Forget the Fashion Police - OSHA is Fining Fashionistas. A trendy New York designer recently described her latest fashion collection as & a new sophisticated grunge attitude." But when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspected her showroom, it saw a little too much grunge for their taste. OSHA cited the designer because her cluttered showroom made exits inaccessible during an emergency. It found that the designer, like many businesses, needed to maintain an Emergency Action Plan that identifies emergency exits and keeps those exits clear for use. That seems reasonable. While it's OK to have people clamoring to get your products, it is not OK to have your employees climbing over each other in an emergency.

The  DOL Bestsellers List. Looking for the perfect holiday gift  for that special someone? The Department of Labor has you covered with its & Books that Shaped Work in America."The project celebrates the  DOL's 1OOth anniversary  and  explores the role books have played in shaping American workers and workplaces. The list of books includes classics like John Steinbeck's he Grapes of Wrath," and fun children's books like Richard Scarry's "Busy, Busy Town." Each book on the list is accompanied by a brief summary and links to related resources. Click here to check out the list, and even feel free to suggest a book to add to the list.

'Tis the Season. The idea of company holiday parties can send HR managers running for the snow­ covered hills. If left unchecked, these parties can lead to bad behavior blunders with consequences in the workplace. But a few simple tips can help ensure a safe and fun celebration. Consider holding the voluntary event offsite, with a strategic invite list. Issue only a limited number of drink tickets and close the   bar at least an hour before the party ends. Also, consider reminding employees beforehand that normal rules of conduct  apply and that they must behave in a responsible  and professional manner. And for goodness sake, say no to mistletoe.

Bah Humbug! The Eleventh Circuit old Ebenezer Scrooge smile. The Court of Appeals recently issued a decision that would make court found that two former students, who participated inmandatory externship, were not entitled to minimum wage pay. Interns and externs are usually entitled to FLSA protections. But these externs fell under the narrow "trainee exception" to the FLSA minimum wage requirement, since their externships were a required education experience for acade mic credit. That means that neither the FLSA nor its minimum wage protections apply to their externships. While it's unclear whether the externs will appeal the court's decision, there's a good chance they' ll skip this year's holiday party.