Your comments on this blog are one of the many ways that those within the Department of Labor can learn from you. In addition to responding directly to individual posts, use the space below to let us know your overall thoughts on the blog.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michael Potter February 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Does an employer have to give a lunch period during an 8 hour work day?

2 Aryn Gilenson March 4, 2013 at 9:12 am

I am still awaiting comment on my comment to a blog post regarding minimum wage to be “moderated”. The post follows all of the posting guidelines (like this post does), however my comment asks a very important question: “who is really benefitting from raising minimum wage?” I posted it February 25. 2013 and it still has not been moderated. I guess this is just another loophole that the government has found to limit free speech. If it isnt praising what the government is doing, it will never be moderated and it will never be posted for everyone to see.

3 Phil R March 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Can someone comment on the status of the exemption for home caregivers? It’s 2013, and the DOL website has only posted expired deadlines with no follow up. There has been nothing on the subject since the Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis resigned, and nothing posted about what is on the agenda for 2013 regarding this issue. These propsals were made in 2011. Do caretakers still have an ally with the Department of Labor, or will they ignore the issue for years to come?

4 Living And Working In Switzerland June 7, 2013 at 6:19 am

Hello Kathy, Very interesting article. Thanks for posting this useful post.

5 Kendra T June 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I would like to thank Lorie at job corp for the help in admission process for my daughter back to alabama

6 Joyce Cummings August 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Dear Secretary Perez,
Thank you for today’s DOL blog updates–that on jobs help for vets and individuals ith disabilities thru federal contractors’ updated guidelines and the other on Bayard Rustin–both very important initiatives.
Perhaps, judging from one or two of the other comments, your office might clarify how often comments receive response from the appropriate DOL person or office. Not necessary for me, however.
Happy Labor Day to you and everyone in the DOL!

7 Belita R. T. Franklin September 16, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Reference: District Office Jacksonville, FL. Secretary Perez, I’m an honorably discharged USAF veteran. Disabled. Former GS-11 Social Security Administration Claims Representative with adjudication experience. Sir, all I have ‘is’ questions. For Example: with the number of EEO complaints, and congressional inquiries, how is it that this problem has not been addressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I worked within EEOICP, Term as a GS-7, and then GS-9.

During my tenure with the EEOICP of the DOL, I was discriminated against in the selection process. I have a Certificate of Eligibility that states specific persons were not to be selected, i.e., “You may not pass over a preference eligible veteran to select a nonveteran (or non-preference eligible veteran).” However, in the District Office Jacksonville, this was the ‘norm.’ I was not promoted. Yet, each year my ‘term’ was extended. My statistics ranged between 80%-100% (I have documentation). However, after being transferred to another unit, I was told on a daily basis that I could not perform the job?!

Cover-up? Dress it up. The union or AFGE (Robert Tucker, Susan Walker, Donald Marshall) has enough documentation to expose the existence of very questionable practices. Unfortunately, adults live in fear of their supervisors, management, and the hierarchy of the EEOICP, Jacksonville, FL.

As for me, the day I spoke out which was in May of 2009, I did not know that my SF-52 was being formatted for the current SF-50. Specific codes will make or break a career, or ensure that a person will never be hired within federal service. The Federal Personnel Handbook, OPM Supervisor Classification, and Guide to Processing Personnel Actions are proof. I’ve read them thoroughly. Coupled with my more than 15 years in research (pedagogy), an MSA and MBA, I do believe I know of what I ‘speak.’ I left under constructive discharge circumstances. I have medical documentation which no one (DOL, EEO/OASAM) asked to examine. Letter from a past regional director (Brettell), and now Acting have never sent me proof of monies I believed are owed to me (i.e., earning statement). This query dates back to the tenure of Hilda L. Solis (again, documentation exists), and emails sent to Mr. Gary Steinberg, and Mr. Seth Harris apparently carry little weight.

There are many veterans: disabled, women. Additionally, women who were and/or are the spouses of veterans and military retirees who’ve been maligned in some fashion by the discriminatory practices of management within the Jacksonville District Office. I know: I’m one of them.

8 Ken Holmbeck December 19, 2013 at 10:06 am

Bacon Davis: Shame on NSPS

As a Professional Land Surveyor, with nearly 20 years in private industry and over 12 years in public service, there are times when the more I learn about my chosen profession, the more I think I made the wrong choice, and this is one of them.

I was very disappointed by the self-serving and potentially-destructive stance my State and National Surveyor’s Societies took regarding Bacon-Davis, and their alliance with the right wing fringe behind this effort.

No other profession I know of has done more to destroy itself in the eyes of the technical employees of their organizations and ability to recruit future technical staff by claiming undeserved privilege under Federal Law to undercut the legally authorized wages of field survey crews, yet still obtain lucrative federal contracts.

Without my technical staff, and their diverse talents and hard work in inclement weather and difficult and dangerous construction situations, I could not professionally perform my job for my employer, and neither can any of those who promote this shameful idea.

How can one claim to the public and their clients that their field survey staff must be far better trained than a common laborer to insure quality of the survey work, when in the same breath, they claim they are not able to pay them the same fair wage of a common laborer on a public project because in doing so, they cannot make a profit.

