Employment Law News: There’s An App For That……

By Rudman Winchell Attorney

By Anne-Marie L. Storey, Esq.

The federal Department of Labor has
announced a contest: create an application (“app”). Not a big
deal?

Here is the teaser for the subject
matter: “Create an innovative tool that lets an informed consumer find
out if a business is obeying the law when it comes to paying workers properly.”

The stated challenge: “Your challenge
is to create an application that integrates publicly-available enforcement data
from the Wage and Hour Division and the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration for various industries with other publicly available consumer
friendly data sets and consumer ratings web sites like Yelp and mapping tools
like Google Maps. The application will help consumers locate such
establishments and view their federal enforcement and violations history as
well as read consumer reviews to help them decide where to spend their
hard-earned wages. Not only can this compliance information be useful to
consumers, it can likewise factor into employees’ decisions while job hunting.”

It is hard to know where to begin
discussion of this so I’ll just mention a few issues. What happens if an
employer entered into a settlement with the government in which it did not
admit any liability – is that accounted for in the information that appears on
the app? Who will be sure the postings do not contain confidential or
other protected information? Perhaps most importantly, how will they
ensure the information provided is accurate? Will it be like Tripadvisor,
where you can follow the comments with your own response? Maybe
those prospective app developers are on top of all of these issues. We
will hope. And, there is a great prize – a “Fair Labor Centennial
Innovation Award” with an all-expense paid trip to DC to meet the Federal Chief
Technology Officer, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, the U.S. Chief Innovation
Officer, and “top” private sector entrepreneurs and innovators. You can
view the contest at http://fairlabor.challenge.gov

 

These materials have been prepared by Rudman Winchell
for educational purposes only. They should not be considered legal
advice. The transmission of this information to you is not intended to create a
lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information
without seeking professional counsel. You should not send any
confidential or private information to Rudman Winchell until a formal
attorney-client relationship has been established, in writing.

Disclaimer


These materials have been prepared by Rudman Winchell for educational purposes only. They should not be considered legal advice. The transmission of this information to you is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. You should not send any confidential or private information to Rudman Winchell until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established, in writing.