Are You Ready for an Audit

When we hear the word audit, we (or at least I) think of the IRS but businesses around the country, especially seasonal or that use a lot of migrant or immigrant labor have a lot more to worry about when it comes to Audits. ICE and Wage and Hour have both been stepping up their efforts to make sure employees are both legal and paid properly.

A recent article by attorneys in the restaurant space outlines how much more raid and audit activity ICE has been working on since the beginning of the year. ICE has more than tripled the audits and raids on employers compared to all of 2017 according to the authors. The article goes on to discuss what employers should do to prepare. More than 5200 employers received notices of intent to audit earlier this year. The advice given in the article is good for all Continue reading

Georgia Gin Safety Round Tables Well Attended

The AgriTrust of Georgia and the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association again put on two Ginners Safety Round Tables. This year the sessions were held at the Heart of Georgia Gin in Hawkinsville and Sconyers Gin in Sycamore.

Topics covered in this year’s Round Tables included Fork Lift and Warehouse demonstrations by MacKinnon Equipment Services, Personal Protective Equipment by Josh White with the AgriTrust, Maintenance and Off-Season Repair safety led by Jackson Hammack (Early County Gin) at Hawkinsville and Lupe Alonzo (Mobley Gin) and Rick Riley (Sconyers Gin and Whse) at Sconyers, and two Lock-out Sessions with Kirby Bailey of Safe Workforce Development and Andy Knowlton of the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association.¬†Additionally, the Continue reading

OSHA Revises Online Reporting of Injury Data

In a change that was largely expected, the Department of Labor published a proposed change to their Electronic Reporting Rule that requires large employers and smaller employers in certain high risk segments to report OSHA 300 data. The changes would rescind the previous requirement that the larger employers (over 250 employees) had to submit OSHA 300 form information as well as OSHA 300A (summary) data.

Assuming the changes become final in a few weeks, the larger employers and small employers would only have to submit the Summary 300A data. The concern is that the OSHA 300 data contains information Continue reading

Reminder: OSHA 300A Log Summary Due Soon

We are a little over a week until many businesses must submit their OSHA 300A logs electronically. Earlier this year, OSHA clarified that even employers in “state-plan states” that haven’t adopted the rule need to submit their data electronically this year.

Gins that have 20 or more employees at any point in the year will need to follow the links below to submit your data. Start with the OSHA record keeping page and make sure you Continue reading

OSHA to Propose Changes to Electronic Submittal Regs

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION JULY 1, 2018

As reported in the OSHA Law Blog¬†, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will soon propose changes to the electronic submission of your injury logs. In 2016 OSHA finalized a rule that required all large employers and many smaller employers in certain industries to submit their OSHA injury logs electronically. In that rule, the larger employers would have to submit 300A, 300 and 301 form information but the smaller employers in the higher risk industries would only need to submit the 300A form information. Under the rule we expect to see proposed soon, only the 300A information would be required. These changes will not come out in time to affect this year’s submittal deadline.

The rule change was recently sent to OMB which is the last step before being published in the Federal Register. It is my understanding that there may be some changes to the anti- Continue reading

Department of Labor Raises Max Fines

The Department of Labor agencies are raising their maximum fines. We received notice late last week that the Wage and Hour division and OSA were both raising their maximum fines under the indexing provisions in the 2016 Budget act. We had reported a couple years ago that OSHA’s fines had not been increased in nearly 20 yrs. In 2016 those fines took a significant jump. The same rules that gave those increases also provided that from time to time, the agencies could increase their penalties based on inflation.

OSHA and Wage and Hour published new maximum penalties last week. Those penalties rose approximately 2% bringing the maximum fine up to nearly $13,000 for a single serious Continue reading