- Written by Kevin Cleveland
Because the federal government was not already taking enough money from American companies, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will begin imposing higher penalties for violations starting August 1, 2016. The maximum penalties for repeated or willful violations could increase from $70,000 to over $125,000 and the penalties for serious violations will increase from $7,000 to over $12,500. Unbelievably, these penalties are only the best estimate currently available on the likely increase of penalties and the actual increase even more than indicated once they are implemented in August of 2016. Though OSHA has the discretion to not utilize the full increase, it is likely that OSHA will start assessing penalties at the new much higher rates.
- Written by Jacquelyn Larson
Can an employer and an employee agree to an arbitration agreement which prohibits class actions? Until recently, the answer appeared to be yes. Unfortunately, the Seventh Circuit recently broke ranks with every other federal court that has reviewed the issue, holding that employers and employees may not make such an agreement. The Seventh Circuit’s decision to go rogue has created a circuit split which will almost certainly cause the Supreme Court to take up the issue. Hopefully the Supreme Court will then decide the issue once and for all.