Printer’s $300k Fine from DOL for Use of Temp Employment Agency Raises Questions! Annual PIA Human Resources Conference on May 4 & 5 Provides Answers!
A recent Printing Impressions article detailing problems occurring with a business practice commonly used in the printing industry, use of a temporary employment agency, and resultant violations of federal minimum wage, overtime, and record-keeping provisions, should raise a red flag with any company using temps to even out the ebb and flow of production needs. If it doesn’t, the resultant fine in this case, over $300,000, might get your attention.
According to the Department of Labor, the Philadelphia area printer utilized the agency to secure a number of workers as machine operators and general workers. Unfortunately, the temp employees were paid less than minimum wage, were not paid overtime over 40 hours, and the company did not maintain appropriate work hour documentation.
Utilization of temporary employment agencies and Professional Employer Organizations (PEO or leased employees) is often a “slippery slope.” Often times, temp agencies and PEO’s sell the idea that utilization of their services absolves the customer company of liability for compliance with state and federal labor laws. Nothing could be further from the truth! Generally, utilizing these services creates a “co-employer” situation where the customer company and temp agency or PEO share liability for compliance with OSHA, wage and hour regulations, Equal Opportunity, etc. Compounding the problem are the issues of whether or not the temp agency or PEO is complying with the law and how to gain information and maintain control over what can be a significant exposure to liability.
This topic will be a major focus during the upcoming Printing Industries Alliance Human Resources Conference being held on May 4 & 5, 2017 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown in Syracuse, NY. In a presentation entitled, “HR Problems Lurking in the Shadows,” conference presenters and labor attorneys Nicholas J. Fiorenza and Michael L. Dodd, Ferrara Fiorenza PC, will focus on this topic, and others, where companies can inadvertently get into trouble on routine matters including use of temps and PEOs, no-fault attendance programs, uniform payments, travel pay, and more.
In preparing for the conference, attorney Mike Dodd commented on the above referenced $300k DOL fine by saying, “I would not be surprised to hear that the company gets audited and fined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service and the Internal Revenue Service. In all likelihood, the temp agency was probably not getting I-9’s or properly withholding federal taxes either.”
Tim Freeman, President
Printing Industries Alliance