Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New York increases protections for young models with child labor law

A New York law signed by the governor on Monday is set to increase protections for young models and restrict the use of teenagers on runways at New York Fashion Week, giving them the same protections as minors who act, dance and play music professionally.
"We might actually have the novel experience of having grown women modeling women's clothes at New York Fashion week," said Susan Scafidi of Fordham University in New York and a board member of The Model Alliance advocacy group.
She said the increased regulation could push some designers to favor older models, because the bill requires employers to provide nurses for the young models and places limits on how many hours a young model can work, how late they can work and how often they can be used.
Employers that violate these laws face fines starting at $1,000 for the first violation and up to $3,000 for the third. After that, they can lose the privilege to employ child models.
"The real sanction is the headline,” Scafidi said. “No one wants to be the fashion house that is stuck in the headline: ‘So-and-so violates child labor laws.’"
Models are in a unique working environment because they are hired as independent contractors and therefore do not get the standard protections of traditional employees. "They are a very vulnerable population in a very unregulated market,” said Scafidi.
It is typical for a model’s career to start before age 18, but in New York, these models have never been subject to the same laws used for other child performers.
"This is really going to change the perspective of the industry,” said Scafidi. “Most people will want to comply; they won't want to be the person in the next story."
The US fashion industry has recently shown an interest in favoring older models. The Council of Fashion Designers of America, a prominent US fashion industry group, recommended members use models 16 and older on the runway in January 2012 as part of its health initiative.
The same week these guidelines were issued, however, designer Marc Jacobs knowingly hired two young women, believed to be 14 or 15, for his New York Fashion Week show.
Condé Nast International said in May 2012 that all editions of Vogue would stop using models under the age of 16 – though some believe model Ondria Hardin was under 16 when she was featured in Vogue China’s August 2012 issue.
Under the New York law, people who employ models will have to provide them with the same support they would receive at school and will have to adhere to more strict compensation rules. This includes providing a nurse, not allowing young models to work past midnight on school nights, and creating a trust fund-like restricted bank account that holds 15% of a model’s earnings.
The bill was sponsored by two Democratic state senators and supported by the Model Alliance, which promotes better working conditions in the US modeling industry. The group is also pushing the industry to address sexual harassment claims, create more transparent accounting processes and provide better access to health care.
The state legislature passed the law in June and New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on Monday night. It will take effect in 30 days.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Labor Law Poster Advice for Ohio State Employers

The statutory laws put in place in Ohio require that employers in the state ensure compliance with the labor law poster rules. The main objective of labor law posters is to inform employees regarding their rights and responsibilities, privileges, and the government rules that safeguard their interests. In this way, the government feels that the chances of employees being exploited by the employers can be significantly minimized and that the employee welfare is taken care to a large extent possible. There are two kinds of labor law posters including state and federal labor law posters. While the state labor laws are complementary and meant to improve upon the federal labor laws depending on the unique scenario and requirements in a given state, the employers need to post both these notices in prominent places to be easily seen by all the employees. Non-compliance with the labor law notice posting requirements will lead to severe penalties, notifications, and cancellation of business license by the government authorities.

Some of the most important aspects covered by the labor law notices include workplace safety, health and suitability, working time, minimum wages, leaves, employee benefits, and a number of other issues related to employee welfare. In order to help the employers stay in compliance with the poster rules, many poster firms are publishing labor law notices in different formats to meet the diverse needs of employers. Further labor laws require that the posters be displayed in more than one language if there are non-English speaking employees working in the company. The size and type of fonts are specified by the labor law poster rules. The labor law poster compliance firms take all these aspects into consideration and publish posters that can help businesses stay in compliance.

