Ever since the “Returning Heroes Tax Credit” was signed into law in November of 2011, former members of the military have seen their job opportunities improve. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.5% of veterans were unemployed in September, significantly less than the larger 7.2% figure for all Americans. Only a few years previous, the unemployment rate for veterans stood at a whopping 8.6%.
On September 16, 2013, the IRS ruled that legally married same-sex couples will be treated the same as legally married heterosexual couples for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies to all married same-sex couples living it states that recognize same sex marriages. It also recognizes those couples married in states that recognize same-sex marriage that now reside in states that do not.
It appears that California is very, very close to raising its minimum wage to $10 per hour. According to California’s Governor. Jerry Brown, the $10 rate is “overdue.”
If the legislation passes, millions would see their hourly pay go from $8 to $9 in July of 2014, and then to $10 in January of 2016.
Ask yourself, would it be fair to have to pay a fee in order to collect your paycheck? While most people would undoubtedly answer “no” to this question, a growing number of American workers claim they have no choice but to do so. These workers receive their pay loaded onto payroll debit cards – a form of payment that offers many advantages, but also some significant pitfalls.
When the EEOC released its much criticized and confusing April 2012 Enforcement Guidance on employer use of arrest and conviction records in employment, and then effectively stated its intent to use the Guidance to aggressively go after employers for their use of employee background checks as alleged violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as observed by the Federal Judge in the “Freeman” case discussed below, “the EEOC…placed many employers in the “Hobson’s choice” of ignoring criminal history and credit background, thus exposing themselves to potential liability for criminal and fraudulent acts committed by employees, on the one hand, or incurring the wrath of the EEOC for having utilized information deemed fundamental by most employers.”
The McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) applies to all contracts and bid specifications in excess of $2,500 entered into by the United State or District of Columbia whose principal purpose is to provide services through the use of service employees. Principle means a simple majority of contract requirements; greater than 50% of contract effort (FTE and/or value). The Contracting Officer is required to determine if SCA applies and must insert SCA clauses and WDs into the solicitation and contract. If SCA clauses and WDs are not in the contract, SCA does not apply.
The Case of Bertucci’s Restaurants
A recent lawsuit filed in federal court in Long Island, New York, contends that Bertucci’s restaurants cheated workers out of tips, minimum wage, overtime and spread of hours pay. The suit claims that waiters, waitresses and busboys worked through unpaid meal periods, worked past their regular shift periods without pay, and were not paid for time they were at work waiting for customers to arrive. Attorneys for the workers also allege that servers were paid $7.25 per hour for overtime work rather than the legally required $8.625 per hour.
Key Development: Bartenders claimed their employer violated the FLSA by allowing guards to participate in tip pools.
Potential Impact: The definition of employee must be taken into consideration when determining tip-pool participation.
A company’s tip-pool arrangement at its bars that forced bartenders to share tips with guards did not violate the Fair Labor Standards Act because the security staff had sufficient contact with customers to be deemed employees and eligible for tips, a federal district court ruled (Stewart v. CUS Nashville LLC, M.D. Tenn., No. 11-342, 8/8/13).
The Fifth Annual White Paper from Robert Perry is a must-read for owners of contract security companies, as well as Private Equity Groups looking to make investments in this sector.
This White Paper is a comprehensive report that covers topics such as:
1. Defining the Market – Services the typical contract security company offers and the plans for expanding the menu. New insights into the matrix of the “Largest Companies” list.
2. Mergers and Acquisitions in the industry – the most active buyers and the multiples they are paying.
3. News on happenings around the world affecting the contract security industry.
This Security Barometer offered a tough question to answer. There are many possible challenges to the success of security programs but in this security barometer the respondents had to choose the single one they felt was the most significant.
As seen in the results below, the biggest challenge – by more than a two-to-one margin over its nearest competitor – was senior managements misunderstanding of the value that security brings to the organization.