Tuesday, August 27, 2013

100 Years of Department of Labor: 100 Years of Fighting For Employee Protection

In March 4, 1913, the workers in the United States have found an ally in the government. In that day, legislation paved the way for the creation of the US Department of Labor. This agency of the government is responsible for representing the Labor Sector in the White House. The DOL is responsible for ensuring that the rights and welfare of the American workforce are protected and upheld at all times. This ensures the protection of every worker from abuse, harassment, discrimination, and other unfair practices by employers. This also makes sure that all the employment and labor laws are properly implemented.

The DOL: A hundred years after

One hundred years after its institution, the DOL has continued to not just provide protection for employees, it is also is responsible for the creation of jobs, the improvement of working conditions, and ensuring that workers are provided with access to benefits and are aware of their rights. In celebration of its centennial the following events highlight the agency’s contributions in its 100 years of existence:

  • The release of a report about the Moynihan Black Poverty Report and what 50 years after

  • A video about the state of the US Labor and Employment Relations for the past 100 years

  • A Bloomberg report about the Women’s Bureau’s Esther Peterson and how she have fought for the equal pay for women in the workplace

  • MSNBC’s report that honors former Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, the architech of Social Security on her 133rd birthday

  • The posting of a question about the DOL on Jeopardy

  • The choosing and the celebration of the life of Frances Perkins as the best “Labor saint

  • A Federal News Radio guesting of Carl Fillichio, senior adviser for Public Affairs and Communications of the Labor Department where the Labor sector’s past, present, and future was discussed

  • Celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and

  • An academic symposium with the Labor Department held in Cornell University

DOL: 100 years and beyond

The celebration of the Labor Department’s 100th year is just one of the many more celebrations that are about to come. A group of Los Angeles employment lawyers believe that the agency through its leadership and the participation of all citizens can make a huge impact in once and for all ensure the fostering of a perfect working environment for every American. That is why these Los Angeles attorneys encourage everybody to be an active player in helping achieve the goals of the Labor Department in the next hundreds of years.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Employers’ Guide in Legally Laying Off Employees in California

Deciding to lay off some of your employees is definitely a difficult decision to do. It is a tough situation to be in, especially if you know that the workers you are about to let go are long ways to go before they are hired by their new employers. Aside from that, doing so is already a hard one, especially that layoffs are governed under the prevailing federal and California employment and labor laws.

Being an employer covered by such laws, it is important that you are aware whether your decision to lay off some of your employees duly violates any legal standards, especially if you operate your business in California. You wouldn’t want to face a wrongful termination lawsuit from a discontented former employee whom you’ve included in your mass layoff, right?

The Legal Ways of Laying Off Employees in California

To better understand what you need to do in case you plan to lay off a group of employees, here is a guide on how you can do so legally in the State of California:

•    Before anything else, retain a good business law attorney first. He or she will surely help you give sound legal advice to help protect you from any lawsuits that may hit you along the way, especially in your decision to lay off employees.

•    When announcing layoffs, it is imperative that you provide proper notice. Under the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), you must do so within 30 days before the layoff date, as opposed to the federal WARN wherein notices must be given 60 days prior. If you decide on a “mass layoff,” the state law states that you can lay off at least 50 employees, either full-time or part-time. If you want to include some of the latter, make sure that they have worked six of the previous 12 months.

•    At the day of the layoff, ensure that their final payments—accrued vacation leaves, bonuses, and other due wages—must be forwarded to them during that day or the day after.

•    Very important: keep employee records. For every employee you laid off, it is important that you preserve a detailed paper trail as to the circumstances of the layoff and the courses of action you took to arrive at such decision. This will help you a lot if one of them decides to sue you.

Always keep in mind to uphold the rights of the employees you are about to lay off, especially when it comes to their final pay and other compensations. More importantly, you must carefully plan out your layoffs as dictated by the California employment laws to prevent you from facing discrimination or other labor-related lawsuits.