2019 Corolla Hatchback qualifies for IIHS Top Safety Pick

(Arlington, VA – Insurance News 360) – On October 2, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced that the 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback model, equipped with optional curve-adaptive headlights, is qualified for the 2018 Top Safety Pick.

This model will replace the Corolla iM hatchback. The sedan has not been redesigned and these ratings do not apply to sedan models.

The Corolla has superior-rated front crash prevention, and the optional curve-adaptive headlights have an acceptable rating, although the base headlights are rated marginal. In order for the vehicle to qualify for 2018 Top Safety Pick, it must have good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also needs a front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating and available headlights that earn an acceptable or good rating.

It also earned a rating of “good” in the IIHS passenger-side small overlap front crash test, which is the newest test the organization conducts.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

U.S. Department of Labor Initiative Focuses on Helping Restaurants In Wisconsin Comply With Wage Laws

(Milwaukee, WI – Insurance News 360) – To ensure that restaurants in Wisconsin comply with federal wage laws, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is running an education and enforcement initiative several areas. The project will offer compliance assistance tools and education to employers and industry stakeholders. Those efforts will be focused in these communities: the cities of Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha, Appleton, Little Chute, and Kaukauna as well as Milwaukee’s East Side neighborhoods.

The WHD will work with organizations in the areas to determine the best way to provide tools and information to make it easier for businesses to maintain compliance with wage laws and the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

This initiative raises awareness among employers, employees, community organizations, and others regarding federal wage and hour laws,” said Wage and Hour District Director David King, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “Our ultimate goal is to increase industry-wide compliance. With more than 200,000 people employed in food-service jobs in Wisconsin, the Wage and Hour Division wants to make sure everyone knows and follows the rules.”

Over the past three fiscal years investigations by WHD have found that common violations include employing servers to work only for tips; paying servers overtime at one-and-half times their direct cash wage rather than the full federal minimum wage; pooling tips illegally; misclassifying employees as independent contractors and then failing to pay them minimum wage and overtime; and failing to combine hours employees worked at multiple locations when determining when overtime is due.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time-and-one-half their regular rates for hours worked beyond 40 per week. An employer of a tipped employee is required to pay no less than $2.13 an hour in direct wages, provided that amount plus tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If an employee’s tips – combined with the employer’s direct wages – do not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Employers also are required to provide employees notice of the FLSA tip credit provisions and to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

For more information about the FLSA and other federal labor laws, call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor.

Department of Labor announces $1.9 million contract for apprenticeships for youths, adults with disabilities

(Washington, DC – Insurance News 360) – On Oct. 11, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a two year, $1.9 million contract for pilot projects targeting apprenticeships for youths and adults with disabilities, created by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (DEP).

Social Policy Research Associates will use the two year contract to research, develop, test, and evaluate innovative strategies in apprenticeship programs that provide skills training to people with disabilities. Efforts will specifically focus on quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship pilots in high-growth industries such as information technology, healthcare, and emerging sectors. SPRA will document and share best practices so that other apprenticeship efforts may replicate promising approaches.

“Apprenticeships are a proven strategy for connecting job creators with motivated, highly skilled workers, yet people with disabilities are disproportionately underrepresented in apprenticeship programs and in the workforce at large,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy. “This project will help us determine ways to ensure people with disabilities acquire the skills and credentials needed to obtain an in-demand position in a high-growth business or industry, where jobs pay family sustaining wages.”

ODEP works to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities by developing and influencing policies and practices. For more information on ODEP and this contract award, visit https://www.dol.gov/odep/.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor.

National Association of Realtors issues statement on passage of Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

(Washington, WA – Insurance News 360) – On Oct. 10, National Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall released a statement on the passage of S. 3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.

“America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 ensures the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can continue providing vital economic and environmental services to property owners across this country. Overall, this legislation supports U.S. economic development and the real estate industry by investing in natural disaster and flood control protections; by securing clean, sustainable drinkable water for everyone in America; and by maintaining waterways and ports that help us transport goods across the country.”

“The bill is particularly beneficial to Realtors in Florida who are working to address the state’s critical infrastructure needs, specifically by funding research to combat harmful algal blooms that surfaced in the state earlier this year. NAR applauds the Senate and House for moving this legislation swiftly, and we look forward to seeing it signed into law in the coming days.”

Source: National Association of Realtors®