Employers need to be ready for new overtime rule by December 1

May 18, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

The flurry of speculation is finally over. The White House and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have released the new final rule governing which workers must be paid overtime. The changes aren’t quite as drastic as what employers were preparing for based on the contents of the proposed rule made public last summer, but the final rule more than doubles the amount workers must earn to qualify as exempt from the law’s overtime pay requirement.  3D Man Overtime Clock

The changes mean some 4.2 million more employees across the country, according to White House estimates, will be eligible to earn overtime pay when the new final rule takes effect on December 1.

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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 rule extends employment term for international STEM students

by Elaine Young

The rules affecting how long international students in certain fields can work in the United States without changing their visa status will change on May 10.

Currently, when international students in F-1 visa status graduate with a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate from a U.S. school, they can work for one year, in a period called Optional Practical Training (OPT), in a job related to their major field of study. That training period is being extended for international students with science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degrees from U.S. schools.

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As new overtime rule nears, questions surface about salary threshold

May 03, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 3 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

As time winds down for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to release its final rule changing who is eligible to collect overtime pay, reports are surfacing that the salary threshold may be somewhat lower than the figure originally proposed but still considerably higher than the level in the current rule.  OvertimeCalcultions

The DOL released a proposed rule in June 2015 that more than doubled the salary requirement for workers to be exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements. Under the current regulations, employees are exempt from the FLSA if they are paid a predetermined fixed salary of at least $455 a week ($23,660 a year) and if they perform certain executive, administrative, professional, computer, or outside sales duties.

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Employers should continue using expired Form I-9 until new version is available

April 01, 2016 - by: Holly Jones 0 COMMENTS

The current revision of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9 expired March 31. However, USCIS has instructed employers to continue using this version of the form until a new revision is approved.

Meanwhile, revisions to Form I-9 have been proposed, but the new form cannot be finalized and adopted until the public has had the opportunity to submit comments on the changes.

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DOL’s new “persuader rule” limits employers’ ability to fight union organizing

March 23, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

A new rule scheduled to take effect April 25 is seen as placing new limits on employer efforts to fight union organizing drives. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it will publish its new “persuader rule” in the March 24 Federal Register.

The DOL maintains that the new rule, which requires more disclosure of antiunion efforts, is necessary to ensure transparency during organizing campaigns, but employers worry that it will make it more difficult to communicate to workers their reasons for opposing unionization.

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Supreme Court ruling eases the way for certain class actions

March 22, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 22 that the use of statistical evidence to create a class action lawsuit against Tyson Foods was proper, an action that may make it easier for employees in certain situations to band together to sue their employers rather than suing as individuals.

The Court ruled 6-2 in Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo that the lower court was correct in allowing employees to use a study performed by an industrial relations expert to establish a class of workers at a Tyson pork processing plant in Storm Lake, Iowa.

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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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