program introduced for prisoners

Congress determined that incarcerated individuals were not eligible to receive educational Pell Grants, the U.S. Department of Education has launched a new pilot program where, on a limited basis, federal and state inmates can become qualified for educational funding — and classes — while behind bars. This program is part of the Obama administration’s efforts…

Read More

Should employers expand drug testing to prescription drugs? National Safety Council thinks so

called for employers to create workplace drug policies in order to address the increased use of prescription painkillers. The Council studied court cases and research that shows that, by addressing the painkiller problem in advance, employers can reduce worker’s compensation claims and costs, as well as costs associated with addiction and treatment. Many workers who…

Read More

ACLU petitions for ‘ban the box’ executive action for federal jobs

has begun petitioning the government to stop including questions about applicants’ criminal records on federal job applications. Recently, President Obama spoke at the NAACP’s annual conference, where he asked Congress to pass federal “ban the box” laws and prevent criminal background checks from being conducted until later in the employment process. According to the ACLU…

Read More

EEOC: sexual orientation now a protected class under Title VII

by federal law, discriminating against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation for employment purposes is illegal. In its ruling in Complainant v. Foxx, the EEOC stated, “Indeed, we conclude that sexual orientation is inherently a ‘sex-based consideration,’ and an allegation of discrimination based on sexual orientation is necessarily an allegation of sex discrimination…

Read More