Some of the most common sizes of labor law posters are 18 inches by 24 inches and 24 inches by 36 inches. The all-in-one poster that displays both state and federal labor laws in a single poster is highly popular. Though the labor law posters can be downloaded free of charge from the state and the federal department of labor websites, employers will have to spend a great deal of time to research what labor law notices are required to be displayed for their business. In addition, they need to update the posters whenever there is a mandated change. Therefore, most employers find it extremely useful to avail of the services of the labor law compliance poster firms by paying a fee. Most of these service firms also undertake to supply the necessary updates from time to time to allow the employers to stay in constant compliance. Most experts recommend all-in-one labor law notices that comprehensively meet the poster requirements and enable all the displays within a compact space. The labor law notices come in attractive colours and appealing formats; therefore, it is really a worthy job to subscribe to labor law notices. Employers in Ohio need to understand the purpose of the labor law posters and take the necessary steps to stay in full compliance. You can start off by heading over to 
http://www.postersolution.com/ohio-total-labor-law-poster to look at the detailed labor law poster information.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

U.S. jobless claims at six-month high but trend improving

(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless aid touched a six-month high last week as a computer-related backlog of claims was processed and a partial U.S. government shutdown began to hit some non-federal workers.
But stripping out these two factors, which economists viewed as temporary, Thursday's report from the Labor Department suggested the labor market continued to improve moderately.
"As the temporary negative factors unwind, the claims data should remain on a downward trajectory, continuing to suggest a gradually improving picture on the layoff side of the labor market equation," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities in New York.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 66,000 to a seasonally adjusted 374,000, the highest level since the end of March, the Labor Department said.
California, which is still dealing with technical problems from the upgrading of its computers, accounted for about half of the increase in claims, a Labor Department analyst said.
Troubles converting to the new system had resulted in a backlog of claims, which were now being pushed through, he said.
In addition, 15,000 of the claims were from non-federal workers affected by the partial U.S. government shutdown, which is now in its second week, the analyst said.
Removing these distortions, claims rose to about 325,000 last week.
"This level of claims is still consistent with very low layoff levels and, therefore, solid nonfarm payroll growth," said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.
Economists had expected first-time applications to rise to 310,000 last week. The four-week average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, increased 20,000 to 325,000.
U.S. financial markets were little moved by the report as traders kept a wary eye on developments surrounding the budget deadlock in Washington.
The claims data is collected by states and is the only government report being published during the shutdown and so is being closely watched for clues on the health of the job market.
While last week's report showed the shutdown is starting to affect non-federal workers, there has been no sign of furloughed workers filing for unemployment benefits. Claims by federal workers are reported separately and with a one-week lag.
The number of federal employees filing for jobless benefits rose only 359 in the week ending September 28.
White House Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman said the increase in overall claims last week suggested the government shutdown and worries about a debt default were already hurting the economy.
"It's one week's number, the numbers are noisy, but it's yet another signal about how employers are reacting to the fiscal deadlock in Washington," Furman said at a breakfast sponsored by the Center for American Progress.
Separate reports suggested the fiscal stalemate was dampening consumer spending, with a group of nine U.S. retailers expected to report a 3.1 percent rise in September same-store sales, according to Thomson Reuters. That is below the 5.5 percent gain for the same period last year.
The budget impasse and signs of tepid consumer spending could see the Federal Reserve not in a hurry to cut back its massive bond-buying program for a while.
Minutes of the U.S. central bank's September policy meeting showed a decision to maintain the monthly $85 billion in bond purchases that the Fed is making to keep borrowing costs low was a close call.
"The impasse in Washington needs to be resolved soon," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York.
The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell 16,000 to 2.91 million in the week ended September 28.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Brief Introduction of the Labor Law Posters

Legal mandates require all businesses in the U.S. to display the most recent versions of the federal and state employment or labor law compliance posters. The rules state that the posters must be displayed in all company locations where they can be prominently viewed by employees and by job applicants. If there are employees speaking languages other than English, then the posters must be displayed in bilingual formats to be understood by those employees. For instance, states including Arizona, California, Florida, Texas, and a few others require that the notices are displayed in both English and Spanish.

