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Showing 9 posts in Employee Training.

Getting “Sandwiched” Into a Non-Compete Agreement

The Huffington Post recently reported that Jimmy John’s, the national sandwich chain, requires its workers to sign strict non-compete agreements. The agreement was disclosed as part of a lawsuit by employees, and many in the employment industry are wondering if such an agreement is really necessary for the company’s minimum wage workers. These agreements are usually saved for high-level executives or those subject to proprietary information – not the guy behind the counter making a sub. More >

Congress Enacts Far-Reaching Overhaul of Nation’s Workforce System

Posted In Employee Training, Employment Law

In the midst of all the publicized dysfunction, Congress managed to pass a major piece of employment-related legislation quickly and with little fanfare. On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) – a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced on May 21, 2014 – into law. According to the United States Department of Labor, “WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.”   WIOA marks the first legislative reform in 15 years of the public workforce development system.

 President Obama Rally

Generally, the law streamlines programs, reporting, and administration in the workforce development system. WOIA eliminates 15 existing federal training programs, including Workforce Investment Act (WIA) incentive grants, WIA pilot and demonstration projects, and the Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF). It creates common measures across core programs for both adults and youth, and mandates a single, unified plan for all core programs.

WIOA retains the basic structure of WIA, i.e., occupational training; adult basic education; literacy and English language acquisition; and vocational rehabilitation. The act also reaffirms the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933 (as amended by the WIA passed in 1998), which initially provided for a national employment system managed by the states. WOIA improves upon the current WIA in several, key areas by:

  • streamlining state and local workforce development bureaucracies;
  • reducing the size of state and local and state workforce boards;
  • providing standardized metrics for workforce boards and training providers;
  • increasing flexibility for training at the local level;
  • encouraging local authorities to develop programs that prepare trainees for industry-recognized credentials; and
  • abolishing “sequence of services” regulations, allowing trainees to get credit for prior learning and other knowledge they bring to training.

The majority of WIOA provisions will become effective on July 1, 2015, the first full program year after enactment. However, the Act includes several provisions that become effective on other dates. For example, the WIA state and local plans remain in effect for plan year 2015, and the new “State Unified Strategic Plan” is to be submitted for plan year 2016, which begins July 1, 2016. In addition, the WIA performance accountability provisions will take effect at the beginning of plan year 2016.

The Act authorizes approximately $9.5 billion in funding for 2015. Although a portion of this money is reserved for anti-poverty programs such as Job Corps, $2.8 billion will fund training open to a wide range of U.S. workers. Funding will increase slightly through 2020.

The new Act recognizes that employer engagement in the process is the key to effective, contemporary workforce development. Your business or employer association can become involved and benefit from WIOA’s provisions by:

  • qualifying as a training provider and obtaining a competitive grant from your local workforce board;
  • getting paid for training through an individual training account or training contract;
  • being reimbursed by your local workforce board for the on-the-job, incumbent-worker, or customized training you provide;
  • developing a partnership with a local training provider, such as a high school or community college, to help plan and assist in providing services;
  • entering into a sector partnership with other local stakeholders to develop a strategy for closing a skills gap in your industry;
  • serving on or chair your local workforce board;
  • participating in a business consultation convened by your local workforce board;
  • becoming involved in the process that produces your Kentucky’s four-year strategic plan for workforce development; and
  • joining the consortium that runs your local one-stop center.

For more information about how you can benefit from this far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s workforce development system, contact your MMLK employment law attorney.

Kembra Sexton Taylor

Kembra Sexton Taylor, a partner located in the firm’s Frankfort office, practices in the areas of labor and employment, personnel, administrative, regulatory, appellate, and insurance defense law. She has extensive experience in representing clients regarding wage and hour, OSHA, state personnel, and other regulatory matters. She can be reached at taylor@mmlklaw.com or (502) 223-1200.

This article is intended as a summary of federal and state law and does not constitute legal advice.

Are Your Workplace Policies Too Upbeat for the NLRB?

Many employers know that keeping an upbeat and positive workforce is crucial to any successful business; however, recent NLRB rulings penalize certain policies that encourage such an environment, including policies that encourage or promote workplace civility. More >

Changes on the Horizon for Federal Job Training Programs

Posted In Employee Training, Employment Law

Federal job training programs can expect a big overhaul, thanks to President Obama who signed legislation on July 22 that is intended to streamline a tangled web of programs. In 1998, Congress passed the Workforce Development Act. The law provided money to states and cities for job retraining. In 2011, in an investigation by the Government Accountability Office, it was discovered that the federal government spent $18 billion a year on 47 separate job training programs run by nine different agencies, many of which were overlapping or duplicative.

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Mind Regulations When It Is Time To Mine

The Department of Labor recently issued a reminder to employers involved in the mining industry. As spring (slowly) approaches, surface mines will reopen. As miners head back to the job site and prepare equipment for the new season, potential for injury is high. More >

Employers Should Take Note of WorkSmart Kentucky

On January 27, 2014, Governor Steve Beshear announced the launch of WorkSmart Kentucky, an initiative aimed at matching employers with their workforce needs. WorkSmart Kentucky is comprised of professionals from the state’s Cabinet for Economic Development, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, Labor Cabinet, and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.  Governor Beshear hopes the program will help “maintain the Commonwealth as a key player in the global economy for years to come.” As employers know, qualified workforces are the essential factor for success. More >

Don’t Want Your Injury and Illness Reports Online? Submit Your Comments to OSHA Now!

In a proposed rule appearing in the Federal Register on November 8, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) publicized its intention to bring about drastic changes to employer reporting and recordkeeping practices. The proposal followed the agency’s annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimated that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012. More >

Are You Ready for an OSHA Inspection?

Any employer who does business long enough in Kentucky will probably face an OSHA inspection.  It could be next week, next month, or next year.  It will happen regardless of whether the employer is in a low, medium, or high hazard industry. In Kentucky, most workplace safety is regulated by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Occupational Safety and Health Program (KOSH).   As a state-plan OSHA state, Kentucky has more resources than federal OSHA to devote to inspections.  Are you prepared?  The consequences of noncompliance can be substantial.

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OSHA Looking Out for Temporary Workers’ Safety

Posted In Employee Hazards, Employee Training, Employment Law, Job Description, OSHA

The summer months often spur an influx in the hiring of temporary workers throughout the region. Unfortunately, some employers do not have programs in place to ensure proper training and compliance with safety standards for employees who are not on the path to permanent employment. Seeking to remedy this scenario, on April 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released a memo detailing their new initiative to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards.

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