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October 2015 employment: increase in wages, professional service jobs

a release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, October saw dramatic job gains across many industries, as well as increases in private (non-farm) hourly wages. The Bureau says the unemployment rate remained “unchanged” from September’s rate of 5.1 percent, but the new report shows that the percentage of unemployed must have just edged under the…

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Labor Dept. in minimum-wage catch-22 for home health care workers

the Department is now putting that decision on ice while it sees if it can get an industry-wide ruling from the Supreme Court. Previously, home health care workers — who primarily take care of elderly patients in their own homes — were generally thought to be employed through agencies or directly by the family itself,…

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Labor Department sues fundamentalist group over child labor

Wage and Hour Division sued the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and several employers within the sect for continuing to violate child-labor laws after a 2007 court order demanded they cease the employment of minor children for pecan harvesting. The Wage and Hour Division had been investigating the FLDS church for…

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Department of Labor implements back wages website

The U.S. Department of Labor has introduced a new website to help employees — who may not have received proper overtime pay or minimum wages — to receive back wages. The site, Workers Owed Wages, is run by the Wage and Hour Division, and is a nationwide database where employees can receive recovered back wages…

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Should unpaid internships be illegal?

employers are violating minimum wage laws set out by the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor has clear guidelines to assist private employers in determining whether they should offer unpaid internships. Those guidelines include factors such as whether the internship benefits the intern, that the intern does not replace the role of a regular…

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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…

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Nebraska launches first-in-the-nation re-employment program

has announced that Nebraska will be launching a new re-employment program on October 1, 2015 — the first of its kind in the nation. Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Labor, the new program aims to assist individuals as they get back into the workforce after a bout of unemployment. The program would…

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Employee or Contractor? Guidelines Employers Need to Know

released a new series of guidelines for helping employers to determine whether the individuals that work for them should be classified as “employees” or “independent contractors.” In 2014, the Department of Labor required companies to pay 109,000 misclassified workers more than $79 million in back pay. The Department has found that often, employees are misclassified…

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