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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.”

Companies wishing to learn more or register for the 2017 HR Conference can visit the Printing Industries Alliance website at or download a conference flyer here.

Questions? Contact Tim Freeman, President, Printing Industries Alliance at 716-691-3211 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tim Freeman, President
Printing Industries Alliance


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Printing Industries Alliance members have access to many resources which can help increase their profitability, keep their workers safe and provide education which can help them reach their strategic goals. Throughout the year, PIA promotes our various services and benefits, but with all the mail and email you receive every day, maybe you missed hearing about something that could really help your company. Plan to take advantage of more PIA services in 2017 and you’ll be glad you did. 

Printing Industries Alliance staff is constantly engaged with members, providing consultation, etc.  Here are the highlights from 2016 –

Return on (Your Industry) Investment: PIA announced that members had collectively achieved an amazing 759% return on their membership investment in 2015.  All active members received a letter detailing the savings they received. Improve your company’s ROI – visit

Safety Webinars Held:  In the fall, PIA set up a schedule of webinars which made it easy for members to get in compliance with the latest requirements in the Hazard Communication Standard.  Over 250 employees at 15 PIA member companies were trained. Jerry Banks conducted the webinar training and also conducted three sessions on how to prepare for an OSHA inspection. Check out the schedule at

HR Services Provided:  From the PIA Human Resources Conference held in April, to continuous updates on various employment law developments, to union avoidance assistance, PIA members have enjoyed the expert help provided by Nick Fiorenza and Mike Dodd at Ferrara Fiorenza PC. Contact PIA’s Association Counsel at (315) 437-7600 for help with your HR challenges. The year ahead promises to be a surprising one, with the new administration taking over in January.

Alerts sent from our Voter Voice Legislative Action Center:  Many members responded to the alerts on the application of the New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) for “Preferred Source” status on mail fulfillment and document production. PIA continues to maintain that NYSID and its partners have been illegally awarded contracts through Preferred Source and that granting them preferred source would take work away from PIA members, many of whom employ disabled workers in their operations. We will keep you posted on the latest news in this matter.

Pass the Word:  Print Drives America:  PIA has put together statistics regarding the dominance of print among media, to assist members in driving home the point that Printers Sell Print, But Print Sells Everything.  Print has a total ad value of over $150 billion, which is larger than all other media combined.  Sales of printed books are on the rise, especially among millennials. Watch for more news about how Print Drives America in the coming year.

New Member Services: PIA staff is constantly researching new benefits for members. This year we announced a new shop towel program with ITU Absorbtech, a safety supply program with Northern Safety and a new menu of employee benefits services with our PIA Employee Benefit Connection program. Visit

drupa Activities: Last May, PIA sponsored a group program to the watershed 2016 drupa show in Germany. For those who couldn’t make it to the show, we brought drupa to the states, complete with bratwurst, at our Post-drupa event held in New York City in August. 

Leaders honored:  Close to 400 industry executives gathered together to honor industry leaders at our Franklin Luminaire event in October. A number of individuals and companies were recognized including former PIA Chairman Steve Zenger, President & CEO, Zenger Group, in Buffalo, NY and 60 Minutes correspondent Armen Keteyian.

Watch for some exciting new announcements in 2017.


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