In this spirit, throughout October, the Department of Labor will be recognizing the many ways disability inclusion benefits today’s innovative economy during this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) 2017.
The USDOL highlights how inclusion drives innovation time and time again through advancements developed by and for people with disabilities that have widespread applicability. Some of the most common examples are things like curb cuts, automatic doors, and voice-recognition software that are now common in our daily lives but got their start from innovating for people with disabilities.
Technology corporations benefit from this kind of creative problem-solving, including IBM, Microsoft, and Apple. IBM includes people with a range of disabilities in its product development and testing processes. The result is an “accessibility mindset” that considers how best to deliver products and experiences in a usable way to every individual.
With more than 6 million jobs available across country, this is the time for job creators to realize the potential of the more than 500,000 Americans with disabilities who are looking for jobs right now. More than ever, job creators today can use resources and technology to include Americans of all abilities and benefit from more innovation. Please, take time to review the companies recognized as “Best Places to Work” based on the 2017 Disability Equality Index.
Americans with disabilities are a huge part of the American workforce, not only this month, but every month.
NEW YORK CITY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, US LABOR DEPARTMENT REACH AGREEMENT ON BACK WAGES OWED TO WORKERS
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment in federal court requiring a New York City design and construction company and its owners to pay $726,989 in back wages and liquidated damages to 184 employees and take other corrective actions to resolve past overtime and recordkeeping violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Design Development NYC, Inc., had misclassified almost all of its employees as independent contractors, an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found.
The misclassified employees worked in numerous jobs, including carpenters, draftspersons, drivers, electricians, laborers, painters, and plumbers and tilers. The company also wrongfully considered three employees as exempt from the FLSA’s overtime compensation requirements, paying them a fixed weekly salary without regard to hours worked.
As a result, misclassified employees and non-exempt employees – some of whom worked 70 hours per week or more – did not receive proper overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. The FLSA requires that employees receive one-and-one-half their regular rates of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek and that employers maintain adequate and accurate records of employees’ wages and work hours.
“This resolution commits this company to positive and effective steps to prevent future violations,” said Mark Watson Jr., the Wage and Hour Division’s northeast regional administrator.
“Our goal is to ensure that employees receive the hard-earned wages due them and that law-abiding businesses can compete fairly in the marketplace,” said Jeffrey S. Rogoff, the regional solicitor.
The company and owners, Michael Daddio and Earl Brian, neither admit nor deny the allegations; they have agreed to a consent judgment, entered in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which requires them to comply with the FLSA by determining employees’ overtime exemption status properly and recording employees’ work hours accurately, among other requirements. They will also submit complete samples of time and payroll records for all employees to the division for its review, and supply current and new employees with written notification of their rights under the FLSA in languages the workers understand.
The division is committed to providing employers with the tools they need to understand and comply with the variety of labor laws the division enforces. It offers useful resources ranging from an interactive E-laws advisor to a complete library of free, downloadable workplace posters. In addition, the division’s Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialists conduct ongoing outreach activities to educate stakeholders, including employers, employees, business and labor groups and professional associations, among others, with accessible, easy-to-understand information about their rights and responsibilities.
The division’s New York City District Office conducted the FLSA investigation. Trial Attorney Frances Y. Ma of the department’s New York Regional Solicitor’s Office handled the case for the division.
For more information about the FLSA, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its New York City District Office at 212-264-8185. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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