The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Wage and Hour Division (WHD) remind employers to protect worker safety and pay during the upcoming holiday season.
“During the busy holiday season, employers must focus on protecting their workers by anticipating and preventing potential hazards in the workplace,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “All workers deserve a safe workplace whether they are stocking shelves, packing boxes, delivering products or selling merchandise.”
OSHA offers holiday workplace safety resources on warehousing, tractor trailer drivers, forklift safety, winter weather and crowd management. General safety guides are also available, providing information on workers’ rights, the protection of temporary and seasonal workers, as well as safety for young workers.
Temporary or seasonal employees hired to provide additional help have the right to a safe and healthful workplace, and to be paid for the work performed. As hiring spikes, employees not familiar with seasonal employment, and employers unaccustomed to hiring part-time and/or seasonal employees may not be fully aware of the rules that surround such work.
“Retail employees work hard during the holiday season to serve shoppers and keep the economy thriving, and they have bills to pay. We need to make sure they are able to do so by ensuring workers are paid their rightful wages,” said Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton. “The holiday shopping season increases the numbers of temporary and part-time workers, so it’s important that we inform these workers and their employers about rules concerning work hours, wages and employment conditions.”
WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Common holiday season labor violations include failing to pay salespeople and cashiers for time spent prepping or closing out a register; requiring stock room and warehouse personnel to work through breaks without compensation; and not providing overtime pay to employees working more than 40 hours in a workweek.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.