Trojan Labor Scholarship at Colorado Christian University

Here at Trojan Labor we are big believers in the power of education. As part of our commitment to education and our local communities, we have scholarships at various colleges and universities across the country. One of those scholarships is at Colorado Christian University. We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2016 Trojan Labor Scholarship at CCU is AnnaRose McDevitt from Fairplay, CO. AnnaRose is a pre-med major who plans on attending Physician Assistant’s school after she completes her undergrad education. We look forward to watching AnnaRose go far at Colorado Christian University and in her career.

scholarship winner

Salaried Employees Time Off

Generally, an exempt “salaried employee,” one that meets the salary exemption and the “duties” test under the Fair Labor Standards Act, must receive full compensation for a week without regard to the number of days or hours worked in that week as long as they work at least some hours that week.

A key part of the salary exemption that a lot of people miss is the duties test.  Not only must employees be compensated at least the minimum salary required by the Department of Labor to be exempt, they must perform (1) executive, (2) professional, or (3) administrative job functions.
Assuming an employee meets both tests, there are seven exceptions to the full-week’s pay requirement:
(1) An exempt employee is absent from work for one or more full days for personal reasons, other than sickness or disability.  If they are absent for two full days, you can dock them two full days.  If they are absent for one and a half days, you can dock them for one day.
(2) Absences of one or more full days because of sickness or disability if the deduction is made in accordance with a true policy or practice of providing compensation for loss of salary because of sickness or disability.
(3) You cannot deduct for absences because of jury duty, attendance as a witness at trial, or temporary military leave, but you can offset the pay received because of those things.
(4) You can impose penalties for infractions of major safety rules.
(5) You can place someone on unpaid leave for disciplinary suspensions related to workplace conduct or violation of rules.  You can only do this pursuant to a written policy which must be applicable to all employees.
(6) You only have to pay the proportion of the week worked for the first and last week of work.
(7) You don’t have to pay for unpaid leave under the FMLA.  For example, if an employee usually works 40 hours, and they use 4 hours of unpaid leave under the FMLA, the employer can deduct 10 percent of their salary for that week.
These exceptions are very technical, and you should always consult an attorney before relying on any of them.  But used correctly, they are a cost saving tool for employers.



OSHA Penalties Increased in August

Last year, Congress passed legislation requiring that federal agencies increase their penalties based on inflation.  In response, penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have increased effective August 1, 2016.  The last time such an increase occurred was 1990.

Maximum penalties for Serious, Other-Than-Serious, Posting Requirements and Failure to Abate issues have increased from $7,000 to $12,471 per violation.  Maximum penalties for willful or repeated violations have increased from $70,000 per violation to $124,709.  OSHA will continue to adjust its penalties each year based on the Consumer Price Index.

Often times, OSHA will include multiple violations in its citations, thus it will likely not be uncommon for employers to experience $50,000 – $100,000 in fines resulting from costly mistakes made at the workplace.

With potential penalties nearly doubling, now is a great time to review your safety programs and ensure compliance with OSHA standards.