DOL poised to release new overtime final rule

May 17, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The long-awaited final rule making millions more employees eligible to earn overtime pay is likely to be released on May 18, and if its contents match recent reports, employers and employees alike are in for big changes.

The Politico news organization reports that Vice President Joe Biden, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown will announce the rule at an event in Columbus, Ohio, on May 18. The report says the rule places the minimum salary for an employee to maintain exempt status at $47,500, up from the current rule’s floor of $455 a week ($23,660 a year).

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EEOC’s new wellness program rules give employers more to consider

May 16, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Employers are getting a look at new final rules affecting how they structure wellness programs, rules that are meant to clear up conflicts among various federal laws but that also may make administration of wellness programs more challenging.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) new rules describe how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness programs that request health information from employees and their spouses. The rules—one dealing with the ADA and the other with GINA—explain how workplace wellness programs can comply with the ADA and GINA consistent with provisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Employers must meet new safety data requirement by June 1

by Jacob Monty

Employers need to be ready for a new requirement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that changes the format of safety data related to chemicals in the workplace.

OSHA is replacing its material safety data sheet (MSDS) requirement with a more uniform document called the safety data sheet (SDS). The deadline for employers to comply is June 1.

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New FLSA overtime rule a step closer to reality

March 16, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rule greatly expanding the number of workers eligible for overtime pay has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, a necessary step before the rule can be finalized.

The new rule is expected to make nearly five million workers lose their exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to the DOL, meaning they would be eligible for overtime pay at no less than 1½ times their normal rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

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Proposed rule spells out paid sick leave requirements for federal contractors

February 25, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released its proposed regulations implementing President Barack Obama’s Executive Order requiring paid sick leave for employees of federal contractors.

Executive Order 13706, signed on September 7, 2015, will apply to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2017, or that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2017.

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EEOC takes step toward adding pay data to EEO-1 reports

by H. Juanita M. Beecher

On January 29, President Barack Obama announced at a White House ceremony celebrating the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is proposing a new rule to collect pay data through the EEO-1 report. The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on February 1.  EEOC-jpg

The proposal calls for revising the current EEO-1 report to collect W-2 compensation and hours-worked data by pay band for employers that have 100 or more employees beginning with the 2017 report. In 2016, all employers will file the currently approved EEO-1 report, and employers with 50 to 99 employees will file the current report after 2016. The pay data is to be grouped in 12 pay bands that are the same pay intervals the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses in its Occupational Employment Statistics survey.

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New joint-employer guidance puts employers ‘on notice’

January 25, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new guidance on joint employment means employers must think ahead when they find themselves in relationships that may fit the definition of “joint employment.”  DOL_logo

In a January 20 post on his blog, David Weil, administrator of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), announced new guidance related to joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. Weil said the laws share the same definition of “employment,” which was written “to have as broad an application as possible.”

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Enforcement of DOL home healthcare rule starts November 12

by Judith E. Kramer

November 12 marks the date the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will begin enforcing regulations extending the minimum wage and overtime protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to almost two million home healthcare workers who are employed by third parties and provide either companionship services or live-in care for the elderly, ill, or disabled.

The DOL issued the regulations on October 1, 2013, but a federal district court held them invalid. Then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit disagreed, holding on August 21, 2015, that they are a reasonable interpretation of the FLSA.

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Proposed GINA rule clears up issue on wellness programs

November 02, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A new proposed rule from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settles the question of whether employers are justified in seeking medical information on covered spouses participating in wellness programs.

The proposed rule, published in the October 30 Federal Register, would amend regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The proposed rule’s summary states that it addresses how an employer may offer inducements for an employee’s covered spouse to provide information about current or past health status as part of a health risk assessment connected to the employer’s wellness program.

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Time for federal contractors to get ready for new pay transparency rule

September 10, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Federal contractors need to be preparing now for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new pay transparency rule, a rule going into effect in January that is likely to present challenges to a number of employers, according to an attorney familiar with its provisions.

“This rule appears to me to be part of the overarching intention of the agency to provide for more defined and broader rights for workers,” Jo Ellen Whitney, an attorney with the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa, said after publication of the rule was announced September 10. “Any time we add a section to the law that would broaden coverage or create a new category of discrimination or retaliation, we create employer issues. This is not because employers will violate the law, but because it is uncertain how it will be used to support any potential employee claim.”

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