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Federal Contractors Be AWARE:  VEVRAA Amendments Take Effect Later This Month

Federal Contractors Be AWARE: VEVRAA Amendments Take Effect Later This Month

By:  La Toya Palmer – 3/17/14

On August 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced — what is termed as the new Final Rules —which incorporate changes to the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (“VEVRAA”). VEVRAA had not been modified since its inception in 1974. The amended VEVRAA can be found at 41 CFR Part 60-300.  The driving force behind the amendments was the growing number of veterans returning from tours of duty and experiencing great difficulty finding work.  According to the DOL, the unemployment rate for Gulf-War-era II veterans between the ages of 18-24 was 20% higher than the rate of nonveterans in the same age group.  With the Amendments, VEVRAA becomes more robust in mandating that Federal Contractors/subcontractors play a more active role in the continuous process of including veterans in their hiring plans. (more…)

We Have to Pass It To Find Out What’s In It!

By:  Dan Cohen – 3/11/14

Last week, I spoke to a group of human resource professionals.  The topic: “Recent Changes to the Requirements and Deadlines under The Affordable Care Act.”  I did not prepare written materials in advance.  I learned my lesson this past summer when I spoke to a group about the ACA.  Literally as I was speaking, the SHOP Exchange delay was announced.   A few months later, I was in Northern Michigan speaking to another group about ACA and it happened again.  That day, President Obama extended the deadline for non-complying insurance plans a whole year in response to the outrage caused by all the cancelled plans.  You probably remember all the fuss about his earlier misrepresentation that “If you like your plan you can keep it.”  Well, they say, the third times a charm, right?  It actually happened to me again earlier this week when HHS announced that any non-complying small business or individual health policy that begins on or before Oct. 1, 2016, can remain in effect.  This means non-compliant plans can be in use well into 2017. (more…)

To Have an Intern or Not; That is the Question

By:  La Toya Palmer – 3/6/14

Should we hire an intern?  I am sure if you posed the question to former President Bill Clinton; he would answer with a resounding “NOT!” Fortunately, for many students looking to gain experience in their chosen vocation, many employers would disagree with President Clinton and in fact, are gung ho to provide students with the industry experience they seek.  It appears to be a win – win: or maybe, not so much.

In the not so distant past, there was an onslaught of lawsuits filed in New York (likely because of its generous statute of limitations, which adds three more years to the Fair Labor and Standards Act (“FLSA”)three-year, look-back period) by unpaid interns, some of whom worked for the infamous Saturday Night Live show (“SNL”), claiming they were owed back wages for duties performed under the mistaken classification of “intern”.  As you can guess − for SNL, this was no laughing matter.  Maybe this isn’t an entirely true statement; the interns that sued for back wages ended up laughing all the way to the bank. The court in New York ruled in favor of the interns and ordered SNL to pay the “interns” for back wages.