Gleanings: August 4, 2016

This week’s gleanings: ECOT, Ohio’s largest online charter, ordered to hand over enrollment data /  World’s largest franchisor and regulators agree to protect workers’ pay / Will ICE increase workplace audits?

ECOT, Ohio’s largest online charter, ordered to hand over enrollment data

A Franklin County judge ordered the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) to give the school’s attendance records to the Ohio Department of Education, which wants to audit the records, writes the Plain Deal.

ECOT tried to block the audit, but in July the judge denied the school’s request for a temporary restraining order. ECOT then refused to produce the data for ODE without an order from the court. On Aug. 1, the judge ordered ECOT to give ODE the log-in records it was seeking for the audit.

ECOT received $108 million in state funding during the 2015-16 school year based on the online school’s reports of 15,000 students in attendance. ODE plans to use the school’s student log-in records for the attendance audit.

World’s largest franchisor and regulators agree to protect workers’ pay

Subway, the world’s largest franchisor, entered into a voluntary agreement with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Dept. of Labor on July 26 to insure that its workers and those of its franchises are paid in accordance with Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs federal minimum wage and overtime.

640px-Subway_restaurant.svg“The agreement provides a model for exacting compliance, at scale, in an industry that has experienced problems,” writes Dr. David Weil, administrator of the department’s Wage and Hour Division, in a DOL blog.

In 2015, the Wage and Hour Division found more than $38 million in back wages for nearly 47,000 restaurant workers – almost exclusively due to minimum wage and overtime violations.

Subway and the Wage and Hour Division began to collaborate in 2012. The agreement expands their collaboration and provides for compliance assistance and training, compliance support for franchisees through data-sharing and technology, and regular meetings to share information, evaluate compliance trends, and solve problems.

In Subway’s franchise agreements, the franchisor may terminate an existing franchise based on a franchisee’s history of FLSA violations.

Will ICE increase workplace audits?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement may conduct more investigations into workplace immigration violations in response to increases in civil monetary penalties that became effective Aug. 1, 2016, according to the immigration practice of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick writing in JD Supra.

ICE conducted 435 workplace audits in 2015, down from 3,127 in 2013. Increased investigations might be expected in industries that the agency already monitors closely, like agriculture, construction, hospitality, textiles, and large manufacturers.