Businesses that want to take advantage of a law that passed in November that provides tax breaks to companies hiring unemployed veterans, including those with disabilities, must apply quickly to reap the thousands of dollars in benefits. Companies have just 28 days after the hire date to apply for benefits under the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.
Before signing the bill, Obama explained that Veterans who served in these wars tend to be young and have less college education and corporate experience than others. This might make them unattractive to some employers that have many applicants to select from in the large post-recession labor market. However, many learn skills in the military that are valuable in the civilian world, including managing expenses for major operations, doing large-scale logistics, and providing emergency medical care to the wounded.
The Vow to Hire Heroes Act continues the Work Opportunity Tax Credit—already in existence—for veterans with service-connected disabilities, which has a maximum of $4,800. In addition, it offers businesses a new tax credit of:
40 percent on the first $6,000 in wages (up to $2,400) for hiring veterans who have been unemployed at least four weeks.
40 percent on the first $14,000 in wages (up to $5,600) for hiring veterans who have been unemployed for longer than six months.
40 percent of the first $24,000 in wages (up to $9,600) for hiring veterans with service-related disabilities who have been unemployed for longer than six months.
Companies that hire a veteran must submit an Internal Revenue Service Form 8850 and either a Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Form 9061 or 9062 to their local Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) coordinator to get certification for the tax credits.
OSHA Violations and the Fines You Can Expect
Willful-Requires intentional disregard for the act or plain indifference to employee safety. Penalty ranges from $5000- $70,000. If an act results in death, fines run from $250-$750k, plus six months in jail.
Serious- This violation requires “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a condition which exists, or from one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes which have been adopted or are in use, in such place of employment unless the employer did not, and could not with the exercise of reasonable diligence, know of the presence of the violation.” OSHA may propose a penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation.
Other-Than-Serious- Requires direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees. OSHA may impose a penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation.
De Minimus- This is a situation in which an employer implemented something different than suggested in a standard and has no immediate relationship to safety. No fines imposed.
Failure to Abate- This violation occurs when a previously cited violation has not been brought to compliance. Penalty can be up to $7000.
Repeated- As suggested, this requires a previous citation, “within the last five years, for the same or a substantially similar condition or hazard and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC). A citation may become a final order by operation of law when an employer does not contest the citation, or pursuant to court decision or settlement. “Repeated violations can bring a civil penalty of up to $70,000 for each violation.