Such are the fallacious arguments of the inept & unimaginitive, or the unscrupulous business managers/owners.

When in college, I drove truck for a small bituminous pavement firm, and when we worked on State and County public projects, we properly received our fair pay per that federal act, but when working on normal private contracts, we were paid our normal wages. In order to recruit talented future survey crews, you must at a minimum promote that idea, or our profession will continue suffer more in the future.

I believe all those behind this irrational effort that further risks our future professional stature need very long classes in ethics, or business management, or both?

Ken Holmbeck, Professional Land Surveyor, Certified Federal Surveyor
Sherburne County Surveyor

9 Gloria Hessell February 7, 2014 at 10:41 am

In reference to women in the workplace. I started working for DOL when my son was 2 and during my interview, I advised that when my son is sick, I do not expect someone else to care for him and would stay at home with him and hope that it would not be too often nor an issue. Although my son was at the daycare in the bldg and illness was usually confirmed, I felt that when I returned to work my supervisor would have an attitude towards me, although I was not out enough to reflect abuse of time. This was very stressful for me and now that I am a supervisor, I will make sure that I never treat anyone in that manner. FYI the supervisor was a female.

10 Robin Rotolo March 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm

I work for the Minisink Valley Central School District and was wondering how does it work when the Govenor declares a State of Emergency and we have employees (custodial workers) that still have to report to work. If they don’t report to work do they get docked their pay? Please help…..

11 Patrick Carroll March 19, 2014 at 10:48 am

Mr. Secretary,
President Obama recently signed a Presidential Memorandum requiring your department to the Fair Labor Standards Act and who qualifies for overtime protection.

In your review I would suggest that you look at teachers who are currently one of the exempt overtime categories. This results in schools placing ever greater demands on teachers to conduct work on their personal time. Teachers receive no compensation for this time spent on work requirements and often spend their own money to insure their classrooms have the materials needed to teach their students.

My wife is a teacher who easily spends 28 or more hours a week at home doing school work. This includes grading student assignments, filling out student assessments, creating lesson plans and classroom activities. Just today it was identified that the school will want additional documentation on each lesson taught every day resulting in even more uncompensated work at home.

My wife loves teaching but if there is no check on how much off salary work a school system can require of their employees their will be no limit. A requirement to pay overtime when requiring additional work might help keep this in check.

12 Siobhan Hansen April 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm

You have a definite problem on your website with not being able to scroll down and linking to non-html pages where there is no back arrow. I could only read the first line of the article about ‘equal pay day’.

13 Chris Young April 11, 2014 at 5:29 am

Can we get some radio buttons so that I can tweet or share these blog posts directly?

14 Joseph Catoir aka coonass May 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm

That’s great she can do so well.It makes me sick to see all the people I know getting checks with no disabilities and people I know that are in desperate need of money that can’t get any help.I can send pictures of them catching crawfish and working for cash.Let me know if you are interested.

Joe Catoir

15 WilliamB May 19, 2014 at 7:47 am

Regarding minimum wage increase to $10.10 – Have you ever thought about the many folks that will be put out of a job if minimum wage goes up? Unemployment will certainly go up. Do you think small businesses will magically have more money to pay their workers? Will the “Wage Fairy” visit them and put money in the bank account? No, they will lay people off because they cannot afford to pay their workers anymore. They will cut back on staff because they have to. Keep in mind, just like your own bank account…just because you want your balance in your account to go up doesn’t mean it will. Just because the “all knowing” government forces small businesses to pay a higher minimum wage does not mean they will have the money to do this. So now we have someone making NOTHING instead of minimum wage. Yeah, that makes sense. Oh, the insanity!

16 Michelle May 28, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Can employers work you more then 40 hours a week then bank your hours then when your short a 40 hr work week pay you the hours they banked? Of course they pay straight pay not time and half!

17 Carol Rutledge July 9, 2014 at 6:35 am

I am trying to find the laws concerning third shift at a restaurant connected to a gas station. Is there supposed to be more than one person present at this time?

18 Pamela Myers July 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Where can a person file a claim against an employer for forcing one to quit??

19 John M Barnett September 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Remember, if everyone was unionized there would be no paycheck difference. Most people think there is not a union for me. How about the Office and Professional Employees International Union ?

I am a management representative.

20 Patricia G. Barnes September 18, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Readers of this blog might be interested in my new book, Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace. It’s about the failure of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 to protect Americans from discrimination. The ADEA was much weaker than Title VII to begin with and has been eviscerated by the U.S. Supreme Court. I argue that age discrimination in employment is becoming normalized, and is affecting workers who traditionally were considered young (40s & 50s). Of course,age discrimination is a problem for workers in their 40s and 50s but it can be a health-wrecking, life-altering disaster for older workers. They often become caught up in long-term unemployment, part-time and temp jobs, and are forced into early retirement, where they suffer a loss of Social Security benefits for the rest of their lives. I argue there is no moral or legal justification for treating victims of age discrimination any differently than other victims of illegal discrimination. I am an attorney who writes an employment law blog called When the Abuser Goes to Work, PGB

21 James R. Means, JD September 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Very important reminder, as the world becomes more complicated we far too often overlook the fundamentals, that’s why I believe this post emphasizing – what I like to call- a “back to basics” principle is timely…

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