Labor laws undergo revisions and changes from time to time. Legal experts estimate that about eighty mandatory changes are announced in the federal and the state levels in a typical year. The government agencies do not intimate the businesses regarding these changes, and it is the employers’ responsibility to keep track of these changes and to update the posters accordingly. Poster compliance rules demand that the employers take this issue seriously and display the most recent versions of the labor law posters. Any defaults will invite fines, legal actions, notifications, and even cancellation of license to do business under extreme conditions. For non-compliance, the penalties charged by the federal government might be up to $17,000 per posting location. In cases where there are any employee litigations against the employer at a time when the posters were not displayed, the consequences can be severe.

Since labor law posters are highly crucial products, the employers are directed by the law to post both state and federal postings though these postings might address the same topics. In some cases, they might even contain conflicting information. This is because the state governments have been given the authority to frame their own labor laws based on the typical conditions and circumstances in every state. In some cases, the state governments wish to offer more protection to employees than the federal government, and therefore they make statutes that will supersede those issued by the federal government. Under such cases, the employers must post both the notices and follow the state’s rulings where they conduct their business.

It is rather a difficult job for the employers to know what posters they must post, what changes happen with respect to labor laws from time to time, and when they should update the mandated changes. Therefore, the assistance of the well-established and reliable compliance poster firms can be highly useful in ensuring poster compliance. These firms undertake to supply the posters and updates from time to time for a price.

The federal postings to be posted by the employers include FLSA (Minimum wage), EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity), OSHA (Workplace Safety), FMLA (Family and Medical Leave), USERRA (Military Rights), and EPPA (Polygraph Protection Act). In addition, the employers need to post the state labor law posters that are appropriate to their state. Poster compliance firms publish different kinds of posters to meet the requirements of employers in different states.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Required Florida Labor Law Posters You Must Never Miss

Florida, being the 4th most populous among the 50 states, is still one of the fastest growing states with many job opportunities and businesses that have all contributed to its great economic development.

In fact, Florida holds the fourth largest economy in the United States with a Gross Domestic Product of $748 billion in 2010. Given that Florida is mainly popular for services, transportation and public utilities, and manufacturing and construction, required Florida labor law poster must be strictly followed in every workplace.

Florida is also one of the states with the most diverse culture with a lot of immigrants, retirees, and even the elderly. It is estimated that about 22.5% of the whole Florida population is of Hispanic or Mexican race. For this reason, there is also a higher need for Florida Labor Law Posters to be posted in different languages as deemed necessary in the workplace.

All employers in Florida need to abide by the government’s rules of posting both federal and state labor laws in order to avoid fines and penalties. Employers should also understand that not posting the appropriate labor law posters in their respective workplaces may result in charges by the government. To give employers better understanding of the Florida labor law posters that they must never miss, here is a short and easy guide.

This short list pretty much sums the basic federal labor laws that you have to post. However, to make it more accurate, employers can answer a quick questionnaire at the U.S. Department of Labor’s FirstStep Poster Advisor website or ask for the help of a reputable labor law poster services company in order to have the proper federal labor law posters.
  • Federal Minimum Wage Poster
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Poster
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Minimum Wage Poster
  • Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law Poster
  • Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law Poster
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right Act (USERRA) Poster
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act Poster
With regards to the Minimum Wage Poster, Florida’s current minimum wage is at $7.79 per hour. This rate was effective since January 1, 2013. Florida, as the well as the other states, calculate for the required minimum wage annually as mandated by the government to make sure that every employee is getting what is properly due.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is the one tasked to do this annually. The calculation is based on the percentage increase as seen in the Federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical regions within the prior 12-month period. This poster is commonly available in both English and Spanish.

The Florida state postings are as follows:
  • Florida Law Prohibits Discrimination – Available in both English and Spanish
  • Workers’ Compensation Works for you
  • Unemployment Compensation to Employees
  • Information on Workers’ Compensation Coverage
  • Pay Day Notice
  • Emergency Numbers
As employers, it is important that you do your duties and responsibilities and post the required Florida labor law posters. This would not only prevent you from facing charges and paying fines but it would be of great benefit to both your employees and yourself.